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Talk:go to the wall

Alternative etymologiesEdit

As discussed here:

…there are numerous alternative etymologies. My takes:

  • the sense of fighting seems most plausible, esp. since there’s also “go to the wall for someone”, and “have one's back to the wall” and “retreat to the wall”
  • churchyard wall seems possible, esp. given that “by the wall” was used metaphorically for ships, but less likely
  • leaning against a church wall seems apocryphal
  • “shooting against a wall” is out, because this predates firing squads

Hope this helps! Nils von Barth (nbarth) (talk) 01:42, 7 December 2008 (UTC)

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