I understand that "Under the weather" means feeling sick. I heard a rumor that this idiom may have nautical origins, but I don't know for sure. Does anyone know more about the origin of this phrase, and when it entered common usage?
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The Phrase finder provides an explanation of the origin:
Another site states that something similar:
In both cases, we have two things in common. One, is its origin came from sea travel, when people felt ill due to several reasons, and the other thing in common, is that they both cited the fact that the persons feeling unwell went below deck.
I would suggest that "Salty Dog Talk" has misrepresented the phrase, which should be "under the weather rail," which is where tired (or ill) sailors would stow themselves to get some rest, as documented in Two Years Before the Mast by Richard Dana (available online for perusal). There is no such thing as a "weather bow," as the bow is the front of the ship (or boat). As well, the bow of a heaving ship is the worst place to be, if one is feeling "under the weather."
protected by Hugo Aug 19 '14 at 14:55
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