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Sling your hook

Posted by ESC on March 27, 2004

In Reply to: Sling your hook posted by Bob Giess on March 26, 2004

: I was looking for the origins of "sling your hook" and noticed a few options in this discussion group but none seemed as likely as the following which I have just discovered. Like many UK expressions it seems to have its origins in the Navy
: "In battle, hammocks were rolled tightly and lashed along the ship's rails to protect against musket fire and splinters. Bosun's mates checked the tightness of each rolled hammock every morning with a regulation sized hoop. There was trouble for the sailor whose hammock could not be put through the hoop. "Sling your hook" was the advice given to troublesome sailors required by shipmates to sling their hammock elsewhere."

The phrase is mentioned in one of my references, but it doesn't say much. "...This one is a reference to the sailor's hammock and the suggestion that he slings it on another hook elsewhere..." From "Salty Dog Talk: The Nautical Origins of Everyday Expressions" by Bill Beavis and Richard G. McCloskey (Sheridan House, Dobbs Ferry, N.Y., 1995. First published in Great Britain, 1983).