Keel

“Keel” you may know. Ships have keels (quillas). However, this article focuses on expressions using the word keel.

Some examples:

  • Someone can “keel over” (caer redondo). For example, if Alejandro drinks too many beers he keels over.
  • A ship can “keel over” or capsize (volcarse).
  • Mr. Rajoy, the Spanish Prime Minister, is trying to keep his government “on an even keel”, that is (es decir), he is trying to keep the government going on a balanced basis (… esta intentando mantener el equilibrio del gobierno).
  • You can also try to keep your company on an even keel, perhaps after a difficult period. Here is an example: Mr. Morales is trying to keep his company on an even keel (intentando estabilizarla).
  • Sometimes it is necessary to get a marriage back on an even keel, as in this example. Mr. Bercow, has managed to get his marriage back on an even keel (…ha conseguido volver a estabilizar su matrimonio).

In historical novels about seafaring (de marinero) some seamen (marineros) were “keelhauled” (fueron pasado por debajo de la quilla, como castigo).

So if you drink too much whisky, you could keel over, and perhaps you will have to get your marriage back on an even keel. Or perhaps your wife might want you “keelhauled” for your whisky habits. A rather harsh punishment!