One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Use an oar, boathook, etc., to exert pressure so as to move a boat out from shore or away from another vessel.
- ‘She too had got possession of an oar, and had pushed off, so as to release the boat from the overhanging window-frame.’
- ‘The water was shallow enough, and the bottom varied enough, that they often touched up against a rock of bit of sandbar, and when they did, they reacted instantly, pushing off against it to move laterally.’
- ‘But when he tried to push off the block to get moving again, the block slid across the floor too.’
- ‘Push the ball behind your back toward your left hand as you push off your right foot to start moving to your left.’
- ‘They pushed off the shore, rowing through the ice of the wide Delaware.’
- ‘Finally, it did, and though the orders that followed were to return to ship, a squall blew up and the boats could not push off.’
- ‘He helped me into the boat, then pushed off and jumped in himself.’
- ‘Come right up to the bank to let her out, push off and be back again as soon as she was.’
- ‘Shapovalov pushes off for Ukraine in the men's four repechage.’
- ‘Once in the boat she ‘gets possession of an oar’ and pushes off.’
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