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<   No. 5176   2024-04-22   >

Comic #5176

1 Governor: I can hire Higgs here as my chef if I so wish. If women can be pirates, Wendy, then they can also be chefs!
2 Wendy: Arrr. Ye be having’ me over a barrel there.
3 Governor: Good to hear that you agree with me on something for once.
4 Wendy: Just be makin’ it a barrel full o’ rum!

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Good old of course discusses the origins of the idiom "over a barrel". And, as so often happens, we discover that it's anachronistic in this strip, as the origins trace back no further than the late 19th century.

It alludes to the actual situation of being draped over a barrel, either to empty the lungs of someone who has been close to drowning, or to give a flogging. Either way, the position of helplessness and in being under someone else's control is what is being referred to.

At some point I really should go through this theme and list all of the anachronisms in it. Or better yet, someone who isn't me.

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