Posted by Victoria S Dennis on May 20, 2005
In Reply to: Ship shape and Bristol Fashion posted by ESC on May 20, 2005
: : : The phrase "Ship shape and Bristol Fashion" has now been termed as politically incorrect as it apparently refers to slavery. A Bristol Historian disagrees and states it is about the good order of the ships which docked or built at Bristol. Any ideas?
: : I don't, though there are several nautical language buffs here who may have some idea. I'm actually curious about hw has deemed this term politically incorrect. Where did you learn about this? Do you mind sharing?
: From this site's phrase dictionary:
: Ready to go.
: From the reputation the port of Bristol had for preparing ships for sail in good order.
: Also, search under "Bristol" for more discussion.
: I can only suppose that people are objecting to it because Bristol was one of the major ports for the slave trade, and for more than a century slaves were the most important commodity carried by Bristol ships. However, at no time was it the only important one - Bristol was the centre of sherry importation, for example. So I don't think the objection is justifiable.