Six Ways from Sunday


What does Six Ways from Sunday mean?

Six ways from Sunday refers to a popular idiomatic phrase, with debated and varying meaning, depending on the context.

Its most prevalent use is to describe something as thoroughly examined and researched, knowing all the possibilities an object may provide – both in a positive and a negative manner.

The second meaning associated with the colloquialism is to describe an object as going in all imaginable directions, such as shattering.


What's the origin of Six Ways from Sunday?

Although the exact origin for the phrase “Six ways from Sunday” is not known for sure, one of the earliest uses of a similar form, “Nine ways from Sunday” appears in the 1828 short story of James Pauling, published under the title “Cobus Yerks”.

The phrase appearing in the short story is an amalgamation of two precursor idioms, coming from England: “Look nine ways” which can be dated back to the 17th century, and “Look both ways for Sunday” which was around by the late 1700’s.

Spread & Usage

How did Six Ways from Sunday spread?

“Six ways from Sunday” spread rapidly in the 19th century United States, making its presence in each and every State by the turn of the 20th.

Its popularity kept growing and remained stable even in the tumultuous period that is known as the 1900’s.

“Six ways from Sunday” was first defined on Urban Dictionary on February 5th, 2004, with several other articles following.

More interesting stuff