ABACK. ALL ABACK. The position of the sails when their surfaces press against the mast.

ABAFT. The after part, or stern of a vessel.

ABANDONMENT OF A VESSEL. A crew deserting a sinking or disabled ship.

ABEAM. In a line at right angles with a vessel's length. Side by side.

ABOVE BOARD. Over the deck. A common phrase for honest, open dealing.

A-BOX. When the yards are braced in opposite directions, to ensure a ship casting the right way, by bracing the head yards flat aback.

ABOUT. On the other tack.


A-BURTON. The arrangement of casks in the hold, when stowed in a line with the beam.

A-CAST. In weighing anchor, the head yards are generally braced acast, to ensure the vessel casting in the right direction.

ACCOMMODATIONS. Applied to the gangway ladder by which officers enter a ship.

A COCKBILL. An anchor, when it hangs to the cathead by the ring only. The position of the yards when they are topped up at an angle with the deck.

ACTION. A term used instead of battle; hence the order "clear for action." Action and reaction, the mutual counteracting influence of two bodies.

ADRIFT. Broken from mooring, driven at random by tide and wind.

AFLOAT. Borne on the water, floating on the surface.

AFORE. In front, before the mast.

AFT. The opposite of afore. Near the stern.

AGROUND. Resting on the ground, or stranded.

AHEAD. In advance. Any object before the ship.

A-HOLD. A term used for bringing the ship close to the wind.

A-HOY. A term used for hailing a ship.

A-HULL. When a ship lies with her sails furled, and her helm a-lee.

AIDE-DE-CAMP. An officer on the staff of a general or admiral; for instance, a flag lieutenant.

AIM. Laying a gun or a rifle at any given object.

A-LEE. The position of the helm in tacking ship when placed in the opposite direction from that in which the wind blows.

ALERT. Watchful. Quick. To be ready for any emergency.

ALL HANDS. An expression used when the whole of the crew are required for any special evolution.

ALL IN THE WIND. When a vessel is too close to the wind, so that her sails shake.

ALLOTMENT. A portion of the pay appropriated monthly for relations of seamen and marines on foreign stations.

ALOFT. On the yards or in the rigging.

ALOOF. To keep at a distance.

a.m. Ante-Meridiem, before noon.

AMAIN. Suddenly. Quickly. At once. With force.

AMBUSH. A place to lie inwaiting.

AMIDSHIPS. The middle of a vessel, in speaking of her length or breadth.

ANCHOR. A large heavy instrument of iron attached to a cable, used for securing the ship in any given position, by dropping it on the ground.

ANCHORAGE. Any ground suitable for a ship to anchor.

ANCHOR CHOCKS. Pieces of wood notched into an anchor stock, to render it firmer where it has become defective.

ANCHOR WATCH. A portion of the crew kept on watch at night when blowing heavy.

AN-END. The situation of any mast that is placed perpendicular to the deck.

ANTI-GALLICANS. A pair of additional backstays frequently used by merchant ships to support the masts.

ANTIPODES. Those people living on the other side of the globe, such as the inhabitants of Australia.

A-PEEK. In shortening — in a cable when a ship is entirely over her anchor.

APEX. The point or summit of anything. The top of a hill or mountain.

APRON. A cover for backs of guns. Painted canvas used by man heaving the lead as an apron. A strengthening piece of timber placed behind the lower end of the stern, and above the fore eud of the keel.

ARCH-BOARD. The part of the stern over the counter, directly under the knuckles of the stern timbers.

ARM. The outer ends of the yard, or the lower part of an anchor. It also denotes a narrow bay of the sea.

ARM CHEST. A movable locker, on the deck, for containing arms, such as rifles, cutlasses, &c.

ARMING. Filling the hollow in the bottom of the deep sea lead with tallow, to ascertain the nature of the ground.

ARM RACK. A structure, for the stowage of arms convenient for use.

ARMS. All instruments of war.

ARMSTRONG GUNS. A rifled breech-loading gun, invented by Sir William Armstrong.

ARTICLES OF WAR. A code of rules and regulations to be observed in the Navy, based on Act of Parliament, and read to the ship's company monthly, to enable every man and boy to be acquainted with them.

ASHORE. On land. Aground.

ASLANT. Not perpendicular, not a direct line.

A-STAY. The anchor is said to be astay when the cable is in a line with the fore stay.

ASTERN. In the wake of; behind a ship.

ALL-A-TAUNTO. Every mast perpendicular, and fully rigged. Yards across.

ATHWARTSHIPS. The reverse of fore and aft.

ATHAWARTHAWSE. Anything drifting across the bow of a ship by accident.

A-TRIP. A word used to denote the anchor being clear of the ground.

ATWEEN AND ATWIXT. Any intermediate space. The lower deck of a frigate is commonly termed "'tween-decks."

AUXILIARY SCREW. A vessel depending as much on her sailing powers, as her steam.

A VAST. The order hold fast, to stop. Hence the term avastheaving.

AWAFT OR AWHEFT. The displaying of a stopped flag.

AWAY SHE GOES. A common expression used for men to step out smartly with any purchase.

AWAY THERE. A common expression used by a boatswain's mate in calling a boat's crew away, as, "Away there, cutters."

A-WEATHER. When the helm is placed in the direction the wind blows.

A-WEIGH. Synonymous with strip.

AWNING. A covering of canvas spread over the deck of a vessel to keep off sun and rain.

AYE-AYE. A prompt reply on receiving an order. Hence the answer, "Aye, Aye, sir."

BACK. Backing an anchor is when yon attach a small one to a big one, to prevent it coming home easily.

BACKBOARD. A board across the stern sheets of a boat making the coxswain's box.

BACK HER. An order to the engineer to reverse the engines.

BADGE. A mark of distinction.

BAGPIPE. To bagpipe the mizen is to lay it aback, by bringing the sheet to the mizen shrouds.

BALANCE-REEF. A reef which runs from the outer head earring in a spanker or fore and aft mainsail to the tack in a diagonal direction, nearly forming a triangle; used when blowing heavy.

BALE. Signifies a large package, as a bale of duck, or any other slops used in the Navy; to bale a boat, is to throw water out of her.

BALLAST. Weight used to keep a ship steady, consisting of iron, gravel, stone, &c.

BANK FIRES. Keeping the fires low without extinguishing, so as to be able to get up steam directly. An expression used in a steamer.

BAR. A shoal at the entrance of a harbour.

BARE POLES. A ship scudding with all her sails furled, is said to be under bare poles.

BARGE. A long light boat, especially for the use of admirals and captains.

BARNACLE. A shell fish which adheres to a ship's bottom.

BARQUE. A three-wasted vessel, with yards on her fore and main, but none on her mizen.

BASON. A wet dock, in which ships may be kept afloat at all times of tide.

BATTENING HATCHES. Securing them by means of tarpaulins, which are kept in place by battens being placed over them.

BEACH. A shore of shingle, &c. To place a boat or vessel on the shore where there is no harbour.

BEACON. A post or buoy denoting the position of a shoal or sand bank, also placed on the land as a guide to seamen.

BEAMS. Strong pieces of timber athwartships, to support the decks.

BEAR. A large stone used for stoning the deck, for which purpose it is fitted with drag ropes, and run fore and aft the deck by a number of men.

BEAR A HAND. Make haste.

BEARING. The position of any object from the ship or person by compass.

BEATING. Tacking towards the direction of the wind.

BECALM. Not sufficient wind to sail a ship.

