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Lower the boom

Posted by Masakim on September 22, 2003

In Reply to: Lower the boom posted by ESC on September 22, 2003

: : : What is the meaning of and where did the phrase to "lower the boom" originate?

: : Shiver me timbers! Get yer bearings right first, scuttlebutt!

: Guessing here. That it has to do with this type of "boom." From Merriam-Webster online:

: Main Entry: 3boom
: Function: noun
: Etymology: Dutch, tree, beam; akin to Old High German boum tree -- more at BEAM
: Date: 1627
: 1 : a long spar used to extend the foot of a sail

lower the boom
1. To deliver a knockout punch. Prize fight use. ->
2. To chatise or punish; to attack with criticism; to treat sternly; to demand obedience. ...
3. To prevent another from succeeding; to act in such a manner as to harm another's chances od success.
From _Dictionary of American Slang_ by H. Wentworth & S.B. Flexner.
lower the the boom on ... This expression refers to the boom of a sailboat -- a long spar that extends from the mast to hold the foot of the sail. In a changing wind, the boom can swing wildly, leaving one at risk of being struck. [Slang; first half of 1900s]
From The American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
As a sailor, the story ran, he had knocked men overboard with a single punch, when he "lowered the boom" on them. (Dempsey & Stearns, _Round by Round_, 1940)