(Grateful thanks to Keith for producing the opening sentence.)
Much surely should have been written about what exactly did Mary, Queen of Scots, say when the first stroke of the axe missed her neck and hit her on the back of the head. Of course, the second blow severed the neck, except for a small bit of sinew, which the executioner cut through using the axe.
There have been, or should have been, many theories as to what she intended to say. All that was passed down verbally was that she was heard to utter OW! when the first blow of the axe struck.
Some claim that what she was intending to say was a quotation from a psalm: “OUr days are no more than a watch in the night.” Others say it was to confess to wearing a wig: “OUr hair is not our own.” Still others maintain that she was going to say something in French, which certainly confirms her guilt in all matters.
But a British Lord has come up with a novel explanation. She simply intended to say said “Ouch!” I mean, who wouldn’t?