born with a silver spoon

Quick Reference

An old naval saying to indicate those young gentlemen who, through birth or connection, were able to enter the Royal Navy without examination and whose subsequent promotion was assured. They were said to enter the navy through cabin windows in distinction from those others, said to have been born with a wooden ladle, who rose by merit and were said to enter the navy through the hawseholes.

See also captain's servant.

See also captain's servant.

Subjects: Maritime History.

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