6 Commonly Used Sailor Phrases & The OriginsBy Travis Mackin
San Francisco Maritime National Park Association
1) A1 originates from the late 17th century when insurance firms would rate the hull and gear of a merchant ship as being the highest quality.
2) Touch and go originates from when ships would make short stays in a port while traveling to their destination.
3) Know the ropes comes from learning the names and uses of the hundreds of lines a sailor would have to be familiar with to be considered an old salt.
4) Walk the chalk originates from when sailors would have to walk a line of chalk on the deck of a ship to prove their sobriety.
5) Under the weather comes from when crashing waves and bad weather would hit under the bow of a ship.
6) Fits the bill refers to when a ship’s cargo matched the bill of landing, or list of goods supposed to be on the ship upon delivery.