By and large

What does "By and large" mean?

Today it means: All things considered or generally speaking.

This saying goes back to the old days of square rigged sail. When the wind was "large" it was "abaft the beam" and deemed favourable and the large main sails could be used to their best effect. If the wind was "by" then it was a headwind and ahead of the beam and old sailing ships could not sail against the wind.

See also: Abaft the beam  and: Abeam 

By SailingQuiz November 2019   Category: Nautical Saying              

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