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  • Neat! This one intrigued me, so I went off to investigate. From A Naval Encyclopædia: Comprising a Dictionary of Nautical Words and Phrases; Biographical Notices, and Records of Naval Officers, 1881: "A ship with a wind fair, but so light as not to enable her to stem the current, is said to be back-strapped." Haven't found an origin for it, though. :-)

    February 19, 2008

  • "'But with the wind veering like this,' said Sutton, glancing at the high ridge of Gibraltar, 'he will be backstrapped, if he don't mend his pace.'"

    --Patrick O'Brian, The Far Side of the World, 25

    February 19, 2008