The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #99243   Message #1975987
Posted By: Grab
22-Feb-07 - 10:06 AM
Thread Name: Origins: Buried alive - is this story true?
Subject: RE: Origins: Buried alive - is this story true?
For me, dead bodies, no. Unconscious from booze - seen some, never had any doubt they were alive. Not having seen a dead body, I couldn't say, but breathing kind of gives the game away. I'm sure you've got more experience in this as a paramedic, so tell me, have you ever seen a drunk who (after more than just a cursory glance) didn't appear to the naked eye to be breathing? If you have, fair enough, but none of the unconscious drunks I've seen have been that way. And re the lead poisoning, as you say, acute lead poisoning doesn't behave that way, but your claim was that acute lead poisoning from binge drinking *was* the source of the phrase.

Re Walter Scott, you may well have heard that story from your gran, but it doesn't really change that there's no trace of the story on any summary of Scott's life on the net. The better ones start with his parents and their lives before marriage and before Scott's birth. Not a trace, and this isn't something that's trivial enough to be left out, ignored or forgotten. I could try and find a full biography of Scott if you like, but I'm afraid it really looks like it's not true.

Sorry if I offended, Muttley, but your post bore a remarkable resemblance to "fakelore" emails that go round. You know the kind of thing - rubbish like "freezing the balls of a brass monkey" is about a triangular cannonball support, and all that kind of stuff. That's why I thought it was just another one of those, especially when I looked it all up.

Still and all, none of those derivations of phrases were true (with a possible exception of "dead drunk" which frankly seems unlikely), and it seems that nor is the Scott story. Fair enough, you genuinely thought those origins and that story were correct - but a bit of checking, and it actually doesn't look like any of them are. For debunking those, I don't apologise, and my "cheap shots", as you call them, are very much still in the saddle.

Graham.