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FIRST RATE - NAUTICAL SAYING

Thursday December 27th, 2012
FIRST RATE - NAUTICAL SAYING

The ultimate term for excellence stems from the sixteenth century right up until there were steam powered ships of war.

Basically British ships were rated according to the number of heavy guns (cannons) they had on board. Frigates, that carried between 20 to 48 cannons where rated fifth or sixth... Fourth rate had 50 to 60 guns... Third rate was 64 to 89 guns (therein another saying). Second rate 90 t0 98 guns (and another saying). First rate meant 100 guns or more and therefore considered the strongest of the fleet... which, as we all know, wasn’t always the case... but is still used as a term for a standard of excellence.
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