It’s been a long time since I’ve served up the meaning of a well-known phrase or saying, especially one with the kind of nautical flavour I know you all love. Well, thanks to a chocolate chip cookie the show is back on the road.
Before I continue, a note to Brits: chocolate chip cookies are the only instance where ‘cookie’ is allowed. We eat biscuits, not cookies, and I have photographic evidence
Where was I? Ah, the nautical saying. The inspiration for this one came when I visited my favourite cafe, where I take my laptop to write most days. For some reason that day I was in need of a bit of extra energy. The staff know me quite well by now, especially that I usually just order a pot of tea; so when I also asked for one of those big cookies I felt the need to add a few words of explanation.
My mind working the way it does I immediately fell to wondering what on earth the phrase I unthinkingly used had to do with buying cookies, so I did a little research. The term seems to have originated among fishermen with small boats which are beached when not in use. They would help each other to launch their craft at the start of the day. It was adopted in naval circles and came to mean being generous in general, especially buying a round of drinks. Nowadays it is more often used to mean treating oneself as well or others, and also implies spending a bit more than you might normally do. It is of course…
Pushing the boat out!