Sailor Speak of the Week – Heave

Definition

Verb

  • To pull on a line.

Origin

Probably earlier than the 17th Century. From Anglo-Saxon hebban, to pull or heave.

Comments

Put your backs into it, Lads! A fairly common verb nowadays, but remember that square-rigged ships have many lines to control the sails. The concerted efforts of the crew and the boatswain’s mates in heaving these lines made the boat go forward.

References

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

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