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11 June 2006

Nautical Terminology #1: Toe the Line

Did you know that dressing down, over a barrel, under the weather, three sheets to the wind and footloose are all nautical terms?* This week I'm going to geek out procrastinate explore my love of etymology.

Toe the line
At parade, sailors and soldiers were required to stand in line, their toes in line with a seam of the deck.


*not to mention cut of his jib, taken aback, square meal, rummage sale, pipe down, in the offing, know the ropes, cunt splice (yes, that was cunt splice) and pooped.

3 comments:

Justine Larbalestier said...

Just read Master and Commander where I came across the old cunt splice. What a relief to find out that it's a kind of knot . . .

canoe said...

All knots aside, cunt splice conjures up some pretty frightening imagery.

Mendacious Being said...

cunt splice is a knot that looks like, you guessed it, a vulva. Not gross or frightening, all vulvas are spliced.