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"blued, screwed, and tattooed"

Posted by R. Berg on January 07, 2001

In Reply to: "...blued, screwed, and tatooed..." posted by marcus on January 07, 2001

: I have heard this phrase on the quarterdeck in reference to returning sailors after a night on the town, but did it originate in arms manufacturing?

Eric Partridge, "A Dictionary of Catch Phrases, American and British . . . ," gives these variants: "stewed, screwed and tattooed" and "screwed, stewed and tattooed." He says nothing about the origin. My husband, who spent 20 years in the U.S. Navy, says he doesn't suspect a connection with arms manufacturing. Not much help, huh?