Sailor Speak of the Week – Come About

Definition

Verb

  • To change course by tacking (in a sailing craft).
  • To change direction.

Origin

16th century.

Comments

Originally, this referred to a shift in the direction of the wind. When fore-and-aft rigged vessels became more common, the meaning changed to refer to the vessel tacking through the wind.

References

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

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