Historically Speaking

Making sense of it all!

  • Archives

  • Pages

  • Subscribe

  • Meta

  • Advertisements

Know The Ropes

Posted by Elyse Bruce on February 24, 2010

It’s not surprising to learn that the language of an island nation with a rich maritime history has a number of idioms related to sailing.  The earliest recorded use of this phrase dates back to England and the 10th century.

New sailors signing on with a ship had to acquaint themselves with knot tying as well as handling the ropes for each individual sail on the ship.  The better a sailor knew to tie and handle the ropes, the more valuable he was to the captain.
In this way, it paid to ‘know the ropes’ and a smart man was the one who learned the ropes as quickly and as efficiently as possible. 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: