NAUTICAL PROVERBS AND EXPRESSIONS FROM AROUND THE GLOBE

Figurehead - Hong Kong Maritime Museum

Figurehead – Hong Kong Maritime Museum

If you can’t tie a knot, tie a lot.

Red sky in morning, sailor take warning. Red sky at night, sailor’s delight.

Below 50 degrees south, there is no law. Below 60 degrees south, there is no God.

Mackerel skies and mares tails, soon will be time to shorten sails.

When asked, “What news from the sea?” The fish replied “I have a lot to say, but my mouth is full of water.”

Sailing, the most expensive way to travel 3rd class. (OK, there can be some debate about it!)

Sunset in the Aegean Sea!

Sunset in the Aegean Sea!

A smooth sea never made a skilled mariner.

The boat sails by, the shore remains.

Big ships often sail on big debts.

One foot cannot stand on two boats.

Don’t build a new ship out of old wood.

It is good rowing with the sail set.

No matter how big the sea may be, sometimes two ships meet.

Raise your sail one foot and you get ten feet of wind.

Water can do without fishes, fishes cannot do without water.

The heart is but the beach beside the sea that is the world.

Lighthouse - Mystic

Lighthouse – Mystic

The water that a ship sails on is the same water that swallows it up.

Though all rivers flow into it, the sea never overflows.

The best pilots are ashore.

Better lose the anchor than the whole ship.

Don’t buy a boat that is under water.

All rivers do their best for the sea.

Hoist your sail when the wind is fair.

It is too late to learn to swim when the water is up to your lips.

After a big ship has rotted away, there still remain three thousand nails.

A ship on the beach is a lighthouse to the sea.

God will help a seaman in a storm but the pilot must still remain at the wheel.

It is the calm and silent water that drowns a man.

You can’t complain about the sea if you suffer shipwreck for the second time.

Don’t bargain for fish which are still in the water.

Follow the river and you will get to the sea.

After the ship has sunk, everyone knows how she might have been saved.

One should learn to sail in all winds.

HMS Bounty in Plymouth, MA; Aug 2012

HMS Bounty in Plymouth, MA; Aug 2012

Fear blows wind into your sails.

One cannot scoop up the ocean with a sea shell.

Too many hands will row the boat up a mountain.

Where there is fish, there is water.

There is no wind that blows right for the sailor who doesn’t know where the harbor is.

Do good and throw it in the sea.

A boat stands firmer with two anchors.

Not everything is a mermaid that dives into the water.

Once you have fallen into the water, you’re not scared of water any more.

Pray to God but continue to row to the shore.

Waves will rise on silent water.

In the ocean, one does not need to sow water.

When the sea is calm, every ship has a good captain.

Our passions are the winds that propel our vessel. Our reason is the pilot that steers her. Without winds the vessel would not move and without a pilot she would be lost.

Sailors have a port in every storm.

Salt water and absence wash away love.

A ship with two captains sinks.

The sea never buys fish.

Familiarity is like the sea that kills the fisherman.

ἄριστον μὲν ὕδωρ – Áriston mèn hýdōr. (“Greatest however [is] water” — Pindar, Olymp. 1, 1)

θάλαττα, θάλαττα – Thálatta, thálatta. (“The Sea! The Sea!“) Thalatta!Thalatta! from Xenophon‘s Anabasis. It was the shouting of joy when the roaming 10,000 Greeks saw Euxeinos Pontos (the Black Sea) from Mount Theches (Θήχης) in Armenia after participating in Cyrus the Younger’s failed march against Persian Empire in the year 401 BC.

ξύλινον τεῖχος – Xýlinon teîkhos (“Wooden defensive wall” – The “walls” of ships during the Persian Wars)

τῷ δὲ χρησμῷ πάλιν ἐδημαγώγει, λέγων μηδὲν ἄλλο δηλοῦσθαι ξύλινον τεῖχος ἢ τὰς ναῦς· διὸ καὶ τὴν Σαλαμῖνα θείαν, οὐχὶ δεινὴν οὐδὲ σχετλίαν καλεῖντὸν θεόν, ὡς εὐτυχήματος μεγάλου τοῖς Ἕλλησιν ἐπώνυμον ἐσομένην. κρατήσας δὲ τῇ γνώμῃ ψήφισμα γράφει, τὴν μὲν πόλιν παρακαταθέσθαι τῇ Ἀθηνᾷτῇ Ἀθηνάων μεδεούσῃ, τοὺς δ’ ἐν ἡλικίᾳ πάντας ἐμβαίνειν εἰς τὰς τριήρεις, παῖδας δὲ καὶ γυναῖκας καὶ ἀνδράποδα σώζειν ἕκαστον ὡς δυνατόν.

Morgenster - Hamburg

Morgenster – Hamburg

Images: Karatzas Marine Advisors & Co. © 2013 All rights reserved.

One thought on “NAUTICAL PROVERBS AND EXPRESSIONS FROM AROUND THE GLOBE

  1. Pingback: S&P, Newbuilding and Demolition Update (December 15th, 2013) | Karatzas Shipbrokers Register

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