"Rock the boat" (1908 and earlier in 1896)

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Sun Feb 26 15:39:17 UTC 2006

OED has 1931 for "rock the boat," but it's clearly much earlier and no later  
than 1908. Would you give 1896 for the political version of this phrase?  
d. Phrases. to take boat: to embark in a boat. to have an oar in  another's 
boat, in every boat, etc. (fig.):  to meddle with other people's affairs, to be 
a busybody. to be in the same  boat (fig.): to be in the same position or  
circumstances. to  sail in the same boat (fig.): to pursue the  same course, act 
together. to miss the boat (see _MISS_ 
lt_place=1&xrefword=miss&ps=v.&homonym_no=1)  v.1). to rock the boat (fig.): 
to disturb the  equilibrium (of a situation, etc.).  
1548  _HALL_ (http://dictionary.oed.com/help/bib/oed2-h.html#hall)  Chron. 
(1809) 279 Duke Charles  of Burgoyne..would nedes have an Ower in the Erle of 
Warwickes boate. 1576  _LAMBARDE_ 
(http://dictionary.oed.com/help/bib/oed2-l.html#lambarde)  Peramb. Kent (1826) 179 Thomas  Becket secretly tooke boate at 
Rumney. 1577  _HOLINSHED_ 
(http://dictionary.oed.com/help/bib/oed2-h3.html#holinshed)  Chron. II. 173 The pope must  have his ore in everie mans bote, his 
spoone in everie mans dish. 1584  _HUDSON_ 
(http://dictionary.oed.com/help/bib/oed2-h4.html#hudson)  Judith iii. 352 (D.) Haue ye  pain? so likewise pain haue 
we; For in one boat we both imbarked be. 1668  _R. LESTRANGE_ 
(http://dictionary.oed.com/help/bib/oed2-l.html#r-lestrange)  Vis. Quev. (1708) 30  
Medlers..that will have an Oar in every Boat. 1845  _DICKENS_ 
(http://dictionary.oed.com/help/bib/oed2-d2.html#dickens)  Cricket on Hearth i. 40 You'll  come to the 
wedding? We're in the same boat. 1857  _HUGHES_ 
(http://dictionary.oed.com/help/bib/oed2-h4.html#hughes)  Tom Brown 131 ‘But my face is  all muddy’, argued 
Tom. ‘Oh, we're all in one boat for that matter.’ 1921  H. CRANE  Let. 17 
Oct. (1965) 68 He..made  me feel myself, as a poet, as being ‘in the same boat’ 
with him. 1931  _F. L.  ALLEN_ 
(http://dictionary.oed.com/help/bib/oed2-a.html#f-l-allen)  Only Yesterday vi. 156  Unfortunate publicity had a tendency to 
rock the boat. 1944  _AUDEN_ 
(http://dictionary.oed.com/help/bib/oed2-a2.html#auden)  For Time Being (1945) iii. 33  Some stranger vision of the large loud 
liberty violently rocking  yet never, he is persuaded, finally upsetting the 
jolly crowded boat. 1958  Punch 15 Jan. 111/1 The trouble  with these people who 
nail their colours to the The they always rock the boat.
I dreamed last night I got on the boat to heaven 
And by some  chance I had brought my dice along 
And there I stood 
And I hollered  "Someone fade me" 
But the passengers, they knew right from wrong. 
For  the peopel all said sit down, sit down, you're rockin' the boat 

People  all said sit down 
Sit down you're rockin' the boat. 

And the devil  will drag you under 
By the sharp lapel of your checkered coat, 
Sit down,  sit down, sit down, sit down, 

Sit down you're rockin' the boat. 
Rock The Boat  
( The Hues Corporation )

So I'd like to know where, you got the  notion
Said I'd like to know where, you got the notion
To rock the boat,  don't rock the boat baby
Rock the boat, don't tip the boat over
Rock the  boat, don't rock the boat baby
Rock the boat

Ever since our voyage of  love began
Your touch has thrilled me like the rush of the wind
And your  arms have held me safe from a rolling sea
There's always been a quiet place  to harbor you and me
    Word Mark ROCK THE VOTE

