What does the expression “to box the compass” mean and Where does it come from?

The expression “to box the compass” means to make a complete turn; also, to adopt successively all possible opinions on a question.

Of course, any mariner would say that is all stuff and nonsense, and in his way of thinking he would be right.

With him the phrase has just one meaning; to recite in order the thirty-two points of the compass, starting from north around through east, south, west, and back to north.

what does the expression to box the compass mean and where does it come from

But, of course, in doing so one describes a complete turn.

The figurative sense has been with us since at least the beginning of the nineteenth century.

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Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist for zippyfacts.com. Born in New York, she loves interesting random facts from all over the world.