shipshape and Bristol fashion

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

The saying in today's form has been recorded as early as 1840 ("shipshape" alone being about 200 years older).[1] The term developed most likely in view of the port of Bristol which had (before the Floating Harbour was constructed) a very high tidal range of 13 metres (43 ft), the second highest in the world.[2][3][1] Ships moored in this area would be aground at low tide and, because of their keels, would fall to one side. If everything was not stowed away tidily, or tied down, the results were chaotic and cargo could be spoiled.

Adjective[edit]

shipshape and Bristol fashion

  1. (chiefly nautical) Tidily tied down and secure.

References[edit]

  1. 1.0 1.1 Ship-shape and Bristol fashion on www.phrases.org.uk (retrieved 20 August 2007)
  2. ^ "Severn Estuary Barrage", (PDF) UK Environment Agency. 31 May 2006. URL accessed on 2007-09-03.
  3. ^ "Coast: Bristol Channel", BBC. URL accessed on 2007-08-27.