Goods and Services IC 041. US 100 101 107. G & S: educating young people 
about issues  that affect them and encouraging young people to participate in the  
political process by registering, voting and speaking out. FIRST USE:  
19910000. FIRST USE IN COMMERCE: 19910000  Mark Drawing Code (1) TYPED DRAWING  
Design Search Code   Serial Number 75127310  Filing Date June 28, 1996  Current 
Filing Basis 1A  Original Filing Basis 1A  Published for Opposition June 16, 
1998  Registration Number 2187083  Registration Date September 8, 1998  Owner 
MARK  Register PRINCIPAL-2(F)  Affidavit Text SECT 15. SECT 8 (6-YR).  Live/Dead 
Indicator LIVE 
Boston Daily Globe (1872-1960).  Boston, Mass.: Aug 23, 1896. p. 20 (1 page) 
The man who rocks the boat ought to be stoned when he gets back on  shore.
_TO  UPHOLD STATE HONOR; National Democracy Names a Third Ticket in Brooklyn. 
DANIEL  G. GRIFFIN FOR GOVERNOR F.W. Hinrichs for Second Place -- Spencer 
Clinton for  Judge of Court of Appeals. ROUSING WELCOME FOR GEN. PALMER Earnest 
Work of the  Convention Adjourned from Syracuse -- Declaration Made by the New 
Party. _ 
New York Times (1857. Sep 25, 1896. p. 1 (2  pages) 
Pg. 1:
Displayed near the platform in the convention hall was a large  
representation of the full-rigged ship, the party emblem last year of the  Democratic Party 
Reform Organization. This name was changed by a formal  resolution to the 
National Democratic Party. This, it was said, would settle any  possible question 
as to what would be the party emblem on the ballots this year.  It will be 
the ship.
Pg. 2:
In each seat was placed a big sheet of cartoons and some small  political 
pamphlets. The cartoons represented their axes while the farmer turns  the 
grindstone; Bland as "the fool who rocks the boat"; a contrast of the  Mexican peon 
and the American laborer; China and Mexico as wrecked ships that  have just 
gone over Niagara Falls to a silver basis; a free-silver trap set to  catch 
farmers and laborers, and several others. At the bottom of the cartoons  were 
printed some sound-money arguments.
New York Times (1857-Current file). New York, N.Y.: Oct 10,  1896. p. 4 (1 
The Mobile (Ala.) Register welcomes Capt. REUBEN F. KOLB into the  ranks of 
the Bryanites, and says: "No apologies are necessary save to our  readers, who 
need to be told that Capt. KOLB and we are in the same boat now,  and that it 
is an old axiom that when you can't swim you must not rock the boat.  Well, we 
are going to keep dead quiet during the voyage and make friends with  all on 
board. These are troublous times, and the swimming is not only uncertain,  but 
very cold. Capt. KOLB knows something about it, as his recent rather violent  
departure from his Populist and Republican associates proves."
_Article  9 -- No Title_ 
The Washington Post (1877-1954).  Washington, D.C.: May 31, 1897. p. 6 (1 
The friends of Hon. Bill Maister declare the next Mayor of  Baltimore will be 
Maister or a Democrat. At last Maister has begun to rock the  boat.
_Article  6 -- No Title_ 
The Washington Post (1877-1954).  Washington, D.C.: Apr 16, 1898. p. 6 (1 
Hon. George L. Wellington is consistent in one respect. He never  misses an 
opportunity to rock the boat.
Chicago Daily Tribune  (1872-1963). Chicago, Ill.: May 17, 1900. p. 6 (1 
If further proof were needed to convince doubters that the silly  season is 
upon us it is furnished by the fact that the "man who rocks the boat"  has 
already begun to work, several weeks ahead of scheduled time, on several of  the 
Wisconsin lakes.
Boston Daily Globe (1872-1960). Boston,  Mass.: Jun 19, 1900. p. 6 (1 page) 
The fool who rocks the boat "to scare the girl" was drowned the  other day in 
Indiana. Unfortunately there are others like him.
_A  Line-o'-Type or Two.; Official Organ of the Line-o'-Type Society of 
America.  Americans of Yesterday. William Jennings Bryan, 43. _ 
B  L TAYLOR. Chicago Daily Tribune (1872-1963).  Chicago, Ill.: Jun 14, 1903. 
p. B2 (1 page) 
THE individual who rocks the boat, the man who didn't know it was  loaded, 
and the climber of the Alps are of imagination all compact.
_Editorial  Article 2 -- No Title_ 
The Atlanta Constitution  (1881-2001). Atlanta, Ga.: May 4, 1904. p. 4 (1 
It is far better to get on the bandwagon than to rock the  boat.
Boston Daily Globe (1872-1960). Boston,  Mass.: Oct 24, 1904. p. 6 (1 page) 
Mayor Collins says that nothing would please him more than to go  fishing 
with President Roosevelt, but that he shouldn't like to have him run the  craft. 
He'd be afraid that Mr. Roosevelt would rock the boat.
_And  the Newspapers as "the Man Who Rocks the Boat."_ 
New York  Times (1857-Current file). New York, N.Y.: Aug 7, 1907. p. 6 (1 
The newspapers are distinctly at fault in this matter, being  somewhat in the 
position of the man who rocks the boat.
_TAFT  WILL DEMAND REST FOR COUNTRY; Will Support Roosevelt's Policies, but 
He Will Not  "Rock the Boat." NO RADICAL COMPETITION Campaign Finances Will Be 
Put Under New  York Publicity Law -- Southerners Predict Landslide from 
Special to The New York Times.. New York  Times (1857-Current. Jul 18, 1908. 
p. 1 (1 page) 
HOT SPRINGS, Va. July 17.--To-day, twenty-four hours after the  completion of 
the first draft of the speech of acceptance Judge Taft will  deliver in 
Cincinnati on July 28, it will become known that his speech in its  final form will 
probably contain something like a pledge not to "rock the boat"  as far as 
the country's corporate industries are  concerned.

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