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go to the widow-maker

English translation: the guillotine

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GLOSSARY ENTRY (DERIVED FROM QUESTION BELOW)
English term or phrase:widow-maker
English translation:the guillotine
Entered by: Kim Metzger
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00:31 Jul 6, 2002
English to English translations [PRO]
Art/Literary
English term or phrase: go to the widow-maker
It is actually a title of James Jones' novel. There is also a poem, "Harp Song of the Dane Women", by R. Kipling quoted in the novel:

"What is a woman that you forsake her,
And the hearth-fire and the home-acre,
To go with the old grey Widow-maker?"

Who or what is the Widow-maker? M.M.
maciejm
Poland
Local time: 10:22
the guillotine
Explanation:
Here's one explanation, but it would seem to me that a widow maker is anything or anyone who kills a married man.
"I believe Dr. Antoine Louise was appointed by the French National Assembly to design this device. He hired a man named Tobias Schmidt, a harpsichord maker, to build it because he was the most affordable. It was originally called the Louiseon/Louisette, but later came to be known as, of course, the Guillotine. People called it the widow maker which made it feminine so an "e" was added to the end. Leave it to the French.
- Ben (8-16-01)


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Note added at 2002-07-06 01:30:23 (GMT)
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In the Kipling poem, the widow-maker is a ship. The man in the poem is a sailor and every spring, he starts yearning (sickening) to go to sea.

Yet, when the signs of summer thicken,
And the ice breaks, and the birch-buds quicken,
Yearly you turn from our side, and sicken---

Sicken again for the shouts and the slaughters.
You steal away to the lapping waters,
And look at your ship in her winter-quarters.

You forget our mirth, and talk at the tables,
The kine in the shed and the horse in the stables---
To pitch her sides and go over her cables.

Then you drive out where the storm-clouds swallow,
And the sound of your oar-blades, falling hollow,
Is all we have left through the months to follow.

Ah, what is Woman that you forsake her,
And the hearth-fire and the home-acre,
To go with the old grey Widow-maker ?

Selected response from:

Kim Metzger
Mexico
Local time: 03:22
Grading comment
Thank you all very much.
Maciek
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

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Summary of answers provided
4 +6the guillotine
Kim Metzger
4 +1the seaxxxR.J.Chadwick
4anything/anybody liable to cause death or serious injury
Daniela McKeeby


  

Answers


33 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +6
the guillotine


Explanation:
Here's one explanation, but it would seem to me that a widow maker is anything or anyone who kills a married man.
"I believe Dr. Antoine Louise was appointed by the French National Assembly to design this device. He hired a man named Tobias Schmidt, a harpsichord maker, to build it because he was the most affordable. It was originally called the Louiseon/Louisette, but later came to be known as, of course, the Guillotine. People called it the widow maker which made it feminine so an "e" was added to the end. Leave it to the French.
- Ben (8-16-01)


--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 2002-07-06 01:30:23 (GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

In the Kipling poem, the widow-maker is a ship. The man in the poem is a sailor and every spring, he starts yearning (sickening) to go to sea.

Yet, when the signs of summer thicken,
And the ice breaks, and the birch-buds quicken,
Yearly you turn from our side, and sicken---

Sicken again for the shouts and the slaughters.
You steal away to the lapping waters,
And look at your ship in her winter-quarters.

You forget our mirth, and talk at the tables,
The kine in the shed and the horse in the stables---
To pitch her sides and go over her cables.

Then you drive out where the storm-clouds swallow,
And the sound of your oar-blades, falling hollow,
Is all we have left through the months to follow.

Ah, what is Woman that you forsake her,
And the hearth-fire and the home-acre,
To go with the old grey Widow-maker ?




    Reference: http://www.mindlesscrap.com/trivia/visitors.htm
Kim Metzger
Mexico
Local time: 03:22
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 2249
Grading comment
Thank you all very much.
Maciek

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Ingrid Petit
7 mins

agree  swisstell: nice piece of research
23 mins

agree  Daniela McKeeby
27 mins

agree  xxxCHENOUMI: Indeed, nice work!
3 hrs

agree  mickymayes
2 days23 hrs

agree  ellery26
4 days
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

41 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
anything/anybody liable to cause death or serious injury


Explanation:
See examples:

widow maker = a MA (mechanical ambush. Euphemism for an American set booby trap)

Widow maker. 1. A broken limb hanging loose in the top of a tree, which in its fall may injure a man below

Widow-maker: - a term for the bowsprit (many sailors lost their
lives falling off the bowsprit while tending sails).

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Note added at 2002-07-06 01:14:31 (GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

M-16: nicknamed the widow-maker, the standard American rifle used in Vietnam after 1966

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Note added at 2002-07-06 01:16:46 (GMT)
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Model-by-model information obtained through the FCC and from individual vendors. According to the listing, the Qualcomm PDQ-1900 emits the smallest amount of radiation, while the Ericsson KF788, rumored to be nicknamed \"The Widow Maker,\" emits the most.


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Note added at 2002-07-06 01:24:22 (GMT)
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Widow-maker \\Wid\"ow-mak`er\\ (?), n. One who makes widows by destroying husbands. [R.] --Shak.
-- web1913


Shakespeare - The Life and Death of King John :

O! it grieves my soul
That I must draw this metal from my side
To be a widow-maker!


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Note added at 2002-07-06 01:31:23 (GMT)
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In Kipling\'s poem, the widow-maker is the ship.

Daniela McKeeby
United States
Local time: 04:22
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish, Native in RomanianRomanian
PRO pts in pair: 40
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

2 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +1
the sea


Explanation:
For fisherman's wives in the North Sea and other oceans around the British Isles.

xxxR.J.Chadwick
Local time: 16:22
PRO pts in pair: 4

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  xxxCHENOUMI
1 hr
  -> Thank you for your support
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