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In Britian, a sailor who was kidnapped by a Press Gang for military service was said to have been impressed. The British Navy was often short of men to man their ships of war. They would muster a 'press gang' and take a trip into the seedier parts of ports. There they would 'impress' man to work on the ship. It was basically a matter of kidnapping. If they were lucky, they got seasoned sailors from merchant ships, or past service in the Navy. Sometimes they got bums that didn't have a clue what to do on a ship and had to be taught the ropes.

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Q: What is an impressed sailor?
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