Our boat has had four names in its lifetime – What a Day, Y-Knot, Moody Blue, and Tickety Boo. In some ways, it seems odd to change a boat’s name. After all, you wouldn’t adopt a child and change her name. You might change a baby’s name, but imagine saying to a seven-year-old child, “From this day forward, your new name is Esther. Start getting used to it! Now, sit up and eat your peas. They’re good for you.”
Our boat is even older – 28 years old to be exact. She wasn’t too impressed by the fact that we changed her name – again. In fact, when we told her that we were going to change her name, suddenly equipment started breaking. I think it was her way of letting us know that she was struggling to embrace this whole name change nonsense. Even 28- year-old sailboats have been known to throw a temper tantrum from time to time.
We sat down with her and told what her new name meant. Tickety boo is one of our favorite New Zealand expressions. We love living in New Zealand and wanted a little Kiwi touch on our new boat. We explained that it’s a British expression meaning that “everything is all good.” Which is exactly what you want on a boat – for everything to be all good.
After that, she got on board with her new name.
I’m not sure what the true origin of tickety boo is – there are a lot of different stories out there. It could have come from the Hindi expression, “Tikai Babu,” meaning “It’s alright, Sir” or it could be a shortened version of “That’s the ticket.” Whatever the origin, it’s got a nice meaning and it’s fun to say. Go on, say it aloud – tickety boo. Kind of makes you smile, doesn’t it?
When I tell people the name of our boat, I get one of two reactions – “Oh, how cute!” and “Wow, your husband must really love you to let you name your boat that.” Considering most Americans have never heard the expression, it certainly generates a lot of questions about what it means. A guaranteed conversation starter.