The phrase was originally 'Between the Devil and the deep sea'. The sea turned blue much later and the phrase became well-known via the title of a popular song. Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea was written by Ted Koehler and Harold Arlen, and recorded by Cab Calloway in , although that version of the phrase may have been circulating earlier. What's the source of the original phrase?
between the devil and the deep blue sea
Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea - Wikipedia
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Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea (song)
A similar expression is between a rock and a hard place. This expression has existed since at least the s. When a sailor attempted to caulk this seam in heavy seas, he was in serious danger of failing overboard and drowning. In other words, the sailor was faced with two awful choices: risk his life to repair the ship or risk the entire ship by not repairing the ship. In the following example, a new mother is discussing childcare with her friend.
Seamen, captains, and pirates occupy a special place in our popular culture, yet until now the historical record of their lives has been remarkably neglected. This brilliant account of the maritime world of the eighteenth-century reconstructs in detail the social and cultural milieu of Anglo-American seafaring and piracy. Rediker follows sailors and their ships along the pulsing trade routes, into ports with their crowded waterfront society of brothels, alehouses, brawls and jails, and paints a compelling picture of their world at sea with its brutal labour, harsh discipline, hangings and floggings.