Having been whipping around the world for eight weeks and a bit, it struck me on the way in to think a bit more about the various meanings of "whip".
When Charles Dickens wanted to paint a picture of the route to be followed to reach the degraded Jacob's Island haunt where Bill Sikes took refuge at the end of Oliver Twist, he wrote of:
Jostling with unemployed labourers of the lowest class, ballast-heavers, coal-whippers, brazen women, ragged children, and the raff and refuse of the river . . .
Whipping coal, which seems like a particularly useless occupation, was of considerable interest to Dickens: in Dombey and Son, we learn of a ballad which set forth:
. . . the courtship and nuptials of a promising young coal-whipper with a certain 'lovely Peg,' the accomplished daughter of the master and part-owner of a Newcastle collier . . .
That, however, leaves us little further ahead, save that now we have a hint that this is something to do with shipping coal from one place to another. Also in Dombey and Son, Captain Cuttle walks at peace:
. . . down among the mast, oar, and block makers, ship-biscuit bakers, coal-whippers, pitch-kettles, sailors, canals, docks, swing-bridges, and other soothing objects.
Finally, in Great Expectations, we find the answer:
. . . here, were colliers by the score and score, with the coal-whippers plunging off stages on deck, as counterweights to measures of coal swinging up, which were then rattled over the side into barges . . .
The dog-whipper did this using whips and dog-tongs. In the Anglican church, St Luke's Day, October 18, is dog-whipping day, supposedly because a dog once ate a consecrated wafer on this day.
|Lola Montez was a dab|
hand with the horse whip.
She is shown here, wielding
There seems to have been a convention
that damsels planning to ply the horse
whip ought, first, to adopt a state close