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  1. suprunp's Avatar
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    #1

    goes over by the bow

    She [a ship] is down at the stern and listing to starboard. Silently, captured by some current invisible from the shore, she is drawn in toward the beach, quicker and quicker until she rams the stained pumice shelves with a groan and, ripped open, goes over by the bow and begins to sink.
    (Viriconium; M. John Harrison)

    Would you be so kind as to tell me what exactly 'goes over by the bow' means here?

    Thanks.

  2. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: goes over by the bow

    Do you know that the two ends of a ship are called the "bow" and the "stern"?
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  3. suprunp's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: goes over by the bow

    My profuse apologies if I my original question were not formulated in a lucid manner. At the risk of repeating myself, let me paraphrase it a bit:
    I'm aware of what 'bow' and 'stern' mean here, or, for that matter, any other word (separately) in the excerpt above. What puzzles me somewhat is the particular combination of the following words: 'goes over by the bow', an explanation as to the exact meaning of which I would be immensely grateful for.

    Thanks.

  4. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: goes over by the bow

    I've just asked a sailing friend of mine but he is not familiar with the term "to go over by ...". Initially, I (and he) thought it meant "to sink, with the front of the ship going under the water first". However, the start of your quote says "She is down at the stern" which suggests that the back of the ship is already low in the water so it would be more logical to assume that the back went under the water first. It also says that the ship is "listing to starboard" so maybe "to go over" means to tip even further sideways, but again it seems much more likely that that would happen closer to the stern than the bow, given the first few words.

    Perhaps someone else here is more familiar with the term. I hope so - I'd now like to know what it means!
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  5. Piscean's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: goes over by the bow

    I have a few thousand sea-going miles behind me, but 'go over by the bow' means nothing to me. Perhaps you'd let us know if you get an answer here http://forum.wordreference.com/threa...e-bow.3101593/, suprunp.

  6. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: goes over by the bow

    Even though the stern was low, the subsequent trauma could have damaged the bow enough to completely sink the ship. The phrase "ripped open" seems to speak to the serious damage.

  7. Piscean's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: goes over by the bow

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeNewYork View Post
    Even though the stern was low, the subsequent trauma could have damaged the bow enough to completely sink the ship..
    That's possible, but then I'd say 'she went down bow first'.

  8. teechar's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: goes over by the bow

    Quote Originally Posted by suprunp View Post
    goes over
    self-styled phrasal verb meaning go down or sink.

  9. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #9

    Re: goes over by the bow

    Quote Originally Posted by teechar View Post
    This is/could be a self-styled phrasal verb meaning "go down" or "sink".
    Are you suggesting that the writer invented the phrasal verb?
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  10. teechar's Avatar
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    #10

    Re: goes over by the bow

    For that usage, yes, I am.

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