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the sun is over the yardarm

It is the appropriate time of day to begin drinking alcohol. A "yardarm" is a horizontal bar on the mast of a ship, and it is supposed that when the sun passed it at a certain time of day (around noon), sailors were allowed to drink. Well, the sun is over the yardarm, so why don't we order some wine with our brunch? Are you really having a beer? I don't think the sun is quite over the yardarm yet.
See also: over, sun, yardarm

yardarm to yardarm

outdated Really close together. When I planted the bushes, I put them yardarm to yardarm—I hope they don't overcrowd each other once they start blooming.
See also: yardarm

the sun is over the yardarm

People say the sun is over the yardarm to say that it is late enough in the day to have an alcoholic drink. Well, the sun is over the yardarm — anyone for a drink? Note: This expression is used humorously. Note: This expression is thought to come from the old practice on some ships of having an alcoholic drink when the sun had risen past a horizontal bar on the mast, usually around 11a.m.
See also: over, sun, yardarm

the sun is over the yardarm

it is the time of day when it is permissible to drink alcohol. informal
This was originally a nautical expression: a yardarm is the outer extremity of a yard , a cylindrical spar slung across a ship's mast for a sail to hang from. The time of day referred to is noon, rather than 6 o'clock in the evening, as is often supposed.
1992 Angela Lambert A Rather English Marriage Have a snifter? Sun's over the yardarm, as they say in the senior service.
See also: over, sun, yardarm

sun is over the yardarm, when the

A time permissible for cocktails or some other alcoholic drink. Yardarm means either end of the outer portions of a square sail, and presumably this term alludes to the cocktail hour on a pleasure yacht, after the sun has begun to sink. It is used more in Britain than in America, where in fact it is dying out. Rudyard Kipling had it in From Sea to Sea (1899): “The American does not drink at meals as a sensible man should. Also, he has no decent notions about the sun being over the yardarm or below the horizon.”
See also: over, sun
References in periodicals archive ?
Daddy Whyte--or Freddie--Daddy, as he was called--was a naval architect by day, but metamorphosed into a somewhat inebriated linguist as soon as the sun passed over the yardarm. A cane armchair on the patio, a blazer, a bow tie, The Boke of Kervynge in one hand, a crystal goblet of neat Glenfiddich in the other, he would look at Tristram not entirely without affection.
America Seafoods Group (American Seafoods), Seattle, Washington, USA, has acquired the factory trawler Highland Light and the fishing vessel Tracy Anne from subsidiaries of Yardarm Knot, Inc., following the receipt of applicable government approvals.
Glancing at the waning British sun, the woman adopted a martial tone: "As they used to say in the Royal Navy, the sun is now over the yardarm. Do be a dear and fetch the gin and tonic, with just a sliver of ice and lemon."
"My second reaction, on departing from his office as the sun blinked down over the yardarm, was, 'Why the hell did he do that?'
Sailors may not have constituted a "proletariat ready to assert class consciousness,"(xiii) a straw effigy he swings from the yardarm in his preface, but they exceeded the zero sum of their yearnings for freedom of body and spirit.
Well, the sun is sinking below the yardarm, and I have promised (a couple of times now) to end this report with some Big News from Pakistan--so here goes.
BUT when the sun dips over the yardarm, Tampa Bay's nightlife springs into action.
In fact he should be hanged from the highest yardarm regarding the Wallsend shipyard.
In fact, those who like to toss back a couple of minty shots once the sun is over the yardarm may find themselves running afoul of the law, according to a report on cnn.com.
In fact, those who like to toss back a few breath-freshening big ones once the sun is over the yardarm may find themselves running afoul of the law, according to a report on cnn.com.
Each experiences a sacrificial exaltation: Billy, sacrificing his life at the behest of the father-god of his world, exclaims "God bless Captain Vere!" just before he drops from the yardarm; the Captain, as the one who condemns to death, makes the even harder sacrifice (according to the narrator) at the behest of his father-god, the King.
But if some politician in England, where they've almost left the 17th century behind had said this, he'd have been hanged from the nearest yardarm.
Clockwise from left, center, they include the yardarm at Camp Spearhead, unloading the gifts from a C-130 to a truck, unloading the truck at Camp Spearhead, and unwraping gifts.
No surprise, then, that the tree between man and bird so resembles a yardarm, ideal for the use to which, we infer, it will shortly be put.