Saturday, March 2, 2013

Sailor Mouth Saturday: Clothes

The clothes make the man, or so we're told, but at sea words that would indicate things used for covering the body human to a lubber mean something very different. Here's a handy list from Peter H. Spectre's The Mariner's Book of Days 2013:

Apron ~ a strengthening timber behind the stempost.
Belly band ~ a band of canvas across a sail to prevent it from "bellying" - or stretching - from the force of the wind.
Bibbs ~ mast brackets that support the trestle-trees; also called hounds.
Bonnet ~ a piece of sailcloth attached to the foot of a sail to temporarily increase sail area.
Boot-top ~ band of paint defining the waterline of a hull.
Breeching ~ a backstay.
Buckler ~ a shaped piece of wood for caulking the hawseholes.
Cap ~ a fitting at the head of a mast or the end of a spar.
Cape ~ a pormontory.
Clasp ~ a hook that clasps a ring, or a stay, or a rope.
Collar knot ~ a knot used to fit shrouds to a mast.
Dress ~ to bedeck a ship with flags, pennants and bunting.
Earings ~ small pieces of line attached to cringles in a sail to be used when reefing [I can always tell this one from the ear adornment by the spelling; it is also part of that sailor's jargon meaning "from head to toe"; "from clew to earing."]
Girdle ~ a piece of rope passed around anything; also, a plank fastened over the wales of a wooden vessel.
Hood ~ a covering over gear, scuttle, or companion; also, the last plank of a complete strake in wooden shipbuilding.
Jacket ~ the outer layer of a double-planked hull.
Jumper ~ a rope used to prevent unwanted movement of a mast, spar or boom.
Mast coat ~ a gasket used to waterproof the opening where a mast penetrates the deck.
Quilting ~ a jacket of canvas, leather or rope to protect a bottle from breaking.
Skirts ~ the main body of a sail.
Slip ~ to let something go on purpose - i.e., to slip the anchor; also a launching way; also a space for mooring a vessel.
Strap ~ an iron bar for working a capstan; also, a metal band around a block.
Suit ~ a set of sails.

Finally, clothes may make the man but it seems this aphorism is proven doubly so in the case of Captain Oliver Hazard Perry, the Hero of Lake Erie from the War of 1812 whose famous flag hangs just to my right as I write. Thanks to my dear mate Captain Swallow, it is a constant reminder to go forward, be brave and never mind maneuvers: always go at them!

Header: Captain Oliver Hazard Perry by Edward L. Mooney c 1839 via Wikipedia


Timmy! said...

Some of those were pretty funny, Pauline. I found "Belly band" to be particularly amusing.

And yes, thankee to Captain Swallow for the most appropriate of flags.

Pauline said...

It's all good, I think. I also like the dimple in OHP's chin. And his sideburns; very dashing.

Blue Lou Logan said...

Ahoy, ahoy! Not sure how else to do this, but Google has had the Journal of Blue Lou Logan decommissioned since mid-January, first with no notice, and still with no explanation. That's why ye haven't seen me at sea. However, after battling iOS, XML, PHP, SQL, and all nature of geeky beasties, the crew have been evacuated to

The sails need to be trimmed, the rigging tuned, and fresh tar and paint applied, but she's moving, and with no loss to crew. Please feel fee to come aboard, just careful around the mess. She's a new boat.

Also, I am also now active (quite active) on Facebook under my real name, Lou Winant. If you're in those waters, please find me.

Pauline said...

Lou; so good to hear from you!

I've heard more than one horror story about Blogger taking down sites without any rhyme or reason. I'm sorry it happened to you. Please let me know how Wordpress works for you. I was planning to make that switch myself last summer and then something came up...

I'll look you up on the ol' FB. I don't get over there much but when I do, it's good to find good mates!