How the winged expression "seven feet under the keel" appeared and what the winged expression "seven feet under the keel" meant

History, Travel 04.08.2020

It is well known that different professions have their own specific expressions, and whole turns. Often, in the opinion of the uninitiated, it sounds, sometimes, superstitious. And as a result of use for many years or even centuries, they become idioms, that is - sustainable expressions. This applies to the wish of "seven feet under the keel" of sailors. What it means, when it originated and in what cases it is used - let's look below.

What is the essence of the expression "seven feet under the keel"

Let's take the dictionary of S.I. Ozhegov. In it we read that this expression is purely naval and means - a farewell to a safe voyage. What is considered important in the fleet, given the unpredictable nature of the sea, with its storms and typhoons. Often these phenomena of nature are able to ask sailors for a very high price - the life of the crew and the ship.

One version of the origin of this expression

There are many versions of the origin of this expression. We're going to reopen a dictionary. Where we learn that foot is a measure of length. And the British still use the foot. It was used in Russia, too, until they switched to a metric system of measures. 

There's a foot left as a measure, and the Navy. It is equal to 30 cm and 48 mm. Now about what is a keel. Kiel is the backbone of the ship's hull. It used to be a wooden beam, to which the transverse span putts were attached. From the nose keel passed into the forehand, from the stern ended the steering wheel. In the sailing fleet, walking on the seas was a very dangerous occupation and completely depended on the direction and strength of the wind.

This forced the captains to hold the ship closer to the shores. But there was another deadly danger for the crew - shallows and reefs. Fortunately, the precipitation of those ships was about two meters. So, and under the keel should have been, for safe swimming, at least two meters. That is - the same seven feet.

Similar expressions

Expressing the wishes of "seven feet under the keel" is not the only thing for sailors when they go to sea. There is also such - "the tail wind!" That too has its roots in the days of sailboats. And it is also used quite often in our time. Of course, it expresses the same concern for the welfare of the crew members. In addition, the well-established turns of the wishes of the unhindered path include: "in a good way!", "happy road!" and many others.

When winged expressions are used

The answer to this question lies on the surface, but still repeat. Walking on the seas, or as civilians say - swimming - carries considerable and serious dangers. There are a lot of them on the sea routes. It's ferocious storms, eerie pitching, sharp reefs and treacherous shoals.

Therefore, the wish of "seven feet under the keel" never loses its popularity. It is often used in books on marine subjects.

The media also use this winged expression in comments and essays. The Internet does not want to lag behind and, this expression we often hear from the mouth of bloggers, firsthand familiar with the sea.

However, it is not only in the sphere of the sea related to the expression "seven feet under the keel". Even in everyday life, to wish a successful trip, let's say just to the cottage, too, with pleasure use this navy turnover. And we, for our part, at the end of the article, wish the reader always in life - not less than seven feet!

Leave a Comment