Retired English Teacher
Do you hear it where you live? What does it mean?
Read more here: Glossary of nautical terms - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia...
# By and large – By means into the wind, while large means with the wind. "By and large" is used to indicate all possible situations "the ship handles well both by and large".
As you'll see from that link (very long list!), current language is full of such terms, although people who use the words have any idea of the background.
I love, love, LOVE the background you bring to these discussions!
I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.
I had no idea where it came from.