One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
nounin phrase go for a burton
Meet with disaster; be ruined, destroyed, or killed.‘his boat would cut mine in two and I'd go for a burton’
- ‘And there's where rule Number Three went for a burton.’
- ‘Someone would say ‘Bill Smith went for a burton last night’.’
- ‘This weekend's long run has gone for a burton courtesy of a trip to the Azores tomorrow.’
- ‘My CD player has gone for a burton; I don't know what on earth is wrong with it.’
- ‘Cardiff's unbeaten start was not the only record to go for a burton.’
Second World War (originally RAF slang): perhaps referring to Burton ale, from Burton upon Trent.
A light two-block tackle for hoisting.
- ‘The shrouds and back-stays are first cast off, and the mast-head got as far forward as nearly to touch the fore-part of the partners, by the runners and tackles or burtons of the mizenmast.’
- ‘Gilliatt had barely time to seize the burton tackle.’
- ‘‘A burton-tackle to the chess tree,’ he called, loud and clear.’
- ‘From each steel cap at the apex two steel cables led to the enormous 16-sheave burton tackle whose pendant was geared at 8000-to-1 ratio to a 5-horsepower electric motor winch.’
Early 18th century: alteration of Middle English Breton tackle, a nautical term in the same (see Breton).
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