Cat o' nine tails

Definitions

  • Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Cat o' nine tails an instrument of punishment consisting of nine pieces of knotted line or cord fastened to a handle; -- formerly used to flog offenders on the bare back.
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Usage

In literature:

Laughter, you know, is the great world's cat-o'-nine-tails.
"The Folly Of Eustace" by Robert S. Hichens
The cat-o'-nine-tails was the favorite punishment for sailors.
"Historic Boyhoods" by Rupert Sargent Holland
He had a heavy cat-o'-nine-tails on his shoulder, which hung down to the middle of his back.
"The Philippine Islands, 1493-1898 (Vol 28 of 55)" by Various
The boatswain, or other operator, running his fingers through the cat o' nine tails, to separate them.
"The Sailor's Word-Book" by William Henry Smyth
Yer didn't see that I got th' cat-o'-nine-tails on my back, did yer?
"Famous Privateersmen and Adventurers of the Sea" by Charles H. L. Johnston
We may congratulate ourselves on having escaped the cat-o'-nine-tails and the gallows.
"Old-Fashioned Ethics and Common-Sense Metaphysics" by William Thomas Thornton
In the daytime the heat stung like a cat-o'-nine-tails.
"The Cup of Fury" by Rupert Hughes
He have de cat-o-nine tails of rawhide leather platted round a piece of wood for a handle.
"Slave Narratives: a Folk History of Slavery in the United States From Interviews with Former Slaves" by Work Projects Administration
It was like the back of a man who had been flayed alive, and then flogged with a cat-o'-nine-tails.
"The Angel of the Revolution" by George Griffith
Orders were given to have me flogged with the "Thieves'" cat-o'-nine-tails at eight o'clock the next morning.
"The Story of a Strange Career" by Anonymous
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In poetry:

CAPT. Good fellow, you have given timely warning,
Sing hey, the thoughtful sailor that you are,
I'll talk to Master Rackstraw in the morning:
Sing hey, the cat-o'-nine-tails and the tar.
(Producing a "cat".)
"HMS Pinafore: Act II" by William Schwenck Gilbert

In news:

Blue Underground continues its all-aces reissues of Dario Argento's work on Blu-ray with his sophomore film, 1971's "The Cat o' Nine Tails".
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