"sling arms" (not in OED2) -- why not before 1824?

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM
Fri Apr 18 17:16:36 UTC 2014

I find nothing related in EEBO, not even "firelocks slung" or the like. No
"slung arms/ arms slung," either."


On Fri, Apr 18, 2014 at 12:49 PM, Joel S. Berson <Berson at att.net> wrote:

> ---------------------- Information from the mail header
> -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       "Joel S. Berson" <Berson at ATT.NET>
> Subject:      Re: "sling arms" (not in OED2) -- why not before 1824?
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> >>[Joel wrote:] A good point about no slings for spear and sword ...
> >>unless we can
> >>find an image (in words or picture) of Bellona with a musket ...
> >>well, Wikipedia, s.v. "flintlock", says "Examples of early flintlock
> >>weapons can be seen in the painting "Marie de' Medici as Bellona" by
> >>Rubens (painted around 1622-25)."
> >[Amy wrote:] Yeah, I can't see the mechanism closely enough to
> >determine whether in
> >fact it's flintlock or matchlock (or wheelock or doglock. . . )
> >>[Joel wrote:]  Lots of "impressions" at Google
> >>Images.  I believe that's a musket, with bayonet, in her left had,
> >>perhaps resting on a sling at her waist (images are very dark).
> >[Amy wrote:] Nope. That's some sort of scepter or mace in her left hand.
> I think I've been mislead from the smaller images at Google Images
> into thinking the "arm" in Bellona's left hand is a musket.  It is, I
> agree with Amy, a scepter.  See
> http://www.imagiva.com/rubens-pieter-pauwel/marie-de-medicis-as-bellona.html
> The object is essentially of a single diameter, tapered somewhat to a
> point.  It has some ornamental knobs along the top of the shaft, but
> no heavy knob at the end.  Not a mace, but a scepter.  (Although it
> must be resting on something -- The position of Bellona's fingers
> could not I think support anything.)
> In this image there is a dark rectangle just to the right of the
> lower left corner of the golden-colored cloak.  An artifact of vision
> makes this seem to be a rectangle extending down to Bellona's
> hand.  Rather, I now see the top part of this dark "rectangle" as
> just an area of the cloak that is shadowed by the direction of the
> light.  Its color is darker than the portion of the shaft it is
> adjacent to.  In the smaller images, I could not distinguish this,
> and so the "arm" looked like it had two differing diameters.
> However, we still have long arms, that might be slung, "painted
> around 1622-25". The flintlocks seen by Wikipedia are resting on the
> ground (or perhaps are some other type of musket).  Like Jon, I find
> it interesting that "sling arms" (in various forms) can't be found in
> ECCO.   I would have supposed that "sling arms" as a command was
> spoken at musters with muskets in the 18th or 17th centuries.  If so,
> why isn't it manifested in the militia manuals?  (Forgive me -- I've
> been overdosing on M&M's.)
> Jon, or someone -- what about EEBO?  Or EAImprints?  Or is there no
> point in looking if it's not in ECCO?
> Joel
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

"If the truth is half as bad as I think it is, you can't handle the truth."

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

More information about the Ads-l mailing list