sailing with the captain

DID YOU KNOW that the term, “3 sheets to the wind”, a common euphemism for inebriation, has nautical origins? The good folks at offer this explanation:

“Taken from sailing a square-rigged sailboat; square sails had four sheets (the ropes attached to the corners of the sail) to control them. If one or even two sheets went “to the wind” (meaning flapping in the breeze and hard to retrieve) the boat was still quasi-controllable. However, if a third sheet was lost to the wind, you had no way to fill your sail and were essentially out of control.”

Now you know! Aaaarrrhhhgg!

– captain paul

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