The nautical origins of commonly used words: aloof

Nautical origins of common words brazenly stolen from See the Sea.

Aloof:  A nautical order to keep the ship’s head to the wind, thus to stay clear of a lee shore or some other quarter.  The front part of the sail which meets the wind is called the luff. A sailing vessel that could point higher to windward and hold its speed better than another was said to stand apart or to sail a-luff that later became aloof. Today the word is used to describe a person who is distant or stands apart from the others.

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