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the gunner's daughter

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  • Loveland Family
    Since the freezing the balls off a brass monkey story has been debunked, I thought this bit of etymolgy was interesting, once again from the world wide
    Message 1 of 7 , Mar 30, 2002
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      Since the "freezing the balls off a brass monkey" story has been
      debunked, I thought this bit of etymolgy was interesting, once again
      from the "world wide words" folks...

      Best regards,

      Doug Loveland


      Q. I came across a phrase in a novel that went something like
      "kissing the gunner's daughter". Apparently it was some sort of
      punishment meted out to sailors long ago. Do you know anything
      about it and what it entailed? [Ken Davy]

      A. You're certainly in the right area here. It was a naval term
      from the latter part of the eighteenth century (it's recorded first
      in A Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue by Francis Grose in 1785, but
      is probably a good deal older).

      There were several forms of the saying, of which yours was one;
      others were "marry the gunner's daughter" and "hug the gunner's
      daughter". A sailor about to receive punishment (usually flogging)
      was lashed face-down on a cannon (the "gunner's daughter" of the
      phrase). The sexual associations were clear enough, with "marry"
      being an obvious euphemism.

      Here's a typical example of its use, from Billy Budd, by Herman
      Melville:

      "And is that all you did about it, Foretopman?" gruffly
      demanded another, an irascible old fellow of brick-colored
      visage and hair, and who was known to his associate
      forecastlemen as Red Pepper; "Such sneaks I should like to
      marry to the gunner's daughter!" by that expression meaning
      that he would like to subject them to disciplinary castigation
      over a gun.
    • colsjtjones2000
      As I understand it, ratings who were flogged were triced to gratings stood upright. The people who met the gunner s daughter were younger (midshipmen and
      Message 2 of 7 , Mar 30, 2002
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        As I understand it, ratings who were flogged were triced to gratings
        stood upright. The people who met the gunner's daughter were younger
        (midshipmen and ship's boys) and were draped over a light gun with
        buttocks exposed to be caned.

        Sorry I cannot provide specific references. Perhaps other people
        can. The initial correspondent mentions Melville's fictional novel.
        Although he also refers to A Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue, I'm not
        sure whether or not he is stating that the flogging opinion
        originated there, or is his own observation.

        Doug


        --- In WarOf1812@y..., Loveland Family <deloveland@r...> wrote:
        > Since the "freezing the balls off a brass monkey" story has been
        > debunked, I thought this bit of etymolgy was interesting, once again
        > from the "world wide words" folks...
        >
        > Best regards,
        >
        > Doug Loveland
        >
        >
        > Q. I came across a phrase in a novel that went something like
        > "kissing the gunner's daughter". Apparently it was some sort of
        > punishment meted out to sailors long ago. Do you know anything
        > about it and what it entailed? [Ken Davy]
        >
        > A. You're certainly in the right area here. It was a naval term
        > from the latter part of the eighteenth century (it's recorded first
        > in A Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue by Francis Grose in 1785, but
        > is probably a good deal older).
        >
        > There were several forms of the saying, of which yours was one;
        > others were "marry the gunner's daughter" and "hug the gunner's
        > daughter". A sailor about to receive punishment (usually flogging)
        > was lashed face-down on a cannon (the "gunner's daughter" of the
        > phrase). The sexual associations were clear enough, with "marry"
        > being an obvious euphemism.
        >
        > Here's a typical example of its use, from Billy Budd, by Herman
        > Melville:
        >
        > "And is that all you did about it, Foretopman?" gruffly
        > demanded another, an irascible old fellow of brick-colored
        > visage and hair, and who was known to his associate
        > forecastlemen as Red Pepper; "Such sneaks I should like to
        > marry to the gunner's daughter!" by that expression meaning
        > that he would like to subject them to disciplinary castigation
        > over a gun.
      • Larry Lozon
        From: colsjtjones2000 ... The people who met the gunner s daughter were younger (midshipmen and ship s boys) and were draped
        Message 3 of 7 , Mar 30, 2002
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          From: "colsjtjones2000" <colsjtjones2000@...>



          " ... The people who met the gunner's daughter were younger
          (midshipmen and ship's boys)


          and were draped over a light gun with
          buttocks exposed to be caned.

