Some superstitious sailors believed they could "whistle for the wind" when becalmed but whistling was either discouraged or forbidden. The modern term "be careful what you wish for" means that you could get more then you bargained for i.e. more wind than you wanted. Whistling was also not allowed on Royal Navy ships as it could be confused with orders piped on the boatswain's whistle and you would be in big trouble for that. Whistle up, in, down and for all mean the same thing.
By SailingQuiz October 2019 Category: Nautical Saying
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