Top secret dont tell anyone that I have told you.

Discussion in 'The ARRSE Hole' started by EAGLE1, Aug 8, 2006.

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  1. 'You know now' I found this on MILITARY.COM.
    I have added some more at the bottom.
    Do you know any more.

    Posted Wed 12 February 2003 07:03
    Betcha didn't know this!

    In the heyday of sailing ships, all war ships and many freighters carried
    iron cannons. Those cannons fired round iron cannon balls. It was necessary
    to keep a good supply near the cannon, but how to prevent them from rolling
    about the deck?

    The best storage method devised was a square based pyramid with one ball
    on top, resting on four resting on nine which rested on sixteen. Thus, a
    supply of 30 cannon balls could be stacked in a small area right next to the

    There was only one to prevent the bottom layer from sliding
    or rolling from under the others.
    The solution was a metal plate called a "Monkey" with 16 round
    indentations. But, if this plate was made of iron, the iron balls would
    quickly rust to it. The solution to the rusting problem was to make "Brass Monkeys." Few landlubbers realize that brass contracts much more and much faster than
    iron when chilled.
    Consequently, when the temperature dropped too far, the brass
    indentations would shrink so much that the iron cannon balls would come right off the
    Thus, it was quite literally, "Cold enough to freeze the balls off a
    brass monkey". (And all this time, you thought that was an improper expression,
    didn't you?)

    You must send this fabulous bit of historical knowledge to at least ten
    unsuspecting friends.
    If you don't, your floppy is going to fall off your hard drive and kill
    your mouse.


    Here are some more from me EAGLE1.
    The phrase 'scape- goat' comes from an ancient ritual whereby a village would get a goat and then all the people in the village would take it in turns to place their hands onto the goats head. They would recite all of their problems onto to the goat. when they all had finished the goat was allowed to escape into the mountains, taking all of the troubles of the village with it. Hence the phrase 'scape goat'.

    Crossing the Line and Towing the Line. these two phrases come from the houses of parliment where there two lines on the floor on each side of the
    house. In times when the members of parliment would have swords the lines were meant to keep two people engaged in heated discussion apart.

    The lines were set so that when both people held out their sword at arms lenght the tips of their swords would not reach the other person.
    So if anyone was said to be 'toe-ing the line' it meant that they were engaged in a heated discussion (IE doing something).

    Likewise if someone was said to be 'crossing the line' it meant that they were pushing the boundaries set by the house.

    Do you know any more common sayings and where they originate from?
  2. "Spiderman-ing" is when you pull out, finish yourself off and flick it at her face/back/curtains :D

    Seriously though, that brass monkeys thing has bugged me for ages! Ever since someone asked me about it about a year ago!!!

    Hmm, I'll have a think and will see what (serious) answers I can come up with.
  3. "Top Dog".
    This comes from when treetrunks were cut into sections by placing them over a pit dug in the ground. They were cut by two blokes on each end of a large cross-cut saw. One bloke was in the pit and got covered with sawdust. The bloke up above didn't and was "top dog".
  4. Lonely fisherman out on the sea for days would often entertain themselves with group masterbatíon. They found that if they cut a hole in a freshly caught skate and inserted their penís quickly enough, the sensation was similar to a warm vagína; hence the term 'get your skates on.'
  5. lol.. that get your skates on just had me pissing myself in the library lol
  6. Letting the cat out of the bag

    In the days when they Royal Navy used flogging as punishment, the ship’s Bo’sun would keep his cat of nine tails in a leather bag. When it came out of the bag, it was time for someone to be flogged.

    Hence, dropping someone in the sh!t that would result in a flogging was “letting the cat out of the bag”.
  7. A pretty obvious one, But the first lession a young sailor had to master on board a ship was the names for all the various Sail ropes and what each one was for - Hence "learning the ropes"
  8. There was a programme on discovery a while back that gave the background to sayings. An awfull lot of them come from the navy such as square meals etc....

    Money for old rope comes from the fact that after a public hanging, the rope was cut into sections and sold off to the crowd, but I suspect that most people know that
  9. Fang_Farrier

    Fang_Farrier LE Reviewer Book Reviewer

    I thought towing the line actually comes from bare knuckle fights and in order to start the fight and after each knock down the fighters faced up with their toe on the line.

    Also the same origin for "coming up to stratch" the stratch being the line drawn in the dirt that the fighters toes had to touch.
  10. does anyone know why we pronounce lieutenant as 'leftenant'?
  11. "Letting the cat out of the bag" actually comes from medieval times when people would buy a chicken or some other live "meat" at the market. Unsuspecting shoppers would get home and open the bag, only to find it had a cat in it !!

    In those days, floors were covered in thresh (the stalk of the grain). It would blow out of the doorway, so a piece of wood was nailed across the entrance - hence the word threshold.

    "Hangers-on" (a bit grim this). When a person was to be executed by hanging , it could take hours to die, so people were paid to hold onto the poor soul's legs to end it quicker.
  12. RABC, you're thinking of "buying a pig in a poke" - letting the cat out of the bag is as described above.

    "Swinging the lead" comes from the practice of taking depth measurements on boats by having someone drop a lead weight attached to a length of line to determine how many fathoms you were from the sea bed.

    A lazy person wouldn't take proper measurements, but instead would just stand at the side of the boat, "swinging the lead" so it looked like they were hard at work.
  14. I believe that some popular phrases used today, have their origin in biblical times.

    Many are directly lifted from the New Testament. As an example, when the Romans came and pinched Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane, he turned to Paul who was Peter and said sadly,

    "Judas eh? Once a c-unt, always a c-unt"
  15. Convoy, pardon me mate but I must correct you...

    Jesus was in fact noted as saying:

    'Judas eh? The snitching, bubbling cnut, once a cnut, always a cnut'

    Sorry to be pedantic, but if we are going to be quoting the word of our saviour he'll fcuk us if we don't get it right