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glasses, drinking


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A relatively recent idea is that a ringing glass is connected to drowning sailors. The first documented reference so far found is in 1909 (N&Q 10s: 12 (1909), 310), but it was certainly well known soon after that:Have you ever noticed the effect upon a dinner-party should anyone hit a glass and make it ring? Nothing less than an interruption in conversation—a momentary silence—relieved only when the culprit placed a finger on the rim ‘to save a sailor from drowning’. (Igglesden, c.1932: 26).

Have you ever noticed the effect upon a dinner-party should anyone hit a glass and make it ring? Nothing less than an interruption in conversation—a momentary silence—relieved only when the culprit placed a finger on the rim ‘to save a sailor from drowning’. (Igglesden, c.1932: 26)

Opie and Tatem, 1989: 173–4.


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