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Old 16-09-2019, 16:34   #1
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Sailing Idioms

Hi,

I'm working on a project that involves sailing idioms. You know, like "three sheets to the wind."

Would love some input from the sailing community on some sailing idioms.

Thank you,

Chris
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Old 16-09-2019, 16:43   #2
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Re: Sailing Idioms

I tend to find more idiots on power boats than on sailboats. Ask stinkpotters before windjammers.
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Old 16-09-2019, 16:43   #3
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Re: Sailing Idioms

"Hunky-dory" A way of saying that something is perfect or just fine.
Believed to have been invented by American sailors who used it to describe a particular street in Japan called Honcho-dori. This street was known to lonely sailors for the services it provided.
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Old 16-09-2019, 16:50   #4
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Re: Sailing Idioms

One hand for you, one hand for the boat.
Also, lookup the derivation of Horny, to go along with Gords post.
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Old 16-09-2019, 21:21   #5
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Re: Sailing Idioms

I'm told "Strike while the iron is hot", has to do with caulking on old sailing ships, not blacksmithing.

"Three sheets to the wind," meaning out of control.
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Old 17-09-2019, 08:45   #6
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Re: Sailing Idioms

I've heard "and the devil to pay" has to do with caulking seams in wooden boats.

I heard "walk the plank" the other day, I was surprised it was still in use.
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Old 26-09-2019, 19:48   #7
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Re: Sailing Idioms

Cold enough to freeze the balls off a brass monkey
-from the cold weather causing the cannon balls to shrink in size causing the stack to collapse



Shiver me timbers
-when a mast would get hit with cannon fire and send splinters about
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Old 27-09-2019, 02:55   #8
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Re: Sailing Idioms

https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/brass-monkeyshines/


"Somebody’s fanciful imagination is at work cooking up spurious etymologies again. In short, this origin for the phrase “cold enough to freeze the balls off a brass monkey” is nonsense because:
..."

And more from my go-to site for all things linguistic
http://www.worldwidewords.org/qa/qa-bra1.htm
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Old 27-09-2019, 03:25   #9
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Re: Sailing Idioms

Keep a weather eye on...
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Old 27-09-2019, 05:00   #10
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Re: Sailing Idioms

Your best source would be CANOE (Committee to Attribute a Nautical Origin to Everything), but they are difficult to get in touch with. In fact, most sources will tell you that they are a fictional or mythical organization because, well, that's what we want them to think.


Failing that, this looks like a pretty good source -


https://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/...l-phrases.html
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Old 27-09-2019, 05:32   #11
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Re: Sailing Idioms

Quote:
Originally Posted by JPA Cate View Post
I'm told "Strike while the iron is hot", has to do with caulking on old sailing ships, not blacksmithing.

..........
Can you elaborate on this please Ann; it sounds totally implausible to me but I'm happy to be educated.

I'm not aware of any heat required when caulking seams yet it is a requirement to have the iron hot enough to hammer when blacksmithing.

Curious...
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Old 27-09-2019, 06:18   #12
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Re: Sailing Idioms

KENYA EARLY 1960S.


Africans applying for a job would often provide references from previous employers. If the reference was in red ink it meant that the applicant should not be employed. The best reference that I ever saw was something like this.


Njeroge is a cook. He sleeps well. Give him a wide berth.
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Old 27-09-2019, 06:33   #13
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Re: Sailing Idioms

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wotname View Post
Can you elaborate on this please Ann; it sounds totally implausible to me but I'm happy to be educated.

I'm not aware of any heat required when caulking seams yet it is a requirement to have the iron hot enough to hammer when blacksmithing.

Curious...

The full phrase is "There's the devil to pay and no pitch hot." It does have a nautical connection to closing the seams of a wooden boat, although that was not the origin of the first part of it. See https://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/devil-to-pay.html

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Old 27-09-2019, 06:47   #14
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Re: Sailing Idioms

two for one....

A loggerhead was a big chunk of iron, like a cannonball, with a long handle.
They were used by putting them into a fire to get them hot, then dunked into tar to heat the tar. The tar was then used along with flax or whatever, to make a caulk, which was driven into the ship's seams with a caulking iron.

I believe the term strike while the iron's hot has to do with getting the job done while the tar was still warm (the iron (loggerhead) was hot.

An additional term 'at loggerheads' which these days means at opposite sides of an argument, back then meant fighting with those loggerheads.
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Old 27-09-2019, 07:00   #15
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Re: Sailing Idioms

here's some more -

3 sheets to the wind - completely wacked out, drunk....used to mean all 3 masts sheets were lose - not in control

by and large - all around good sailing boat (did well both by the wind and large (downwind)
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