Re: Taking prow
- From: sage <sage@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Thu, 21 Jun 2007 16:46:00 -0400
Peter Duncanson wrote:
On Thu, 21 Jun 2007 04:53:12 -0700, Marius Hancu
Re:The man appears to be a criminal.
My treatment will not differ--he will be tipped,
Found weeping, signed for, made to answer, topped.
in the same poem by Auden,
(where, probably: tipped - favoured, topped - hanged/terminated)
I am concerned about the "for" in "signed for."
Is that usual? Seems a strange phrasal in the passive.
"Tipped" - arrested. Possibly touched by a tipstaff (a truncheon)
as a symbol of arrest.
"Signed for" - The constable who arrested the man hands him over to
another official who signs a document acknowledging the receipt of
the man. (Just as one would "sign for" a package delivered to one's
home, or wherever.)
1541, "tipped staff" (truncheon with a tip or cap of metal)
carried as an emblem of office, from tip (n.) + staff. As the
name of an official who carries one (esp. a sheriff's officer,
bailiff, constable, court crier, etc.) it is recorded from 1570.
When the duty watch was assigned to security patrol or shore patrol, they were issued with just such items. They were about 18 inches long and had a brass cap at one end, the business end. We called them helves.