I will beat thee like a stockfish. Moffet and Bennet, in their Health's Improvement (p. 262), inform us that dried cod, till it is
beaten, is called buckhorn, because it is so tough; but after it has
been beaten on the stock, it is termed stockfish. (In French, etriller quelqu'un, a double carillon, “to a pretty tune.”)
“Peace! thou wilt be beaten like a stockfish else.” —Jonson:
Every Man in his Humour, iii. 2.
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
More on Stockfish from Infoplease:
- stockfish: meaning and definitions - stockfish: Definition and Pronunciation
- Stockfish - Stockfish I will beat thee like a stockfish. Moffet and Bennet, in their Health's Improvement ...
- Jack of Dover - Jack of Dover A stockfish, “hake salted and dried.” The Latin for a hake is merlucius, ...
- William Shakespeare: Henry IV (Pt 2), Act III, Scene II - Come on, come on, come on, sir; give me your hand, sir, give me your hand, sir: an early stirrer, by the rood! And how doth my good cousin Silence?
- Dictionary of Phrase and Fable: S - Definitions, origins, and illustrative excerpts for words, phases, and literary allusions starting with "S"