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hard yards

Particularly hard work or a large amount of effort (toward some task), especially in sports. Often used with the verbs "do," "make," or "put in." You're never going to have a successful business if you aren't willing to put in the hard yards yourself. Our team did the hard yards all game long, and we managed to pull out a victory in the end because of it.
See also: hard, yard

get up the yard

An exclamation of disbelief, annoyance, disagreement, dismissal, etc., akin in meaning to "get out of here." An Irish expression seemingly unique to Dublin. Primarily heard in Ireland. Ah, here! Would you get up the yard! I'm not spending that much on a bleedin' computer.
See also: get, up, yard

junkyard dog

An especially nasty, vicious, or savage person or animal (especially a dog). Of a person, often used in the phrase "meaner than a junkyard dog." Though he's always polite when he's in public, Tim's husband is meaner than a junkyard dog behind closed doors. That standard poodle may look cute and fluffy, but it's a junkyard dog, you can be sure about that.
See also: dog, junkyard

the knacker's yard

A state of ruin or failure due to having become useless or obsolete. Refers to a slaughterhouse for old or injured horses. Once a booming industry before the age of the Internet, home video rental has largely ended up in the knacker's yard these days.
See also: yard

end up in the knacker's yard

To be in or enter a state of ruin or failure due to having become useless or obsolete. Refers to a slaughterhouse for old or injured horses. Once a booming industry before the age of the Internet, home video rental has largely ended up in the knacker's yard these days.
See also: end, up, yard

ready for the knacker's yard

In a state of ruin or failure due to having become useless or obsolete. Refers to a slaughterhouse for old or injured horses. Once a booming industry, home video rental was ready for the knacker's yard as soon as the Internet became a common household utility.
See also: ready, yard

move the yardsticks

To alter the rules or parameters of a situation in such a way as to suit one's needs or objectives, making it more difficult for someone else to succeed, keep pace, or achieve an opposing objective. (A US variant of the more common British phrase "move the goalposts.") Primarily heard in US. I hate arguing with that type of person. As soon as you start wearing down their logic, they just move the yardsticks on the whole thing! We're never going to get the book design finished in time if the publisher keeps moving the yardsticks every couple of months like this!
See also: move

do the hard yards

To do particularly hard work or put forth a large amount of effort (toward some task), especially in sports. You're never going to have a successful business if you aren't willing to do the hard yards yourself. Our team did the hard yards all game long, and we managed to pull out a victory in the end because of it.
See also: hard, yard

all wool and a yard wide

Fig. trustworthy and genuinely good. (A description of good quality wool cloth.) Mary's a fine human being—all wool and a yard wide. I won't hear a word against Bill. He's all wool and a yard wide.
See also: all, and, wide, wool, yard

Give someone an inch and he'll take a mile.

 and Give someone an inch and he'll take a yard.
Prov. Be generous to someone and the person will demand even more. (Describes someone who will take advantage of you if you are even a little kind to him or her.) If you let Mark borrow your tools for this weekend, he'll wind up keeping them for years. Give him an inch and he'll take a mile.
See also: and, give, inch, mile, take

whole nine yards

Sl. the entire amount; everything, as far as possible. For you I'll go the whole nine yards. You're worth the whole nine yards.
See also: nine, whole, yard

the whole nine yards

(spoken)
all of something, including everything connected with it the whole shebang When you join the gym, they show you all the equipment, tell you how to use it, the whole nine yards. They rushed him to the emergency room with lights flashing, sirens wailing, a police escort, the whole nine yards.
Usage notes: often used in the phrase go the whole nine yards: So we moved to the suburbs and went the whole nine yards - we had two cars, a pool in the back yard, even cookouts in the backyard.
See also: nine, whole, yard

go the whole nine yards

  (American informal)
to continue doing something dangerous or difficult until it is finished The weather was terrible but I wanted to go the whole nine yards and get to the top of the mountain.
See also: nine, whole, yard

the whole nine yards

  (American informal)
the whole of something, including everything that is connected with it When I eat Mexican food, I like to have fajitas, bean dip, guacamole - the whole nine yards.
See also: nine, whole, yard

all wool and a yard wide

Genuine, not fake; of excellent quality; also, honorable. For example, You can count on Ned-he's all wool and a yard wide. This metaphorical term alludes to a length of highly valued pure-wool cloth that measures exactly a yard (and not an inch less). [Late 1800s]
See also: all, and, wide, wool, yard

