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GARBLED - NAUTICAL SAYINGS

Thursday January 3rd, 2013
GARBLED – NAUTICAL SAYINGS

We all get garbled messages from time to time and know exactly what the word garbled means - hard to decipher, mixed up, veering on nonsense. The word actually sounds exactly like its meaning. Where does that word come from... the sea of course. Garbling was the illegal practice of mixing up waste and rubbish with a ship’s cargo. If a vessels cargo was garbled there would be a hefty fine or, in the case of foodstuffs, the cargo could have been deemed unfit to land. The term was eventually adopted by radio operators to describe mixed up message due to distorted signals and then passed down into common language.
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