Stuck in the mud and stranded

Here is a final selection of everyday words and phrases we use which originate in our rich history of connection with the sea. With nowhere in these islands being further than seventy miles from the sea, it is not surprising that so much common vocabulary originates from life on board boats and ships.

  • Over a barrel
  • Overhaul
  • Over-reach
  • Passed with flying colours
  • Pipe down
  • Plumb the depths
  • Push the boat out
  • Sailing too close to the wind
  • Scraping the bottom of the barrel
  • Scuttle
  • Shape up
  • Ship shape
  • Snub
  • Sound off
  • Square meal
  • Stem the tide
  • Stick in the mud
  • Stranded
  • Take someone down a peg or two
  • Take the wind out of his sails
  • Taken aback
  • Three sheets to the wind
  • Try a new tack:
  • Under the weather
  • Under way
  • Wash out
  • Weather the storm
  • Whole nine yards
  • Windfall
  • Zig-zag


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