"Walk the plank", 1763 (UNCLASSIFIED)

Dan Goncharoff thegonch at GMAIL.COM
Tue Oct 11 16:32:29 UTC 2011

Adding to the confusion is the claim that making someone "walking the
plank" was not an act of murder but a dunking:

The sailors' and soldiers' magazine, Volume 40 (1860) p313

[About twelve years ago, it was generally rumoured in Penzance that G.
C. Smith would appear at the Guildhall beiore the Mayor, respecting
some interruption that disturbed him in the chapel where he preached.
The consequence was that a large assembly gathered at the Hall upon
the occasion referred to; and Mr, Dark, a respectable attorney, stood
up, near the Mayor, to address G. C. S. in cross examination, to such
an unlookedfor extent, that at length G. C. S. seeing the design of
the attorney, by various appeals, was to defeat the object he had in
view, ha said," Had you, sir, been with us in the Nore muling, you
would haw been ordered to walk the plank, if yon had been thus severe
with any of us on board then." G. C. 8. was Midshipman in H.M.S.
Agamemion, 64, belonging to Admiral Lord Duncan's North Sea fleet, in
the year 1797, when the ship's company of five hundred men took
possession of her, and ran that ship to the Nore, to join the other
ships in mutiny there; and confined all the officers in the cabins,
but some with a rope round their loins, which denoted they were to
walk the plank, as it wai called, and sink overboard—but to be pulled
up again and fixed in their berths. To " walk the plank" therefore,
became a common expression for temporary punishment; but when G. G. S.
mentioned this in the Town Hall about Mr. Dark, the Mayor very
naturally called upon him to demand of the words, and G. C. S.
replied," He would have got a dipping in the sea."]


On Tue, Oct 11, 2011 at 12:13 PM, Jonathan Lighter
<wuxxmupp2000 at gmail.com> wrote:
> "walk the plank"

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

More information about the Ads-l mailing list