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Respectfully Quoted: A Dictionary of Quotations. 1989.

NUMBER: 1689
AUTHOR: Chester William Nimitz (1885–1966)
QUOTATION: [A ship is always referred to as “she”] Because it costs so much to keep one in paint and powder.
ATTRIBUTION: Rear Admiral CHESTER W. NIMITZ, answer when asked why a ship is always referred to as she, to Society of Sponsors of the United States Navy, Washington, D.C., February 13, 1940.—Associated Press dispatch, The New York Times, February 15, 1940, p. 39.
SUBJECTS: Ships and shipping