Have you ever heard of a Nantucket sleigh ride? Read about the origin of this old-time New England phrase.
By Yankee Magazine
Oct 14 2016
A Nantucket sleigh ride isn’t as fun as it might sound…
Whalers coined the term Nantucket sleigh ride between 1750 and 1840, when Nantucket was then known as one of the world’s whaling capitals. After the harpooners struck the whale, it often took off on the surface of the water, dragging behind it five or six men in the whaleboat. For miles, they bumped over the swells until the whale tired and gave up. Fishermen and sailors still use this term when the ocean takes them on a ride they can’t quite control.
This post was first published in 2014 and has been updated.