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Sailing within the Wind or Sailing close to the Wind

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Going to the very verge of propriety, or acting so as just to escape the letter of the law. The phrase, of course, is nautical.

“The jokes [of our predecessors] might have been broader than modern manners allow, but … the masher sails nearer the wind than did his ruder forefathers.”—Nineteenth Century, November, 1892, p. 795.


“Ea defended himself by declaring that he did not tell Hasisadra anything; he only sent her a dream. This was undoubtedly sailing very near the wind.”—Nineteenth Century, June, 1891, p. 911.

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Entry taken from Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, edited by the Rev. E. Cobham Brewer, LL.D. and revised in 1895.

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Saga (plural Sagas)
Sagan of Jerusalem
Sages (The Seven)
Sagittarius
Sagittary
Sagramour le Desirus
Sahib (in Bengalee, Saheb)
Sail
Sail before the Wind (To)
Sailing under False Colours
Sailing within the Wind or Sailing close to the Wind
Sailor King
Saint
St. Bees College (Cumberland)
St. Cecilia
St. Cuthbert’s Duck
St. Distaff
St. Elmo
St. Francis
St. George’s Cross
St. John Long