She’s like Ahab on the prod for Moby

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Senior Member
She was gone without waiting for a reply. Up the hall and down the hall. Up and down the hall. ‘She’s like Ahab on the prod for Moby,’ the Head remarked.
Source: Cell by Stephen King

What does the bolded simile mean?

Words I looked up:
Ahab: seventh king of Israel
Moby: stage name for Richard Melvill Hall
prod: a devise used to goad livestock into moving

Thank you.
  • Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    Moby-Dick - Wikipedia
    In the book, Captain Ahab hunts (is on the prowl for) the white whale, Moby Dick. (Don't ask me why it says "prod" instead of "prowl". :))
    (The musician called Moby is a descendant of the author Herman Melville.)


    Senior Member
    British English
    "Prod" because they used harpoons to hunt Moby Dick, and because the writer is Stephen King. :)


    Senior Member
    English, USA
    I've never heard the expression "on the prod" but supposedly it means "out looking for sex". In some parlance, you could say Ahab "had a hard-on" for finding Moby Dick. He was obsessed with or furiously intent on doing it.

    It is difficult to know if the expression "on the prod" is SK's invention and somehow found its way onto the internet, or if in fact it's something people used to say in Maine when King was growing up.


    Senior Member
    English - US (Midwest)
    Googling "he's on the prod" and "she's on the prod" (and even just "on the prod") brings up a bunch of links to novels and short stories. The general meaning seems to be "edgy" and/or "looking for a fight."


    Senior Member
    English, USA
    Right. A better gloss on the term.

    Here's review of a 1960 Western novel by "Jonas Ward", which is a pseudonym for William Ard and then Robert Siverberg, who took over when Ard died in 1960 in the middle of writing the novel. Pulp Serenade: "Buchanan on the Prod" by Jonas Ward (Gold Medal, 1962)

    Ard was a New Yorker and Siverberg says somewhere that he was not a writer in the Western genre, so it seems possible that it was not a true slang term from the Wild West. The links I found were to books etc. from after 1962. It may be an expression that only had currency in literature.
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