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"on the wagon"

Posted by RJ Burke on July 17, 2005

When condemned persons were to be taken to be hanged in London, they were offered a last drink (to make them easier to hang?) before being carted to the hangman. The cart driver, who was responsible for delivering every last condemned person to the hangman, had to avoid drinking on the job because he was "on the wagon". At least, this is my understanding of the expression "on the wagon". Is there any other explanation for this expression?

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