C.A.N.O.E.
202206161612-canoe

I've become increasingly aware of the C.A.N.O.E. since the first time I stepped aboard a sailboat: the Committee to Ascribe Nautical Origins to Everything. It's inescapable. Here's a running list of examples why:

  • All hands
  • On deck
  • On board
  • Three sheets to the wind
  • Masthead (journalism)
  • Change tack
  • Learn the ropes (though we call them lines...)
  • Headwinds, tailwinds
  • Jury-rigged
  • Take the wind out of someone's sails
  • A shot across the bow
  • In shipshape
  • Rats abandoning a sinking ship
  • Run a tight ship
  • Two ships passing in the night
  • In the same boat
  • Flotsam and jetsam
  • In the doldrums
  • Tide over
  • Give a wide berth
  • Lost its mooring/rudder
  • Drifting rudderless
  • Take the helm
  • Keel over
  • Room to swing a cat
  • Loose cannon
  • Run aground
  • Sea change
  • Fathom
  • Sound out
  • Chart a new course
  • Right to the bitter end
  • Jump ship
  • Slush fund
  • Lanyard
  • Get underway (or, under weigh - disputed)
  • Sailing close to the wind (but shouldn't this be "sailing by the lee"?)
  • Smooth/Plain sailing
  • Mutiny
  • Stem the tide
  • Rock the boat
  • Batten down the hatches
  • Becalmed
  • (A)head-way
  • Leeway
  • Flagship
  • *-naut (naut─ôs: sailor)
  • Taken aback
  • By and large
  • Cut and run
  • Groggy
  • Hand over fist
  • Hard and fast
  • High and dry
  • Chock-a-block
  • In the offing
  • Land-lubber
  • Pipe down
  • Above board
  • (Flag flying at) Half-mast
  • Careen (via Carina)
  • Carina (Latin: keel of a ship)
  • Lifeline
  • Overbearing
  • Bear down / up
  • Dead in the water
  • Dressing down
  • Overhaul
  • Garbled
  • Get a word in edgeways
  • Filibuster
  • Pooped
  • Poop deck
  • Turn a blind eye
  • I see no ships
  • You scratch my back and I'll scratch yours
  • Hard up
  • Scuttlebutt
  • Hail from
  • Clean bill of health
  • Fall foul of
  • The devil to pay, and no pitch hot
  • Between the devil and the deep blue sea
  • The whole nine yards1. disputed; cf wiki: 'Its origin is unknown and has been described by Yale University librarian Fred R. Shapiro as "the most prominent etymological riddle of our time".'
  • Copper-bottomed
  • Show your true colours
  • Son of a gun
  • Laid-up
  • On the beam ends

References