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23rd January 2010, 14:44
Swim, we hear, like the devil
b - l -
A bull has horns but I can't see the swim connection so wonder if it is to bolt or bale, but still can't justify it
Any clues?
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23rd January 2010, 15:32
I don't have the solution, I'm sorry to say - just musings.
Bale means evil, so that would be a link with the devil.

Don't know if that helps, though.

And Beelzebub is sometimes spelt Baalzebub:

Name of a Philistine god. Used as a title for the “chief of the demons,” or Satan. The Pharisees referred to him as the “prince of the devils” (Matt. 12: 24). Jesus denied that he cast out devils by the power of Beelzebub (Luke 11: 14-20). See also 2 Kgs. 1: 1-6, where it is spelled Baalzebub.

Don't know if that is any help either! I suppose it sounds like bale...

Then there is to bail out in the sense of escape -possibly using the idea of swimming away to escape?
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23rd January 2010, 15:48
I appreciate all musings and yours were particularly thorough so thank-you.
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23rd January 2010, 16:40
woops Have now discovered previous error so letters should have been b - g -
Bogy is a devil but where does swim, we hear come into it?
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23rd January 2010, 16:54
Other definitions of bogey - with an e.

Main Entry: 1bo·gey
Variant(s): also bo·gie or bo·gy
Function: noun
Inflected Form(s): plural bogeys also bogies
Etymology: probably alteration of bogle
Date: 1826
1\ˈbu̇-gē, ˈbō-, ˈbü-\ : specter, phantom
2\ˈbō-gē also ˈbu̇- or ˈbü-\ : a source of fear, perplexity, or harassment
3\ˈbō-gē\ a chiefly British : an average golfer's score used as a standard for a particular hole or course b : one stroke over par on a hole in golf
4\ˈbō-gē\ : a numerical standard of performance set up as a mark to be aimed at especially in competition
5\ˈbō-gē\ : an unidentified aircraft; especially : one not positively identified as friendly and so assumed to be hostile
It's not by any chance a slang or technical term used in competitive swimming circles?
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23rd January 2010, 17:07
Australian Slang
1. swim or bath in a creek, waterhole, dam, etc.; 2. swimming hole; 3. take a bath or swim in a bogeyhole

so it looks like it's good old Australian slang!
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