1811 Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue
The knees. To bring any one down on his marrow bones; to make him beg pardon on his knees: some derive this from Mary's bones, i.e. the bones bent in honor of the Virgin Mary; but this seems rather far- fetched. Marrow bones and cleavers; principal instruments in the band of rough music: these are generally performed on by butchers, on marriages, elections, riding skimmington, and other public or joyous occasions.
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