Mudcat Café message #3995702 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #8321   Message #3995702
Posted By: GUEST,paperback
08-Jun-19 - 08:43 PM
Thread Name: Self righteous prats
Subject: RE: Self righteous prats
Date: 29 Dec 98 - 10:13 AM

Dear Bill,
Aye...matey..!!!!.It were indeed the hearty lads of the "Bonnie Ship the Diamond"....who went a-"fishin' for the whale".
And sad as it were....that fitting masters of of book larnin' were few on board the whalers decks.
And when they heard that Jonah....."was swallowed by a great fish"....I am tempted to think those poor ignorant souls envisioned a whale.......

Absolutely right Benson, that matches JRR Tolkien's interpretation of Jonah in the New Jerusalem Bible discussed here with his son Michael in a 1957 letter:

Incidentally, if you look at Jonah you’ll find that the ‘whale’ – it is not really said to be a whale, but a big fish – is quite unimportant. The real point is that God is much more merciful than ‘prophets’, is easily moved by penitence, and won’t be dictated to even by high ecclesiastics whom he has himself appointed.


From: Benson
Date: 29 Dec 98 - 11:43 AM

Actually it is "tote that barge"....lift that bale...........
"tote" in to pull.......
And I once heard a version of "Elderly Man River"...but somthing was lacking.......

Absolutely right again Benson

Elderly man River [YouTube]


From: Bill@Aussie
Date: 29 Dec 98 - 11:23 AM

Isn't it funny how PRATS almost always start their sentences with.......My dictionary...........
Now I really must go to bed.

Absolutely right Bill@Aussie

Merriam-Webster's Eleventh Collegiate Dictionary (2003) indicate the range of actions that tote can apply to:

tote vt {prob fr. an English-based creole; akin to Gullah & Krio tot to carry, of Bantu origin; akin to Kikongo -tota to pick up, Kimbundu -tuta to carry} (1677) 1 : to carry by hand : bear on the person : LUG, PACK : HAUL, CONVEY
The original meaning of "carry by hand" is the only one listed for tote in Merriam-Webster's American Dictionary of the English Language (1852):

TOTE v. t. To carry or bear {A word used in slaveholding countries ; said to have been introduced by the blacks. ... It is most used in the Southern and Middle United States, is occasionally heard in New England, and is said also to be used in England.}
But Webster's New University Pronouncing Dictionary (1856) includes the more-general second definition as well:

TOTE v. t. To carry or convey {Local.}
An example of toting in the sense of "conveying"—or more precisely, "towing" appears in Elbert Hubbard, "The Gentle Art of Defamation," in the Washington [D.C.] Herald (October 11, 1914) in a discussion of the hazards of transporting poorly manufactured gunpowder on board ships:

France has learned a bitter lesson in the line of manufacturing powder for itself. To date it has lost three battle ships.


And so we have the peculiar spectacle of a French battle ship going out for target practice, toting behind it a barge on which its powder was stored, this because the sailors would not take any chances. The powder was then carried on board, in small quantities and fired without delay. And what was left after the target practice was carefully carried back and deposited on the barge, which was pulled by a hawser of a generous length.