Site Meter Ogre's Politics & Views: Three Sheets to the Wind

No, I'm not -- at least not right now. But I'm sure a large number of you have heard this saying and weren't really sure where it came from. Well, since you don't have enough useless knowledge stored in your head, I provide you with some more.

Among nautical folks, a "sheet" refers to the rope used to secure a ship's sail. On the square-rigged ships of yore, three sheets were needed to tie up the sails. So, if all three of the ship's sheets were loose in the wind, the sail would flop about and the ship would go off course -- rather like a drunken sailor staggering around on shore.

And sailors in the early 1800s actually had an entire rating system for drunks -- from 1 sheet to 4 sheets. At 4, you were unconscious.

Just thought you needed to know.

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