: [Fwd: Bullying, DWJ, and Harry Potter...], also fat and lit

Jon Noble jon_p_noble at yahoo.com
Wed Feb 26 15:22:30 EST 2003

--- Philip.Belben at eme.co.uk wrote:
> Robyn quoting I forget whom:
> >>By the way, until a few years ago, at any rate, it
> was common for Whitehall
> >>types and politicos to refer to people whom they
> regarded as reliable,
> >>authoritative and competent as having 'bottom'.
> The metaphor is perhaps
> >>ultimately a naval one - a ship that's unlikely to
> capsize, as it were - but
> >>I only ever heard to applied to people who were a)
> men and b) fat.
> Interesting.  To me (a Georgette Heyer fan) "bottom"
> means something like
> courage (rashness?) or staying power.  Heyer's
> characters tend to use it as (or
> as a metaphor from) a boxing term - willingness to
> go in and slog it out?
> Perhaps it entered boxing from the maritime use.

I doubt if bottom is maratime in origin, it strikes me
as a bit like "pointy end" a term that is only used by
landlubbers, which a true sailor would never use.

Jon, who keeps forgetting to pay attention to the use
of the word "ship" in Hornblower to see if they use it
as would have been then (for boats that were "ship"
rigged, with at least three masts, all with square


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