English : Dress To The Nines

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What is the origin of the expression to Dress To The Nines?

By Mr. Louise, Norway – 16th June 2007.

When you say that someone is dressed to the nines or dressed up to the nines, it means that he is dressed elegantly. He is wearing his best clothes. This is an expression normally used in informal contexts.

Here are a few examples.

• He was dressed to the nines when he went to meet the Chairman.

• Where are you going dressed up to the nines like that?

• She makes it a point to dress up to the nines whenever she goes out.

Many people believe that the expression comes from the Middle English,
dressed up to the eyenes (eyes). In other words, this is one way of saying that one is immaculately dressed from top to bottom.

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