" 1/6 ME A DOG " - What does it mean?

The Ne Plus Ultra Match-box.

These are some of the more common types of puzzle vestas or match- safes. Described in Hoffmann's "Puzzles Old and New", they were very popular for advertising from the 1890s onwards.


These three, promoting Harry Hall the tailor, have an extra frustrating puzzle on the back:

"1/6 ME A DOG."


COMPETITION


We do not know what it means; so a puzzle prize will be given to the first person who can convince us of the correct solution!

 

In 2000 we were thinking about "One and a Half Bob",
"Three Tanners", "Eighteen pence", and "One sixth"

After six years we have had some interesting suggestions but we have not yet been convinced.


JL in 2007 suggested rhyming slag "1/6" for "mix";
then "Hair of the Dog" - a drink = "Mix me a drink!"

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In 2008 JC wrote "I found that "Dog" may refer to Newcastle Brown Ale, which has been brewed in England starting in 1927. The term "Dog" stems from the euphemism "I'm going to walk the dog," meaning "I'm going to the pub." Now used to refer to Newcastle Brown Ale, I'm inclined to believe that "Dog" may have been used as a general term for any type of pub drink, prior to 1927. 1/6 would refer to 1 and 6 pence, therefore making "1/6 ME A DOG" something like "Buy me a drink."

The Match-safe probably dates from around 1910. We cannot find any significant reference to DOG meaning A DRINK.

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JVG suggested in 2008 that the Gaelic word "meadog" is the
English word "knife". Since Mr. Hall was a tailor, this would appear to indicate a 1/6
inch knife, which would be a common tool for a superior tailor in those years.

1/6 would not be a standard way of giving the measurement.

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We are not convinced by any of these; so the prize is still available and whoever solves it will certainly deserve it.

Is the "stop", "full stop", or "great stop" part of the puzzle?

 

 


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