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Son of a gun

Posted by Victoria S Dennis on April 25, 2008 at 10:38:

In Reply to: Son of a gun posted by Charles Hines on April 25, 2008 at 08:37:

: "Son of a gun"

: While in the Navy, I had read that this phrase was purported to have its origins from the practice of using the firepower of armed ships, i.e. cannons, guns, etc., to create an impact on the ship. This was believed to cause pregnant women who were in labor to speed up the delivery of a child. Thus, the child would get the nickname of "son of a gun". I may have read this in a phrase book called "A Hog on Ice" and even perhaps the 2nd volume of it.

This is an invention by CANOE (the Campaign to Attribute Nautical Origins to Everything). Nobody has ever come up with a verified occurrence of or even a contemporary reference to this alleged practice, and the early sightings of the phrase are not nautical. See the Thesaurus. (VSD)