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Old 08-05-2016, 19:45   #1
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Words & Phrased And Their Nautical Origins

Hello CF,

I'm always fascinated when I learn that an everyday word or phrase began it's life as a nautical term and what that definition was.

Here's a couple that I know:

A square meal.....It got it's start on board ships because in order to utilize the galley storage space as efficiently as possible, plates were made square instead of round so there was no wasted space in between.

The Head.....Long before their were bathrooms on board, the sailors (all men) would go forward and relieve themselves on either side of the bowsprit, just above the part of the hull in which the decorative carved figurehead was mounted.

Without just looking on line, what are some of the words or terms that you know of that have a nautical history?

Jeff
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Old 08-05-2016, 21:25   #2
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Re: Words & Phrased And Their Nautical Origins

1 out of 2 ain't bad

World Wide Words: Square meal
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Old 08-05-2016, 21:47   #3
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Re: Words & Phrased And Their Nautical Origins

[QUOTE=StuM;2115921]1 out of 2 ain't bad

World Wide Words: Square meal[/QUOTE

I'm surprised that your contribution didn't include a grammar critique

From your WWW link:

Sailors used to eat off wooden boards; these were square in shape and were usually not filled with food. However, after a heavy watch the sailors were given a large meal which filled the board — a square meal.
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Old 08-05-2016, 21:54   #4
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Re: Words & Phrased And Their Nautical Origins

[QUOTE=Mikado;2115926]
Quote:
Originally Posted by StuM View Post
1 out of 2 ain't bad

World Wide Words: Square meal[/QUOTE

I'm surprised that your contribution didn't include a grammar critique

From your WWW link:

Sailors used to eat off wooden boards; these were square in shape and were usually not filled with food. However, after a heavy watch the sailors were given a large meal which filled the board — a square meal.
That's called quote mining

To put it into context, immediately before your quote it says:
"leads many amateur etymologisers towards origins based on a literal reading of the words:"

And it follows those spurious origins with:
"Wonderful stuff. Rubbish, of course, but entertaining rubbish.
...
We know that square meal was originally American. Early examples seem to have come out of miners’ slang from the western side of the country."



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