Giving it all, taken from WW2 B-17 gunners who had a string of bullets that fed into their guns that measured nine yards long
Give them the whole nine yards.
by Barnes 199 May 13, 2006
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Phrase equivalent to "Everything that is available." Has nothing to do with football. In fact, the phrase comes from the fact that fighter planes are equipped with belt-fed machine guns. When the belts are laid out before loading, they measure nine yards in length. If a pilot were to empty his plane's guns into a target, he'd be giving it the "whole nine yards."
I bought the TV, the home theater system... The whole nine yards.
by Angel Panties December 16, 2003
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A term dating back to World War 2 referring to a fighter pilot using up all of his ammunition attempting to bring down an enemy plane, the ammunition belts the guns used being nine yards in length on average, hence the term.
I gave him The Whole Nine Yards, and he still wouldn't go down!
by dood87 March 31, 2010
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The length of a belt of machine-gun ammuition used in some WWII fighter plains
by Archerr December 27, 2003
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Does not come from military or football. It relates to the clothing industry. It is a term that tailors have used since the 1900's for denoting the extent that one wishes to invest in a custom-made suit. It takes exactly nine square yards of material to create a man's three-piece suit. If an individual desires a suit that is tailored to the "hilt" (double lined, etc.), he would request that the tailor should proceed with "the whole nine yards." Anything shy of nine yards would mean various alterations. This would lessen the overall quality of the suit.
by Joel Johnson November 14, 2006
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Used since the 18th century to describe a ship.
'Ship' is a pretty homogenous term these days, but back then, to describe a vessel as a 'true' ship, it had to have 3 masts (fore, main, and mizzen) and on each of these were 3 sails (main, top, and topgallant) suspended from horizontal 'yards'. To handle so many sails, a fairly large crew is required. Warships carried much, much larger crews than merchantmen, and so it was only warships and the large, prestigeous merchant ships such as East Indiamen that could be described as having 'the whole (or full) nine yards'.
"There; hull-down and fine off the starboard bow. She's a warship alright; the whole nine yards"
by Bluetyphoon August 6, 2004
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This is not about the airforce, football or even the clothing industry; The Whole Nine Yards refers to the amount of conrete that was in the original concrete trucks (9 cubic yards).
Concrete Company "How much do you need for the sidewalk?"

Contractor- "The whole nine yards."
by Whatda May 26, 2010
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