Jammed, Shanghaied

LORELAI: We got jammed. Shanghaied by my mother and what with the other things we have going . . . well, too many commitments, not enough us.

Jammed: I think Lorelai means “jammed” as in a traffic jam or a logjam ā€“ stuck, and with so many things on that they have no room to move. Please correct me if you think this is wrong!

Shanghaied [pictured]: Also known as “crimping”. The practice of kidnapping people to serve as sailors by coercive techniques such as trickery, intimidation, or violence. The name probably came about because Shanghai was a common destination for ships with abducted crews. The practice flourished in the mid-19th century, in port cities such as Liverpool in the UK, and San Francisco in the US. Although there were many attempts to crack down on it, only the widespread use of steam vessels instead of sailing ships rendered the practice unnecessary, as steamships don’t require such a large crew. Once it was made a federal crime in 1915 the practice was entirely stamped out.

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