In Reply to: Strap me vitals posted by Andrew Gibson on September 03, 2008 at 18:24:
: I grew up on the Liverpool shoreline. Always when playing "Pirates" somebody would creak the old voiceover [Long John Silver type] rasping "Strap me vitals". Was it a punishment for ill behaving seamen?
It's actually 'stap me vitals'. 'Stap' being, I think, a corruption of 'stop' and 'vitals' being one's vital organs.
So it is simply an exclamation. I seem to remember this subject coming up before...