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Old 07-04-2006, 04:36   #1
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pirate History Lesson - Origin of Everyday Phrases

I am sure that the members of this forum can get an interesting thread going here that involves the origin of everyday phrases similar to those listed below. The ones I have listed are just a few that seem to have originated from the Bristish Navy.
Here some well known phrases which most of you have heard or said & are familiar with their origin;
1. Three squares a day
2. Cold enough to freeze the balls off a brass monkey(not as lewd as it sounds)
3. Three sheets to the wind
4. Son of a gun

OK guys, its your turn.
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Old 07-04-2006, 05:07   #2
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There is a great British naval story about the cannon balls and the brass monkey. It's about the difference of the coeficient of expansion of brass and iron. It's really a great story. The sicence of the story has one small flaw - it's the part that isn't true. The origin of te expression I've never really found but all the cannon ball stories are false.

It's amazing that the false stories are so much better.
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Old 07-04-2006, 09:42   #3
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This phrase does not have it's origin in the British Navy, but I just learnt the meaning earlier this week and thought I'd pass it on. I had never really thought about where this phrase could had started from. But here you go.

The phrase is: On cloud nine.
The origin is: Way back in the day when scientist or metoroligist were classifieing clouds they originally had 9 different classes. The 9th class was the highest class.......

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Old 07-04-2006, 14:16   #4
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Cumulonimbus clouds are designated code 9.
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Old 08-04-2006, 12:16   #5
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I don't know that this qualifies as a "phrase," but the old earring quip about "left is right and right is wrong" came from the whalers passing Cape Horn. If you passed west to east, you were with prevailing winds and currents and the cape was on your left. You pierced your ear to show that you were a Cape Horn veteran. The left ear was the "right" ear to have pierced. Some how or another it turned into a gay/straight thing.
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