Blowing a Hooley
The Hooley River is located in India and runs through Calcutta. "It's blowing a HOOLEY", comes from when steamship captains were unable to sail up the river
Cold enough to Freeze the Balls of a Brass Monkey.
In the olden days of sailing ships, cannon balls were stacked on the decks on brass plates called "monkeys." The plates had indentions in them that held the balls on the bottoms of the stacks. Brass, however, expands and contracts at a different rate to iron and if it got cold enough, the cannon balls could fall...giving real foundation to the phrase "cold enough to freeze the balls off a brass monkey!"
Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea
Is an idiom meaning to choose between two undesirable situations (equivalent to "between a rock and a hard place"). Its original meaning may be that of a nautical reference citing the deep blue sea and a "devil"- a piece of wood or joint that is difficult to reach on a ship. According to the "International Maritime Dictionary" by René de Kerchove, the devil is 1. The seam in a wooden deck which bounds the waterway. It is so-called from its difficulty of access in calking. 2. A seam in the planking of a wooden ship on or below the waterline. If sailors fell from a footrope under a yardarm, they would either land on the deck (within the devil plank) or in the water (outside of the devil plank). Either option is likely fatal.
Were once the personal funds of ship cooks, who earned them by skimming off the fat, or "slush," from cooking and selling it when the ship came into port.
Son of a Gun.
Early warships had very cramped quarters. Sailors slept between the cannons because that was the only space available. They sometimes had female company on board. Some ships actually carried prostitutes. Other times a sailor's wife would be allowed on board so that he would not have to leave the ship, and potentially desert. In any case, many children were conceived between the cannons, or guns. Woman who gave birth on the ships typically also did so between the guns. The male children were thus called "son of a gun".
In the Scandinavian languages it is a very powerful whirlpool. The original Maelstrom is the Moskstraumen, a powerful tidal current in the Lofoten Islands off the Norwegian coast. The Nordic word was introduced into English by Edgar Allan Poe in his story "A Descent into the Maelstrom" (1841). In turn, the Nordic word may have been borrowed from Dutch maelstrom (modern spelling maalstroom).