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    #1

    hung or drawn

    "This is a straight fight.
    It doesn’t matter whether Parliament is hung, drawn or quartered, there is only one real choice.
    The Conservatives or Labour.
    Me in Downing Street, or Ed Miliband in Downing Street."

    The above is from David Cameron's annual conference speech.

    I want to know what he means here by using "hung, drawn" ?

    Thanks!
    Jason

  1. The Maltese Falcon's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: hung or drawn

    This is an old expression explaining what penalty faced those guilty of treason in England in the 12-1300's.

    The convicts were hung (with a rope around the neck so that they could not breath) almost to the point of death, then drawn by horse ('drawn by horse' means that they were transported by a horse) and quartered means that their bodies were cut into four pieces.

    Here is more information about the procedure: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hanged,..._and_quartered

    It's very gruesome and gladly it doesn't happen today!

  2. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: hung or drawn

    "Drawn" in "Hung, drawn and quartered" had nothing to do with horses. It means that the victim's abdomen was cut open and his intestines were pulled (drawn) out while he was still alive.
    Last edited by Rover_KE; 13-Oct-2014 at 10:08. Reason: Fixing typo.

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    #4

    Re: hung or drawn

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hanged,..._and_quartered

    This says there were horses involved in the "drawing."

  3. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: hung or drawn

    Quote Originally Posted by SoothingDave View Post
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hanged,..._and_quartered

    This says there were horses involved in the "drawing."
    http://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/h...quartered.html

  4. BobK's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: hung or drawn

    Quote Originally Posted by SoothingDave View Post
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hanged,..._and_quartered

    This says there were horses involved in the "drawing."

    Extraordinary! Whoever heard of Wikipedia getting something wrong

    But, more importantly, other replies have said nothing about the many puns here. A 'hung Parliament' is a Parliament made up of minorities; a military (and parliamentary) ruler 'draws up' his troops; and after a possible future election there might be four significantly large minorities. Cameron's speech writer was suggesting all that, and 'whether the Parliament is hung...' sets up all the puns - because a Parliament can be hung (but not hanged) and a parson found guilty of a capital crime could be hanged (but not, according to a Br E convention, now on the wane, hung).

    b

    PS I suspect the 'drawn [by horses]' idea was introduced by Victorian nursemaids protecting their charges from the Horrible Truth. That's what I was told when I was a child, but I'm all grown up now, and I have learnt the transitive sense of the verb 'draw' (used still by hunters and anglers).
    Last edited by BobK; 14-Oct-2014 at 14:44. Reason: Added PS

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