Posted by ESC on November 15, 2000
In Reply to: The coast is clear posted by Jeannie on November 14, 2000
: Anyone know the origin of the coast is clear?
COAST IS CLEAR - "The phrase first appears in print in 1531 where it describes a vessel which had safely cleared the coast, then later Shakespeare used it in 'Henry VI' as a reference to visibility. Neither of these references touch on its true insinuation; it is a reference to smuggling surely? Or some nefarious operation." "Salty Dog Talk: The Nautical Origins of Everyday Expressions" by Bill Beavis and Richard G. McCloskey (Sheridan House, Dobbs Ferry, N.Y., 1995. First published in Great Britain, 1983).