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This saying comes from this nautical fact:
When in port, and with the crew restricted to the ship for any extended period of time, wives and ladies of easy virtue often were allowed to live aboard along with the crew. Infrequently, but not uncommonly, children were born aboard. A convenient place for this was between guns on the gun deck. If the child's father was unknown it would be entered in the ship's log as the saying you’re looking for.


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