shooting at pennies instead



"Because of the gambling the sport was considered particularly decadent and in poor taste. Even Colonel Peter Hawker, doyen of early nineteenth century shooting, said that pigeon shooters should spare innocent blood’ by shooting at pennies instead."
c'est quoi "pennies"?
  • snarkhunter

    Senior Member
    French (France's)

    ... Pas tout à fait au hasard : des pièces d'1 penny ?!
    Et si jamais cela se déroule aux USA, alors il s'agira plutôt de pièces d'1 cent, auxquelles on donne aussi couramment ce nom. A voir selon le contexte, donc.


    Senior Member
    français (France)

    Je comprends cela comme une allusion aux pièces de monnaies. Donc tirer sur des galettes.


    Senior Member
    English - UK
    I think it is actually pennies judging by this extract from the Colonel's diary (Full text of "Instructions To Young Sportsmen In All That Relates To Guns And Shooting"):

    "As a further proof of the quickness with which two barrels
    may be correctly fired, provided the gun is kept to the shoulder,
    I shall mention an instance. — John Ford, gamekeeper to the
    Earl of Portsmouth, and a man about six feet six l laid his gun
    on the ground, of course with both barrels cocked ; and, after
    throwing off two penny-pieces himself, he took up his gun, and
    hit them both, most handsomely, before either fell to the
    ground. He requested me to try, with his gun, if I could do
    the same. At first I failed, for want of being, what we used
    to call at Eton, a good “ shy ” ; but, after Ford had given me
    a few lessons in the throwing department, I did it the first time
    (though, perhaps, more by luck than skill), putting five shot
    in one, and six in the other ; which led me to conclude that,
    by practice, this might be reduced to about the same degree
    of certainty as other quick double shots. As to a man with his
    gun in his hand, throwing up, and hitting, two penny-pieces,
    or halfpence, it is no more than what many good shots can do,
    by the mere knack of catching the first just after the turn,
    and presenting well under the second : but the other perform-
    ance is really a difficulty. Let some of the pigeon-shooters
    try this, by way of a “ spree,” and they will save a deal of
    innocent blood, and find they have enough to do. Most people
    will say, “ This is not like shooting birds.” — True ; but I
    say this, — it distinguishes, to speak musically, the prestissimo"