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3 Sheets to the Wind Diane J DJ Lost What does being drunk have to do with "three sheets to the wind?"

There are some ways of describing the state of being inebriated that just sound like what they depict, as in "soused." Others are descriptive enough–-"tipsy," for
example. But this one is pretty cryptic. To understand it, you would have to know that the expression is referring not to bed linen drying out after the wash but to a part of the sails on a ship.

In nautical talk, the sheet is the rope one uses to trim a sail. When the sheet is hanging loose in the wind it also means that the sail to which it is attached is free to be blown here and there by the wind.

A sheet in the wind thus suggests the tipsy movements of someone who's has had too many drinks, and three sheets in the wind describes a person who is thoroughly blotto.

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