Sailor Speak of the Week – Three Sheets to the Wind

Nothing new here.


Idiomatic adjective

  • A person who has over-imbibed.


18th century. Likely a corruption of “free sheets,” implying being careless. Sheets are another term for sails.


Simply put, someone who is inebriated. Drunk as a skunk. Sloshed to the gills. A fairly common expression nowadays, and one that has a nautical origin.


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

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