Fathom out

What does "Fathom out" mean?

Today it means: To work it out, to get to know how it works.

A fathom is the distance between the outstretched arms of a tall mane from middle finger on one hand to middle finger on the other hand. About six feet. To fathom out is to measure something and for sailors that usually means the depth of water. This was done by swinging a lead weight on the end of a knotted rope (swinging the lead) and dropping it into the sea to get the depth.

See also: Swinging the lead  and: A fathom 

By SailingQuiz November 2019   Category: Nautical Saying              



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