#22109. Asked by rupe. (Aug 31 02 6:59 PM)
That an explosive device is about to be detonated
Aug 31 02, 7:07 PM
I think that it comes from the old guns which had the gunpowder charge ignited by a spark or similar. A flash in the pan is another saying from this type of weapon. It is now used to mean that something explosive is about to be detonated
Sep 01 02, 12:35 AM
The phrase is 'fire in the hold'. The hold is part of a ship.
Sep 01 02, 12:34 PM
Friar Tuck is right. "Fire in the hole" originated from the command given to fire off an old-time cannon. The gunpowder was packed into a hole in the barrel. Upon the command, a torch was set into the hole. "Fire in the hole" was both a command to light the cannon and a warning.
"Fire in the hold" was something shouted onboard a ship.
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