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ALL ABOVE BOARD ORIGIN

Friday September 4th, 2009
ImageALL ABOVE BOARD

The phrase used to describe something as being plain to see, with nothing to hide or as truthful stems from a bit of nautical trickery practiced by warships and pirates alike. With such large crews on board it was common for ships within view of another vesselís telescope to keep most of the men out of sight. At a distance they could possibly appear to be a peaceful merchant ship with only a small crew that offered no threat. All but a handful of the crew would be kept behind the bulwarks, or below the top deck. However a captain with nothing to hide would have all his crew in plain view Ďabove board.í
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