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In the song "Jambalaya, Craw Fish Pie ..." what does the expression "son of a gun" mean?

Question #136211. Asked by bloomsby.
Last updated Jun 17 2014.
Originally posted Jun 16 2014 5:40 PM.

Answer has 1 vote
14 year member
89 replies avatar

Answer has 1 vote.
Its origins are nautical.
Back in the early 1800s, the British did something called impressment. During the Napoleonic wars, the British considered any ship that traded with the French an enemy. They would steal the supplies and capture the crew. They impressed the crew into the navy for life. These guys would work as sailors for the rest of their lives and never step on dry land again. If they had a wife, the British would bring the wife aboard the ship. If the wife was pregnant, they would place her on the gun deck near the cannons. When she started having contractions, they would fire the cannons to make her push to have the baby. When the baby was born, it was called a son of a gun. This termis is very negative.
Where's your dad, you son of a gun.

Jun 17 2014, 12:12 AM
daver852 star
Answer has 2 votes
daver852 star
21 year member
313 replies avatar

Answer has 2 votes.
It is not really considered an insult in the United States. As used in the context of the song: "Son of a gun, we'll have big fun on the bayou," it means something like "you bet." In the US, "son of a gun" is one of those expressions that can take on a lot of meanings. It can be a euphemism for a stronger phrase that also contains "son of a," and it is also used as a kind of friendly greeting between friends, as in "How have you been, you old son of a gun?" It can also be used as an expression of mild astonishment, as in "Son of a gun, did you see the size of that fish he caught?" or "Well, I'll be a son of a gun!"

Jun 17 2014, 12:01 PM
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