One for the Road


Janet Kinnen, 53, works in corporate intelligence and is self-identified British.  She learned the following story while a student in Liverpool.  I collected it from her during a dinner conversation with my family.


How about this.  Do you know where the phrase “One for the road” comes from?  It has to do with when people would get hanged in these public executions, they would put them into a cart and drive them through the city.  Then, as they went along, people along the way would hand the criminals beer, whisky, alcohol of some sort and tell them “One for the road.”  That way, by the time they finally got to the gallows, these fellows were too drunk to feel a thing.


This story does not really mean anything in particular to Janet.  She just found it interesting.  To me, it is intriguing that taking something to go or taking one for the road is associated with death at the end.