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Origin of Shiver Me Timbers

Did pirates ever actually say “shiver me timbers”? And why would they be shivering in the Caribbean, anyway? Actually, this saying has nothing to do with being cold, and pirates probably didn’t say it. The phrase goes back to the...

Palaver

The term palaver, meaning an idle or prolonged discussion, comes from the old Portuguese term palavra that British sailors picked up at West African ports in the 1700s, where palaver huts are places where villagers can gather to discuss local...

brass-plate bank

brass-plate bank  n.— «He was first investigated 20 years ago when he became a subject of a joint Scotland Yard-FBI investigation into so-called “brass-plate” banks on the Caribbean island of Montserrat. The investigation was set up after...

Q-tip cruise

Q-tip cruise  n.—Gloss: a pleasure trip aboard a trip, taken mainly by senior citizens. Note: So named because they have white hair and resemble the white cotton ends of Q-tips. «It was in mid-September 2006, the final cruise of the season...

salmon-tot retriever

salmon-tot retriever  n.— Note: The Dictionary of Caribbean English Usage defines this term as a “dog of no known pedigree.” «Very prevalent decades ago and commonly known as salmon-tot retrievers, these no-breed dogs used to...

jacket

jacket  n.—Gloss: Richard Allsopp’s Dictionary of Caribbean English Usage defines this as “the child of a married woman and a man who is not her hustband” or “any child whose paternity is denied.” Note: The term is...