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Deep six

Posted by ESC -- (U.S.) on July 02, 2004

In Reply to: Deep six posted by dhm on July 02, 2004

: : To whom it may concern;
: : It is my understanding that the term deep six refers to a proper burial at sea. the term is derived from the time when they still measured the depth of the water with a phathom line. six phathoms was considered the minimum depth consider to be deep water, and the minimum depth depth need to give a body a proper burial at sea. thus the term deep six. I could be wrong but its food for thought?

: I don't know. Shakespeare had it 5 fathoms, didn't he.

: "Full fathom five thy father lies;
: Of his bones are coral made;
: Those are pearls that were his eyes;
: Nothing of him that does fade,
: But doth suffer a sea-change
: Into something rich and strange."

: Maybe the oceans are deeper now due to global warming.

This reference agrees:

DEEP SIX -- "In oblivion; discarded. The standard usage is 'give him the deep six,' probably in a macabre allusion to the practice of digging graves six feet deep or of burying people at sea in six fathoms of water." From "Dictionary of Cliches" by James Rogers (Ballantine Books, New York, 1985).