What is a sinking ship

Idiom: The rats leave the sinking ship

Rina T. from Reinach in Switzerland would like to know what rats and ships are all about

The new school newspaper doesn't really want to start. Now that the first edition has been printed, there is now a complete lack of further ideas for the second newspaper. And to top it all off, Thomas and Annika suddenly say that they need more time for their hobbies and will therefore no longer participate. But a critical student thinks this is a lazy excuse: "Oh nonsense! The rats are leaving the sinking ship."

You can understand what the phrase means if you know where the saying comes from. It's only indirectly about calling people rats names. Rather, the small, annoying rodents were always unintentionally on board on sailing ships in the past. And according to a seaman's belief, the rats were the first to sense an impending shipwreck and to flee from the boat as quickly as possible.

The phrase is generally used when a project is doomed to failure. You can tell by the first to give up instead of trying to save the company.

In the case of the school newspaper, the two editors' departure could even accelerate the decline. Perhaps the newspaper's remaining students should come up with a convincing concept to quickly get new, motivated people on board. Hopefully they won't give up at the first trouble. To stay in the sailor's language: So the students could try together to turn things around.

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