"line in the sand"

James Smith jsmithjamessmith at YAHOO.COM
Fri Jan 24 21:02:56 UTC 2003

In "Davy Crockett at the Alamo" (1955), either Col.
Travis or Jim Bowie draws a line in the sand, to be
crossed by those who choose to remain and defend the
Alamo, but I can't recall if he speaks the words "line
in the sand."


--- Jesse Sheidlower <jester at PANIX.COM> wrote:
> This doesn't seem to have been discussed on ADS-L. I
> wonder
> if anyone has anything useful on the figurative use
> of _line
> in the sand_ 'a boundary; limit of tolerance' etc.
> The earliest
> example we have is only from 1978, which seems quite
> late, but
> all the earlier cites I've laboriously tracked down
> have been
> literal.
> Anyone have something earlier, or a suggestion of
> why such a
> seemingly predictable phrase would be so recent?
> Thanks.
> Jesse Sheidlower

James D. SMITH                 |If history teaches anything
South SLC, UT                  |it is that we will be sued
jsmithjamessmith at yahoo.com     |whether we act quickly and decisively
                               |or slowly and cautiously.

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