Feature Word: Cold Enough to Freeze the Balls off a Brass Monkey

Definition:

Really, really cold!

Description:

In the pirate days, the ships were all equipped with cannons. The cannon balls were places upon a holder that were called ‘Brass Monkeys’ Since the metal used to make the cannon balls were extremely different from the metal used to make the brass monkeys, on an extremely cold day, they would contract at different rates (Different metals react differently to temperature). The cannon balls would literally fall off the holder when the temperature drop to the extremes. Hence the term.

Source:

origin unknown

Shanghai

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Definition:

to force aboard a ship for service as a sailor; also : to trick or force into an undesirable position

Description:

In the 1800s, long sea voyages were very difficult and dangerous, so people were understandably hesitant to become sailors. But sea captains and shipping companies still needed crews to sail their ships, so they gathered sailors any way they could — even if that meant resorting to kidnapping.

The word “shanghai” comes from the name of the Chinese city of Shanghai. People started to use the city’s name for that unscrupulous way of obtaining sailors because the East was often a destination of ships that had kidnapped men for their crew.

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Posh

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Definition:

classy: elegant and fashionable

Description:

It actually came from a phrase used by the East India Trading Company, which, of course, was based in London.

When it booked passengers round-trip to India, the more affluent passengers would request a cabin on the side of the ship least exposed to the Atlantic Ocean gales.

Hence, they were given cabins ‘port outbound, starboard homebound.’ It eventually was abbreviated to posh.

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Cold Enough to Freeze the Balls off a Brass Monkey

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Definition:

Really, really cold!

Description:

In the pirate days, the ships were all equipped with cannons. The cannon balls were places upon a holder that were called ‘Brass Monkeys’ Since the metal used to make the cannon balls were extremely different from the metal used to make the brass monkeys, on an extremely cold day, they would contract at different rates (Different metals react differently to temperature). The cannon balls would literally fall off the holder when the temperature drop to the extremes. Hence the term.

See Details