"Steady as she goes, Captain."
"I thought I said that."
Personification was a figure of speech that gave humanoid traits or attribution to an object or animal that was not humanoid. On Earth, familiar personifications included the Grim Reaper, who personified death, and Uncle Sam, who personified the United States.
Following the repair of Data on Ba'ku in 2375, Data could not understand why one of the natives, Artim, feared him. He explained his feelings to Captain Jean-Luc Picard, who explained to Data that, "You have to remember these people have rejected technology," allowing Data to determine that he, an android, was "the personification of everything they have rejected." (Star Trek: Insurrection)
It was not uncommon to personify starships out of familiarity, especially in the case of a ships commanding officer to often repeat the naval parlance "Steady as she goes," as was spoken by James T. Kirk, Montgomery Scott, Hikaru Sulu, Jean-Luc Picard, Geordi LaForge, Jadzia Dax, Karen Farris, and Kathryn Janeway. (TOS: "The Naked Time", "Charlie X", "Balance of Terror", "The Enemy Within", "Court Martial", and more, "The Deadly Years", "Spectre of the Gun"; TAS: "Beyond the Farthest Star", "The Pirates of Orion"; Star Trek: The Motion Picture, Star Trek III: The Search for Spock, Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home; TNG: "The Arsenal of Freedom", "The Emissary", "Imaginary Friend"; DS9: "For the Uniform", "Valiant"; VOY: "Bliss", "Night", "Dark Frontier")
Montgomery Scott was perhaps the most frequent to make such comments out of his fondness for the USS Enterprise. Of his more colorful instances included when the Enterprise experienced a burn out while attempting to divert an asteroid from hitting Amerind in 2268, when expressed his dismay in what was happening by referring to the ship as, "My bairns. My poor bairns." (TOS: "The Paradise Syndrome") In another instance, Scott said of the out-of-control ship, that "She's a projectile at warp nine. And don't ask me what's holding her together." (TOS: "Day of the Dove") In 2285, when the Enterprise was en route to planet Genesis, Scott assured Admiral Kirk that "she's got her second wind now." (Star Trek III: The Search for Spock)
A few years later, Scott spoke of the USS Enterprise-A in the same context, even noting it in the shakedown cruise report that "she's got a fine engine". Later he quoted Kirk's first order to take the Enterprise-A to warp, from two years prior, "'Let's see what she's got' said the Captain. And then we found out, didn't we?" Uhura assured, "I know you'll whip her into shape, Scotty. You always do." When Uhura later complained that Scott wasn't joining her for shore leave, Scott said of the Enterprise, "Oh, I can't leave her when she needs me the most." (Star Trek V: The Final Frontier) After being recovered from 75 years in a transporter suspension, and learning that the rescuing crew had came from the USS Enterprise-D – though not specified as the "-D" – he exclaimed that he "bet Jim Kirk himself hauled the old girl out of mothballs to come looking for me." (TNG: "Relics")
Scotty wasn't the only one to make such claims about the Enterprise. During the M-5 drills, when Hikaru Sulu was unable to override M-5, and described how "She won't respond, sir. She's maintaining course." Spock later made the same description of the damaged USS Lexington, when he stated "Possible damage to her impulse engines. She's still maneuverable on warp drive." (TOS: "The Ultimate Computer") James T. Kirk once told one of the Mudd androids named Alice that "the Enterprise was a lovely lady and we loved her," which to the android was an illogical statement, forcing her to coordinate with Norman. (TOS: "I, Mudd") Years later, Kirk wondered about the possible intentions of the non-responsive USS Grissom, asking aloud, "What's the Grissom up to? Will she join us, or will she fire on us?" (Star Trek III: The Search for Spock)