Sailor Speak of the Week – Lash



  • To tie something securely.


16th Century. From Middle English, lasche, meaning to tie. Possibly from Old French, as well.


To lash is another verb that has more or less entered common usage. When you’re told to lash something, then you better tie it well, lest it goes adrift. Be careful with the context as lash can also mean punishment. As in, getting 20 lashes with the cat o’ nine tails during a flogging (ouch!). Thankfully, we live in more modern times. “Whipping” generally refers to the binding at the end of a line to prevent fraying.


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

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