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"run ramshod"

Posted by Smokey Stover on December 06, 2006

In Reply to: "Run ramshod" posted by Bob on December 05, 2006

: : "run ramshod" - simply, please define it or tell me where I can look up a definition. I've tried to look it up in word and phrase dictionaries everywhere for two days. Go ahead, Google it - it doesn't help much. But you will see that it appears in thousands of documents ... to include the US Government. I cannot find a definition of 'ramshod' or 'run ramshod' anywhere! Seems odd for such a commonly used phrase....

: It's not commonly used. Google shows fewer than 500 instances of it, compared to 378,000 of "run roughshod," which is a real phrase. "Ramshod" is probably just a mis-hearing of roughshod. Now, what is "roughshod"? Go back one page, scan down the Forum page to a few days ago, and you'll find it.

And then there's assonance. Ramrod is a word heard more often in a figurative use than a literal one, but it is sufficiently well known for the distinction between rod and shod to become blurred. Roughrod, anyone?