Originally posted by OttawaChris
The whole 9 yards:
Back in the days when women still made their own dresses... fabric came on spools 9 yards in length. When they wanted to make an elaborate dress it would take a lot more fabric, therefore they went the whole 9 yards.
I'm afraid you're wrong on this one. The origin of this phrase was from World War II. The combat planes used to use the strips of bullets, which measures 9 yards long. When they emptied an entire clip on an opponent, they gave the opponent "The whole 9 yards".
Here's another fascinating one for you:
THE ORIGIN OF GIVING SOMEONE THE MIDDLE FINGER
Back when England was at war with France (I don't remember the years), France was well known for having the best archers in Europe. If an archer was captured by the English troops, they would cut off the index and middle fingers of an archer so as to make it impossible for them to knock an arrow. The middle finger became a way for the French to taunt the english, as though to say "You haven't caught me yet, and I can still knock an arrow and kill you."