Salty Dog Talk: The Nautical Origins of Everyday Expressions


A charming etymology for all salty-minded people. Explains the fascinating ship-board beginnings of over 200 words and expressions, with the author's own delightful cartoons.
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Salty Dog Talk: The Nautical Origins of Everyday Expressions

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A charming etymology for all salty-minded people. Explains the fascinating ship-board beginnings of over 200 words and expressions, with the author's own delightful cartoons.
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Editorial Reviews

Soundings: An Interdisciplinary Journal
Those interested in word etymology might be surprised to find that some common English phrases have nautical origin. In Bill Beavis and Richard McCloskey's Salty Dog Talk, the origins of such expressions as no room to swing a cat (referring to either lack of flogging room, lack of room for a sailing collier to swing at anchor, or a derivation of cot, a sailor's name for his hammock) are discussed, supplemented by Beavis' whimsical cartoons. The pocket-sized book contains more than 20 phrases and describes how they came ashore.

Bill Beavis was a seaman turned journalist, and Richard McCloskey is a marine historian.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781574092585
  • Publisher: Sheridan House, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 8/28/2007
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 96
  • Sales rank: 1,381,786
  • Product dimensions: 4.80 (w) x 7.50 (h) x 0.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Bill Beavis was a seaman turned journalist who had long been interested in nautical etymology. He died a number of years ago. Richard McCloskey is a distinguished American marine historian.

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 14, 2003

    Enlightening, light and enjoyable

    I never knew all of those expressions had nautical roots. This light-reference book is enjoyable to scim though. After reading it, I must try to avoid being the pest who interupts conversations by saying something like 'Ya know, that expression originated from the Polynesian sailors who....' This cute little book will reside on the table at our seaside cabin.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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