had been either in dirt, or close to dirt

Discussion in 'Spanish-English Vocabulary / Vocabulario Español-Inglés' started by Bartleby, Jan 2, 2010.

  1. Bartleby

    Bartleby Senior Member

    Hola. ¿Alguien sabe algún significado de "dirt" relacionado con la navegación? El contexto parece indicar que se trata de una tormenta. Esta es la frase. Es un poco larga pero sólo me interesa la cuestión "dirt":
    "For seven weeks she (una goleta) had been either in dirt, or close to dirt, save once, and then, following upon six days of excessive dirt, which she had ridden out under the shelter of the redoubtable Tierra del Fuego coast, she had almost gone ashore during a heavy swell in the dead calm that had suddenly fallen".
  2. Idiomático Senior Member

    Virginia, USA
    Latin American Spanish
    En ese contexto dirt significa mal tiempo.
  3. Bartleby

    Bartleby Senior Member

    Muchas gracias.
  4. speedier

    speedier Senior Member

    Hi bartleby.

    I was at sea for 14 years, and I have never heard that expression, and at first I thought that it must be a misprint, but as the context uses the word "dirt" three times, it seems unlikely to be a misprint.

    And so, as Idiomático has suggested, the only thing that seems to fit the context is that dirt is a (possibly American?) term for foul weather.
  5. Bartleby

    Bartleby Senior Member

    It appears in an american short story (XIXth century). Thanks, Speedier.
  6. Idiomático Senior Member

    Virginia, USA
    Latin American Spanish
    Interesting... Almost 60 years ago I served only eight years in the US Navy and remember hearing it then. I just looked it up in the OED and learned that as a synonym of foul weather it is indeed mid-1900s dialect. It doesn't say American dialect.
  7. Bartleby

    Bartleby Senior Member

    Well, I was wrong. The story was written in the early 20th century. 1907 or 1908.

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