RUN THE GAUNTLET
Friday January 23rd, 2009
KNIGHTS IN MID BATTLE STYLE DILEMA
Another one of those nonsense-sounding phrases, ‘run the gauntlet’ is verging on surreal if you attempt a literal interpretation. It certainly does not sound like running the risk of being attacked by both sides. More like delivering gloves to a medieval knight of the realm. Which if you had to do so across the frontline mid battle would make some kind of sense. You first have to imagine knights occasionally going into battle bare handed or wearing tattered gauntlets and hoping that their new ones would arrive before the battle was done. Then of course they’d have to slip the old ones off and the new ones on without being decapitated. No that’s just too silly.
Forget Sir Galahad. ‘Running the gauntlet’ was actually a form of naval punishment, whereby the offender would be forced to dash between two lines of men each armed with a rope cosh. However there was no actual gauntlet involved. The confusion lies in the corruption of the obsolete word ‘gantlope’, which is derived from the Swedish ‘gata’ (lane) and ‘lopp’ (running course). Sounds quite harmless when you put it like that sir!
Most Recent News Items - View News Archive