Interesting Sailing Phrases

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Interesting Sailing Phrases

Post by Tsatzsue » Thu Mar 10, 2016 11:38 am

Bamboozle:From the 17th century, it described the Spanish custom of hoisting false flags to deceive (bamboozle) enemies. Today if one intentionally deceives someone, they are said to have bamboozled them.

Tsatzsue
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Re: Interesting Sailing Phrases

Post by Tsatzsue » Fri Mar 11, 2016 9:18 am

Cup of Joe: From American Navy lore. Josephus Daniels (1862- 1948) was appointed Secretary of the Navy by President Woodrow Wilson in 1913. During his time as Secretary of the Navy, "Joe" Daniels abolished the officers' wine, after which the strongest drink aboard Navy ships was coffee. A cup of coffee became known as "a cup of Joe".

Tsatzsue
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Re: Interesting Sailing Phrases

Post by Tsatzsue » Fri Mar 11, 2016 2:31 pm

Dressed to the nines: To celebrate victories, a returning ship would approach her home waters or port "dressed" in bunting and flags. As many of the crew as possible would line up on the nine primary yards as a salute to their monarch. Today the expression is often used to describe a person who is dressed in fancy clothing.

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Re: Interesting Sailing Phrases

Post by Tsatzsue » Mon Mar 14, 2016 11:39 am

Footloose and Footloose and Fancy-Free: The word comes from the term for the bottom of the sail that is known as the foot of the sail which must be attached to the boom. If it is not properly attached it may become footloose causing the vessel not to sail properly. Footloose and fancy-free have come to mean someone acting without commitment.

Tsatzsue
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Re: Interesting Sailing Phrases

Post by Tsatzsue » Tue Mar 15, 2016 7:38 am

Son of a gun: This expression comes from the term for children conceived on the gun decks of a ship. When in port, women were often brought on board. Since the sailors had no private quarters, they would sling hammocks between the guns or cannons for their liaasons. Today the expression 'son of a gun' is used as an expression of surprise.
Ken B
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Tsatzsue
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Re: Interesting Sailing Phrases

Post by Tsatzsue » Wed Mar 16, 2016 8:51 am

Bigwigs: Senior officers in the English Navy were known as "bigwigs" because they wore huge wigs. Bigwig officers aboard ships were often disliked. Today it is still used to refer to the most important person in a group or undertaking and is often used in a derogatory manner.

Tsatzsue
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Re: Interesting Sailing Phrases

Post by Tsatzsue » Thu Mar 17, 2016 6:31 am

Fathom: This was originally a land measuring term derived from the Anglo-Saxon word 'fætm' meaning the embracing arms, or to embrace. In those days, most measurements were based on average sizes of parts of the body. A fathom is the average distance from fingertip to fingertip of the outstretched arms of a six-foot tall man hence six feet.

Tsatzsue
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Re: Interesting Sailing Phrases

Post by Tsatzsue » Fri Mar 18, 2016 6:45 am

Letting the Cat out of the bag: This term comes from the old naval punishment of being whipped with a "cat o' nine tails." The whip was kept in a leather bag and when the sailors "let the Cat out of the bag" they had usually done something that would result in punishment. The term is used today to mean that someone has said something that was not to be said or revealed a secret.

Tsatzsue
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Re: Interesting Sailing Phrases

Post by Tsatzsue » Mon Mar 21, 2016 7:12 am

Mind your P's and Q's: Sailors would get credit at the taverns in port until they were paid. The barman would keep a record of their drinks on a chalkboard behind the bar. A mark was made under "P" for pint or "Q" for quart. On payday, the sailors were liable for each mark next to his name, so he was forced to "mind his P's and Q's." Today the term means to remain well behaved.

Tsatzsue
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Re: Interesting Sailing Phrases

Post by Tsatzsue » Tue Mar 22, 2016 8:36 am

Showing your true colors: This is an expression which originated from the old warship custom of having flags from many places available onboard to deceive a potential enemy. Showing your true colors meant to use the ship's correct flag. The expression now means much the same-- to reveal one's true intentions.

ken B.
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Tsatzsue
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Re: Interesting Sailing Phrases

Post by Tsatzsue » Thu Mar 24, 2016 9:18 am

All sewn up: Dead sailors were "all sewn up" in a bit of canvas with a weight attached to make sure that the corpse sank deep in the water. Today this expression is used to describe something that is "all done" or completed.

Ken B Cmdre - NETS

Tsatzsue
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Re: Interesting Sailing Phrases

Post by Tsatzsue » Fri Mar 25, 2016 6:17 am

Barge in: The word barge refers to the more common, flat-bottomed workboat which is hard to maneuver and difficult to control. They would bump and bang into other boats thus the term . . . "barge in."

Ken B
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Tsatzsue
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Re: Interesting Sailing Phrases

Post by Tsatzsue » Mon Mar 28, 2016 6:30 am

Abreast: Meaning along side the beam of a ship. Now a common expression, "keeping abreast of a situation" means staying in touch with or keeping up with.

Ken B.
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Tsatzsue
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Re: Interesting Sailing Phrases

Post by Tsatzsue » Tue Mar 29, 2016 3:24 pm

Bite the bullet: To bravely face up to something unpleasant, one is said to "bite the bullet". This originated from the practice of giving sailors and soldiers a bullet to bite during amputations or other surgery before the use of anesthetics.

Ken B.
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Tsatzsue
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Re: Interesting Sailing Phrases

Post by Tsatzsue » Wed Mar 30, 2016 9:24 am

Dutch treat or going Dutch: This means sharing the expenses. The expression, intended to be negative, originated as a result of the hostility between the British and the Dutch during the 17th and 18th centuries during which there were trade disputes, shipping embargoes as well as war.

Ken B
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Tsatzsue
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Re: Interesting Sailing Phrases

Post by Tsatzsue » Thu Mar 31, 2016 3:44 pm

Bear down: To approach something from upwind, to bear down is to sail fast, often towards the enemy in a threatening manner. Today to bear down is still used to describe "making a rush at", as well as exert strength or pressure upon something or to pay special attention in some situation.

Ken B
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Tsatzsue
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Re: Interesting Sailing Phrases

Post by Tsatzsue » Fri Apr 01, 2016 6:33 am

Freeze the balls off a brass monkey: Cannon balls where piled on deck beside the cannon, pyramid fashion, and retained in a brass monkey or ring. If the weather was very cold the brass ring would contract faster than the iron cannon balls thus causing some of them to topple. From this, the expression was, and is today, used to describe something which is very cold.

Tsatzsue
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Re: Interesting Sailing Phrases

Post by Tsatzsue » Wed Apr 06, 2016 6:31 am

Abreast: Meaning along side the beam of a ship. Now a common expression, "keeping abreast of a situation" means staying in touch with or keeping up with.

Ken B
Cmdre - NETS

Tsatzsue
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Re: Interesting Sailing Phrases

Post by Tsatzsue » Fri Apr 08, 2016 6:28 am

Fudge (as used in expressions like "fudging the books"): This expression is believed to come from a Captain Fudge, also known as "Lying Fudge" who was a notorious liar in the 17th Century.

Ken B
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Tsatzsue
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Re: Interesting Sailing Phrases

Post by Tsatzsue » Mon Apr 11, 2016 10:32 am

As the crow flies:. The most direct route from one place to another without detours. Before modern navigational systems existed, British vessels customarily carried a cage of crows. These birds fly straight to the nearest land when released at sea thus indicating the direction of the nearest land was.

Ken B.
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