Where does the name yard-arm come from?

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yard-arm (n.) also yardarm, 1550s, from yard (n.2) in the nautical sense (attested from Old English) + arm (n.1). In 19c. British naval custom, it was permissible to begin drinking when the sun was over the yard-arm.

Why is it called a yardarm?

This was originally a nautical expression: a yardarmis the outer extremity of a yard, a cylindrical spar slung across a ship’s mast for a sail to hang from. The time of day referred to is noon, rather than 6 o’clock in the evening, as is often supposed.

Where did the term yard come from?

But the yard was the original standard adopted by the early English sovereigns, and has been supposed to be founded upon the breadth of the chest of the Saxon race. The yard continued till the reign of Henry VII., when the ell was introduced, that being a yard and a quarter, or 45 inches. The ell was borrowed from the Paris drapers.

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What does’over the yard arm’mean?

It would appear that the whole “Over the Yard Arm” thing is an old naval joke, the condition always pertains, like “So long as your A### points down” it means it is always appropriate to have a rum.

Where did the expression the sun’s over the yardarm come from?

THE SUN’S OVER THE YARDARM. The expression is believed to have originated in the north Atlantic where the sun would rise above the upper mast spars (yards) of square sailed ships around 11am.


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More about Where does the name yard-arm come from?


1. yard-arm | Etymology, origin and meaning of yard-arm by …

yard-arm (n.) also yardarm, 1550s, from yard (n.2) in the nautical sense (attested from Old English) + arm (n.1). In 19c. British naval custom, it was permissible to begin drinking when the sun was over the yard-arm.

From www.etymonline.com

2. Yardarm Definition & Meaning – Merriam-Webster

Mar 27, 2022 · yardarm: [noun] either end of the yard of a square-rigged ship.

From www.merriam-webster.com

3. yard | Etymology, origin and meaning of yard by etymonline

yard-arm (n.) also yardarm, 1550s, from yard (n.2) in the nautical sense (attested from Old English) + arm (n.1). In 19c. British naval custom, it was permissible to begin drinking when the sun was over the yard-arm. *gher- (1) Proto-Indo-European root meaning “to grasp, enclose.”

From www.etymonline.com

5. Yardarm – definition of yardarm by The Free Dictionary

Noun. 1. yardarm – either end of the yard of a square-rigged ship. yard – a long horizontal spar tapered at the end and used to support and spread a square sail or lateen.

From www.thefreedictionary.com

6. Yardarm – Idioms by The Free Dictionary

Yardarm means either end of the outer portions of a square sail, and presumably this term alludes to the cocktail hour on a pleasure yacht, after the sun has begun to sink. It is used more in Britain than in America, where in fact it is dying out.

From idioms.thefreedictionary.com

7. SUN OVER THE YARDARM – origin – Harbour Guides

SUN OVER THE YARDARM – origin. The expression is believed to have originated in the north Atlantic where the sun would rise above the upper mast spars (yards) of square sailed ships around 11am. This coincided with the forenoon ‘stand easy’ when officers would go below and enjoy their first rum tot of the day.

From www.harbourguides.com

8. Yard – Wikipedia

The usage seems to derive from the prototype standard rods held by the king and his magistrates ( see below ). The word ‘yard’ is a homonym of ‘yard’ in the sense of an enclosed area of land. This second meaning of ‘yard’ has an etymology related to the word ‘garden’ and is not related to the unit of measurement.

From en.wikipedia.org

10. Sun is over the yardarm – Oxford Reference

May 06, 2022 · A traditional nautical saying to indicate that it is time for a morning drink. It was generally assumed in northern latitudes the sun would show above the foreyard of a ship by 1100, which was about the time in many ships of the forenoon ‘stand-easy’, when many officers would slip below for their first drink of the day. From: ‘sun is over the yardarm, the’ in The Oxford …

From www.oxfordreference.com


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