The sea has contributed countless words, expressions and concepts to mainstream English. We seldom reflect upon their oceangoing origin when we use such expressions as: all in the same boat, blow over, crabby, don't give up the ship, down the hatch, getting the drift, happy as a clam, keel over, like a fish out of water, making headway, navy blue, small fry, the coast is clear, go off the deep end, take the wind out of his sails, or wide berth. Other expressions with less obvious nautical roots include:

These nautical sayings come from the Smithsonian Institution's Ocean Planet exhibition and from the book Ocean Planet: Writings and Images of the Sea, by Peter Benchley and Judith Gradwohl (published by Harry N. Abrams Inc., 100 5th Ave., New York, N.Y. 10011)

More Information:

Ocean Planet Exhibition Floorplan

gene carl feldman (gene@seawifs.gsfc.nasa.gov) (301) 286-9428

Judith Gradwohl, Smithsonian Institution (Curator/Ocean Planet)