Posted by Woodchuck on September 22, 2002
In Reply to: Phrase posted by alan on September 22, 2002
: I am try to find out the
: "Is the sun over the yard arm"
That's yardarm, not yard arm.
Yardarms are the timbers from which sails were hung on big sailing ships. They were a convenient reference point to tell time at sea.
I've heard this used to mean, "Is it late enough that we can take lunch?" I've also heard it used in restaurants meaning, "Do you think it's late enough in the day we can order drinks without raising any eyebrows?"