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Old June 19th, 2009, 10:20 AM
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Default Dressing to the nines

Okay, stupid question, I know this is a colloquialism, but ..

Often on formal nights cruisers "dress to the nines". What exactly are the nines? Why doesn't anybody dress to the tens? (Or if you are a fan of Spinal Tap, why not eleven?)
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Old June 19th, 2009, 03:27 PM
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Default Re: Dressing to the nines

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Originally Posted by green_rd
Okay, stupid question, I know this is a colloquialism, but ..

Often on formal nights cruisers "dress to the nines". What exactly are the nines? Why doesn't anybody dress to the tens? (Or if you are a fan of Spinal Tap, why not eleven?)
ONLY A MAN WOULD ASK THAT!! Women traditionally like to dress up..and "compete" with other women.. Men could usually care less.
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Old June 19th, 2009, 05:46 PM
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But I thought most women wanted to be a ten and wear a one. Maybe that's it 10 - 1 = 9
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Old June 20th, 2009, 03:44 PM
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It's a figure of speech.
Dressed to the Nines Meaning (according to The Phrase Finder)
"Dressed flamboyantly or smartly."

Personally, it feels good to "dress for dinner." It doesn't mean a full formal, unless that is what you want. I am a jeans girls myself and my husband is most comfortable in hunting apparel but it's nice & it's special to dress up a bit for dinner. Everyone feels good when they look good.

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Old June 20th, 2009, 04:02 PM
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I know what it means, but am also curious how that particular phrase came into being.
Marty
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Old June 20th, 2009, 06:20 PM
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Default JUST ONE EXPLAINATION

"One prevailing theory concerning the origin of "dressed to the nines" surrounds the significance of the number nine. Some sources believe that the number 9 possessed a spiritual or cultural strength, much like the numbers 3,7 or 13 do today. For example, there were nine Muses said to inspire mankind's pursuit of the arts. If someone were described as "dressed to the nines", it could have been an outfit capable of impressing the nine Muses. The expression "to the nines" was actually in popular use before "dressed to the nines" came into vogue. It's entirely possible that the reference was meant as a tribute to the Muses or other significant figures.

Another theory states that women of the Middle Ages would often wear fashionable gloves as part of their formal wear. These gloves were said to contain nine buttons from wrist to elbow, so if a woman was said to be "dressed to the nines", she would be wearing her most formal evening wear. In a similar vein, the price for admission for theatrical performances often ranged from one shilling for a front row seat to nine shillings for the preferred balcony or box seating. Anyone who could afford the highest ticket prices might be considered "dressed to the nines" as opposed to the unwashed groundlings seated on the grass in front of the stage."
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Old June 21st, 2009, 02:48 PM
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Thanks. Love this kind of stuff.
Marty, the unwashed groundling (love that one too)
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Old June 22nd, 2009, 09:38 AM
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Thanks Parrot Mom - that's the kind of answer I was looking for.
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Old June 22nd, 2009, 09:49 AM
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Default DRESSING

Always glad to be of service, especially since "Google" has the answers..lol
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Old June 22nd, 2009, 01:36 PM
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I got curious enough to do some research. Found the website where Parrotmom got her info. But, also found out that "to the nines" is such very old slang that it refers to anything, not just dress. It means "to the ultimate". It is so old a saying that it predates long gloves and a bunch of other "guesses". And, it originated as Old English. Which makes it impossible to know to origin. I was amazed that a bit of slang could survive that long!
Marty
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Old June 22nd, 2009, 01:49 PM
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It's always interesting to find the origins for old statements. It's surprising what lasts.
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Old June 22nd, 2009, 03:33 PM
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Default INFORMATION

NO, it;s amazing the minutea you can fine on Google
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Old June 23rd, 2009, 01:51 PM
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yep,
I try to stay away from google because I can get lost in all the interesting but mostly useless info. And, so much of it does not come from credible sources. So, if I cared enough, I would then have to research sources, and on, and on. Rather chat about cruises!
Marty
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Old June 25th, 2009, 05:08 PM
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That's cool, thanks Parrot Mom. I love Google too. WWW, what a wonderful thing.
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Old June 26th, 2009, 09:06 AM
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how interesting.
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