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The etyomology of the phrase "dire straits" is believed to have been started in the 15th century from the many straits around the world that sailors needed to navigate their vessels through. It took experience and a steady hand to make safe passage through the straits. Often the attempt would be difficult and perilous and could lead to a shipwreck. Eventually any difficult or perilous situation could be referred to as being in "dire straits".

-Mr. Mark Frees

professor of naval history

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โˆ™ 2009-12-17 20:42:03
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Q: What is the origin of the phrase dire straits?
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Related questions

What was the name of Dire straits' debut album?

Dire Straits

How do you use dire straits in a sentence?

You will be in dire straits if you do not learn your vocabulary words.

Who is the lead guitarist of Dire Straits?

Mark Knopfler is the lead guitarist for the Dire Straits. He's known for his finger picking style on his Stratocaster.Dire Straits- Mark and David Knopfler

Who is the singer of band the 'Dire Straits'?

Mark Knopfler is the lead singer of the group Dire Straits.

When was Why Worry - Dire Straits song - created?

Why Worry - Dire Straits song - was created in 1984-11.

What is the origin of the term dire straits?

The term "dire straits" which means desperate circumstances has no particular origin. It is just one of those phrases which people adopted as a cliche to describe a particular thing.It is spelled strait - it has no relation to straight. A strait is a difficult circumstance.The word, dire, comes from the Latin word, dirus, which has a meaning close to terrifying. The word, strait, is a derivation of the word, straight, and originally had a similar meaning - tight and/or narrow. In the 14th century, it's meaning became more specified to mean narrow waterway.A literal translation for dire straits, then, would be terrifying narrow (or tight) waterway. A very nice metaphor for what we understand this phrase to mean.

What has the author Michael Oldfield written?

Michael Oldfield has written: 'Dire Straits' -- subject(s): Dire Straits (Musical group)

Has Eric Clapton ever played for Dire Straits?

He has never played FOR Dire Straits but was a guest artist at several live DS concerts.

Why did David Knopfler and Pick Withers leave Dire Straits?

David Knopfler and Pick Withers left Dire Straits to branch out on their own.

When was Brothers in Arms - Dire Straits album - created?

Brothers in Arms - Dire Straits album - was created in 1984-11.

Who sang money for nothing?

Dire straits

What was the Walk of Life?

a song by Dire Straits

Who plays Sultans of Swing?

Dire straits

Where did Dire Straits form the band?


Where is dire straits from?

They're from Newcastle, England.

What are the ratings and certificates for Dire Straits On the Night - 1993 V?

Dire Straits On the Night - 1993 V is rated/received certificates of: Australia:G

When was Tunnel of Love - Dire Straits song - created?

Tunnel of Love - Dire Straits song - was created on 1980-08-25.

When was Love over Gold - Dire Straits song - created?

Love over Gold - Dire Straits song - was created in 1984.

How can you put the word dire in a sentence?

The company is in dire straits. The dire situation kept the lifeboat's occupants quiet.

Did dire straits have a movie song?

Yeah movie called cal dire straits did the songs main one is called " the long road" theme from cal

Who is the guitar player in dire straits?

Mark Knopfler.

Who wrote the song 'Why Worry'?

It was Dire Straits.

Who is the lead singer for dire straits?

Mark Knopfler

Who sang 'Money for Nothing'?

Dire Straits

Dire Straits had a song called Sultans of?