Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Nautical A blue flag with a white square in the center, flown to signal that a ship is ready to sail.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A blue signal flag with a white rectangle in the centre, signifying "P". When flown alone, indicates that a ship is ready to sail, requiring all crew members and passengers to return on board.

Etymologies

From the fact that it represents the letter P in the International Code of Symbols.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

Examples

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Comments

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  • A Sea of Words defines this as:
    "A blue flag with a white rectangle in the middle, signifying the letter P in the international code, hoisted to signal that the ship is ready to sail, especially to recall the crew." (112)

    Dictionary of Newfoundland English describes it as "seaman's jacket." Usage: '1898 The Record 10 So great was his emotion, Jess expected to see the buttons fly off his blue-peter... His manly bosom rose and fell with the regularity of a ferris-wheel.' (52)

    February 29, 2008