Sailor Speak of the Week – Deep Six

Definition

Verb

  • (slang) To toss something overboard.

Noun

  • The leadsman’s report of a depth of six fathoms.

Origin

Unknown. 18th century.

Comments

Perhaps a bit of an older slang term. A more common term nowadays is “float check.” As in, “Chief Smith is coming around for inspection! Deep Six/Float Check your contraband!”

References

Rogers, J.G. (1985). Origins of Sea Terms. Mystic, CT: Mystic Seaport Museum.

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