BECKET. A piece of rope forming a loop or handle to a bucket, a spar, or another rope.

BELAY. To fasten a rope by twining it several times round a belaying pin, so that it may be quickly let go in case of a sudden squall.

BEND. To make a thing fast. To bend a sail — Is to make it fast to the yard. To bend a cable — Is to make it fast to the anchor.

BENEAPED. When the tide does not rise high enough to float a vessel, she is said to be beneaped.

BENTINCK SHROUDS. Formerly used. They extend from the weather futtock staves to the lee channels.

BERTH. A sleeping place. A ship's station at anchor, or alongside a quay.

BETWEEN DECKS. Space between the two decks of a ship.

BIBBS. Pieces of timber placed to support the trestletrees, fastened to the hounds of the mast.

BIGHT. Any part of a rope that is folded may be called the bight, except the ends.

BILGE. That part of a ship near the keel that rests on the ground; if a ship's bottom is staved in, she is said to be bilged. Bilge is also the largest circumference of a cask.

BINNACLE. The wooden case or box which contains the compass.

BISCUITS. A composition of flour, well kneaded and slowly baked; it preserves a long time, and is used by sailors instead of bread at sea.

BITE. The anchor is said to bite when it has a good hold of the ground.

BITTER. Any turn of the cable round the bitts is said to be a bitter. Singing songs on the forecastle is termed fore bitters.

BLADE. The flat part of an oar, or fan of a screw.

BLOCKADE. A blocking up or preventing communication with a coast, by means of a fleet.

BLUE PETER. The well-known flag hoisted at the fore topmast head as a signal for sailing.

BLUFF. High land running nearly perpendicular to the sea is called the bluff of the land.

BOAT-HOOK. A long iron hook with a prong fixed to a wooden staff, by the help of which a boat is pulled alongside a wharf or ship.

BOAT-ROPE. A rope attached to a boat by which she is hauled alongside a ship or towed. Called also a painter.

BOAT'S-CREW. A certain number of men chosen as the crew of any particular boat, as the captain's gig, the barge's crew, cutter's crew, &c., &c.

BOATSWAIN. A warrant officer, whose principal duty is the charge of the rigging.

BOATSWAIN'S MATE. An assistant to the boatswain.

BOAT THE OARS. Placing them in their proper positions, fore and aft, on the thwarts, ready for use.

BOLTS. Bars of Iron or Copper, used as fastenings, to unite the different parts of a ship together.

BONNET. An additional part of a sail laced to the foot of a jib, foresail, or any gaff sails.

BOOT TOPPING. Scraping the grass, barnacles, or any other matter off a ship's bottom.

BOUND. A ship going to any particular port; hence the expression outward or homeward bound.

BOWGRACE. A frame of old rope or junk, placed round the bows and sides of a vessel to prevent the ice injuring her.

BOWSE. To clap a number of hands on any purchase or rope, hence the order given in a cutter, "bowse up the jib purchase."

BOX-HAULING. Is an evolution by which a ship is brought sharp round, all the yards being hauled together.

BRACE OF SHAKES. An expression indicating a smart movement.

BRAKE. The handle or lever by which a ship's pump is worked.

BRANCH PILOT. A qualified pilot for any particular port.

BREAK. The sudden rise of a deck when not flush.

BREAKER. A small water cask used for boats, &c. Waves breaking over rocks or sand banks.

BREAMING. A process used for cleaning a ship's bottom, by which means the grass or any other substance is burned off.

BREAST-FAST. A fastening to keep a ship's gangway to a quay.

BREAST-ROPE. A rope passed round the man in the chains, whilst heaving the lead.

BREECH. The inner end of a gun. The outside angle of a knee.

BREECHING. A rope passed round the breech of a gun, or a gun-carriage, the ends being secured to the ship's side to secure a gun in place in firing.

BRIG. A square-rigged vessel with two masts.

BRIGHT LOOK-OUT. An order given to the look-out man to keep him on the qui-vive.

BRING TO. An expression used in bending sails, to bring them to the yard, or when a ship is about to anchor, as "bring-to with the best bower."

BROACH TO. A ship coming suddenly up in the wind; it frequently occurs when a ship is running with the wind free.

BROAD ARROW. The official mark set on all Government stores.

BROADSIDE. The whole side of a ship; a simultaneous discharge of all the guns on one side.

BROKEN-BACKED. When a ship is so loosened in her frame as to droop at each end, she is said to be broken-backed; this is generally caused by age, being strained, or grounding on her centre only.

BROUGHT TO HIS BEARINGS. The conceit being taken out of any one, who prides himself on great smartness or knowledge.


BULK. The whole cargo; when goods are stowed loosely instead of in casks or bags, it is called being stowed in bulk.

BULKHEAD. Partitions built up to separate the various cabins from each other.

BULL. A sailor's term for a small keg, or putting a small quantity of water into an empty cask of rum, and leaving it until it becomes grog, is called bulling a cask.

BULL'S-EYE. A kind of block without a sheeve for a rope to reeve through; also the central mark of a target; or the light of a scuttle.

BULWARKS. The wood work round a vessel above her deck, fastened outside to stanchions and timber beads.

BUM BOAT. Boats that lie along-side a vessel in port with provisions to sell.

BUNK. Standing bed places fixed on the sides between decks.

BUNKER. A space for stowing steam coal.

BUOY. A wooden or iron construction made to float, attached by a rope to an anchor, to show its position, or mark a shoal.

BUTT. The joining of two planks.

BUTTOCK. The after part of a ship, between the counter and bilge.

CABIN. A room or compartment for an officer.

CABIN BOY. The captain's servant in a merchant ship.

CABLE. A strong rope or chain, by which the vessel is secured, by being made fast to the anchor.

CABLE TIER. A place between decks, where the cables are coiled away.

CABOOSE. A small house on deck, where the cooking is done, commonly called the galley.

CADET. A designation for young gentlemen on first entering the Navy.

CALL. A silver whistle used by the boatswain, to attract attention, and summon the men to their various stations.

CALL THE WATCH. This is done every four hours, except at the dog watches, to relieve those on deck.

CALM. A smooth sea, when there is no wind.

CAMBER. A small basin in a duck-yard, where vessels are placed to discharge and take in cargo.

CAMBERED. The middle part of the flooring of a vessel, being higher than it is at the two extremes.

CAMEL. A machine used for lifting vessels; they are hollow cases of wood and iron, constructed in two halves, so as to embrace the keel and lay hold of the hull of a ship on both sides.

CAN HOOKS. Slings with iron hooks at each end, used for slinging casks.

CANNON. A heavy gun mounted in battery, on board or on shore.

CANT PIECES. See Construction of ship.


CANT-TO. Anything that does not stand square, diverging from a central right line.

CANVAS. A cloth made of hemp, and used for the sails of ships.

CAPSIZE. To upset anything.

CAREEN. A ship lying over when sailing on a wind is said to be careening.

CARRY AWAY. To break a spar, or part a rope.

CARRY ON. To spread all sails at risk, when blowing fresh.

CAST. To pay a vessel's head off on the tack she is to sail upon.

CAT. The tackle used for hoisting the anchor up to the cat-head.

CAT-BLOCK. The block of this tackle.

CAT-HARPIN. Iron legs, used to confine the topmast or topgallant rigging to the mast.

CAT-O'-NINE-TAILS. An instrument of punishment, used in the Navy for flogging seamen, consisting of nine parts of white line seized to a wooden handle.

