Sailor Speak of the Week – ‘Vast



  • An aphetic of avast, meaning to hold, stop, or cease.


Probably earlier than the 17th Century. From Old Dutch, hou’vest, and possibly related to the Portuguese word, abasta, meaning, enough. Earlier origins could be from Arabic as well.


Same as the word avast, but just a shortened form.


King, D., Hattendorf, J.B, & Estes, J.W. (1997). A Sea of Words: A Lexicon and Companion for Patrick O’Brian’s Seafaring Tales (2nd Ed.). Owl Books.

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

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