There are plenty of phrases we have integrated into our daily use of language so that we no longer even know where they actually come from and what meaning they originally had. We would like to introduce to you seven sayings of maritime origin and explain their meaning.
Sailing under a false flag
This refers to deceptive maneuvers or covert operations conducted by another third party to conceal identity. The action is thus actively attributed to an uninvolved third party for appearances. The actual actor is thereby acting “under a false flag.” In English, the much-publicized deceptive maneuver is also called “sailing under false colors,” while a courageous flagger is sailing with true colors.
The maritime folklore of ghost ship, “Flying Dutchman” happens to be very popular and it has inspired hundreds of paintings, books, operas and movies. Are ghost ships only limited to the folklores and Halloween stories? In the world of modern maritime, the term ghost ship has a much more practical meaning.
Ghost ships are vessels floating with no living crew onboard. These abandoned vessels drift in the ocean and appear suddenly at some coast or are spotted midsea giving rise to a series of questions about ownership, crew safety, environmental hazard, security of state, etc. These vessels could have been abandoned under any unknown circumstances. Later these ships become subject to horror stories as these abandoned vessels have many unanswered questions, such as: What happened to the crew? From where did the vessel arrive? and many more attached to them. It is interesting to learn the reasons behind the abandonment of vessels which later turn up as ghost ships.