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"swinging the leg"

Posted by Victoria S Dennis on July 06, 2006

In Reply to: "Swinging the leg" posted by Bob on July 06, 2006

: : I was told once that the phrase "swinging the leg" was from nautical origin but was to do with the sick seamen having to swing a leg out of the bunk if they were alive but still ill? not the lead on a line origin as posted on your forum.

: That sounds sooooo Monty Python. "I'm not dead yet!"

I think you're confusing this with "show a leg" which was the command given by naval petty officers in the morning telling the sailors to get up and to roll up and stow their hammocks. Allegedly (I add this caution because there is a HUGE amount of nonsense peddled about naval expressions) any sailor's wife/temporary female companion had to show her naked leg to gain the right to stay in the hammock.

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