THREE SHEETS TO THE WIND: NAUTICAL ORIGINS OF EVERYDAY EXPRESSIONS
Author: Cynthia Barrett, Illustrator Vail Barrett
Lyons Press, 180 pages, $16.95
'Tis the season. One of my editor's least favorite expressions, but quite appropriate for this time of year if you are getting ready to Batten Down the Hatches.
From A1 (a ship's insurance rating, not a steak sauce) to Your Number is Up (the admiral signals for the captain) book editor and avid Yankee sailor Cynthia Barrett chronicles the "inherited idiomatic nautical language" that adds so much spice to our language in "Three Sheets to the Wind."
Many, such as "loose cannon" and "know the ropes," are familiar to all. Others, such "footloose" and "pooped" need a bit more explanation. And a few, such as "knock off" and "between the devil and the deep blue sea" need a lot more.
So the next time you clear the decks, put on your glad rags, get cracking and flog a dead horse, but don't miss the boat; take this little volume along to keep everything squared away.
You can hear Lee Scott whistle for the wind on the St. Johns.
This article is written by Lee Scott For the Times-Union from The Florida Times-Union and was legally licensed via the Tribune Content Agency through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to email@example.com.