To the nines

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4 comments on this post.
  1. Elizabeth Lightwood:

    The CANOE theory is clearly rot because a three-masted square-rigger under full sail has upwards of twenty sails.

  2. OwenKL:

    Nines, being plural, make me think multiple nines are involved. 99% or to .9999… or more modernly, all scores above 9 in Olympic judging.

  3. Maarten:

    After reading this article I started wondering and came up with another possibility – could it be that “to thine eyes” garbled into “to the nines”?

  4. Dave Hed:

    The article already debunked that: It is unlikely that sometime in the centuries between Early Modern English (1500s) and 1719 some form of “to thine eyes” or “to the nines” wouldn’t have popped up in print.

    There should have been some examples in the books of the 1500s and 1600s.

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