Date: Thu, 22 Jan 1998 17:38:22 -0500 From: Denis Anson Subject: Re: On the Level; On the Beam On Wednesday, January 21, 1998 12:35 AM, Bapopik [SMTP:Bapopik[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]AOL.COM] wrote: > Perhaps "on the level" is related to "on the beam"--a seafaring term. If a > ship's not "on the level" it's a titanic disaster. > > --Barry Popik (seriously rethinking his upcoming trip to Guatemala) More properly, on the beam means directly to the right or left (port or starboard) as opposed to off the bow or the stern. Few sailing ships, however, were ever on the level. When under sail, the ship would heal over to the leeward side, and might have one rail almost in the water, with the other in the air. Another nautical term that is familiar to many is being "pooped." The poop deck of a ship was the raised portion in the rear. As a ship moves through the water, there is a displacement wave that runs along the hull, and limits how fast a ship can go. If the ship pushes too hard, the displacement wave is actually break over the poop deck, bringing the ship to a halt (and nearly washing away the man at the wheel). This was called getting pooped. So, if you work really hard, and really fast, then crash to a stop, you are "pooped." Denis Anson, MS, OTR/L Assistant Professor Occupational Therapy Department College Misericordia 301 Lake Street Dallas, PA 18636 phone: 717-674-6413 fax: 717-674-8902 Author of: Alternative Computer Access: Making Appropriate Selections from FA Davis