whole nine yards, the

whole nine yards, the

Everything that is relevant; the whole thing. For example, He decided to take everything to college-his books, his stereo, his computer, his skis, the whole nine yards . The source of this expression is not known, but there are several possibilities: the amount of cloth required to make a complete suit of clothes; the fully set sails of a three-masted ship where each mast carries three yards, that is, spars, to support the sails; or the amount of cement (in cubic yards) contained in a cement mixer for a big construction job. [Colloquial]
See also: nine, whole
References in periodicals archive ?
Along Came Polly, The Whole Nine Yards, The Longest Yard, Clockwatchers, Lost In Space.
Mission dislodged The Whole Nine Yards, the hit-man comedy starring Bruce Willis as the assassin and Friends' Matthew Perry, from the number one spot after three weeks.