The River Thames and the boats that travelled along it on Sunday were in the news all over the world, so this seems a good time to have a look at some "boating" idioms in English.
First of all, let's have a look at the terminology:
Boat is a general word for a sea or river vessel but usually refers to smaller ones.
Ship is used for larger sea-going vessels.
A barge is a flat-bottomed boat used for the transport of goods along rivers or canals. Barges are often towed. In naval terminology, a barge is a boat assigned to a flag officer, often for ceremonial occasions. The Queen travelled on a very special barge on Sunday:
|Image: Wikimedia Commons via|
Now see if you can match the following sentences 1- 8, which all contain idioms about boats, with their meanings a - h. The answers are at the end of the post.
2. When my ship comes in, I'll buy you a car.
3. I should have applied for the job but I missed the boat.
4. Everything is ship-shape and Bristol fashion.
5. In the end he decided not to rock the boat.
6. She barged in on the meeting and annoyed everybody.
7. My boss runs a tight ship.
8. I wouldn't touch that project with a bargepole!
|Broad Quay, Bristol, UK|
in the eighteenth century
a. I was too late.
b. I think the situation could be dangerous or stupid.
c. The person is very strict in the way he or she manages the company or institution.
d. When I become rich I will do this.
e. The person did not want to cause a problem or disturb a situation.
f. I am in the same situation as the other person.
g. Everything is absolutely in order.
h. She interrupted or entered in a rude way.
Highlight the space below to see the answers:
1f, 2d, 3a, 4g, 5e, 6h, 7c, 8b.
You can see the origin of the saying, "Ship-shape and Bristol fashion" here.