          ___________________

          With all this talk of 'ship'.......

          I also believe the practice was used within the
          Infantry as they had Infantry guns as well as
          the Artillery units.
        • spikeyj@crosslink.net
          On Sun, 31 Mar 2002 02:21:16 -0000 ... According to Swear Like A Trooper by Will Priest, the term was naval, and adults were flogged over the barrel, but
          Message 4 of 7 , Mar 30, 2002
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            On Sun, 31 Mar 2002 02:21:16 -0000
            "colsjtjones2000" <colsjtjones2000@...> wrote:
            > As I understand it, ratings who were flogged were triced to
            > gratings
            > stood upright. The people who met the gunner's daughter were
            > younger
            > (midshipmen and ship's boys) and were draped over a light gun with
            > buttocks exposed to be caned.


            According to "Swear Like A Trooper" by Will Priest, the term was
            naval, and adults were flogged over the barrel, but boys under 14 were
            merely tied across the barrel and left there for hours or days
            (without flogging).

            As for whether it was done on land, Buzz Chriest points out that the
            breech of a field piece was probably too high off the ground to be
            able to strap someone to and get the proper sexual connotations; the
            trucks for naval carriages were lower to the deck.

            Spike Y Jones
          • Larry Lozon
            From: colsjtjones2000 The people who met the gunner s daughter were younger (midshipmen and ship s boys) ........ _______________
            Message 5 of 7 , Mar 30, 2002
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              From: "colsjtjones2000" <colsjtjones2000@...>

              The people who met the gunner's daughter were younger
              (midshipmen and ship's boys) ........

              _______________

              I believe in the movie, "Revolution" with Al Pacino and

              Donald Sutherland it was a drummer boy who met the

              gunner's daughter .........
            • BritcomHMP@aol.com
              In a message dated 3/30/2002 8:23:09 PM Central Standard Time, ... That is certainly how it was depicted in the movie The Bounty where both forms of
              Message 6 of 7 , Mar 31, 2002
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                In a message dated 3/30/2002 8:23:09 PM Central Standard Time,
                colsjtjones2000@... writes:


                > As I understand it, ratings who were flogged were triced to gratings
                > stood upright. The people who met the gunner's daughter were younger
                > (midshipmen and ship's boys) and were draped over a light gun with
                > buttocks exposed to be caned.
                >
                >

                That is certainly how it was depicted in the movie 'The Bounty' where both
                forms of punishment were depicted. Not that I am sugesting in any way that
                one should reference movies but that particular one was good and I have
                always understood that the above was the difference between 'flogging' and
                'kissing the gunners daughter'.

                Cheers

                Tim


                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              • colsjtjones2000
                The 1811 Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue states the following - Gunner s Daughter: To kiss the gunner s daughter; to be tied to a gun and flogged on the
                Message 7 of 7 , Apr 2 2:30 PM
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                  The 1811 Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue states the following -

                  Gunner's Daughter: To kiss the gunner's daughter; to be tied to a
                  gun and flogged on the posteriors; a mode of punishing boys on board
                  a ship of war.

                  Doug

                  --- In WarOf1812@y..., BritcomHMP@a... wrote:
                  > In a message dated 3/30/2002 8:23:09 PM Central Standard Time,
                  > colsjtjones2000@y... writes:
                  >
                  >
                  > > As I understand it, ratings who were flogged were triced to
                  gratings
                  > > stood upright. The people who met the gunner's daughter were
                  younger
                  > > (midshipmen and ship's boys) and were draped over a light gun
                  with
                  > > buttocks exposed to be caned.
                  > >
                  > >
                  >
                  > That is certainly how it was depicted in the movie 'The Bounty'
                  where both
                  > forms of punishment were depicted. Not that I am sugesting in any
                  way that
                  > one should reference movies but that particular one was good and I
                  have
                  > always understood that the above was the difference
                  between 'flogging' and
                  > 'kissing the gunners daughter'.
                  >
                  > Cheers
                  >
                  > Tim
                  >
                  >
                  > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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