Grammar Monster
Grammar Monster

The Whole (Full) Nine Nines (Origin)

What Is the Origin of the Saying "The Whole (Full) Nine Nines"?

The ammunition belt for the Supermarine Spitfire was nine yards in length. Therefore, a pilot who stated that he had given the enemy aircraft the whole nine yards was claiming that he had fired every single round at his adversary. Going the whole/full nine yards came to mean doing as much as possible.



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