“Shiver me timbers!”

Pity the poor first mate whose 18th century made ship, hit by a canon, experienced the sickening quaking and shivering of wood from which the ship was made. It’s the origin of the expression, “Shiver me timbers!”

“Timbers” isn’t a word you’d expect to find associated with a dog breed, but it’s most definitely found in the AKC breed standard for the Collie: “The Collie is a lithe, strong, responsive, active dog, carrying no useless timber, standing naturally straight and firm.”  We love the way this word is used here.  It speaks to a dog that doesn’t carry excess weight, or pack more bone density than is necessary for the dog to do its job. We understand that breed standards need to be updated occasionally, but we hope that when revising a standard, clubs hang on to language that’s so descriptive of their breed.  Perhaps it’s a word not in popular use. But just maybe, perhaps it’s a word that should be.

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2 thoughts on ““Shiver me timbers!””

  1. I agree wholeheartedly. This morning I was struck, however, by the “quacking” which is followed by “Shiver me timbers.” Now I know why we use the word “Duck!”

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