whatever floats your boat

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[1] The earliest evidence hints that figurative use of the phrase 'whatever floats your boat' originated among pleasure boaters in the USA. The (paywalled) Tampa Bay Times (St. Petersburg, Florida, p. 142) of 23 Sep 1979 offers a lengthy article about outfitting pleasure sailboats that ends with this advice (emphasis added): You are the ultimate interior decorator for your boat. Remember there are no hard and fast rules, just go with whatever floats your boat.


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whatever floats your boat

  1. (idiomatic) Do whatever makes you happy or stimulates you.
    Synonym: suit yourself

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