The Whole (Full) Nine Nines (Origin)

by Craig Shrives

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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See Also

What are idioms? What is figurative language? A list of common grammar errors A list of easily confused words A list of sayings and proverbs