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RE: Q-ships Was: Re: Naming this child (little Audi content)
Not so. [BTW, unless anyone actually cares, this'll be my last
qlist post on this]
The term _definitely_ originates in WWI. Why? because "Q-ship"
was a code word used by the british Admiralty for these vessels.
Even at their worst (cf Dardanelles), the Admiralty didn't use
code words which were already synonymous with the secret weapon
If you can find a pre-1914 reference to them (as opposed to a
post-1914 ref. for a pre-'14 ship), I'll be amazed. The idea is
old (probably as old as the first dug-out canoe filled with food
but with a spearman lying in the keel), but the name is 20th
century. Merriam-Webster lists its origin as 1919, the year that
the "secret weapon" was unveiled, after the war was over
(although there were popular references to them throughout WWI)
As my other sources for this are (a) one of the handful of
acknowledged international authorities on C.18th privateering,
and he's never seen a contmporary ref. to the term Q-ship, and
(b) a Royal Navy officer who actually served on Q-ships, I'm
willing to lay good odds on this one.
Who wonders whether fitting hidden naval guns to an Audi would
constitute an "unfair advantage".
> Agreed, Geoff, the term has been around for a long
> time and has been used in many instances and many different
flavors since it
> was first coined.
> I'm not sure of its first recorded use but it has been around
for at least
> 200 to perhaps 300 years. Q-ships were used against
> those pesky rebel privateers back during the 1770's when the
> were revolting. :-)
> What's that? Some say we are still revolting? :-)
> I guess some things never change. :-)