CAT'S PAW. A light air, seen at a distance in the calm by the ripple made on the surface of the sea.

CEILING. The lining or inside planking of a vessel.

CHAFE. To rub the surface of a mast or card against anything that is too hard for it.


CHAMFERING. Taking off an angle or edge of a timber.


CHAPELLING, OR GOING ROUND ON THE HEEL. Is an evolution performed in light winds, when taken aback by man&oelig:uvring the helm and after yards.

CHASE. Pursuing another ship is called chasing her.

CHECK. To ease a little of a brace, or any other rope, and belay it again.


CHEERILY. Performing any duty smartly, with a good will.


CHIMES. The ends of the staves of a cask projecting beyond the heads.

CHINSE. To stop the seams of a boat with oakum.

CHOCK. A thick piece of timber, used for keeping any thing in place at sea when there is much motion in a ship, also blocks of wood cut out to receive the heel of a boat when placed on the deck.

CHOCK A BLOCK. When two blocks of a tackle meet, preventing your getting any more of the purchase. The same as block and block.

CISTERN. A wooden or metal compartment, placed in various parts of a ship where a constant supply of water is required.

CLAMPS. Pieces of iron fitted on a hinge, and secured with a pin or forelock to keep boats' masts, studdingsail booms, and various other things in place, that require to be removed at pleasure.

CLAP ON. An order to get hold of any rope or purchase for the purpose of hauling on it.

CLASP HOOK. Two iron hooks overlapping each other, working on the same pin, used for jib-halyards, &c., &c.

CLEAN OFF THE REEL. A ship running all the log-line out; any evolution performed smartly without any hitch, is commonly called doing it "clean off the reel."

CLEAT. A piece of hard wood, made in different shapes, for belaying ropes to, fixed in various parts of ships.


CLEW GARNET. See Sails, in "Boy's Manual."


CLOVE-HOOK. The same as clasp-hook.

CLUB-HAUL. Is tacking a ship by the assistance of letting go the lee anchor, and when full on the other tack, the cable is slipped. This is only done in cases of emergency, to prevent a ship going on shore.

CLUBBING. To drift with the tide or current with an anchor down.

CLUE UP. An order to clue up the square sails.

COAKING. Joining pieces of spars by cutting away the solid of one piece into a hollow, and making a projection in the other, in such a manner that they may correctly fit.

COAT. A piece of canvas painted over and nailed round the lower part of the mast, to keep the wet from the wedges. Laying paint on the ship's side or masts, hence the order, "Give her a coat of paint."

COCKBILL. The position of the anchor when hanging by the cathead stopper ready for letting go, is said to be a cockbill.

COCKPIT. A deck below the lower deck, where the officers' cabins are; the midshipmen keep their chests there. The wounded in action are always attended to by the doctor in the cockpit.

COD-LINE. An eighteen-thread white line issued to the men for fishing; used for many purposes in a ship of war.

COIL. Any quantity of rope made up in shape of a ring.

COLLAR. An eye formed in the bight or end of any shroud or stay, forgoing over the masthead.

COME HOME, OR COMING HOME. An expression used when an anchor has broken out of the ground, and is dragging. To come up, to let go any rope or purchase, to slack it off.

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF. The admiral in command of any fleet or station.

COMMANDER. An officer next in rank to post captain. A large wooden mallet.

COMPANION. A wooden frame over any ladder leading below, such as the captain's ladder.

COMPLEMENT. A number of men forming any crew.

CONCLUDING LINE. A small line hitched to the centre of the steps of the stern of a Jacob's ladder.

CORPORAL. Ships' corporals are the police of a ship of war.



COXSWAIN. Any man in charge of a boat: he who steers her.

CRABS. Small winches or capstans. False strokes in rowing are called catching crabs.

CRADLES. Wooden chocks for a boat to stand in, also temporary bedsteads made for wounded seamen.

CRANES. Machines fixed on wharfs for loading and unloading a ship with heavy weights.

CRANK. A ship or boat is said to be crank when she lays over to a breeze when under canvas.

CREEPER. An iron machine with four arms or hooks attached to a rope, and used to drag for anything under water, or on the bottom. A Grapnel.

CROSS BARS. Round bars of iron bent at each end, used as levers to turn the shank of an anchor.

CROSS CHOCKS. Large pieces of timber fayed across the dead wood amidships, to make good the deficiency of the heels of the lower futtocks.

CROSS PAWLS, OR CROSS SPALES. Temporary pieces of timber or beams, nailed across a ship while in the course of construction, to support the frame, and keep the sides together, until the knees are bolted.

CROSS PIECE. The piece of timber bolted across the bitts.


CRUTCH. An iron stanchion shipped on the taffrail with a half circle on top, to receive the spanker boom. Also used instead of tholes in boats.

CRUISE. A ship going to any particular place is said to be going for a cruise.

CUDDY. Is the name applied to the cook house, or a cabin in the fore part of a merchant ship.

CUNTLINE. The space between the bilges of two casks, when towed side by side.

CUTTER. A single mast vessel, a double banked boat attached to a ship-of-war pulling 10, 12, or more oars.


D. On the ship's books, signifies discharged or deserted.

D. D. Dead.

D. S. Q. Discharged to sick quarters.

DAGGER. A piece of timber crossing all the poppets of the bilge ways, to secure them together.

DAGGER KNEES. Knees placed obliquely in line of the hanging knee to avoid a port.

DEAD FLAT. The timber or frame possessing the greatest breadth and capacity in the ship, as one of the midship bends.

DEAD LIGHTS. Strong wooden shutters, with bull's eyes in them, to admit light, made to fit the cabin skylights or ports, and used in stormy weather.

DEAD ON END. A steamer going head to wind is said to have the wind dead on end.

DEAD RECKONING. The position of a ship ascertained from the course steered, and distance run from the log. Called also "day's work"' and "journal."

DEAD RISING OR RISING LINE. The parts of a ship's flooring throughout her entire length, where the sweep or curve at the head of the floor timbers terminate, or inflects to join the keel.

DEAD WATER. The eddy water under a ship's counter, so called because passing slower than the water alongside.

DEAD WOOD. Blocks of timber, generally oak, fayed on the upper side of the keel, at the extremities, where a vessel narrows.

DECK. Planks laid in a fore and aft direction over the beams to which they are bolted.

DECK SHEET. The long sheet of a topmast studdingsail is called the deck sheet.

DEMAND. A requisition for a supply of stores, signed by the captain.

DEPARTURE. Bearing of any point of land, or any object on the land, last seen by a vessel when commencing a voyage, is called taking departure; the easting or westing made by a a vessel.

DERELICT. A ship abandoned at sea. A ship is derelict either by consent or compulsion, stress of weather, &c. The owners' rights to a derelict are not forfeited if it is found with any domestic animal alive on board. The owners may recover their ship within a year and a day, on payment of salvalge; but if not claimed within that period, it becomes the property of the finders.

DERRICK. A spar placed nearly in an upright position, supported by guys and stays, and can be placed at any angle at pleasure for loading or unloading a ship or boat.

DESCRIPTION BOOK. A book kept in a ship-of-war with the age, place and time of birth, and personal description of every one on board.

DIET. The prescribed allowance of food for hospital patients.

DIFFICULTY. A word unknown to a truly zealous seaman.

DINGY. The smallest boat supplied to a ship-of-war.

DIPSY. The float of a fishing line.

DITTY BAG. A small bag used by seamen for keeping their needles, thread, &c., or any small necessaries in.

