Sailor Speak of the Week – Roaring Forties

The Roaring Forties (red band) with the Furious Fifties (purple band) beneath it. The red line indicates a clipper route taken from England to Australia and New Zealand.

Definition

Noun

  • A band of latitude from 40 – 50 degrees South.

Origin

17th century.

Comments

The Roaring Forties, Furious Fifties, and even Screaming Sixties are bands of latitude in the southern hemisphere known for their high westerly winds. The reason for this is because there are few large continental landmasses to impede the wind as it blows around Antarctica.

References

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

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