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Beam

Thrown on my beam-ends. Driven to my last shift. A ship is said to be on her beam-ends when she is laid by a heavy gale completely on her beams or sides. Not unfrequently the only means of righting her in such a case is to cut away her masts.

On the starboard beam.
A distant point out at sea on the right-hand side, and at right angles to the keel. On the port beam. A similar point on the left-hand side.

On the weather beam.
On that side of a ship which faces the wind.

Beam

(of a stag). That part of the head from which the horns spring. (Anglo-Saxon béam, a tree; the horns are called branches.)

Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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