Sailor Speak of the Week – Veer

Definition

Verb

  1. To run out a line.
  2. To change course.
  3. (of the wind in the northern hemisphere) To change direction in the clockwise fashion.

Origin

(Def. 1) 15th century from Middle English, vieren, meaning to let out or slacken. (Def. 2) 16th century from Latin, vertere, and then Old French, virer, meaning to turn. (Def. 3) Probably earlier than the 17th century, also from Old French, virer.

Comments

Nowadays mostly heard in reference to veering off course.

References

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

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