This comes from the French estanche which means watertight. In nautical terms a staunch ship is one that is watertight and seaworthy.As a verb it means "to stop the flow of liquid" and so ties in neatly with the reference to being watertight.
By SailingQuiz October 2019 Category: Nautical Saying
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What does Staunch mean?
What is the nautical origin of the phrase "Staunch"?
Definition of the nautical phrase "Staunch".