DOCK. An artificial accommodation for placing ships to load or unload. A dry dock is where a ship is placed when any repairs are required to her bottom.

DOCKYARD. A large enclosure of many stores and docks for the building and repairing of ships, supplying them with every description of stores, and fully equipping them for sea.

DOG. The hammer of a firelock or pistol. Dog is also an iron implement with a fang at each end, to be driven into two pieces of timber, to support and steady one of them while being sawn.

DOG VANE. A small vane made of feathers or bunting, attached to one of the weather shrouds at sea, to show the direction of the wind.

DOG WATCH. Two half watches of two hours each, from 4 to 6, and from 6 to 8, in the evening.

DOLPHIN. A stout post on a quay head, or on a beach, to make hawsers fast to. The word is also generally, but less correctly applied to a fish.

DOWELLING. The method of uniting the butts of the frame timbers together with a cylindrical piece let in at each end.

DOWNHAUL. A rope attached to the heads of jibs, &c., for hauling them down.

DOWSE. To lower or let go suddenly — hence the order "Dowse the glim," signifying the lights are to be put out at once.

DRABLER. A kind of second bonnet laced to the bonnet of any sail to give it more drop.

DRAG OR DREDGE. An iron frame fitted with a net, to drag the bottom for anything lost overboard; used by fishermen for catching oysters.

DRAUGHT. The depth of water a ship requires to float her.

DRAW. Sails are said to draw well when they are steady and filled with wind; a ship is said to draw so many feet of water, according to her draught. To draw a jib is to shift it over the stay to leeward when it is aback.

DRESS SHIP. Placing of flags over the whole length of the vessel, from bowsprit to mast-head and to the stern on festival days.

DRIVE. A ship is said to be driving when her anchors will not hold; when not under control of sails or rudder, she is said to be driving to leeward.

DRIVER. A spanker is commonly called the driver. Also a square sail, cut like a studdingsail, and set with a great yard on the end of the spanker boom, across the taffrail.

DROP. An expression used to denote the depth of any square sail.

DRUMHEAD. Top of a capstan.

DUB. To reduce a spar, and any pieces of wood with an adze.

DUCK. To dive under water; to suddenly drop your head to avoid a blow. Also, a fine description of canvas used by sailors for trousers.

DUDS. A sailor's term for his clothes, &c.

DUNNAGE. Pieces of wood, or any other substance, placed between casks to keep them steady in a ships hold.

DUTY. Certain things allotted to individuals to be carried out on board ship.

EARRING. A rope attached to the cringle of a sail, by which it is bent or reefed.

EAST AWAY. To slacken a rope or purchase-fall gradually.

EASE THE HELM. An order often given in a vessel close hauled, to put the wheel down a few spokes in a head sea, with the idea that if the ship's way be deadened by her coming close to the wind she will not strike the opposing sea with so much force.

EIKING. The additional end of a piece of wood fitted to a knee or elsewhere, by scarphing or butting, to add to the length.

ELBOW. There is said to be an elbow when a ship is moored, and has two crosses in her cables. A piece of funnel, when the ends stand at right angles to each other to form a lead.

END FOR END. Reversing a tackle, spar, &c. That is, in a tackle, making the fall the standing part, and vice versâ.

END ON. A ship is said to be end on, when only her bow is to be seen, her masts being in a line with each other.

ENSIGN. A flag carried by ships at their peak end, to denote the country to which they belong.

ESCUTCHEON. The part of a ship's stern where her name or coat of arms is inscribed.

EVEN KEEL. A ship drawing the same depth of water forward as aft, is said to be on an even keel.

EYELET-HOLE. A hole made in a sail for a cringle or roband to go through.

FACE PIECES. A piece of elm wrought on the fore part of the knee of the head, to assist the conversion of the main piece, likewise to shorten the upper bolts, and prevent the cables from rubbing against them as the knee gets worn.

FACING. Letting one piece of timber into another, with a rabbet as a finish.

FAIR. The wind is said to be fair when a ship can lay her course by going free.

FAIR LEAD. A rope is said to have a fair lead when it does not cut against the heel of a block, sheave, or anything else.

FAIR LEADER. Thimbles or cringles to guide ropes. A piece of wood with round holes cut in for the running rigging to lead through.

FAKE. A circle or ring formed by coiling a rope.

FALL. The hauling past of any tackle or purchase, such as boats' falls, top-tackle pennant ill, &c., &c.

FALL ASTERN. To check a ship's headway, so as to allow another ship to pass ahead of her.

FALL IN. To form a line; hence the order 'Fall in for divisions.'

FALSE COLOURS. A ship is said to be under false colours when she flies the ensign of a country to which she does not belong.


FALSE KELSON. A piece of timber wrought longitudinally above the main kelson.

FANCY LINE. A line which is used as a downhaul, and rove through a block at the jaws of a gaff.

FANE. An ancient term for weathercock.

FASHION PIECES. The aftermost timbers in the run of a ship, which terminate the breadth and form the stern of a ship, being united to the stern post by a rabbet.

FAST. Ropes by which a ship is moored to a quay — as bow, stern, quarter, or breast fast.

FAST AND LOOSE. A man of uncertain, shuffling ways, is said to be playing fast and loose.

FATHOM. Six feet.

FAY, TO. To fit any two pieces of wood so neatly together that there shall be no perceptible space between them.

FEATHER. To turn the blade of an oar in rowing, as it comes out of the water, in an horizontal direction, is called feathering an oar.

FEATHER-EDGED. Planks with their edges tapered down on one side.

FELL IN WITH. One ship meeting another at sea.

FENDERS. Pieces of rope or wood, or a quantity of cork, covered with canvas or worked over with rope, hung over a ship to protect her sides against a wharf or another ship. A boat's fenders are usually made of leather, and stuffed with oakum.

FETCH WAY. Anything got loose, and for the time knocking about without control by the motion of the ship or otherwise, is said to have fetched way.


FIDDLE HEAD. A ship's s head without a figure, made with a scroll, to turn in or out like the head of a violin.

FIGURE HEAD. A carved figure or emblem placed over the cutwater of a ship.


FILLER. A filling piece in a made mast.

FINAM-BAG. Bag for clothes and articles lying about.

FIRE BELL. An alarm of fire given by ringing the ship's bell briskly.

FIRE BILL. The stations of the officers and men in the event of fire.

FIRST WATCH. The portion of the crew on deck duty from 8 p.m. to midnight.

FISH. To strengthen a mast or yard when carried away, by lashing small spars round it. To fish an anchor is to place the fluke on the gunwale.

FISH-HOOK. A large, open hook, to take the fluke of the anchor, attached to a rope called the fish pendant.

FISH-TACKLE. The tackle hooked to the fish pendant to draw up the flukes of the anchor to the gunwale.

FIT FOR DUTY. Officer or man being in every way efficient to perform any duty required of him.

FITTING OUT A SHIP. Rigging and fully equipping a ship with stores and provisions for sea.

FLAG. A general name for any colour — such as the signal flags, admiral's flag, &c.

FLAG OFFICER. Denotes an admiral or commodore.

FLAG SHIP. Bearing the flag of an admiral or commodore.

FLARE. A ship's sides going out from the perpendicular or flanking out, as the bows of American ships generally do.

FLASH IN THE PAN. Very expressive when used in connection with persons of great pretensions, with no chance of success.

FLAT. The sheet of a jib is said to be flat aft when the sail is taut from sheets to luff.

