A Short Essay from the New York Times - SailNet Community

   Search Sailnet:

 forums  store  


Quick Menu
Forums           
Articles          
Galleries        
Boat Reviews  
Classifieds     
Search SailNet 
Boat Search (new)

Shop the
SailNet Store
Anchor Locker
Boatbuilding & Repair
Charts
Clothing
Electrical
Electronics
Engine
Hatches and Portlights
Interior And Galley
Maintenance
Marine Electronics
Navigation
Other Items
Plumbing and Pumps
Rigging
Safety
Sailing Hardware
Trailer & Watersports
Clearance Items

Advertise Here






Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest > General Discussion (sailing related)
 Not a Member? 


Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
  #1  
Old 04-10-2008
Valiente's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Toronto
Posts: 5,491
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 10
Valiente has a spectacular aura about Valiente has a spectacular aura about
A Short Essay from the New York Times

I stumbled on this and thought it was a nice read. The topic is "the mystery of nautical language".


http://www.nytimes.com/2008/04/09/op...in&oref=slogin

"Part of the trouble is that I have never seen a vang. But it’s also that “vang” doesn’t sound like a noun to me. It sounds like the past tense of “ving,” which sounds like something you might do to a “vong.” And those are words with no meaning — nautical or otherwise."

Feel free to name a nautical term or process that you've never been quite sure about the meaning or the origin. Even in these days of Google, some words are just too obscure to understand.
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #2  
Old 04-10-2008
artbyjody's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Bellingham, PNW
Posts: 3,146
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 10
artbyjody is just really nice artbyjody is just really nice artbyjody is just really nice artbyjody is just really nice
I never understood the usage of the term "HEAD"...

Quite frankly when you hear the term "He's gotta a good head on those shoulders", you think - powerful thinker or a good doer - it is like someone you might want to know...

Go use the "Head"... however, I mean really who wants to think during the act of excrement of whatever form..

Now to give that < that sexual connotation > I understood because that is the role men and women should share - to absorb thoughts and feelings completely but never with the words...

But sorry, go to the "Head"....its still a crapper and as a result no matter what the deposits are it will still stink...

The only reason I can make for it being called a head is that after one is done - they want to "Head" away from the stench one leaves behind or compounds upon......

interesting article Val!
__________________
-- Jody

S/V "
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
" -
1983, Barberis Show 38! or
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.



To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.







Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #3  
Old 04-10-2008
Moonfish's Avatar
Cruiser/Lats and Atts TV
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Friday Harbor, WA
Posts: 372
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 12
Moonfish is on a distinguished road
In the old days of wooden ships and iron men the crapper was at the head of the boat, and was basically an open hole to the sea below. Hence, "I'm going to the head..."

At least they never had to deal with holding tanks and smelly hoses.
__________________

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
"Always approach the dock at the speed you wish to hit it."
s/v VENUS
1978 North Sea 33 Pilothouse Cutter (Ta Chiao)

Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #4  
Old 04-10-2008
artbyjody's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Bellingham, PNW
Posts: 3,146
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 10
artbyjody is just really nice artbyjody is just really nice artbyjody is just really nice artbyjody is just really nice
Quote:
Originally Posted by Moonfish View Post
In the old days of wooden ships and iron men the crapper was at the head of the boat, and was basically an open hole to the sea below. Hence, "I'm going to the head..."

At least they never had to deal with holding tanks and smelly hoses.

Thanks and so glad hemp didn't come with the reply.... (you have time)...

__________________
-- Jody

S/V "
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
" -
1983, Barberis Show 38! or
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.



To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.







Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #5  
Old 04-10-2008
sailboy21's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: SE Alaska
Posts: 722
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 9
sailboy21 is on a distinguished road
Quote:
Originally Posted by Moonfish View Post
In the old days of wooden ships and iron men the crapper was at the head of the boat, and was basically an open hole to the sea below. Hence, "I'm going to the head..."

At least they never had to deal with holding tanks and smelly hoses.
If they were lucky. My understanding was you just hang out over the side and go. Worlds largest bidet.
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #6  
Old 04-10-2008
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 388
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 13
Johnrb is on a distinguished road
The reason the crapper was at the "head" of the ship was the location of the captain's cabin at the stern. The captain wouldn't be too pleased to see bottoms hanging over his stern although I expect the crew may have enjoyed it.
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #7  
Old 04-10-2008
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Posts: 322
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 15
gtod25 is on a distinguished road
Origin of term "Head"

cat·head <******>play_w("C0162500")
"A beam projecting outward from the bow of a ship and used as a support to lift the anchor."

The netting underneath was eventually replaced on some by purpose built seating.
__________________


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #8  
Old 04-10-2008
Boasun's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: New Orleans, LA
Posts: 3,064
Thanks: 1
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 9
Boasun will become famous soon enough Boasun will become famous soon enough
Back before you were even a twinkle in your Great granddaddy's eye let alone your father's and long before steam. The ships were square rigged. Using square sails on all three masts mostly. Thus the wind from a reach to astern. Those square riggers didn't sail close to the wind like today's sloops, cutters and ketchs. So to alleviate the aroma of doing what is necessary, they had the simple commodes (a plank with a hole in it so you can sit) in the bows of the ship between the stemhead and the trail boards. Since this place was at the head of the ship. The expression: "Going to the head" became thoroughly ingrained in maritime terminology. Making the bathrooms aboard vessels "Heads". And to wipe?? A bucket of sea water and a rag.
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #9  
Old 04-10-2008
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Posts: 322
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 15
gtod25 is on a distinguished road
Unhappy Please stop referring to the "head of the ship"....

its embarrassing on a forum of this caliber;


__________________


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #10  
Old 04-10-2008
billyruffn's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 1,281
Thanks: 5
Thanked 27 Times in 18 Posts
Rep Power: 11
billyruffn will become famous soon enough
To clean this thread up a bit, let me say, "Good post!!"

Inspite her newbie status I think the author of this piece demonstrates great insight in her description of sailing:

"You find yourself at sea, awash in the natural world, and yet at the same time you find yourself immured in a vigilant kind of properness, a clear sense of how things should be. It’s not just a matter of proper names. It’s a matter of proper actions and responses, without which there is a world of trouble. There is something deeply ethical about it..."

As Henry Higgins said, " I think she's got it! By George, I think she's got it!"

Last edited by billyruffn; 04-10-2008 at 09:39 PM.
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools

 
Posting Rules
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may post attachments
You may edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
If Wanderlust Strikes, Their House Goes, Too - New York Times NewsReader News Feeds 0 06-01-2007 10:15 PM
The Age of Dissonance Uninviting Invitations - New York Times NewsReader News Feeds 0 02-11-2007 12:15 PM
Uninviting Invitations - New York Times NewsReader News Feeds 0 02-10-2007 01:15 AM
Brothers fall just short of winning race - Port Huron Times Herald NewsReader News Feeds 0 07-17-2006 09:15 AM
Philip Merrill, 72, Publisher and Ex-Diplomat, Is Dead - New York Times NewsReader News Feeds 0 06-14-2006 12:15 AM


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 01:17 AM.

Add to My Yahoo!         
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
SEO by vBSEO 3.6.1
(c) Marine.com LLC 2000-2012

The SailNet.com store is owned and operated by a company independent of the SailNet.com forum. You are now leaving the SailNet forum. Click OK to continue or Cancel to return to the SailNet forum.