A hangman; a temporary crane to remove goods from the hold of a vessel. So called from Derrick, the Tyburn hangman early in the seventeenth century, who for more than a hundred years gave his name to gibbets. (See Hangman.)
“He rides circuit with the devil, and Derrick must be his host, and Tyborne the inn at which he will light.” —Bellman of London, 1616.
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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