phrases, sayings, idioms and expressions at

"Run the gauntlet"

Posted by Barney Scott on October 09, 2000

In Reply to: "Run the gauntlet" posted by Hilary on October 09, 2000

: Does anyone know the meaning/origin of the term "run the gauntlet"?
From Brewer's Phrase and Fable (online at
Gauntlet (g hard). To run the gantlet. To be hounded on all sides. Corruption of gantlope, the passage between two files of soldiers. (German, ganglaufen or
gassenlaufen.) The reference is to a punishment common among sailors. If a companion had disgraced himself, the crew, provided with gauntlets or ropes' ends,
were drawn up in two rows facing each other, and the delinquent had to run between them, while every man dealt him, in passing, as severe a chastisement as he
The custom exists among the North American Indians. (See Fenimore Cooper and Mayne Reid.)