King Over the Water

(The). The Young Pretender, or Chevalier Charles Edward.

“My father so far compromised his loyalty as to announce merely `The king,' as his first toast after dinner, instead of the emphatic `King George.' ... Our guest made a motion with his glass, so as to pass it over the water-decanter which stood beside him, and added, `Over the water.”' —Sir W. Scott: Redgauntlet, letter v.

Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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