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Harbour Guides Nautical Trivia

Thursday October 16th, 2008
OVER THE BARREL
Many moons ago the most common form of punishment aboard a ship was flogging. The Sailor receiving the punishment would quite often be tied over the barrel of a deck cannon obviously in an uncompromising position. Hence the phrase “you’ve got me over a barrel”

SON OF A GUN
When ships were in port and the crew of sailors was confined to the boat for lengthy periods of time, wives and ladies of easy virtue were permitted to stay aboard with their fellers. Occasionally children were born on the ship and one of the most convenient places to give birth was between the guns on the gun deck. If the father of the child was not known the entry on the ships log would read “Son of a gun”

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