Reply to post: Mon oncle a un dirigeable

Loose tongues and oily seamen: Lost in machine translation yet again

Kubla Cant Silver badge

Mon oncle a un dirigeable

Yes, yes. But has your postillion been struck by lightning?

I was delighted to discover that this isn't entirely apocryphal. According to a reliable source, John Murray's Handbook of Travel-Talk (1847) includes this calamitous scenario:

Oh, dear! The postilion has been thrown (off) down.

Is he hurt? Run for assistance to the next cottage.

Ask for a surgeon.

I am afraid he has broken his leg — his arm.

He has been bruised on his head.

He must be carried home gently.

It rains in torrents.

It lightens—it thunders.

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