Letting the Cat Out of the Bag




 
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June 27th, 2005  
Jammer6
 

Topic: Letting the Cat Out of the Bag


The term "The Cats Out Of The Bag" or "Letting The Cat Out Of The Bag" also comes from olden days, ships at sea, the British Navy Captains used to dole out punishment for infractions of the rules at sea. Common was receiving 'lashes' (being whipped). They would whip your back with a Cat-o-Nine Tails, which was a whip with nine tail ends on it. The whip or 'Cat' was kept in bag when not in use. When someone was getting punishment, the sailors would pass the word to one another by saying "The Cats Out Of The Bag". I believe you'll see this sort of punishment in movies like Munity on the Bounty, but don't recall if you'll hear the remark. Also, the worst type of punishment you could receive was called 'Keel Hauling" where they tied a rope around your feet and the rope went all the way under the ship with the other end tied around your arms. They'd throw you over the side and haul you under the boat, around the 'Keel' or very bottom spine of the ship and then up the other side. Invariably, most men drowned from this punishment.
July 22nd, 2005  
LeEnfield
 
 
Another saying that came from the Royal Navy is "SON OF GUN" it still heard even in American films. When a Royal Navy ship was in dock the men as men did in those days look for the company of the opposite sex. Some of the women that on board to try and a few coppers where often heavily pregnant, and after beer and rum would go into labour and have the child between the cannons. The child was often left on board the ship by it's mother as she having difficulty looking after her self let alone a child, so the child would go into a Naval Orphanage till it was old enough to go to sea. These children were known as the sons of the guns.
July 22nd, 2005  
LeEnfield
 
 
Ever heard the expression SHOW A LEG, well again this was a Royal Navy saying. When the ship was in harbour females often came on board and the Bosun when he was calling the next watch would shout out show a leg, which he would then stroke if it was smooth he would move on knowing that it was a woman, if it was hairy the hammock would be turned over and occupant was chased of for his watch duties.
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