FLEET. A name given to a number of ships congregated together. To come up any tackle or purchase; to draw the blocks apart for another pull, after two blocks have been drawn together.

FLEMISH COIL. To coil a rope down so as to have each fluke to lay exactly outside the other, beginning in the middle.

FLOATING BETHEL. A ship fitted up as a place of public worship for seamen.

FLOWING SHEET. A ship running with the wind free, and her sheets eased off.

FLY. The parts of an ensign from the Union to the outer part or the outer edge of any flag.

FOG SIGNALS. Alarms made by horns, bells, or guns in a fog, as warnings, and denoting the approach of a ship.

FOOT. Lower end of a mast or sail. One-sixth of a fathom, or a measure of 12 inches.

FOOT IT IN. An expression used in furling sails. Hence the order "Foot in the bunt." It is done by the men stationed in the bunt footing the slack sail down inside the skin.

FOOT WALING. The inside planks or lining over the floor timbers, to prevent ballast getting down between them.

FORE. That part of a ship before the foremast — the exact opposite to aft.

FORE AND AFT. The entire length of a ship, from head to stern, or from end to end.


FORECASTLE. In men of war that part of the upper deck before the foremast, or a raised deck extending aft, in a brig, to the foremast. In a merchant ship it signifies the place forward, where the crew live.

FORE GANGER. A length of stouter chain cable next the anchor, in consequence of the wear and tear on the bottom. Also a short piece of rope grafted on a harpoon for bending the line to.

FORE LOCK. A flat piece of doubled iron driven through a bolt of an anchor shackle to keep it in place; the points are opened to prevent it falling out. Sometimes a ring is put through the point.

FOREMAST. The foremost lower mast in all vessels.

FORE PEAK. The narrowest part of a vessel's hold, close to the bow, under the lower deck.

FOREREACH. To shoot past another vessel, especially in stays; to sail faster; to gain upon when working to windward.

FORERUNNER. A warning of the approach of anything.



FORGE. To forge ahead is to shoot ahead. Also in every ship there is a portable forge, which can be used, either on board or on shore, for blacksmith's work.

FORMERS. Pieces of wood for shaping cartridges or wads. Also a gunner's term for a small cylindrical piece of wood on which musket or pistol cartridge cases are rolled and formed.

FORETOP MEN. Men stationed in the foretop.

FORWARD. The fore part of a ship, opposite to aft.

FOTHER OR FODDER. A heavy sail, closely thrummed with yarn and oakum. drawn under a vessel's bottom, in order to stop a leak. Also a weight of lead equal to 19½ cwt.

FOUL. Two ships coming in collision; it implies entangled or embarrassed. A common expression is "A ship ran foul of us."

FOUL ANCHOR. When a cable has a turn round the anchor, it is said to be fouled.

FOUL BOTTOM. A ship's bottom is said to be foul when covered with grass, barnacles, or any other dirty substance. Also the bottom of the sea, if rocky or unsafe from wrecks, and thence a danger of fouling the anchor.

FOUL WIND. The wind heading a ship, so as to prevent her laying her course.

FOUNDER. A ship sinking in a storm by filling with water is said to have foundered.

FRAP. Passing a rope round anything, to keep it together, is said to be frapping it; as a sail to a yard, or a boat's tackles to the davits when not in use for hoisting the boats up.

FRAPPING TURNS. In securing the booms at sea, the several turns of the lashings are frapped in preparation for the succeeding turns, but in emergency nailed.

FREE. When the bowlines are slacked and the sheets eased, a ship is said to be going free.

FRENCH LEAVE. Quitting the ship without permission, or remaining over the leave granted.

FRESHEN. Shifting the nip of any rope or fall, by slacking it a little.

FRESH GRUB. A technical term applied by sailors to fresh meat, &c.

FULL DUE. When the lower rigging is finally turned in for setting up, it is said, "It is turned in for a full due."

FURL. Securing the sails in harbour.


FUTTOCK STAFF. A short piece of wood or iron seized across the upper part of the shrouds, at equal distances, to which the cat harpin legs are secured.

GAB. Too much to say. A talkative person is said to have the "gift of the gab."

GARY. A conceited know-nothing.

GAGE. The depth of water of a vessel.

GALE OF WIND. When, by the force of wind, a ship is reduced to close reefed sails.

GALLERY. A balcony across the stern of a ship.

GALLEY. The kitchen of a ship where all cooking is carried out. A boat similar to a gig.

GALLOWS. A name applied by sailors to a man of depraved character, as "He is a gallows character," or, A hang-gallows.

GALLOWS BITTS. A frame of strong pieces of wood, in shape resembling a gallows, raised amidships for stowing spare spars, &c., on in port.

GAMMON. A lashing to secure a bowsprit. To impose on a person by making him believe improbable stories.

GANG. A number of men detached from a ship as a working party, &c. A complete set of shrouds for a mast is called a gang of lower or topmast rigging.

GANG BOARD. A plank or planks, attached to a boat's bows to walk in or out. Also to a ship's gangway when lying alongside a wharf.

GANG CASKS. Small casks used for watering ships in boats.

GANGWAY. The entrance into a ship.

GANTLINE. A whip lashed to the lower mast-head before the lower rigging is placed, by which the shrouds are triced up.

GARLAND. A large rope grommet, to place shot in on deck; a collar of ropes formerly wound round the head of the mast, to keep the shrouds from chafing; a display of ribbons and flowers in a ship's rigging, denoting one of the crew is married.

GARNET. A purchase fixed on the mainstay of a merchant ship, for hoisting cargo in and out.

GARRISON. A fortified place occupied by soldiers.

GASKET. For securing sails when furled.

GAWKY. An awkward, clumsy youth.

G. C. B. Initials of honourable distinction: Grand Commander of the Bath.

GEAR. A term applied to the rigging of any particular spar or sail. The expression "out of gear" implies anything out of condition.

GEE, TO. Anything that runs pleasantly; hence the common expression, "That will just gee."

GET AFLOAT. An order given to launch a boat that is high and dry.

GIG. A light narrow ship's boat with six or eight oars.

GIL. A forelock.

GIMBLETING. To turn the anchor round on its fluke; to turn anything round on its end.

GIRT. When a vessel is moored so taut as to be prevented from swinging to the wind or tide.

GIRTLINE. The first purchase employed to rig a ship; a rope rove through a single block at the mast-head, making a whip.

GIVE HER SHEET. The order to ease off when running free.

GIVE WAY. The order given to a boat's crew to begin pulling, or to pull with greater force.

GLUT. A piece of canvas sewed into the centre of a sail, near the head, having an eyelet hole in the middle for the bunt jigger or becket to go through.

GO-AHEAD. An order given to the engineer in a steamer.

GO-ASHORE. To land on leave.

GOB-LINE. A rope's end bent to the clew of a sail.

GOING FREE, Sailing with the wind abeam, or abaft the beam.

GONE. When a hawser or cable has parted or broken, a mast, yard, or any spar carried away, it is said to be gone; hence the expression "The topgallantmast is gone over the bows."

GOOD CONDUCT BADGE. A mark of distinction or merit given to petty officers, seamen, and marines.

GOOSE NECK. A piece of iron projecting out at the yard arm.

GOOSE-WINGED. The situation of a course when the buntlines and lee clew are hauled up, and the weather clew down.

GORES. Pieces of plank used for filling up any part of a vessel's planking that requires it.

GORING CLOTHS. Side pieces of a sail.

