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Help: What is a 'forebitter'?

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Don Firth 03 Oct 09 - 02:18 PM
Tug the Cox 03 Oct 09 - 03:57 PM
Gurney 03 Oct 09 - 05:54 PM
Dave Hanson 04 Oct 09 - 03:39 AM
GUEST,Phil d'Conch 03 Aug 19 - 06:02 PM
Mrrzy 04 Aug 19 - 05:43 PM
Steve Gardham 04 Aug 19 - 06:32 PM
The Sandman 05 Aug 19 - 02:46 AM
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Subject: RE: Help: What is a 'forebitter'?
From: Don Firth
Date: 03 Oct 09 - 02:18 PM

An aside:

Minted as early as the 1400s, the Spanish coins called "pieces of eight" (worth eight reals) was scored, like a piece of pie, into eight "bits." It could be broken, and one could make change by breaking the coin along the score lines. If one broke the coin into quarters, one had "two bits." Half would be "four bits," and so on. Hence our modern practice of referring to a quarter of a dollar as "two bits," fifty cents as "four bits," seventy-five cents as "six bits."

Bit of trivia, but interesting, I thought.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Help: What is a 'forebitter'?
From: Tug the Cox
Date: 03 Oct 09 - 03:57 PM

Margot may have been joking 10 yearts ago, but the phrase 'bitter end' actually is first noted as a nautical term ( see Michael Quinion's Worrld Wide Words.
No mention of Scuttlebutt here, see the Chantey Cabin website.


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Subject: RE: Help: What is a 'forebitter'?
From: Gurney
Date: 03 Oct 09 - 05:54 PM

I've waited long enough for someone to pick Kendal up!
Look, matey, what have you got against us tosspots? If it wasn't for us, all the pubs and bars would have gone out of business by the time you matelots got back ashore, and you'd have to buy from a bottle-shop and drink it in an alley.
More power to the tosspots' elbows, that's what I say.

And Shane probably agrees!


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Subject: RE: Help: What is a 'forebitter'?
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 04 Oct 09 - 03:39 AM

Dave, I've always known that song as ' The Soldiers Prayer ' ending with the verse-

What last shall we pray for lets pray for the king,
And a right lousy bastard to us he has been,
And if he gets one dose may he also get ten,
May he have a bloody clinic full said the sailor amen.

Dave H


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Subject: RE: Help: What is a 'forebitter'?
From: GUEST,Phil d'Conch
Date: 03 Aug 19 - 06:02 PM

“You will set me down as a great egotist, which is one of Jack's characteristics, as he mostly makes himself the hero of his narration, and from the Admiral down to the Mid, we all have a forebitter to veer away upon.”
[Pitt, B., The Cabin Boy, 1840, p.349]

Note: "...Admiral down to the Mid...", not your typical workingman's mariners.


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Subject: RE: Help: What is a 'forebitter'?
From: Mrrzy
Date: 04 Aug 19 - 05:43 PM

Let's drink a toast to the admiral and here's to the captain bold... I think it's called the men behind the guns. Great seasong... What kind of chantey?


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Subject: RE: Help: What is a 'forebitter'?
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 04 Aug 19 - 06:32 PM

A chantey is not a forebitter. A forebitter is not a chantey. One is purely for entertainment, the other exclusively a work song in its proper environment, historically at least. Nowadays they are both solely entertainment but still clearly distinguished. Very rarely did bits of ballads creep into the chanteys. Bits of Upton's Homeward and Outward Bound crop up in chanteys, but very rarely.


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Subject: RE: Help: What is a 'forebitter'?
From: The Sandman
Date: 05 Aug 19 - 02:46 AM

I thought it was a love bite on the foreskin


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