What I'm referring to is the situation in which you are being taken somewhere by force (either as a joke or a punishment), by some people who are holding your feet and others your arms; normally you stay suspended off the ground. I'm pretty sure to have once come across a way to describe all this in one (or two?) word, but I can't remember which. Any help?

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    There's crowd surfing / body surfing, but I can't think of any single word or short expression for carrying someone aloft through a crowd, to a place of punishment. In practice, such a person would normally be dragged / manhandled (along the ground, much of the time), so the "carried aloft" aspect probably wouldn't be relevant anyway. Mar 28, 2018 at 17:09

2 Answers 2


frogmarch (verb)

Here is a definition quoted at Wordnik:

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

march a person against his will by any method
carry someone against his will upside down such that each limb is held by one person

Wiliam Safire of the NY Times quotes a slang dictionary from 1873 as saying,

the manner in which four or more policemen carry a drunken or turbulent man to the station-house. The victim is held face downwards, one constable being at each shoulder, while the others hold on above the knees. Often another officer beats time on the recalcitrant hero's posteriors. [emphasis added]

Here's what Merriam-Webster.com currently says:

to seize from behind roughly and forcefully propel forward

So, the meaning may have shifted somewhat to no longer require being held aloft, but it's still probably the best single-word choice.

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    Here is an interesting etymological column about this word, complete with an 19th-century illustration. Excellent find!
    – J.R.
    Mar 31, 2018 at 10:29

What about "carried off". (Of course this has many possible meanings.) The next closest thing that comes to my mind is "riding a rail". This, however, is not what you are describing, but it has a name.

There is also "parading" someone. For example: "John was lifted off his chair and paraded down the hall of the dormitory."

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