Talk:go to the wall
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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