We hear the terms, steer
clear of, bit the deck, don't rock the boat, to harbour a
grudge and the like, and give little thought to their nautical origin. Thos
alphabetical 'handbook' is written to be entertaining as well as informative, to give a
flavour of these interesting times from the 15th to the 18th centuries, when pirates
controlled many sea lanes.
Just A-B section following, the reader will find the origin
of country 'bumpkin', a 'brace of shakes', 'born with a silver spoon',
'booby prize', 'to take on board', 'above board', 'bombed'
(in the sense of being drunk), the 'blues', 'blind-side', 'blind
drunk', 'the pot calling the kettle back', 'reach the bitter end',
'wasters' (in the sense of people being useless), 'ahoy', 'all at
sea', 'to keep aloof', 'piss-artist', 'taken aback', 'barbecue'
and 'bamboozle'. Other colourful terms which have passed out of common usage,
such as 'bring one's arse to anchor' (sit down), 'belly timber' (food),
and 'bog orange' (potato) are also included, as well as important pirate haunts
and technical terms.
Glyndŵr Publishing (Wales Books)