GRANNY'S KNOT. A term of contempt, applied when a reef knot is crossed the wrong way, so as to be insecure, and jambs so as to prevent its being readily undone.

GRAPNEL. A kind of small anchor with four claws at one end, and a ring at the other, used for securing boats, or creeping for anything on the bottom.

GRAPPLING IRONS. Used for hooking to, or holding fast, another vessel; resorted to in time of war to secure an enemy's ship alongside your own for the purpose of boarding her.

GRATINGS. Open lattice work of wood, used for covering the hatchways in fine weather, and serving to give light and air to the lower decks.

GRIN AND BEAR IT. Philosophical submission to circumstances that cannot be avoided.

GRIPE. To carry too much weather helm,

GRIPES. Pieces of matting fitted with thimbles and lanyards, used for steadying the boats when hoisted up to the davits.

GROG. A drink consisting of one part spirits and three parts water, issued to the seamen of the Royal Navy.

GROGGY. A plan incapable of performing his duty by being drunk.

GROMMET. A ring formed of rope, by laying round a single strand,

GROUNDING. A ship striking the ground; or hauling a ship up on the beach, to repair her or clean her bottom.

GROUND SWELL. A sudden swell preceding or following a gale, causing a vessel to roll heavily.

GROUND TACKLE. The name usually given to anchors and cables, &c.

GRUMBLER. A dissatisfied person.

GUARD SHIP. A ship of war always stationed in harbour at the different seaports, bearing the flag of the commander in chief.

GUN GEAR. Everything appertaining to the working of a gun.

GUNNER OF A SHIP OF WAR. A warrant officer, who has the charge of all the artillery and ammunition on board.

GUN ROOM The mess room of the subordinate officers.

GUNWALE. Upper rail of a ship or boat.

GUY. A rope used to steady a spar in any given position.

GYBE. To wear a fore and aft rigged craft.

HAIL. To speak another ship, or to speak to men aloft.

HALF-AN-EYE. Taking any thing in at a glance, sharp-sighted.

HALF DECK. A space between the quarter deck and the foremost bulkhead of the steerage.

HALF-LAUGHS and PURSER'S GRIN. Turning a thing into ridicule; hypocritical and sarcastic sneers.

HALF-SEAS OVER. Two parts drunk.

HALF SPEED. An order given in steamers to reduce the speed.

HALF-TURN AHEAD. An order, signifying that the engines are to be moved and stopped again instantly.

HALT. An order given when men are on the march, to bring them to a sudden stand.

HAMMOCK. A piece of canvas fitted to receive a sailor's bed, 6 feet long and 4 feet wide, suspended at each end.

HAMMOCK NETTINGS. A place on the rail where the hammocks are stowed during the day.

HAND. A common expression used on board ship, meaning a man — such as "A hand to the lead;" "Lend a hand;" "Bear a hand," signifying to make haste.

HAND OVER HAND. Hauling quickly on a rope, putting one hand over the other alternately.

HANDSOMELY. Signifies slowly or gradually; as "Lower away handsomely," when a thing is required to be done steadily and carefully.

HANDSPIKE. A lever made of ash, square at one end, and round at the handle, used for working the guns, windlass, &c.

HANDY BILLY. A small jigger, used when short-handed in the tops, hold, or elsewhere. Also a small hatchet.

HANKS. Small wooden or iron hoops for confining a staysail or jib to the stays.

HARBOUR MASTER. An officer in charge of any port, who has the care of the moorings and the berthings of the ships.

HARD AND FAST. A ship on store that cannot be moved is said to "stick hard and fast."

HARD UP. A person without means; the helm is said to be hard up when the rudder is as close over to leeward of the sternpost as it can go.

HARNESS CASK. A large tub used by sailors for containing salt meat for present use.

HARPINGS. The fore part of the wales which encompass the bows of a vessel, and are fastened to the stem.

HARPOON. A spear used by sailors for striking fish.

HAUL. An expression used on board ship in many ways as "Haul to the wind," "Mainsail haul," "Haul in such and such a rope," &c.

HAUL OFF. An order given for a ship to leave a wharf and haul off into the stream; an expression used among sailors, as "Haul off," signifying, "Leave me alone."

HAWSER. A cable laid rope of various sizes, applied to ships for working them about a harbour, and for many other purposes.

HAZE. To punish a man needlessly. It is also a grayish vapour, less dense than a fog.

HEAD. The upper end of any mast or timber head, &c.

HEAD LEDGES. Athwartship pieces that frame the hatchways.

HEAD QUARTERS. The place occupied by a general or commanding officer.

HEART YARNS. The centre yarns of a strand.

HEAVE AND A-WEIGH. A capstin cry, meaning, one more heave, and the anchor is aweigh.

HEAVE. To throw anything overboard: "Heave the log" or the lead, &c.

HEAVE IN STAYS. A position of a ship after the main yard is swung in tacking.

HEAVE SHORT. To heave in on the cable until a ship is nearly over her anchor.

HEAVE TO. To make a ship nearly stationary, by checking her way through the water by manœuvring her sails and helm.

HEAVER. A short bar of wood tapering at each end, used as a purchase.

HEAVING AHEAD. Hauling a ship ahead by warps or cables.

HEAVING ASTERN. The reverse of heaving ahead.

HEAVY GALE. Strong winds, when a ship can only carry close-reefed topsails.

HEEL. The lower end of a mast or boom. A ship is said to heel when she lies over on one side.

HELM PORT. The bole in the counter through which the rudder head passes into the trunk.

HELM PORT TRANSOM. A piece of timber placed across the lower counter, inside at the height of the helm port, and bolted through every timber for the security of that port.

HIGH AND DRY. The position of a ship or boat on shore, when the water has entirely left her.

HITCH. The mode of fastening one rope to another.

HOG. A large, flat, rough broom for scrubbing a ship's bottom under water.

HOGGED. When a ship has dropped at her extremities she is said to be hogged.

HOIST. To raise anything. It also expresses the depth of any square sail.

HOLD ON. An order constantly given to men when hauling on a purchase: "Hold on all you get:" is a common expression among sailors.

HOLD WATER. To stop the way of a boat by keeping the blades of the oars in the water.

HOLYSTONE. A stone of a sandy nature, used in ships of war for cleaning the decks.

HOLLOA or HOLLA. An answer given by any person as an acknowledgment they have heard from a distance.

HOLLOW SEA. The undulation of the waves after a gale. Ground swell.

HOME. The sheets of a topsail are said to be home when the clews are hauled taut out to the cheeks on the lower yards.

HOME SERVICE. Ships stationed in the Channel, or at any of the home ports.

HOMEWARD BOUND. A ship is said to be homeward bound when returning to the port she was fitted out at from a foreign station.

HOOD. A canvas covering fitted over a companion or hatch-way.

HOOD ENDS. Those ends of the planks which fit into the rabbets of the stem or sternpost.

HOOK AND BUTT. The scarphing or laying two ends of planks over each other.

HOOK BOLTS. Bolts used for securing lower deck ports.

HOOPS. Made of wood and iron used for a variety of nautical purposes.

HORNS. The ends of a crosstree, or the jaws of a boom or gaff.

HORSE. A bar of iron across the forecastle of a cutter for the staysail sheet to travel on, or across the stern of a boat for the main sheet to work on.

HORSE MARINE. A name applied to an ungainly and lubberly person.

HORSE PLAY. Rough games.

HOSPITAL SHIP. A ship fitted up in home or foreign ports for the reception of sick seamen.

