Yale Law Librarian Reopens Debate on the Origins of ‘The Whole Nine Yards’


The online debate has raged since Yale law librarian Fred Shapiro discovered an early reference that suggests a different origin for the phrase “the whole nine yards.”

Writing in the Yale Alumni Magazine, Shapiro said he had conducted an online search and found a variant, “the whole six yards,” in two articles published in Kentucky in 1912. He searched for the phrase after a neuroscience researcher discovered the variant in a 1921 article published in South Carolina.

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See the comments to the article for smart ass comments about librarians.

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