Ready or steady?

I was thinking about how easy it is to not remember something quite correctly and yet be convinced that what you do recall is absolutely right. This is what I wrote about remembering a few years ago:

I was writing to a friend and was saying something about being prepared for action (writing action, actually!) and having said ‘man the pumps‘ and ‘all hands on deck‘, I was going to add ‘ready aye ready‘ – meaning ready always ready, when I suddenly thought that it wasn’t quite right. The pumps and decks reference are navy slang – my friend was a sailor so I was making a bit of a jokey reference; but is ‘ready aye ready‘ correct? or is ‘ready boys/lads ready‘?

I looked it up: ‘aye ready‘ is Rangers Football Club, commonly known as just Glasgow Rangers, motto and  apparently it’s sometimes shortened to just ‘ready’.  The phrase also has a rather controversial connotation in Canada, in its quest for independence from Britain, and  “became tainted with the feeling of a blind following of another country’s politics”:

It was a long road to being its own country and state:

Independence from the United Kingdom

  • Confederation July 1, 1867
  • Statute of Westminster December 11, 1931
  • Patriation April 17, 1982

I continued to look for the phrase, and I think I have found why it seemed familiar to me. When my son was much younger he became a Sea Cadet, and their motto is… Ready Aye Ready! So that is how I knew it! And yes, there is a naval connection!

… oh, and I was probably also thinking of the song, Hearts of Oak which has the refrain ‘ready, boys ready, we’ll fight and we’ll conquer again and again!’

… or was ‘it steady, boys, stead,’?


  1. David Lewis

    Our motto in the Boy Scouts was Be Prepared. We weren”t told what for but it had an air of urgency about it. My granddaughter is a Brownie now and I’ll have to ask her there motto.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Lois

      I was Brownie! I’m struggling to think of the motto… I remember the Brownie Promise was : “I promise to do my best, to do my duty to God and the Queen, to help other people every day, especially those at home”… quite a good way to live life!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.