HOUSED. A topgallant mast or topmast is said to be housed when partially lowered down and secured by being lashed.

HOUSEWIFE. Pronounced "Hussif." Avery useful contrivance for holding needles, thread, buttons, &c.

HOVE IN SIGHT. A sail when first seen is said to have just hove in sight.

HOY. A lighter that brings the provisions, &c., from the victualling yard is called a boy.

HULL. The body of a ship.

IN AND OUT. A vessel is said to be dodging in and out when she passes ahead of one ship and astern of another.

IN-BOARD. Within the ship anywhere.

IN-BOATS. An order to hoist the boats in-board.

INNER POST. The post on which the transoms are seated. It applies to the main stern post in steamers, the screw acting between it and the outer, on which the rudder is hung.

IN-SHORE. It is called the inshore tack when a ship's head is towards the land. A ship is in-shore when she is between you and the land.

IRON BOUND. A rocky coast without an anchorage is called an iron-bound coast. A block or dead-eye stropped with iron is said to he iron-bound.

IRONS. A ship is said to be in irons when, by mismanagement, she will not cast one way or the other. A bar of iron, fitted with shackles to encircle a man's foot, used in a ship of war when it is necessary to place men under restraint; it is called putting in irons.

IRON SIDES. A name applied to iron, or armour-plated ships.

JACK. A flag allowed to be hoisted by a ship of war, or as a signal for a pilot. Jack, and Jack tar, a name for a sailor. Many things in the rigging of a ship are designated Jacks.

JACK ALIVE. A popular seaport dance.

JACK BLOCK. A block used for many purposes; often used in sending topgallantmasts up and down.

JACK IN THE BREAD ROOM, or, JACK IN THE DUST. A name applied to a ship's steward's assistant.

JACK NASTY FACE. A nickname for a cook's mate.

JACK SCREW. A purchase used for raising any weight.

JACK STAFF. A short staff at the bowsprit cap for hoisting the Union Jack.

JACOB'S LADDER. A ladder made of rope, with wooden bars for steps.

JERSEY. Fine wool. Jerseys are woollen frocks supplied to seamen.

JEWEL. The blocks at the yard arms for the studdingsail halyards are called jewel blocks.

JOBATION. A private but severe lecture.

JOLLY. The boat used in a ship of war for landing the stewards is called the jolly boat. A marine is called a royal jolly, while a militiaman is termed a tame jolly.

JUNK. Old rope cut into lengths, for making swabs, &c. Salt beef issued to sailors in the Royal Navy is called salt junk, a name derived from its extreme toughness, sticking to the teeth like rope yarns.

JURY MAST. A temporary mast erected in lieu of one carried away in a gale, &c.

K.C.B. Sign of Knight Commander of the Most Honourable Military Order of the Bath.

KECKLING or KACKLING. Serving with old rope a cable in the eye or in the wake of a hawse hole, or anywhere, to save it from being chafed.

KEEL HAUL. To haul a man under a ship's bottom with ropes made fast to opposite yardarms; formerly a punishment in a ship of war, more especially in the Dutch Navy.

KEEPING A WATCH. To be in charge of the deck; also on deck duty.

KEEP OFF. To keep a distance from the land, or another ship.

KENTLEDGE. Pig iron ballast laid next the kelson.

KICK UP A DUST. To knock up a row, to have a disturbance.

KINK. A twist in a rope.

KIT. A small pail or bucket, used as a boat's baler. A contemptuous term, signifying a number of men, as "the whole kit of them."

KITT or KIT. A seaman's bag of clothes; an officer's outfit.

KNOCK OFF. An order to leave off work.

KNOT. A knob formed in a variety of ways on the end of a rope, differing in size and shape, according to the purpose it is required for, by twisting and interweaving the strands of a rope.

KNUCKLE. A sudden angle made on some timbers by a quick reverse of shape, such as the knuckles of the counter timbers.

KNUCKLE UNDER. A man is said to have knuckled under when he has given way to the opinion of another.

LABOUR. A ship rolling or pitching heavily in a gale of wind is said to labour.

LAID UP. A ship, when paid off, and disinasted, is said to be laid up in ordinary.

LAND FALL. First making land after a voyage.

LAND HO! Reporting the land when first seen.

LAP OVER or UPON. The mast carlings are said to lap upon the beams by reason of their great depth; and head ledges at the ends lap over the coamings.

LARBOARD. (Now called port.) The left side of a ship.

LARGE. A ship is said to be going large when she is sailing with the wind free.

LASH. The small line forming the boatswain's cat.

LASKING ALONG. Sailing a course with the wind quarterly, the yards braced up, and the sheets flowing.

LATCH. A term signifying a ship dropping to leeward of her course.

LATCHINGS. Loops on the head rope of a bonnet by which it is laced to the foot of the sail.

LAUNCH. The largest boat supplied to a ship of war.

LAUNCH HO ! The order for let ting go a mast rope after the fid is in.

LAY AFT or LAY FORWARD. Signifying the direction you wish the men to go.

LAY IN. An order for the men to come in off the yards.

LAY or LIE ON YOUR OARS. The order to desist rowing without laying the oars in.

LEADING WIND. When a ship is able to lay her course, she is said to have a leading wind.

LEAK. A chink in the deck, sides, or bottom of a ship, through which the water gets in.

LEAKY. The state of a ship admitting water.

LEAVE. Permission to follow your own inclination.

LEDGES. The athwartship pieces in the framing of the decks let into the carlings to bear gratings, &c.

LEE-BOARD. Boards fitted to the bottom of flat-bottomed boats. The lee one is always kept out when on a wind, to keep her from drifting to leeward.

LEE FANG. A rope rove through the cringle of a sail for hauling in, so as to lace on a bonnet.

LEE GAGE. To leeward of a ship you are in company with.

LEE-SHORE. A ship is said to be on a lee-shore when the wind is blowing directly on to the land she is off.

LEG BAIL. A man deserting is said to have given leg bail.

LEGS are wooden supports shipped under the channels in cutters and yachts, to keep them in an upright position when beached or in dry harbour. A ship that sails fast is said to have her legs on.

LET DRIVE. To let fly; to discharge a shot from a gun. A man striking another in a rage is said to let drive at him.

LET FALL. An order for dropping the sails after the gaskets have been cast adrift.

LET FLY. To let go a rope on the instant.

LET GO AND HAUL. An order given in tacking ship to haul the bead yards.

LIE OVER. A ship heeling over to a breeze.

LIE TO. A ship is said to lie to, when, owing to heavy weather, she is obliged, by so arranging her sails, to remain nearly in the same position.

LIE UNDER ARMS. To remain with your arms by you, ready for any emergency.

LIFE BOAT. A boat so constructed that she cannot sink or be swamped, used along the coast for saving the lives of the crews of stranded ships.

LIFE BUOYS are various contrivances used for throwing to a man overboard to save him from sinking.

LIFE LINE. A line stretched along any part of the ship, to prevent the men from falling overboard. They are used on the yards for the hands to hold on by when manning the yards.

LIGHT. To hand anything along, or one to the other, as "Light the sail to windward," in reefing topsails.

LIGHTER. A large flat bottomed boat, used for conveying stores from the dockyard to the ships.

LIGHTS. "Out lights": an order given at 8 p.m. in winter, and 9 p.m. in summer, for seamen's lights to be put out.

LIMBER ROPE. A rope rove fore and aft through the limbers for clearing them when necessary.

