ersatz_read (ersatz_read) wrote in 1word1day,


laveer, verb.  To sail against the wind; to tack.

Etymology:  From the Dutch nautical term laveren, first known use in English is from the late 1500s.  Tack (in the nautical sense) was first used in the mid 1500s, so the two words seem to have coexisted in English almost from the beginning.

" bend and turn about his own nature and laveer with every wind..."
(From Abraham Cowley, but apparently he was quoting Cicero's description of Roman politician Catiline, as a "general description of all ambitious men".)

How easy 'tis, when Destiny proves kind,
With full-spread sails to run before the wind!
But those that 'gainst stiff gales laveering go
Must be at once resolved and skilful too.
  - John Dryden, from "Astraea Redux"
Tags: dutch, l, verb, wordsmith: ersatz_read

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