Swears like a sailor

Posted by James Briggs on January 20, 2002

In Reply to: Swears like a sailor posted by Nancy on January 20, 2002

: Where did this originate from? We are having a discussion of what it means today. Does it relate to a Navy sailor as we know it or does it refer to pirates?

In the UK the phrase is 'swears like a trooper'. There used to be a common similar phrase 'to billingsgate'. This refered to the strong swearing habits of the porters at Billingsgate fish market in London. Not all swore - my family worked there for years and some were, I hope, not guilty! Never-the-less, all porters were branded as swearers, just like all troopers and sailors.