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Ply with fishheads?

Posted by S. Ryan on April 15, 2003

In Reply to: Ply with fishheads? posted by TheFallen on April 15, 2003

: : : : I have a professor who has offered two much needed points for the student who can find the origings of the phrase "to ply with fish heads". Is there any one out there who can tell me this, I would so appreciate it.
: : : : Misty

: : : I couldn't find anything. Could you give us a clue or two? Is this a British, American or other phrase?

: : I honestly have no idea

: gives precisely zero hits for both +ply +"with fishheads" and +ply +"with fish heads". On that basis I suspect that your professor has either been drinking or that he's being sneaky and has re-rendered the phrase into a cryptic form. However, if the latter is true, I can't see what the original might have been. I hope you keep us informed once the prof has revealed the answer.

: As one would entice a mouse with cheese, so one would ply a cat with fisheads, a form of bribery or coersion. Once the fish was eaten, the remains, head, tail and bones were usually thrown to the cat.My dear old Irish grandmother used to say this. Of course, she also told me "Go whistle your ducks to water," which still begs explaining.