Tag: Toerag

  • Artificial nonsense

    As if navigating the nonsense produced by the erroneously named Artificial Intelligence, which spews out all manner of silliness and even scarier stuff, was not tricky enough we should not neglect the human generated nonsense.

    On a recent visit to HMS Victory a guide informed Martine that after evacuating their bowels sailors would pull up a rope that was being towed in the water on the end of which was attached a rag with which they could clean their rear ends. The rag would then be draped back into the sea to be cleaned as it was towed along – hence the term Tow Rag. It makes for a good story but is utter nonsense. And yet…. it has now become a thing. An actual thing. There are even videos with actual tow rags

    a man on board a ship pulling a tow rag on a rope from the water.

    If such a thing was used at all why would they call it a tow rag? Would they not have a more colourful name for it?

    The OED has no Tow Rag and Chambers suggests you may have meant Toe Rag – which of course you did because that is an actual thing – hence the popular view of Boris Johnson

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