Skip to comments.Word For The Day, Wednesday, February 12, 2014-- copper-bottomed
Posted on 02/12/2014 5:20:28 AM PST by TruthShallSetYouFree
Word For The Day, Wednesday, February 12, 2014-- copper-bottomed
In order that we might all raise the level of discourse and expand our language abilities, here is the daily post of "Word for the Day".
reliable, esp financially reliable, genuine, trustworthy
Origin: (from The Phrase Finder)
If you come across something that is copper-bottomed these days, it is most likely to be a saucepan. In the 18th century, it would have been a ship. It is unusual for an idiomatic phrase to have such a literal derivation as this. 'Copper-bottomed' described ships that were fitted with copper plating on the underside of their hulls. The process was first used on ships of the British Navy in 1761 to defend their wooden planking against attack by Teredo worms a.k.a. Shipworms (actually a type of bivalve clam) and to reduce infestations by barnacles.
The method was successful in protecting ships' timbers and in increasing speed and manoeuvrability and soon became widely used. This piece from The London Magazine, March 1781, records the introduction of its use on all the ships of the Royal Navy:
Admiral Keppel made a remark upon copper bottomed ships. He said they gave additional strength to the navy and he reproached Lord Sandwich with having refused to sheath only a few ships with copper at his request, when he had since ordered the whole navy to be sheathed.
John Montagu, 4th Earl of Sandwich, may have been otherwise occupied. He is said to have once spent twenty-four hours at the gaming-table without refreshment other than some cold beef placed between slices of toast - hence giving name to the sandwich.
Before long, 'copper-bottomed' began to be used figuratively to refer to anything that was certain and trustworthy. Washington Irving, in his work Salmagundi, 1807, included this line:
"The copper-bottomed angel at Messrs. Paff's in Broadway."
It wasn't all plain sailing. Pay attention at the back, here's the science bit:
Copper and iron, when immersed in a suitable electrolytic fluid, like fruit juice or, at a pinch, seawater, form an electrochemical couple and the arrangement becomes a serviceable galvanic battery. Over time, the iron is eaten away to nothing by the electrochemical action. That wasn't good news for mariners who fixed their boat's copper plates using iron nails - the iron eroded and the plates went to visit Davy Jones. Copper nails were the answer and soon afterwards ships began to be described not only as copper-bottomed but also copper-fastened. Such technically top-of-the-range ships were well thought of; an example is found in the 9th July 1796 edition of The Hull Advertiser:
She is copper-fastened and copper-bottomed, and a remarkable fine ship.
The expression 'copper-fastened' was and is used quite infrequently and is often wrongly taken to be a simple misstating of 'copper-bottomed'. Its meaning is similar but with the emphasis on security and lack of any ambiguity, rather than of certainty and trustworthiness. It had to wait longer to be taken into metaphorical use - until the 20th century in fact. An example of such is to be found in The Evening Independent, November 1948:
We had some striking examples of what happens when a guy gets so big for his britches that any pal of his is automatically a copper-fastened genius.
Rules: Everyone must leave a post using the Word for the Day in a sentence.
The sentence must, in some way, relate to the news of the day.
I am leaving the cold weather here in Texas and heading to the even more frigid climes of New Jersey. So get that homework in before I head to the airport at 11 a.m. central time.
--Lyrical excerpt from Meredith Wilson's "Seventy-six Trombones" Read more: Soundtrack Artists - Seventy-six Trombones Lyrics | MetroLyrics
America demands Justice for the Fallen of Benghazi!
When a copper-bottomed ship REALLY got going out in a great breeze, the ship would often be so keeled over in the effort that her copper would show on the high (windward) side.
Oh, you gonna take me home tonight?
Oh, down beside the red firelight
Oh, you gonna let it all hang out
Copper-bottomed girls, you make the rocking world go round!
safe travel truthy, you will be back in time for the next CATASTROPHIC storm! xsteen en route to NYC via amtrak, coming back tonight and xshub due in tonight from Dallas, hope that he beats the snow. Friday we have to make the trek to SU no matter what, for senior night at the 6:30 pm hockey game. by hook or by crook!
And just for the record, the one way a copper bottom could have helped is if it kept growth from taking hold of the hull, spoiling her hydrodynamics and slowing her down. Then she may have had the speed to make the 15 miles to Whitefish Bay, which the searchers generally agree would have saved her. This assumes she was a wood-bottomed ship in the first place however.....
And he is not amused.
If you get stuck between home and Syracuse, you are welcome at CasaTruthy in northern NJ.
A+++ and dittoes on hating the song.
Thanks Truthy! prob would need to shelter in place somewhere around Scranton or Wilkes_barre though. That ungodly stretch of 81 between Harrisburg and B’hamton is DEATH.
makes me want to open my veins.
did you see the alternate version I sent XS a few days ago?
I saw what they were - and I couldn’t listen. The BeeGees one because I just about had as much tragic death music as I can take at one time, and Cat’s In The Cradle because, yeah, it is too damn depressing.
but the polishing might be fun
That was awesome!
Can’t say I have ever heard the Bee Gee’s one.
This one always annoys me with its plodding monotony.
Not that monotonous lyrics have to be bad. See:
was never a Yes fan, they are a bit whiny.
No, didn’t see it.
Nice obscure McHale’s Navy reference.
Tim Hawkins is very funny. Thanks.
What a fascinating thread! I’m sorry to be so late this AM.
Spaghetti sauce will clean copper to the hue of a bright new penny!
Thanks. Nice to see you.
FAscinates me that someone even thought of trying that.....
Thanks. So far I have managed to be a day ahead or a day behind each storm.
that was perfect.
This odd bit of knowledge comes from my early days learning to cook in my MIL’s house! She was dying of cancer, but she also expected that her Revere Ware pots be kept polished. When the sauce boiled over, it made streaks on the already polished copper that no copper polish could duplicate.
By accident. How else would you discover that your dessert topping also makes a great floor wax?
See, I always assumed it was vice-versa with the makers of Shimmer....but that may just be my childhood of brotherly antagonism and gags talking...
I never had any brothers.
Aye! A But then again, but even our pennies were copper-bottomed, copper-fastened, and copper-middled back when our dollar was as “sound as a dollar”
Light icing so far here in Atlanta .... Lots and lots of news hype. Worse further south though.
Second oldest of five boys, four girls.
brothers are a pain in the @$$ ; )
Hah! When I saw the WFTD, I had a mental picture of a photoshopped Michelle Antoinette with a copper saucepan on her butt...
Have a nice trip!
Copper-bottomed health care
Promised in two campaigns
Won Obama those elections,
But such a mess remains
Of websites and sign-ups
And insurance at low cost
Many think they signed up-
And millions of others lost
The coverage they paid for
And were pleased with when
Obama trashed it with no clue
Of how to put it right again...
What a nice offer Truthy -
It is actually above freezing-39-and sunshine for the first time in days-it must be a heat wave...
One of the hated songs-Cats in the Cradle-I also dislike-but about 15 years ago, a parody of it was e-mailed to my compadre and boss and I at work-it went, in part-have you ever wondered when you eat Chinese, is it really chicken, or a fat Siamese? Oh, the cats in the kettle at the Shanghai Moon, etc. It had everyone laughing...
Really nice work.
I’m at DFW, through security in a breeze.
Thanks for the good wishes.