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Devil and the Deep Blue Sea

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Frederick The Monk
54257.  Wed Feb 22, 2006 5:24 am Reply with quote

TOPIC: Devil and the Deep Blue Sea

QUESTION: Where are you if you're between the devil and the deep blue sea?

FORFEIT: On this show

ANSWER: hanging over the side of a wooden ship stopping up leaks.

NOTES:In a wooden ship, the "devil" is the top plank or strake immediately below the sheer strake, and a person working over the ship's side below this plank was working in a very uncertain position, hence being 'between the devil and the deep blue sea'.

And what exactly were they doing there? Usually they were caulking that very long and hard to get to seam (which is why caulkers called it a 'devil'). To do this you got some oakum and pitch and 'paid' it into the seam using a hammer and a caulking iron. Hence the term 'The devil to pay'.

LINKS TO: Daredevils/ devils/ DD

SOURCES:
http://www.royal-navy.mod.uk/server.php?show=conWebDoc.1259&changeNav=3533
OCSS
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strake
http://www.phrases.org.uk/bulletin_board/23/messages/258.html
http://www.phrases.org.uk/bulletin_board/23/messages/257.html

PICTURES/ PROPS:

RESEARCHER: JP

POSSIBLE TOPIC/THEME: Devils/ daredevils

 
Frederick The Monk
62692.  Thu Mar 30, 2006 6:03 am Reply with quote

Updated 30/03/06

 

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