I came across the following sentence: "From the first bang of his gavel, for which was later substituted a bungstarter, it was apparent that stout Mr. Snell had the convention in his round red fist." (Time, June 27, 1932)|
Would someone enlighten me as to what a "bungstarter" is?
Here's the full text of that quote, by the way: Time, June 27, 1932|
A "bungstarter" is a tool for starting a bung. What's a "bung" and what is it to start it? Well, a bung is a plug that fits into a bunghole and starting it really refers to removing it -- what's started is the flow of material through the bunghole. What's a "bunghole?" Well, yes, the term is sometimes used to refer to an anus, but in context it probably has more to do with the hole in casks used to dispense the contents (alcoholic beverages, gun powder, etc.).
||The OED gives bung-starter, 'a stave shaped like a bat, which, applied to either side of the bung, causes it to start out;|