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Who Knew???  Famous Phrases with Nautical Yachting Origins

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Many years ago, we first started blogging about private luxury yacht charters.  We would get bored writing about the same topics over and over.  For instance, “presenting XYZ sailboat,” “welcome ABC motoryacht,”  or “explore this amazing destination.”



To jazz things up, our company President, Jana Sheeder made a command decision.  She says blogs about off-the-wall, mostly nautical-themed trivia, entitled “Did You Know” peaked interest. She was right.

Have another!

DID YOU KNOW these common phrases all have nautical roots?



Photo of a cup of coffee with white cup and saucer. There are 10 coffee beans spread across the white saucer.  There are caramel-colored bubbles across one half of the liquid in the coffee cup.  The other half looks dark brown.

Cup of Joe:

When newly appointed Secretary of the Navy Joe Daniels took his post in 1913, he banned wine and spirits aboard ships. So, the strongest drink aboard Navy ships was coffee.   Over the years, a cup of coffee became known as “a cup of Joe.”



brown and white guinea pig in a hammock with back legs sticking out


Shake a Leg:

This one is a little sketchy so I picked the explanation that sounded the best to me.  Some sources claim the phrase originates from the British Royal Navy.  Supposedly, officers would order sleeping sailors to throw a leg out from their hammocks to wake up! (Just a fun image…little guinea pig looks exhausted!)


a flying black crow on a sky blue background



As the Crow Flies:

In the 1700’s, it was thought (and possibly true) crows like to be on dry land and will fly straight to shore, bypassing any obstacles in their path.  Ships would carry crows aboard, and in cases of poor visibility, let one free and chart the bird’s flight to shore.   [Sounds cool, but I’ll stick to Google Maps!]


In conclusion, our modern fleet of private luxury yacht charter vessels serve way more than just coffee. Additionally, the crows have all been replaced with state-of-the-art radar and global navigation software!  Come enjoy The Superyacht Experience™ with your family and friends.  Book a yachting vacation today, with 1-800 Yacht Charters. Fill out our convenient online booking form at

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