An idiom for suicide about people on a boat

twinklestar

Senior Member
Chinese
I learned an idiom that means people take suicide. This a metaphor that people in a boat, and they go to the board, and jump themselves in the sea.In my dim memory, it might associate with "go to the board" something like that, but I am not sure. If you know it, please help. Thanks.
 
  • perpend

    Banned
    American English
    "to throw yourself overboard" might do the trick.

    EDIT: There is also "to walk the plank", but that's a tad different.
     

    Cagey

    post mod (English Only / Latin)
    English - US
    People might 'throw themselves overboard'.

    What is it a metaphor for? Is a for committing suicide? Or is committing suicide a metaphor for doing something that goes against your own interests, or for giving up?

    Cross-posted with perpend, with whom I agree. :)
     

    JordyBro

    Senior Member
    English - Australia
    I learned an idiom that means people take suicide. This a metaphor that people in a boat, and they go to the board, and jump themselves in the sea.In my dim memory, it might associate with "go to the board" something like that, but I am not sure. If you know it, please help. Thanks.
    You might be looking for "walk the plank" which is associated with pirates and pirate ships.
     

    Hermione Golightly

    Senior Member
    British English
    It doesn't mean to take one's own life. It refers to a form of punishment or murder, when a person was forced to walk off the ship into the sea.

    Hermione
     

    JordyBro

    Senior Member
    English - Australia
    It doesn't mean to take one's own life. It refers to a form of punishment or murder, when a person was forced to walk off the ship into the sea.

    Hermione
    I know it's a punishment, but it could be thought of as a suicide. It sounds like one of the possible phrases the person might be looking for.
     

    velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    Our dictionary (Collins Concise) has this entry for "walk the plank", so even figuratively it's not very likely to be used for a suicide. There's a strong element of compulsion:

    • walk the plank ⇒ to be forced by pirates to walk to one's death off the end of a plank jutting out over the water from the side of a ship
     

    PaulQ

    Banned
    UK
    English - England
    'Jump ship' is clear enough = to desert a ship (mostly said of crew members) yet jumping ship is unlikely to end in death; so what does 'jump the ship' mean?
     

    JordyBro

    Senior Member
    English - Australia
    "jump the ship" means give up. It could be giving up anything, but it's not unlikely to refer specifically to a suicide. I guess it could be akin to "kick the bucket", which can be used for non-suicide things like "jump the ship" is sometimes used for suicide related things.
     

    Biffo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    I know it's a punishment, but it could be thought of as a suicide...
    It would be an extraordinarily elaborate means of suicide.

    1, First find your plank.
    2. Lash it to the decks of the boat
    3. Convince other crew members and the captain to allow you to continue with this strange behaviour.
    4. Walk along plank and jump.

    Why not simply jump overboard?
     
    Last edited:

    PaulQ

    Banned
    UK
    English - England
    "jump the ship" means give up. It could be giving up anything, but it's not unlikely to refer specifically to a suicide. I guess it could be akin to "kick the bucket", which can be used for non-suicide things like "jump the ship" is sometimes used for suicide related things.
    The figurative us in in BE would be, e.g. "We were all going to contribute $100,000 towards buying a business but Bruce jumped ship." i.e. Bruce decided not to contribute (pejorative, indicating a lack of loyalty and/or nerve.)

    Are you saying that in AusE, you would say "We were all going to contribute $100,000 towards buying a business but Bruce jumped the ship."?
     

    JordyBro

    Senior Member
    English - Australia
    Jumped the ship and jump ship are both valid to me. I'm surprised that if I search jump the ship only jump ship comes up. I guess some other members can weigh their opinions.
     

    velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    I guess members had better suspend their opinions until the OP comes back to clarify. Thanks to everyone for all the answers, but this has developed into a list. - velisarius, moderator
     
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