The Free Dictionary  
mailing list For webmasters
Welcome Guest Forum Search | Active Topics | Members

I’ll do him down a thick ’un for that if I swing for it Options
flylikeeagle
Posted: Tuesday, December 18, 2018 7:28:51 AM

Rank: Newbie

Joined: 11/29/2018
Posts: 32
Neurons: 4,364
Location: Cairo, Al Qahirah, Egypt
In Sherlock Holmes' story, The Adventure of the Mazarin Stone, Holmes confronts Count Sylvius and his accomplice, Sam Merton, whom he suspects to have stolen the Mazarin stone, telling them that someone, called Sanders, has informed on them. Then, he leaves them together to have the chance to think of their situation before they confess their deed. When they are left together, the following conversation follows between Sam and the Count:

“Ikey Sanders has split on us.”
“He has, has he? I’ll do him down a thick ’un for that if I swing for it.”

Does it mean that he would kill Sanders with a "thick" (large caliber) bullet even if he would get hanged for it? Does "swing for it" mean get hanged, or go to jail? or either any of the two fates?
Sarrriesfan
Posted: Tuesday, December 18, 2018 9:33:26 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 3/30/2016
Posts: 1,300
Neurons: 8,224
Location: Luton, England, United Kingdom
flylikeeagle wrote:
In Sherlock Holmes' story, The Adventure of the Mazarin Stone, Holmes confronts Count Sylvius and his accomplice, Sam Merton, whom he suspects to have stolen the Mazarin stone, telling them that someone, called Sanders, has informed on them. Then, he leaves them together to have the chance to think of their situation before they confess their deed. When they are left together, the following conversation follows between Sam and the Count:

“Ikey Sanders has split on us.”
“He has, has he? I’ll do him down a thick ’un for that if I swing for it.”

Does it mean that he would kill Sanders with a "thick" (large caliber) bullet even if he would get hanged for it? Does "swing for it" mean get hanged, or go to jail? or either any of the two fates?


By the time in which the Sherlock Holmes story is set Britain had abolished hanging as a punishment except for serious crimes, Treason, Murder, Piracy, Espionage etc. The 2 men would not face execution for theft, (unless they killed someone during the course of the theft).

"Swing for it" would mean go to jail.

I am unsure what " do him down a thick 'un""means though.

I lack the imagination for a witty signature.
Romany
Posted: Tuesday, December 18, 2018 1:04:12 PM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 6/14/2009
Posts: 15,380
Neurons: 48,295
Location: Brighton, England, United Kingdom

Sarries - a bit muddled up there - hanging wasn't abolished until 1965. In the 20s it was still very much a punishment for murder.

The Phrase "I'll swing for him" means "I'll kill him." The punishment for murder was hanging - so the inference is "I don't care about the consequences - I'll gladly go to the gallows for a chance to rid the world of him."

In fact, it's still said to-day: - I've a neighbour who is always saying she'll "swing for" her 4 year old when the little one is being annoying. (Of course, she doesn't mean it: she loves the kid to bits.)

I've never heard the other phrase but because the only thing he'd swing for would be murder, find it clear. To box someoneones ears or punch them on the side of the head is to give them a "thick ear" I'd guess at it meaning he'd beat the person to death?

However, to me, the method isn't particularly important - it's the intention: - "He's going to die for that!".
Sarrriesfan
Posted: Tuesday, December 18, 2018 4:37:41 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 3/30/2016
Posts: 1,300
Neurons: 8,224
Location: Luton, England, United Kingdom
Romany wrote:

Sarries - a bit muddled up there - hanging wasn't abolished until 1965. In the 20s it was still very much a punishment for murder.

The Phrase "I'll swing for him" means "I'll kill him." The punishment for murder was hanging - so the inference is "I don't care about the consequences - I'll gladly go to the gallows for a chance to rid the world of him."

In fact, it's still said to-day: - I've a neighbour who is always saying she'll "swing for" her 4 year old when the little one is being annoying. (Of course, she doesn't mean it: she loves the kid to bits.)

I've never heard the other phrase but because the only thing he'd swing for would be murder, find it clear. To box someoneones ears or punch them on the side of the head is to give them a "thick ear" I'd guess at it meaning he'd beat the person to death?

However, to me, the method isn't particularly important - it's the intention: - "He's going to die for that!".


Romany I included murder as on of the serious crimes for which hanging was still on the statue books for, but I had not put that interpretation on the conversation I'll admit.

I lack the imagination for a witty signature.
flylikeeagle
Posted: Thursday, December 20, 2018 1:25:45 AM

Rank: Newbie

Joined: 11/29/2018
Posts: 32
Neurons: 4,364
Location: Cairo, Al Qahirah, Egypt
Guys, thank you so much but, I'm still confused about it Brick wall

Romany
Posted: Thursday, December 20, 2018 6:19:02 AM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 6/14/2009
Posts: 15,380
Neurons: 48,295
Location: Brighton, England, United Kingdom
Flylike -

OK - here are you questions and our answers:

"Does it mean that he would kill Sanders with a "thick" (large caliber) bullet even if he would get hanged for it?"
No. It doesn't. (Guns aren't the kind of thing one would expect British gangsters to be running around with in the 20s.) It does however, mean he will kill Sanders.

"Does "swing for it" mean get hanged, or go to jail?"
It means to be hanged. (You "swing" by the neck from a piece of rope.)

Is it these answers you don't understand, or, having read these answers, have you another question because of them?

Whichever: ask away! (i.e. feel free to ask more questions)
Users browsing this topic
Guest


Forum Jump
You cannot post new topics in this forum.
You cannot reply to topics in this forum.
You cannot delete your posts in this forum.
You cannot edit your posts in this forum.
You cannot create polls in this forum.
You cannot vote in polls in this forum.

Main Forum RSS : RSS
Forum Terms and Guidelines | Privacy policy | Copyright © 2008-2019 Farlex, Inc. All rights reserved.