SHIPTALK

We often use these words and phrases without knowing that their origins traceable to seamen. Here are some of them
Cut and Run –
If a captain of a smaller ship encountered a larger enemy vessel, he might decide that discretion is the better part of valor, and so he would order the crew to cut the lashings on all the sails and run away before the wind. Other sources indicate "Cut and Run" meant to cut the anchor cable and sail off in a hurry.
In the Offing –

We often use these words and phrases without knowing that their origins traceable to seamen. Here are some of them
Cut and Run –
If a captain of a smaller ship encountered a larger enemy vessel, he might decide that discretion is the better part of valor, and so he would order the crew to cut the lashings on all the sails and run away before the wind. Other sources indicate "Cut and Run" meant to cut the anchor cable and sail off in a hurry.
In the Offing –
Currently means something is about to happen, as in – "There is a reorganization in the offing."    From the 16th century usage meaning a good distance from shore, barely visible from land, as in – "We sighted a ship in the offing."
Skyscraper –
A small triangular sail set above the skysail in order to maximize effect in a light wind.
The Bitter End –
The end of an anchor cable is fastened to the bitts at the ship's bow. If all of the anchor cable has been payed out you have come to the bitter end.
Toe the Line –
When called to line up at attention, the ship's crew would form up with their toes touching a seam in the deck planking.
Back and Fill –
A technique of tacking when the tide is with the ship but the wind is against it.
Overhaul –
To prevent the buntline ropes from chaffing the sails, crew were sent aloft to haul them over the sails. This was called overhauling.
Slush Fund –
A slushy slurry of fat was obtained by boiling or scraping the empty salted meat storage barrels. This stuff called "slush" was often sold ashore by the ship's cook for the benefit of himself or the crew. The money so derived became known as a slush fund.
Bear Down –
To sail downwind rapidly towards another ship or landmark.
Under the Weather –
If a crewman is standing watch on the weather side of the bow, he will be subject to the constant beating of the sea and the ocean spray. He will be under the weather.
Overreach –
If a ship holds a tack course too long, it has overreached its turning point and the distance it must travel to reach it's next tack point is increased.
Gone By the Board –
Anything seen to have gone overboard or spotted floating past the ship (by the board) was considered lost at sea.
Above Board –
Anything on or above the open deck. If something is open and in plain view, it is above board.
Overwhelm –
Old English for capsize or founder.
Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea –
The devil seam was the curved seam in the deck planking closest to the side of the ship and next to the scupper gutters. If a sailor slipped on the deck, he could find himself between the devil and the deep blue sea.