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    #1

    Origin of"to put up a stink"

    The phrase 'to put up a stink', meaning to object to or obstruct something, has always seemed odd to me. To "make a stink" about something makes a certain degree of sense on the face of it, but not so "put up" a stink.

    As I toured the Canal Museum at Towcester recently, I noticed a display that included a model of a wooden structure that was used in repairing canal tunnels. The structure consisted of a series of components that would be assembled by repair crews inside the tunnel to create a dam that blocked the flow of water, enabling tunnel repairs. What struck me was that this structure is called a "stink". The thought then occurred to me that this might well be the origin of the phrase "to put up a stink." However, I was unable to find anything on the web to corroborate my thinking on this. Comments?

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    #2

    Re: Origin of"to put up a stink"

    It could be, though I don't see a direct the connection between it and making a protest. I was wondering whether if you raised a stink, it was related to stink/stench trap, which could be a way of expressing an objection. I couldn't find an answer on the internet either.

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