TonyT, on 22 Sept 2017 - 12:14 PM, said:
I bet you don't know where the slang term "half inch" aka "Pinch" (to steal) comes from.
Back in the day when Nelson was a young Captain, America was a sideline we were running and the British ruled the seas, Wooden ships used to be tied together by long copper nails, some over four foot in length, now even though there was a penalty of death for theft, the copper was valuable and was regularly stolen because you could not trace it, thus it was sold on the black market and often purchased back by the Royal Navy unaware it was their copper.
To get around this problem the Royal Navy came up with the novel idea of stamping into the rods every inch or so with the crows foot you see on British military items today, thus if you were caught with a rod of copper marked thus, it was the noose for you and adios to life....
But us Brits are a savvy bunch, so the dockyard workers took to "pinching" the rod up into parts with cutters and stealing the "1/2 inch " of unmarked copper while leaving a nice pile of crowsfeet behind, thus the terms for theft came to be known as as half inch or pinch, both referring to the theft of Royal Navy copper.
Similar I take it you know when someone says something is first rate, second rate or as in my modelling skills, third rate, this also comes from the Royal Navy, A first rate ship of the line was the biggest, best and heaviest armed of the fleet, HMS Victory was a first rate warship, a second rate was less well armed and smaller, and a third rate was even less so.
Just thought I would lighten up the thread and give Ron some lighter relief...... Psst want to buy some Copper?
Edited by TonyT, 26 September 2017 - 02:27 PM.