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Swallow a gudgeon/gudgen

Posted by ESC on September 23, 2003

In Reply to: Whats the meaning and useage of..... posted by Henry on September 23, 2003

: : : ...Hook, line and sinker.

: : : What is meant by the above and under what circunstances is the phrease used?

: : "...swallowed (the falsehood/story/tall tale) hook, line and sinker"
: : means that
: : the listener is extremely guillible

: Hook, line and sinker are all fishing equipment. The object of the angler is to persuade the fish to swallow the bait or artificial lure which contains the hook. Similarly, a person may be persuaded to believe (or swallow) an artificial story.

"...This phrase originated in the United States about the middle of the 19th century, but a much older English phrase (to swallow a gudgeon) embodied the same idea. A gudgeon is a small fish used for bait. John Lyly in 'Euphues' writes: 'You have made both me and Philautus to swallow a Gudgen.'" From "Dictionary of Cliches" by James Rogers (Ballantine Books, New York, 1985).