Etymology
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lex talionis (n.)
1590s, legal Latin, "law of retaliation," an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, from lex "law" (see legal) + talionis, genitive of talio "exaction of payment in kind" (see retaliation). Not related to talon. Other legal Latin phrases include lex domicilii "the law of the place where the person resides," lex fori "law of the place in which an action is brought."
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whole nine yards (n.)
by 1970, of unknown origin; perhaps arbitrary (see cloud nine). Among the guesses that have been made without real evidence: concrete mixer trucks were said to have dispensed in this amount. Or the yard might be the word used in the slang sense of "one hundred dollars." Several similar phrases meaning "everything" arose in the 1940s (whole ball of wax, which is likewise of obscure origin, whole schmear); older examples include whole hog (see hog (n.)) and whole shooting match (1896); whole shebang (1895).
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