The Anonymous Widower

I Don’t Know My Port From My Starboard

Although, I was a private pilot for many years, if you ask me quickly I always had to think, if port is left or right.

You can do it by remembering that port has the same number of letters as left or by noting that POSH could stand for port out starboard home, which meant that passengers going to and from India and the Far East from the UK, got the northern or cool side of the boat.

There’s a discussion on the explanation of posh here.

My next door neighbour, at one time, had been a British Army colonel, who’d served in India and he told me the standard explanation many years ago.  He also told me, how on the voyage back to the UK, they used to throw their pith helmets into the sea with great gusto after they had passed through the Suez canal.

I have no evidence to the origin of the word, but having heard many tales of life in the Army many years ago, the word could have been cooked up as a friendly term of abuse, by a group of very hot squaddies. I bet today, those serving in Afghanistan and Iraq, have developed some words of their own. After all, the word Blighty for the home country, was very much a word developed by those stationed overseas, that has entered the English language.

March 29, 2013 - Posted by | Transport, World | , ,

1 Comment »

  1. There’s not much red port left. That’s how to remember that the port is on the left and has the red light.

    Comment by John | March 29, 2013 | Reply


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