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galley-west

[gal-ee-west] /ˈgæl iˈwɛst/
adverb
1.
Informal. into a state of unconsciousness, confusion, or disarray (usually used in the phrase to knock galley-west).
adjective
2.
Northern U.S. lopsided; cockeyed.
Origin
British dialect
1870-1875
1870-75, Americanism; alteration of British dialect collywest
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for galleywest

galley-west

adverb
1.
(slang, mainly US) into confusion, inaction, or unconsciousness (esp in the phrase knock (someone or something) galley-west)
Word Origin
C19: from English dialect colly-west awry, perhaps from Collyweston, a village in Northamptonshire
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for galleywest

as a destination where you knock something or someone, American English slang, by 1835; considered by OED to be a corruption of western England dialectal collyweston, name of a village in Northamptonshire ("Colin's West Farmstead") that somehow came to signify "askew, not right." But Farmer calls it an Americanism and goes in for it as an "indefinite superlative," and DAS also does not consider the obscure English term to be the source. Early nautical references suggest it might simply be what it looks like: a sailor's generic way of indicating something has been thrown pretty far by impact.

"Matter? why d--n my old shoes, Captain Williams, here is one of that bloody Don Dego's shot gone right through the galley-door, and through the side of the big copper, and knocked all the beef and hot water galley-west. ..." [N.Ames, "Old Sailor's Yarns," New York, 1835]

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for galleywest

galley-west

Related Terms

knock someone galley-west


The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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