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Dropping off

Posted by Bob on October 16, 2006

In Reply to: Dropping off posted by Robert Cummings on October 16, 2006

: Can anyone confirm the origin of the phrase 'dropping off' as in dropping off to sleep. My understanding is that it comes from the day when travelling was done by coach and horses. 1st class passengers sat inside the coach but 2nd Class passengers sat on the roof of the coach. Due to the extremely long journey times, passengers on the roof would fall asleep and would often 'drop off' ie fall, from the coach.

Seems highly unlikely. That would not be dropping off to sleep. That would be dropping off to a broken skull. One doesn't need the special circumstance of a rooftop carriage ride to see sleeping as a downward movement. Putting your head on a pillow would suffice. Getting into bed would suffice. Having your consciousness go from high to low to none would suffice. Sitting in a chair and having your head loll forward would suffice.