Q: "ship of the desert"

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Tue Nov 12 01:41:47 UTC 2013

On Nov 11, 2013, at 4:26 PM, Joel S. Berson wrote:

> Is anyone interested in trying to trace "ship of
> the desert" (or closely similar)?  I am hoping
> for something back to at least 1735.  It was
> apparently used in print in 1782, and early uses
> from then on into the 1830s hint that the
> expression may have been well
> known.  Additionally, the expression was used and
> I suppose common in Arabic writings; how early it
> may have come from such sources, printed or oral,
> to England or the Continent (esp. Holland) I do not know.

Wonder if the more landlocked Arabs referred to ships as "camel(s) of the sea".  Not to be confused with "chicken of the sea".


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