Oct 18, 2011

Old Timey Word of the Week

My dad used to say that it was time to "deep six" something when it was time to throw it away.  "Hey are you going to finish that sandwich?" I'd ask.  "No. Go ahead and deep 6 it."

Not to be confused with the G.I. Joe character, Deep 6,

or the band (of which there only seems to be five),

the phrase originates from nautical roots.  It referred to the depth of water measured in fathoms.  Six fathoms, or 36 feet, referred to the depth at which a lost item would be too difficult to retrieve from underwater.  This was, of course, before advances in diving equipment would have made 36 feet an easy depth to work in.

Over the years, the phrase evolved into a saying used for getting rid of something.  In "gangster" terminology, to deep 6 someone was to kill them. 

James Cagney (courtesy hollywoodgoldenera.com)
Phrases like deep 6 make our language more colorful and descriptive.  It adds "depth" to our communication.

1 comment:

  1. Deep Six was an awkward GI Joe character. he was way bigger than the other guys and you couldn't bend his arms or legs. I guess that's what happens when you're in charge of driving a sub with torpedoes.