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    #1

    scupper + pirate lingo

    A pirate says: Scupper me for a squid, mateys, but I've never seen anything like it!

    I know that it is an exclamation of surprise but what would be the literal interpretation - to scupper somebody for something?


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    #2

    Re: scupper + pirate lingo

    A scupper is one of the holes in the side of a ship to carry water overboard from the deck. A squid has a hole (a siphon) through which it expels water (so that it moves by a kind of jet propulsion). So, putting them together, I think he's saying, put a scupper hole in me so I look more like a squid than a pirate if I'm not telling the truth, but I swear, I've never seen anything like it.
    Last edited by David L.; 30-Nov-2007 at 17:12.

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    #3

    Re: scupper + pirate lingo

    Thanks for your reply!

    But the thing is they keep using different nouns:
    Scupper me for a blowfish
    Scupper me for a cod
    Scupper me for a herring

    So I'm more puzzled by the verb itself.

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    #4

    Re: scupper + pirate lingo

    I don't think there really can be a literal meaning, whichever of the different nouns are used I think it just means something like "I don't believe it".


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    #5

    Re: scupper + pirate lingo

    Now you tell us!
    In Restoration comedy, and a favourite saying of the Scarlet Pimpernel as well, was the exclamation, "Well sink me if it isn't..."
    I found another meaning of scupper, being that akin to scuttle, to put a hole in a boat so it sinks. So, perhaps he's saying, Well sink me and send me under to join the herring or any other marine life, (so he'll then be one of them). That's the best I can come up with.

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    #6

    Re: scupper + pirate lingo

    Thank you both!

    ps. I found out that to scupper can also mean:
    1. Chiefly British. To overwhelm or massacre.
    2. To ruin or destroy: “The world oil glut combined with disastrous federal energy policies to scupper Alberta's economy” (Christian Science Monitor).

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