HOOP. To run the hoop; an ancient marine custom. Four
or more boys having their left hands tied fast to an iron
hoop, and each of them a rope, called a nettle, in their
right, being naked to the waist, wait the signal to begin:
this being made by a stroke with a cat of nine tails, given
by the boatswain to one of the boys, he strikes the boy before
him, and every one does the same: at first the blows are
but gently administered; but each irritated by the strokes
from the boy behind him, at length lays it on in earnest.
This was anciently practised when a ship was wind-bound.