whatta way to go

Gotta love Word.A.Day. Which delivers new words, their etymologies and usage to your e-mail.

The theme changes weekly. Words with nautical origins was recent. How can a water baby not bite.

They were:
mainstay
figurehead
steerage
limpet
keelhaul

Keelhaul was interesting, in a gross-out sorta way:

KEEL-hawl. MEANING:
verb tr.: 1. To haul under the keel of a ship. 2. To rebuke sharply.

ETYMOLOGY:
From Dutch kielhalen, from kiel (keel) + halen (to haul). In the olden times this form of punishment was inflicted in the Dutch and British navies. The punished sailor was tied to a rope looped under the ship and thrown in the water. Then he was dragged along the bottom of the ship to the other side. The result was either severe injuries from brushing against the barnacles on the ship's bottom or death from drowning. Thankfully, in modern times keelhauling is performed only metaphorically.

Uh, yes, thankfully.

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