The sea is a powerful and ever-changing force that has captured the human imagination for centuries. It has inspired countless stories, poems, and works of art, and has become a rich source of idiomatic expressions in many languages.
These sea idioms offer a creative and engaging way of describing a variety of human experiences and emotions, from the thrill of adventure to the feeling of being overwhelmed.
Incorporating sea idioms into the day-to-day conversation can not only make our language more colorful and expressive but also provide a unique insight into our relationship with the natural world.
In this post, we will explore some of the most interesting and widely used sea idioms, examining their meanings and origins, and discovering the valuable insights they offer for everyday communication.
17 Sea Idioms & Phrases (Meaning & Examples)
1. A Sea Change
- Meaning: a radical change or transformation.
- Example In A Sentence: There has been a sea change in attitudes toward climate change ever since more public awareness has been given to this topic.
2. All/Completely At Sea
- Meaning: to be extremely confused about something.
- Example In A Sentence: Ever since we moved to a foreign country we have been all at sea trying to understand the new culture.
3. To Swim Against The Tide
- Meaning: To act in a way that is contrary to public opinion.
- Example In A Sentence: I think it would be easier if we just do whatever everyone else is doing, but my sister always likes to swim against the tide and do things her way.
4. To Swim With The Tide
- Meaning: to go along with the public opinion or the majority; opposite of swimming against the tide.
- Example In A Sentence: Do you think Jessica will say something to the boss? No, I don’t think so. She is too afraid to speak up. She will just swim with the tide as she always does.
5. To Be Between The Devil And The Deep Blue Sea
- Meaning: to be in a position where you have to make a very difficult decision. A situation in which you have to choose between two different things, but you don’t like either choice.
- Example In A Sentence: It was such a hard decision to make. I felt like I was between the devil and the deep blue sea, but looking back, I think I made the right decision.
6. To Make Waves
- Meaning: to cause problems or to make something more difficult.
- Example In A Sentence: Why can’t we just have a calm Monday at work? It seems like there is always someone who comes into the office to make waves about something.
7. To Get One’s Sea Legs
- Meaning: To become acclimated to something new.
- Example In A Sentence: She has only been here a week, give her some time. She will get her sea legs quickly.
8. Sea Dog
- Meaning: a sailor, or someone that has a lot of experience being at sea.
- Example In A Sentence: The event was packed with old sea dogs sharing their funny experiences of life out on the water.
9. To Be In Unchartered Waters
- Meaning: a situation that could be difficult or dangerous because it is new to you.
- Example In A Sentence: I tried to fix my wife’s laptop but I quickly realized that I was venturing into unchartered waters. I knew very little about computers. I would like to have someone with more experience look at it.
10. There Are Plenty Of Other Fish In The Sea
- Meaning: There are always other choices to choose from. Oftentimes it is said to someone who has broken up a romantic relationship with someone, but it can be used in other situations as well.
- Example In A Sentence: I am so sad that Tom broke up with me. I thought for sure he was the one. Well, there are always plenty of other fish in the sea. I am sure you will find someone who loves you as much as you love them.
11. To Swim With Sharks
- Meaning: to spend time with dangerous people
- Example In A Sentence: Jerry has changed ever since he started hanging out with those guys. Someone needs to tell him that he is swimming with sharks.
12. Worse Things Happen At Sea
- Meaning: an expression used to say that things could be worse than they currently are.
- Example In A Sentence: Don’t be so negative! Worse things have happened at sea. In a year from now, you will look back and see the positive results from this situation.
13. To Put Out To Sea
- Meaning: To begin a voyage out on the ocean or sea.
- Example In A Sentence: I waved goodbye as our cruise ship put out to sea.
14. To Go To Sea
- Meaning: to become a sailor.
- Example In A Sentence: Jeff is so happy to ride a sailboat. He has been wanting to go to sea ever since he was a little boy.
15. Half Seas Over
- Meaning: a phrase to say that a person is intoxicated.
- Example In A Sentence: It only took a few drinks before he was half-seas over.
16. To Jump Ship
- Meaning: to leave an organization suddenly or unexpectedly, usually because of fear something bad is going to happen to that company.
- Example In A Sentence: The CEO jumped ship and resigned. A week later the company announced they were going to file for bankruptcy.
17. The Turning Of The Tide
- Meaning: a dramatic change or reversal of a situation. Usually giving the other person an advantage.
- Example In A Sentence: They hoped that their peace talks would prove to be a turning of the tide towards world peace.
In conclusion, incorporating sea idioms into day-to-day conversation can not only add a creative and engaging dimension to our language but also offer a deeper connection to the natural world.
These idiomatic expressions allow us to express a wide range of emotions and experiences in a vivid and memorable way and can be a valuable tool for building rapport and connecting with others.
By understanding and appreciating these sea idioms, we not only gain a richer understanding of the human experience but also gain a unique perspective on the power and beauty of the sea.
There you have it! 17 Sea Idioms and Phrases. Did we miss one? If so, please leave a comment in the comment section below.