a short drop and a sudden stop

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Alternative forms[edit]


Popular due to the internal rhyme of drop with stop.


  • (Received Pronunciation) enPR: ə shôrtʹ drŏpʹ ən(d) ə sŭdʹən stŏpʹ, IPA(key): [ə ˌʃɔɹʔ ˈdɹɒp ən ə ˌsʌdn̩ ˈstɒp]
  • (file)


a short drop and a sudden stop

  1. (idiomatic) A fall to one's death by hanging.
    • 1923, Austin B Griffin, Reports of Cases Heard and Determined in the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court of the State of New York[1], volume 203, page 885:
      I see, in other words, a short drop and then a sudden stop?
    • 2003, Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl[2]:
      I intend to see to it that any man who sails under a pirate flag or wears a pirate brand gets what he deserves: A short drop and a sudden stop.
    • 2005 January 8, “Bookman”, alt.fan.heinlein (Google group): Clarke Survives Tsunamis:
      > But, yeah, the death penalty is a little stiff just for pretentious writing.
      > Punning now… it’d be a capital idea, there.
      Let’s not start _that_ row. Give it a quick drop and a sudden stop, rather than letting them hang…
    • 2006 Hirchak, John Hirchak. Ghosts of Old Wilmington, page 27 (The History Press; →ISBN, →ISBN):
      If you were lucky enough to survive all this lunacy, you always risked capture. There your story would end with a quick drop and a sudden stop, for piracy was punishable by hanging.