English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I was reading this article and I'm not sure about the meaning of this sentence:

Despite rise in inflation and borrowing, chancellor to court medium earners in 'steady-as-she-goes' financial package

Could you explain me what the author meant by "steady-as-she-goes" financial package?

Could it be something like "a financial package that is congruent with previous economic policies"?

PS: Is this kind of question appropriate for this site?

share|improve this question
Dear Gelu, welcome to English Language & Usage. Your question is perfectly appropriate! – F'x Mar 23 '11 at 12:55
up vote 9 down vote accepted

It was originally a maritime expression, where she refers to a vessel and it is an instruction to maintain the current course. So the author is saying that with this budget, the chancellor is continuing in the same policy direction.

share|improve this answer
I'd upvote but I don't have enough rep yet :). F'x's answer is good too but this one explains not only the idiom but also the sentence from the article. – Gelu Mar 23 '11 at 13:06
Welcome to the site :) – z7sg Ѫ Mar 23 '11 at 13:08

The original expression refers to a ship (hence she), and means to keep on a steady course. A discussion thread here says:

It is an instruction from the captain to the helmsman of a ship, to keep the ship heading steadily on the same course regardless of gusts of wind or cross-currents.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.