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December 31st, 2007

Son of a Gun

I was listening to a song today where the vocalist used the term “son of a gun” and I started wondering where the heck that phrase actually came from.

According to some site called “Wikipedia”, it’s British naval slang that “refers to a child of questionable parentage conceived on the gun deck.” The American take on the phrase is similar, but “was derived from military bureaucratic treatment of young enlisted men of uncertain familial background.” The Straight Dope seems to agree, alluding to the possibility of impregnation of prostitutes occuring on the gun deck because of the slight degree of privacy offered by the location.

Some, though, believe the terms originated with a Philadelphia-based rock band that asks, “Are you a pussy or a man?”

So, there you go.

Posted in Pop Culture

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