Posted by Jon on April 09, 2000
In Reply to: Coral posted by ESC on April 08, 2000
This is a very old phrase - some hundreds of years at least. My pal Dr Smith has noted it on his WWW page - Archaic Medical terms for Genealogists but has not been able to track it down. He suspects it may be Shakesperean. Somebody said they found it mentioned again in Treasure Island. I looked and guessed it may mean drowning; then again it may refer to battle at sea?