What Am I Saying?
We hear phrases all our lives and know what they mean in the context of what we’re trying to say but sometimes, the word or phrase by itself makes no sense at all.
So I’m writing along about something and say that the average consumer, by and large…wait: or is it by in large or buy in large? And it makes no sense either way. So what are these words coming out of my typing fingers? I intend to mean “in general” or “taken as a whole”, but…
I’ll just let you read for yourself, mateys. And hoist up the portajohn and hitch up the bosuns. It’s a sailing ships nautical term meaning toward (by) the wind abaft the beam (large) –according to the Free dictionary) but the story’s more interesting at The Phrase Finder .