Sailor Speak of the Week – Flank Speed

Definition

Noun

  • Maximum possible speed.

Origin

Modern. Circa WWI. American English.

Comments

Likely originated with destroyers around the time of WWI or earlier. It refers to the speed required to get the ship into a new position in a formation or a convoy in the shortest possible time. It can also refer to the speed required to outflank enemy ships.

References

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

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