[Ads-l] OED Antedatings: flog, v ; shove, v1 10 ; tumbler, n 7

Robin Hamilton robin.hamilton3 at VIRGINMEDIA.COM
Fri Sep 9 11:06:54 EDT 2016

With regard to the above, the OED has:

flog, v.
Etymology: Mentioned in 1676 as a cant word. Presumably of onomatopoeic
formation; compare ... (Show More)
1. a. trans. To beat, whip; to chastise with repeated blows of a rod or whip.
1676 E. Coles Eng. Dict. Flog, to whip [marked as a cant word].

shove, v1 10
b. to shove the tumbler (see quot. 1699).
e. to shove it: to depart; to desist from a course of action. Usu. in imp., as
an expression of contemptuous dismissal.
1699 B. E. New Dict. Canting Crew Shove the Tumbler, to be Whipt at the Cart's

tumbler, n.
7. = tumbrel n.1 3a, 3b; cf. tumbler-cart n. at Compounds 2. slang and dial.
1673 R. Head Canting Acad. 16 (Flaugg'd at the Tumbler) whipt at the Carts-arse.
1692 N. Luttrell Diary in Brief Hist. Relation State Affairs (1857) II. 534 They
had on board 200 horses for the artillery,..40 feild pieces, 80 tumblers.
1699 B. E. New Dict. Canting Crew Shove the Tumbler, to be Whipt at the Cart's

To start with the easy bit.


Coles 1676 in the citation for "flog, v" should be replaced by "1673 R. Head
Canting Acad."  Simply, all the cant terms in Coles in 1676 are taken directly
from Head in 1673.

The pertinent section from Head is (with italics not represented):

1673. Head, Canting Academy, p. 38: Flog, To whip as in Bridewell, As the
Prancer drew the Quire Cove at the Cropping of the Rotan through the Rum pads of
the Rum vile, and was flog'd by the Nubbing-Cove. That is, The Rogue was drag'd
at a Carts-arse, through the chief streets of London, and was soundly whipt by
the Hangman.

Further, as the term isn't found in the glossary in Head's _English Rogue_ in
1665, it's pretty certain that flog, and its presence in derived compounds,
appears after 1665 and before 1673.


B.E. (1699) is almost certainly derivative here, but the question is, Who is he
deriving from?  There's nothing in Head that quite matches, but there is this:

1688. Holme, Academie of Armorie: Shove the Flogging tumbler, to be whipt at the
Carts Arse.

[This is actually a bit worrisome, since Randle Holme is heavily dependent, to
say the least, on Thomas Dekker.  He does occasionally come out with something
off his own bat, but I'm suspicious in this case ...]

Although Holme isn't the first to shove the (flogging) tumbler, as see below ...


Head certainly deserves the credit here, but there's perhaps a better example
that doesn't involve the hangman's cart:

1673. Head, Canting Academy, p. 46: Tumbler, A Cart

Which leaves us with the nexus of terms around this: shove the (flogging)

Variants can be found in Head, but interestingly enough, versions of the
collocation crop up, probably independently, in reports from the Old Bailey at
around exactly this time:

            Old Bailey Proceedings, 12th December 1674.
Twelve that prayed and obtained the favour of Transportation, and four sentenced
to Shove the Tumbler, or receive the correction of the gentle Lash for several
crimes respectively no less tedious, than impertinent here to be recited.

           Old Bailey Proceedings punishment summary, 11th October 1676.
There were in all Sixteen persons (Thirteen men and Three women) that received
Sentence of death, Thirteen burn'd in the hand, and Five women ordered to be
Whipt at the Carts tail, or (as themselves phrase it) To shove the Flogging

So it goes ...

Robin Hamilton


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

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