Description: It is bad luck to have a woman on board a ship.
Origin: 16th Century Europe
You can see how this one could arise as a matter of necessity and sour grapes, given all those lonely nights away from shore. Women on board a ship were said by sailors to anger the gods of the sea, who might be liable to raise storms and sink ships in protest, or unless the women were thrown overboard.
On the other hand, the presence of a naked woman was said to ensure calm seas - which is part of the reason semi-naked female figureheads featured on so many ships of the era.
WOMEN ON BOARD A SHIP? THESE GIRLS ARE WELCOME ON MY BOAT ANY DAY!
Note: These superstitions
were researched and written by Stuart Macfarlane (Website:
and Tom Metcalfe (Website:
The text is covered by
copyright law - please do not use without first requesting permission.