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Re: Hanged with a new rope

Posted by Victoria S Dennis on February 22, 2010 at 22:40

In Reply to: Hanged with a new rope posted by kchadwick on February 20, 2010 at 10:28:

: Does anyone know the origin or meaning of the saying "he wouldn't be happy if he was hanged with a new rope" or something close to that?

It's a folksy American saying. But the notion that people who are hanged will be (or at least ought to be) gratified by the use of a fine or special rope is not confined to the USA, and is quite old. There is a firm belief in the UK that until the end of capital puishment in Britain, it was a privilege of peers of the realm to be hanged with a silk rope. (I have no idea if this is actually true, and for our purposes it hardly matters; the point is that British people believed it.) And the Kurds of Western Asia illustrate their aesthetic sense and love of colour with the following tale: A celebrated Kurdish bandit/freedom fighter is finally taken prisoner by the authorities, and is given a last request before execution. After much thought he says "I want to be hanged with a red and green rope". (VSD)