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Go like the clappers

Posted by Gary Martin on August 18, 2007

In Reply to: Go like the clappers posted by Stanley Eveling on August 18, 2007

: Why does clappers not refer to rabbits who are for eating and which used to be cultivated and were known in contradistinction to young rabbits as clappers, who ran very fast away from ferrets into nets which trapped them?

I wonder if you were listening to BBC radio this morning? I heard that suggestion made on the Open Country programme this morning.

Unfortunately, the suggestion that 'go like the clappers' derives from the behaviour of rabbits appears to be false. Rabbits weren't called clappers - it was the artificial mounds that were built to breed them in that were called clappers. Also, that name has long been archaic and unused and, as such, unlikely to have been used by the RAF staff who coined this term in the 1940s.