Down The Hatch – Here’s a drinking expression that seems to have its origins in sea freight, where cargoes are lowered into the hatch. First used by seamen, it has only been traced back to the turn of the century.
Mayday – The distress call for voice radio, for vessels and people in serious trouble at sea. The term was made official by an international telecommunications conference in 1948, and is an anglicizing of the French “m’aidez,” (help me).
Fly-by-Night- An easily set extra sail used temporarily when running before the wind (wind coming from behind). Has come to mean ‘here today, gone tomorrow’, or less-than-stellar.