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August 24, 2016

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john

Susan,

Is there any possibility that "ram-packed" had its origin in the musket era, where to pack powder into the musket, one used a ramrod?

John

Barbara

Perhaps JC was thinking of a visit to the Ram Jam Inn in Leicestershire which used to get very crowded with travellers on the A1 but has now closed. Thus there was no room at the inn.

Virtual Linguist

Thanks for your comments, John and Barbara. John, yes, the ram of the word is certainly from the word ram, meaning to pack powder into a musket. Originally the verb related to packing plants, posts etc into the earth, and the gun use came a bit later. Barbara, shame about the pub. Good name, though. I see from his Wikipedia page that Jeremy Corbyn spent two years working for VSO in Jamaica after he left school, so maybe this is where he picked up the expression.

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