Виталий Е. Ермолин, студент холодных вод (seminarist) wrote,
Виталий Е. Ермолин, студент холодных вод
seminarist

'COMB THE CAT', to,

the habit of a boatswain's mate, during the flogging of a seaman, of running his fingers through the tails of a cat-o'-nine-tails after each stroke in order to separate them in preparation for the next. After several strokes, when the victims's back had begun to bleed, the tails of the cat were apt to become coated with blood and to stick together, and a stroke with the tails matted together could inflict serious and permanent damage to the man undergoing punishment. It was necessary therefore , in the victim's own interest, to separate the tails before inflicting the next stroke.

The Oxford Companion to Ships and the Sea, 1976

Век живи, век учись.
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