A Kiss and Three Sheets to the Wind

Song of the Day: Invincible by Adelita’s Way

Go ahead. Click the cover to reserve you copy!

I have exciting news to share. A KISS IN THE WIND, the second novel in my Romancing the Pirate series, is scheduled to be released March 26th with Carina Press. I’m so giddy, I’m shivering in my timbers! And so for the month of March, I thought I’d share some fun nautical and pirate-y posts leading up to my release.

You’ve probably heard the phrase “three sheets to the wind” and know it means to be very drunk. But did you know that this expression is seafaring in nature?

Yup—but its actual origin is likely not what you might think. You’re probably thinking cool— three sheets to the wind, like flapping sails. Typical landlubber faux pas.  Sheets don’t refer to sails at all, but rather the ropes that hold the lower corners of the sails in place. If the sheets (ropes) are loose, then the sails will not be taut in the wind. They’ll flap. Flapping sails will cause a ship to stagger—much like a boozy, moon-eyed drunk.

If that isn’t fascinating enough, sailors used a scale to rate drunkenness. Because we all need to know our state of inebriation.

  • One sheet = slightly buzzed
  • Two sheets = in the cups drunk
  • Three sheets = sloppy, can hardly stay erect drunk
  • Four sheets = out cold

So the next time you’re throwing back the grog or wine, you can astound your mates with your amazing drinking knowledge. This has been a Public Service Announcement brought to you by MuseTracks’ rum-swilling pirate wench.

There are many expressions that came from sailors of long ago. Can you name one?

23 Responses to A Kiss and Three Sheets to the Wind

  1. William says:

    Only Jenn would know this stuff…:) Hysterical…:)


  2. Susan Muller says:

    Going off half cocked is when an excited or nervous musketeer forgets to remove the ramrod from his musket before firing. A sure sign of incompetence. Not exactly pirate info, but they had muskets also.


    • jbrayweber says:

      Guess going off half-cocked and blow up in your face. HA! I know, I know…that was bad taste. LOL!!! Sorry…I just couldn’t help myself. Oh, dear.
      Thanks for sharing the info, Susan.


  3. jeff salter says:

    Hey, is that Pirate allowed to place his left hand … uh, THERE?


  4. Very cool. I knew it originated with sailors, but I didn’t know the degrees.


    • jbrayweber says:

      I’m was quite surprised they rated their state of drunkenness and thought it was pretty cool, too, Ella. I had always heard it was 3 sheets to the wind. But I guess it makes sense to be placed on a sliding scale while you get soused. LOL!


  5. Amanda Brice says:

    Very cool! I love learning the origins of words.


    • jbrayweber says:

      Thanks, Amanda. There are quite a few common phrases we use today that originated from sailors, including a rummage sale. It’s fascinating, really. Thanks for stopping by!


  6. Sarah Andre says:

    CONGRATULATIONS!! I love your cover. Thank you for sharing the origins of those phrases, very interesting!
    sigh…Johnny Depp…


  7. I love the origins of sayings. Had to look up “pretty is as pretty does” myself since Laurie thought it anachronistic—and it is, sort of. Actually, Geoffrey Chaucer said it as “Handsome is that handsome does” waaaaaaay back there, Surprised even me.

    Thanks for the info, Jenn. Just love this stuff!


    • jbrayweber says:

      I’ve learned more about anachronistic words in the last couple of years than I ever imagined – and I’m still learning. I’ve found it’s simply a fascinating subject.
      Chaucer, huh? Who knew! Thanks for sharing that tidbit, Gwynlyn. And thanks for popping in!


  8. This is such a great cover, I’ll have to go have a drink and peruse it awhile…I might get one sheet. HAHAHA Unfortunately, I’ll be up at 3;45 tomorrow so no sheeting for me…no sheet! HAHAHAHAHAHA


  9. Congrats, Jennifer. I’ll drink a glass of wine in your honor–and try to not to get any sheets to wind. LOL.



  10. john Graceson says:

    Read the except of KISS. Love, love, love how you recounciled that scene. Well done!


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