Cat of nine tails/Neunschwänzige Katze

Strafprozesse und andere Ungereimtheiten reports that the cat of nine tails was reintroduced in the Bahamas some years ago and is to be used (it’s only for ‘egregious’ cases).

Zu 16 Jahren Gefängnis ist Altulus Newbold auf den Bahamas verurteilt worden. Er hat versucht, eine 83-jährige Frau zu vergewaltigen. Dem Richter waren die 16 Jahre nicht genug: Er verurteilte den 34-Jährigen zusätzlich zu acht Schlägen mit der neunschwänzigen Katze, einem Folterinstrument aus dem 18. Jahrhundert. Newbold brach in das Haus seines 83-jährigen Opfers ein und versuchte es zu vergewaltigen. Die Frau wehrte sich jedoch erfolgreich – es gelang ihr, die Genitalien des Täters mit einem Schlag zu verletzen.

The source was KronenZeitung, where there is a picture. English account here.

Altulus Newbold is a name with a ring to it.

Wikipedia says nine tails is not the only number met, but a thick rope consists of three three-strand thin ropes, so nine is a likely number. It also informs on terms like the captain’s daughter, reduced cat, and boy’s pussy (I don’t think this one would work in AmE). It also explains the expressions not enough room to swing a cat and letting the cat out of the bag.

The still-popular sailor’s song What do you do with a Drunken Sailor? has a verse that goes “Give him a taste of the captain’s daughter” or “Throw him in bed with the captain’s daughter”. While this doesn’t sound like a dire fate for the tipsy seaman, the term “captain’s daughter” referred in naval jargon to the cat o’ nine tails or a similar whip.

It was reinstated in the Bahamas in 1991, in Antigua and Barbuda in 1990, in Barbados in 1993, in Trinidad in 1993 and in Jamaica in 1994.

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