Duck soup

Michael Quinion TheEditor at WORLDWIDEWORDS.ORG
Mon Sep 2 08:28:28 UTC 2002

> Off-topic, but isn't "wide-bore punt gun" redundant?  A punt gun
> is best described as "artillery"---a gun too big to be fired from
> one's shoulder, and which is mounted on a "punt" (a type of boat).
> The one example I have seen (on display in a local restaurant) has
> a barrel longer than I am tall.  In order to fire enough buckshot,
> or whatever, to kill a commercial quantity of ducks, it must
> necessarily be large-bore ("wide-bore")

A redundancy? Perhaps, to those who know about punt guns. But it is
also a helpful descriptive enlargement to those who don't. My own
lack of direct practical knowledge of the technical terms of the
wildfowlers' trade is obvious enough ...

Michael Quinion
Editor, World Wide Words
E-mail: <TheEditor at>
Web: <>

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