Sticking my oar in, or catching and letting go of the crab

Last week some space was devoted to the crawling, scratching crab, so that perhaps enlarging on the topic “Crab in Idioms” may not be quite out of place. The plural in the previous sentence is an
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Last week some space was devoted to the crawling, scratching crab, so that perhaps enlarging on the topic “Crab in Idioms” may not be quite out of place. The plural in the previous sentence is an overstatement, for I have only one idiom in view. The rest is not worthy of mention: no certain meaning and no explanation. But my database is omnivorous and absorbs a lot of rubbish. Bibliographers cannot be choosers. The topic of this post is the phrase to catch a crab. Those who are active rowers or rowed in the past must have heard it more than once. A century and a half ago, a lively exchange on the origin of this expression entertained the readers of the indispensable Notes and Queries. Especially interesting was a long article by Frank Chance, who started the discussion and whom I try to promote at every opportunity, because it is a shame how few people know his contributions and how seldom they are referred to, especially in comparison to the achievements of his namesake, the baseball. . .

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News source: Linguistics – OUPblog

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