Whether you remember this quote from the movie Failure to Launch with Sarah Jessica Parker or the yar comments from Philadelphia Story with Katherine Hepburn, you have to admit it’s a great word. Learning nautical terms can be fun and you may get a kick out of blowing away the know-it-all on your next cruising trip with your new found knowledge.
Yar is an old term that makes one think of rich New England aristocracy ala Kate Hepburn in Philadelphia Story. Philadelphia Story a great old movie of amazing words and this one’s unique. Yar refers to a responsive, lively or level boat. It is an old term not really used anymore, but it does sound impressive!
Brightwork is another term taken from the same conversation in Philadelphia Story. It refers to the exposed metal that Tracy, Hepburn’s character shined. In some yachting sets it may actually refer to shining woodwork instead. Can’t you see yourself sipping a martini and referring to making the brightwork shine?
When someone is telling a tall tale, you can refer to them as “swinging the lamp”. On old ships a lamp would be hanging in the evening when crew members would be telling stories. Exaggerations were often said to be ‘swinging the lamp’. I am not sure this comment will garner a vision of some amazing yacht, but it will start a conversation.
It is amazing how many old sailing terms are used in everyday language today. Pipe down refers to a signal blown at the end of the day for the crew to stop smoking, put lights off and silence from the crew. Being pooped refers to exhaustion from a high sea having reached the poop deck, a high deck on the aft portion of the ship.
Have fun with current and old nautical terms! Yarr(acknowledgement or agreement)!