Rum, sodomy, lash; rum, bum, baccer and other expressions

Dan Goncharoff thegonch at GMAIL.COM
Sun May 1 15:55:49 UTC 2011

Isn't "rum bum" one thing?

On Sun, May 1, 2011 at 10:04 AM, Garson O'Toole
<adsgarsonotoole at> wrote:
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> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Garson O'Toole <adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM>
> Subject:      Rum, sodomy, lash; rum, bum, baccer and other expressions
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> Naval tradition? Monstrous. Nothing but rum, sodomy, prayers, and the lash.
> These words are attributed second-hand to Winston Churchill in a diary
> entry dated 1950 as noted in the YBQ. When I looked into this quote a
> year ago I tried to find similar expression or precursors. There is an
> entry in "A Dictionary of Catch Phrases" edited by Eric Partridge and
> Paul Beale for another saying:
> beer, bum and bacca (tobacco).     The reputed, almost legendary,
> pleasures of a sailor's life; since c. 1870. Since c. 1910, there has
> existed the var. rum, bum and bacca. In C20, usu. baccy, in both
> versions. ...
> I have not yet been able to find citations circa 1870 or circa 1910
> for these expressions. Perhaps they appear in diaries. Any suggestions
> for locating early examples of these expressions?
> Here is an instance that is probably dated 1937 with 'baccer instead
> of bacca or baccy.
> Cite: 1937, Witch in the Wilderness by Holdridge Desmond, GB Page 244,
> [Quinn & Boden Company, Rahway, New Jersey], Harcourt, Brace and
> Company, New York. (Google Books snippet, Not verified on paper; Data
> may be inaccurate)
> He turned to the men. "Nothing seems to have happened, but keep your
> guns with you. We'll get on with floating this baby—but no more Sunday
> School. When we get her off we'll just leave that bunch right here in
> the bushes and take the ship to some island somewhere where we won't
> be bothered, and life'll just be rum, bum, and 'baccer."
> ------------------------------------------------------------
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