in his black three-piece suit and silver watch chain,
“is the measure of the arms across the body from fingertip to fingertip
because fathom, or a word like it, faethm,
was the Old Northern European word for embrace.”
~Frank Delaney in Simple Courage: The True Story of Peril on the Sea.
but it was once defined by an act of Parliament as
“the length of a man’s arms around the object of his affections.”
The word derives from the Old English faethm,
meaning “the embracing arms.”
When we speak of mysteries beyond comprehension, we call them unfathomable. You can’t wrap your arms (or your mind) around it. Carson, my son who worked on a seiner fishing for salmon in Alaska, said, “Something is unfathomable when you run out of rope.”
How unsearchable are his judgments and how incrutable his ways!
~ Paul in the espistle to the Romans