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  #1  
Old 09-17-2013
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This curious nautical language

For a bit of fun:

Having recently completed a short stint on the full-rigged ship "Europa" (one of those once-in-a-lifetime experiences for those living outside of the USA or Europe) it hadn't occurred to me before how much even our nautical language has changed in the years since the Age of Sail.

eg: Whilst "port" is still port and "starboard" is still starboard, a modern yacht skipper's perfectly reasonable command to "Overhaul the lazy sheet!" would probably be met with questioning looks by all but a small handful of people on this forum; whereas a square-rigger captain's command to "Splice the main-brace!" might have most forum members diving below with glee, whilst the Old Salts ponder what exactly might be wrong with either of the perfectly sound braces on the main-yard..

Anyone else got any examples??
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Last edited by Classic30; 09-17-2013 at 09:22 PM.
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Old 09-17-2013
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Re: This curious nautical language

I thought it interesting that the American AC team was found guilty of the very traditional foul of "sand bagging."
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Old 09-18-2013
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Re: This curious nautical language

If you can't snug the snotter, I bet you can't bowse and tail either. We could gam a bit when the long trick's over.
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Last edited by Capt Len; 09-18-2013 at 12:54 AM.
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Old 09-18-2013
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Re: This curious nautical language

Does the baggywrinkle make my shrouds look fat?

Classic nautical terms and phrases are a hoot! Here's some of my favorites: Top Ten Nautical Terms.
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Old 09-18-2013
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Re: This curious nautical language

Quote:
Originally Posted by kwaltersmi View Post
Does the baggywrinkle make my shrouds look fat?

Classic nautical terms and phrases are a hoot! Here's some of my favorites: Top Ten Nautical Terms.
Most of those in that list are in common use these days and the meaning hasn't changed, if at all..

eg: "Turtling" (actually the phrase is "turn turtle") describes what you do to catch and kill one. Flip it over on it's back from a ship's boat using a boathook or an oar and they lie there helpless, ready to be hauled on board for consumption.
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"Honestly, I don't know why seamen persist in getting wrecked in some of the outlandish places they do, when they can do it in a nice place like Fiji." -- John Caldwell, "Desperate Voyage"

Last edited by Classic30; 09-18-2013 at 08:29 PM.
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Old 09-18-2013
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Re: This curious nautical language

Quote:
Originally Posted by Capt Len View Post
.....
We could gam a bit when the long trick's over.
We could.. but we'd be up in the rigging lashing the topmast in place: I'd rather be down below chewin' the fat.
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"Honestly, I don't know why seamen persist in getting wrecked in some of the outlandish places they do, when they can do it in a nice place like Fiji." -- John Caldwell, "Desperate Voyage"
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Old 09-18-2013
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Re: This curious nautical language

I'm just happy every day that I don't have to HEAVE OUT AND TRICE UP or CLAMP DOWN ALL WEATHERDECKS. I bolded them because I never heard those commands when they weren't shouted at me.

Of course, Naval nautical terms have always been slightly different and non-applicable jargon outside of the canoe club in most cases. I guess you could still take a monkey's fist to the head if you were skylarking, or get waylayed by gear adrift should the vessel come about.
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Old 09-18-2013
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Re: This curious nautical language

"Scandalize the gaff.", is a favorite aboard our little catboat. A great adjustment and quick.

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Old 09-18-2013
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Re: This curious nautical language

Swig up the halliards ?

Not completelly obscure but fading fast ... Handy Billy and the Blackwall Hitch.

Where would you find a Dandy or a Jigger ?
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Old 09-18-2013
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Re: This curious nautical language

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Originally Posted by tdw View Post
Swig up the halliards ?

Not completelly obscure but fading fast ... Handy Billy and the Blackwall Hitch.
Swig still means to take a little bit more in, whether that's on the halliards or a glass of booze, but "Handy Billy" is an interesting one.

Wikipedia and some USA sites seem to think it's some kind of portable pump(!)... and I've not seen any credible explanation for where the name came from.
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"Honestly, I don't know why seamen persist in getting wrecked in some of the outlandish places they do, when they can do it in a nice place like Fiji." -- John Caldwell, "Desperate Voyage"

Last edited by Classic30; 09-19-2013 at 12:02 AM.
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