The sun is over the yardarm

What does "The sun is over the yardarm" mean?

Today it means: Time for a drink.

A "yardarm" is the piece of wood that would hold out the sail on old square rigged sailing ships. The Captain would sometimes observe the position of the sun from where he stood on board ship and , if the crew had done well in something, reward them all with a drink. The yardarm in question would usually be the main yardarm which was more or less a-midships and therefore the sun would need to be quite high in the sky to get over it; usually around midday.

See also: Splice the mainbrace   

By SailingQuiz November 2019   Category: Nautical Saying              



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There are 423 other nautical phrases, sayings and sailing terms listed on this website today. "The sun is over the yardarm" is just one of them. Many have been around for years and have entered our everyday use; but do you know what they mean and where they came from? This is where you find out.

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