A possible insight into "posh."

Evan Morris words1 at WORD-DETECTIVE.COM
Fri Sep 11 03:36:06 UTC 2009

No, because you still need to watch ahead for traffic, and even at night
oncoming ships/boats should have a bow light.  The channel markers just
tell you where the water is clear, deep enough, and free of moored
boats, etc.   You were responsible for keeping oncoming traffic to your
port side.

All of which didn't prevent coming back into the harbor late on a
Saturday night a dicey proposition, given how many weekend boaters had
spent the day drinking.

Dave Hause wrote:
> But if the red channel markers are to port on the outbound leg and to
> starboard on the return, doesn't that set up head-on collisions?
> Dave Hause, dwhause at jobe.net
> Waynesville, MO
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: Evan Morris
> One of the things we learned was the phrase "Red, Right, Return," meaning
> that it was essential to keep the red channel markers on your right
> (starboard) side when returning to the harbor.  "Port Out, Starboard Home"
> would be exactly equivalent if the implicit reference were to the red
> channel markers, and indeed this very phrase seems to be taught in some
> places -- often in the mnemonic acronym "posh" -- to novice sailors.  It
> seems that this might be the "missing link" that inspired a seagoing
> explanation for "posh" in the first place.
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

Evan Morris
words1 at word-detective.com

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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