"line in the sand"

FRITZ JUENGLING juengling_fritz at SALKEIZ.K12.OR.US
Fri Jan 24 21:15:21 UTC 2003

Davy Crockett King of the Wild Frontier is the name of the movie.  Of course, as every Texan knows, it was Travis who draws the line and (in the movie) Bowie, lying on his cot, has to be carried across.
I think the Alamo line is well known, i.e. literal, but the query was about figurative uses
>>> jsmithjamessmith at YAHOO.COM 01/24/03 01:02PM >>>
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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