Saturday, January 26, 2013

Sailor Mouth Saturday: From Arm To Zulu

We're changing SMS up today because nothing is worse than a lack of deviation. At least in my opinion. So here, for your consideration, if a curious list from A Mariner's Miscellany by Peter H. Spectre. These are words that may be familiar to any lubber, but their meaning at sea might leave him or her scratching their land-bound head.

Arm: the portion of an anchor between the crown and the flukes.
Bank: a shoal which is full of enough deep water to navigate a ship through.
Caboose: a cook station on the deck of a sailing ship.
Dead head: a spar or log, usually floating on end, which is mostly submerged and therefore a dangerous obstacle to navigation.
Earing: a line used to bend a sail to a spar.
Fox: a group of rope yarns twisted together.
Groin: a breakwater.
Hog: that unfortunate state of a badly constructed vessel where her bow and stern drop down while her wait rises up.
Indian head: a type of New England fishing schooner first seen around 1900.
Jackass: a canvas bag filled with oakum and stuffed into the hawsehole to make it watertight.
Kid: a tub for serving out soups and stews.
Leech: the after side of a fore-and-aft sail or the outer sides of a square sail.
Mole: a man made breakwater, usually constructed of masonry, and used as a landing for ships.
Nose: the stem of a vessel.
Ordinary: naval term for a vessel that is not sailing and laid up in port, but still in commission.
Pea: the point of an anchor's palm.
Quarter: the side section of a vessel from the aftermost chainplate to the stern. Thus "the wind on her quarter." This should not be confused with the quarterdeck, which is the raised deck at the aft of most ships without a poop.
Roach: the curve in the side of a sail.
Sheets: lines used to control the sails.
Throat: the part of a gaff nearest to the mast.
Up: the position of the helm which allows the vessel to fall off the wind.
Vast!: short for avast; an order to stop as in "Vast fighting!"
Whack: a sailors food ration.
Yankee: a jib topsail. Probably so called because of its development by colonial sailors.
Zulu: a lug-rigged fishing boat used on the coast of Scotland.

There; a whole flock of useful words from one SMS courtesy of that expert in all things seafaring, Mr. Spectre.

Header: A Ship in Storm by an unknown artist via my good mates at Under The Black Flag's Facebook page


irwin said...

Great choice of words. A challenge to even this seasoned armchair sailor.
I'm glad I started following your blog and happy belated birthday.

Pauline said...

Thank you irwin; some fun twists among these.

I'm glad you started following Triple P, too!

Timmy! said...

Those are very interesting and informative, Pauline. Thankee!

Very cool painting, too!

Pauline said...

You are most welcome. I think it's a fun list.