"sling arms" (not in OED2) -- [1749], 1824

Amy West medievalist at W-STS.COM
Mon Apr 21 15:55:06 UTC 2014

On 4/19/14, 12:01 AM, Automatic digest processor wrote:
> Date:    Fri, 18 Apr 2014 08:09:05 -0400
> From:    Jonathan Lighter<wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM>
> Subject: Re: "sling arms" (not in OED2) -- [1749], 1824
> Interestingly enough, ECCO yields not a single example of "sling your/
> their/ my/ his/ her/ its arms" in any context whatever. Nor of "sling your/
> [etc.] weapons."

> The command seems to have been designed specifically for the purpose of
> drill. ECCO, drawing on 180,000 titles, suggests that it occurred much
> later than one might have expected.
Yep. The command that I hear from the 1630s pike drill is "order your
pike" or "put up your sword", for when they're sheathing their swords
after having drawn them and braced their pikes.
> A single example of the noun phrase "sling musket" (a musket with an
> attached sling) occurs in 1708.
At least that pre-dates the poem. . .

---Amy West

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

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