To walk the plank


Also found in: Idioms.
to walk along a plank laid across the bulwark of a ship, until one overbalances it and falls into the sea; - a method of disposing of captives practiced by pirates.
to walk off the plank into the water and be drowned; - an expression derived from the practice of pirates who extended a plank from the side of a ship, and compelled those whom they would drown to walk off into the water; figuratively, to vacate an office by compulsion.
- Bartlett.

See also: Plank, Walk

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary, published 1913 by G. & C. Merriam Co.
References in classic literature ?
At present, in the splendid autumn weather - the autumn at least was a pure boon in the terrible place - he loafed about his "work" undeterred, secretly agitated; not in the least "minding" that the whole proposition, as they said, was vulgar and sordid, and ready to climb ladders, to walk the plank, to handle materials and look wise about them, to ask questions, in fine, and challenge explanations and really "go into" figures.
A portion of several boards holding together had fallen across the rail, and one end protruded overboard, like a gangway leading upon nothing, like a gangway leading over the deep sea, leading to death--as if inviting us to walk the plank at once and be done with our ridiculous troubles.
But once, the mood was on him too deep for common regardings; and as with heavy, lumber-like pace he was measuring the ship from taffrail to mainmast, Stubb, the odd second mate, came up from below, and with a certain unassured, deprecating humorousness, hinted that if Captain Ahab was pleased to walk the planks, then, no one could say nay; but there might be some way of muffling the noise; hinting something indistinctly and hesitatingly about a globe of tow, and the insertion into it, of the ivory heel.
PREPARE to walk the plank - as a Pirate Day is coming to Beaumanor Hall.
Now Scott Pruitt, the climate-change sceptic in charge of the Environmental Protection Agency, has been forced to walk the plank after the number of investigations into his unethical conduct reached 14.
Thanks to Walk the Plank's international training programme, guests from Nigeria, Bulgaria, and Egypt have joined us in the run up to the event, to understand how we put together a civic celebration of the scale of Manchester Day which now attracts attention worldwide.
Carol was the first to walk the plank, but before she could reach the end it started to wobble.
That is, has the Reporter positioned Mayor Dyster at the end of the proverbial "plank" that must be walked or is the artist giving us a cartoon scenario as he would one day hope it to be with the mayor having to walk the plank? In life there are no easy answers and in this cartoon --and in the city's politics--there are no easy answers but there is little doubt that the Reporter has proven to be Dyster's bugaboo as it exposes government waste while casting the light of transparency onto the shenanigans of Niagara Falls government.
Slightly more popular (12%) was the suggestion that known pirates should be forced to walk the plank.
"All right then, you don't have to Walk The Plank. Satisfied?" "My go.
BALANCING ACT A seal being taught to walk the plank during feeding time at Tynemouth's Blue Reef Aquarium
Chelsea plundered two Premier League titles with the Special One at the helm but he was made to walk the plank in 2007 after falling out with owner Roman Abramovich.