One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A belt of calm air and sea occurring in both the northern and southern hemispheres between the trade winds and the westerlies.
- ‘Anyone publishing it should be shanghaied aboard a hell-ship and flogged through the horse latitudes.’
- ‘Of course, with subscription and newsstand sales both stuck in the horse latitudes, the temptation to ‘manage’ circulation remains great.’
- ‘Here are our lovingly researched, adrenaline-and rum-spiked reasons to love the horse latitudes.’
- ‘If you're bound for the horse latitudes, L.L. Bean's Roll-Up Panama Hat sheds water and is as airy as a Bermuda veranda.’
- ‘He comes up with a nice line in bumptious hyperbole in tribute to the acres of print spilled during our recent, prolonged spell in the horse latitudes of politics.’
Late 18th century: origin uncertain; perhaps from the fact that becalmed sailing ships on long journeys were said to have thrown horses overboard to conserve water for the crew.
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