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

Joel S. Berson Berson at ATT.NET
Tue Apr 22 00:15:31 UTC 2014

At 4/21/2014 11:55 AM, Amy West wrote:
>>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.

Amy has remarkable hearing.  Today I only heard muskets from 1775 ...
and the sound took two days to reach me.*

>>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. . .

Although it's an adjectival use of the noun.  I've been puzzling
about the verb, and whether it was restricted to long arms that had
slings attached to them.  (I see there's a later message from Amy,
which I'll reply to next.)

Writing from Menotomy,

* Not really; the reenactment was today, not on the ever-memorable
19th of April.


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

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