A "Nelson" in banking (added 26 Dec 2001)
|Following the one-one-one analogy below - in the pre-decimal days some bank cashiers used the term "Nelson" for an amount of one pound, one shilling, and one penny|
A "Nelson" in cricket
(added 26 Dec 2001)
In its simplest terms, a "Nelson" is the score of 111 runs (222 equals a "double Nelson" etc). It is considered to be extremely unlucky - i.e. the batsman will be out next ball etc.
This belief is held most strongly (but not specifically) by the Australians.
(Combing the books of cricketing statistics tells us that in losing the 1954-5 Ashes series 3-1, Australia were twice dismissed for 111, as they were in the famous Headingley Test of 1981, when Botham made his famous 149 and Bob Willis then took 8-34.
So why a Nelson?
Suggestion 1. "The origins of this term lie in the erroneous notion that Admiral Nelson had one eye, one arm, and one leg; in reality, of course, Nelson lost an arm and an eye but retained the use of both legs.
Suggestion 2. "It is possible that the number refers to three of his great naval victories, perhaps Copenhagen, the Nile, and Trafalgar:
- thus giving won-won-won.
And how to avoid the omen?
There is an old Gloucestershire superstition that to avoid a dismissal on the next ball, all the team, except the batsman, must have their feet off the ground.
Whenever the score is on a Nelson, double-Nelson etc. umpire David Shepherd hops in the air until the score changes.
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