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

Put it in their back yard!

and PITBY
sent. & comp. abb. Locate something undesirable close to the people who complain about having it close by. (A parody of NIMBY, Not in my back yard!) To all those NIMBYs, I say PITBY.
See also: back, put

the whole nine yards

n. the entire amount; everything. (Origin unknown. It does not matter what substance is being referred to. It means all of it, no matter what it is.) For you I’ll go the whole nine yards.
See also: nine, whole, yard

yard

n. a one-hundred-dollar bill. (Underworld.) The guy wanted a yard just to fix a little dent in the fender.

yard dog

n. a repellent person; an uncouth person. Is that lousy yard dog hanging around the neighborhood again?
See also: dog, yard

yard-sale

n. the site of a crash involving one or more bikes, skateboards, snowboards, etc., where the debris is spread far and wide. (Looking like a disorganized yard-, garage-, or tag-sale. Man, did you see that yard-sale at the last turn?

whole nine yards

The entire amount or distance. Of all phrases in the English language, few have as many supposed sources as this one. Among the possibilities are the nine yards of material from which tailors made expensive men's suits; the nine cubic yards of concrete that concrete trucks held; the nine yards (or spars) on a three-masted sailing ship; the volume of grave soil; and the length of a World War II aircraft ammunition belt. However, none of these or any other explanation has been conclusively proven. The phrase first appeared during the 1960s of out Vietnam War writings with no further explanation. Other phrases that refer to everything are “all the marbles,” “the whole shooting match,” “the whole ball of wax,” and “the whole shebang.”
See also: nine, whole, yard
References in classic literature ?
We belayed the fore down-haul; but the sail was split, and we hauled down the yard, and got the sail into the ship, and unbound all the things clear of it.
They trotted past us, and then stopped behind a little patch of bush about a hundred yards away, wheeling round to look at us.
But as it was, his trousers cumbered him in that desperate race, and presently, when he was about sixty yards from us, his boot, polished by the dry grass, slipped, and down he went on his face right in front of the elephant.
I never was easy i' this street myself, but I was fond o' Lantern Yard.
said Silas, "why, there's people coming out o' the Yard as if they'd been to chapel at this time o' day--a weekday noon
In that case," said the housekeeper, "here, into the yard with them
The Garden of Flowers,' and truly there is no deciding which of the two books is the more truthful, or, to put it better, the less lying; all I can say is, send this one into the yard for a swaggering fool.
It was my growing conviction that he had been recognized when leaving Scotland Yard, and either taken then and there, or else hunted into some new place of hiding.
From Scotland Yard," he answered, stretching himself before the fire in his stocking soles.
In the yard it was quiet, but in the street the wind was felt more keenly.
And, trembling, pale, and gasping for breath, he pointed to the gibbet at the other side of the yard, with the cynical inscription surmounting it.
There's a man coming down shortly from Scotland Yard," the inspector announced, a little gloomily.
In the middle of the old man's account of his acquaintance with Sviazhsky, the gates creaked again, and laborers came into the yard from the fields, with wooden ploughs and harrows.
Now they came rushing through the jail, calling to each other in the vaulted passages; clashing the iron gates dividing yard from yard; beating at the doors of cells and wards; wrenching off bolts and locks and bars; tearing down the door-posts to get men out; endeavouring to drag them by main force through gaps and windows where a child could scarcely pass; whooping and yelling without a moment's rest; and running through the heat and flames as if they were cased in metal.
As if the aspiring city had become puffed up in the very ground on which it stood, the ground had so risen about Bleeding Heart Yard that you got into it down a flight of steps which formed no part of the original approach, and got out of it by a low gateway into a maze of shabby streets, which went about and about, tortuously ascending to the level again.