"Walk the plank", 1763 (UNCLASSIFIED)

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM
Tue Oct 11 16:38:11 UTC 2011

Good find.


No pirates.

("Nore muling" is scannerese for "Nore mutiny," alluded to in _Billy Budd_.)


On Tue, Oct 11, 2011 at 12:32 PM, Dan Goncharoff <thegonch at gmail.com> wrote:
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> Sender: Â  Â  Â  American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster: Â  Â  Â  Dan Goncharoff <thegonch at GMAIL.COM>
> Subject: Â  Â  Â Re: "Walk the plank", 1763 (UNCLASSIFIED)
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> 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 overboardå‚­ut 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."]
> DanG
> On Tue, Oct 11, 2011 at 12:13 PM, Jonathan Lighter
> <wuxxmupp2000 at gmail.com> wrote:
>> "walk the plank"
> ------------------------------------------------------------
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