LINE OF BATTLE SHIP. A ship carrying guns on two decks below her upper deck.

LIP. A slang word used by sailors, signifying cheek, insolence, bounce, &c.

LIST. A ship is said to have a list if she inclines to one side more than the other. A man is said to list who has joined the army. The word is an abbreviation of enlist.

LIZARD. A piece of rope, fitted with a thimble in one end, used for various purposes.

LOCKER. Small compartments made in a ship's side for stowing things away.

LOG or LOG BOOK. A book in which the course of the ship, the distance run, and everything of importance is noted.

LONG BOAT. A large boat carried by merchant ships, not used in the Navy.

LONG and SHORT LEG. A term used in working to windward, meaning a long and short tack alternately.

LONGERS. Each row of casks in the hold athwart; also the space in a fore and aft direction allotted for hammocks.

LONG LEAVE. The leave granted to men returning from a foreign station.

LONG TIMBERS. Timbers in the cant bodies reaching from the dead wood to the head of the second futtock, and forming a floor.

LOOF. The after part of a ship's bow, before the chesstree.

LUBBER'S HOLE. A hole in the top, next the eyes of the lower rigging.

LUFF! An order to the helmsman to bring the vessel to the wind.

LUGGER. Fishing vessels and ships' boats carrying lug-cut sails.

LUMP. See Lighter.

LURCH. A ship is said to lurch when she rolls heavily to windward or to leeward. A person left out of anything, is said to be left in the lurch.

LYING TO. See Lie to.

MAKE FAST. An order to secure a rope to any particular place.

MAKE HEADWAY. You are said to be making headway when you are getting on with any work you are engaged in.

MAKE WATER. A ship leaking is said to be making water.

MALL or MAUL. A heavy iron hammer supplied for use in tops, called the top maul.

MALLET. An instrument of various shapes, used for a number of purposes, viz., a Serving Mallet, Caulking Mallet, &c.

MAN HOLE. The aperture in the upper part of a steam boiler, which allows a person to enter for repairing it.

MAN OVERBOARD. A call which causes great excitement in a ship, from the mutual desire to render assistance.

MAN ROPES. Used for going up and down a ship's side ladders, &c.

MAN SHIP, or MAN THE RIGGING. To arrange the men on the yards and rigging in readiness to give three cheers as a salute on meeting, or on parting company.

MARINER. One who obtains his living on the sea, in whatever rank.

MARL. The way the foot of a course is secured to the foot rope is said to be marled.

MARLINE SPIKE. An iron pin, sharp at one end and stout at the other, with a hole through it for a lanyard, used in splicing or fitting rigging.

MARRY. To join the ends of two ropes, that they may pass through a block.

MASTER. The title given to the captain or commander of a merchant ship.

MATE. An officer under the master of a merchant ship.

MATE OF A WATCH. The second officer of a watch in a ship of war, who heaves the log, and makes all reports to the officer of the watch.

MATS are of various descriptions, as paunch mats, gangway mats, &c.

MEDICAL BOARD. A number of medical officers appointed to examine officers or men, to see if they are fit for active service.

MEND. Tossing the sails up afresh is said to be mending the sails.

MERCHANT SERVICE. The mercantile marine.

MESHES. The holes between the lines of a net.

MESS MATE. One belonging to the same mess.

MIDDLE WATCH. The watch between midnight and 4 a.m.

MIDSHIPS. The centre of any place or ship.

MINUTE GUN. Guns fired at a minute's interval at the funeral of any important personage. Also the signal of a ship in distress at sea.

MISS STAYS. A ship failing in tacking.

MONKEY JACKET. A short great coat made of a thick material, for night watches.

MONSOON. The periodical winds in certain latitudes of India and the Indian Ocean.

MOON SAIL. A small sail, mostly carried by American merchant ships above a sky sail in light winds.

MOON STRUCK. A phrase used by sailors to any one short of their intellect.

MOOR. To secure with two or more anchors; to lash alongside a wharf.

MOORINGS. Buoys to which ships are secured; large bridges attached to chains and anchors.

MORNING GUN. A gun fired from the admiral's ship to announce daybreak.

MORNING WATCH. The watch on deck between 4 and 8 a.m.

MOURNING. A ship with her ensign and pennant half mast is said to be in mourning.

MOUSE or MOUSING. A seizing of spunyarn put over the bill of a hook to keep it from unhooking.

MUFFLE. To muffle the oars, to put some canvas round the loom when rowing, to prevent its making a noise against the tholes.

MULCT. A man is said to be mulct of his pay when it is stopped for any misdemeanour.

MULL. A man is said to have made a mull of it when he has mismanaged anything, or done a job of work in a lubberly manner.

MUNNIONS. The divisional piece of the stern lights; the pieces that separate the lights in the galleries.

MUSTER BOOK. A copy of a ship of war's open list, drawn up for the use of the clerk of the check, in calling over the crew.

MUTINY. Decided refusal to obey orders, punishable with death.

MUZZY. A man under the influence of liquor.

MYTH. A tower, or land, or anything for directing the course by sight.

NABB. A cant term for the head; a rocky ledge below water.

NAVAL. Anything belonging to a ship of war.

NAVIGATION. The art of conducting ships from one part of the globe to another.

NAVY AGENTS. Persons that undertake to manage the affairs of officers' pay, prizes, &c., for which they receive a certain percentage.

NEAP TIDES. The opposite to spring tides; when the tide does not rise or fall much.

NEAPED. The position of a ship when the tide does not rise high enough to float her, called also beneaped.

NEAR. An expression used to the helmsman not to come too near the wind.

NEVER SAY DIE. A very expressive phrase used among sailors to keep your spirits up, not to despair.

NIP. A short turn in a rope, over the bitts or elsewhere; hence the order 'Freshen the nip.'

NOCK. The upper end of a sail that sets with the boom.

NOGGIN. A quarter of a pint; a gill.

NO, NO. The answer given at night, when hailed, in passing a ship, signifying she is not going alongside; and if alongside it shows the captain or senior officer is not in the boat.

NOON. Midday.

NOOSE. A slip or running knot.

NUT. A small piece of iron to screw on to the end of a bolt to keep it in place; an expression used by sailors of a reckless character, as 'He is a regular nut."

OAKUM. Pieces of old rope unlaid and picked abroad for caulking the seams of a deck, &c.

OAR. A thin piece of timber used as a lever to propel a boat through the water. You are said to "shove your oar in" when you join in conversation, or give an opinion without being asked.

OBEY. To carry out the orders given you.

OFF AND ON. A ship is said to be standing off and on when she tacks off and towards the land alternately.

OFF AT A TANGENT. Easily getting in a rage.

OFFING. Seaward, a distance from land.

OFF SHE GOES. An order implying you are to run away with any fall or purchase.

ON DECK THERE. The cry to call attention from aloft or below.

ORLOP. The lowest deck of a ship.

OUT AND OUTER. An expression signifying a man every way up to his duty; also to denote a regular bad character as "He is a complete out and outer."

OUTFIT. An officer's kit; the stores supplied to a merchant ship for a voyage.

OUTLANDISH. An expression of contempt, but meaning with a sailor a place he does not know, or a language he cannot understand.

OVERBOARD. Any man or thing floating in the sea that has fallen from a ship.

OVERHAUL. One ship gaining on another is said to be overhauling her.

OVER-RAKE. When a ship is at anchor in a head sea, and the waves frequently break in upon her, they are said to over-rake her.

OYSTER BED. A laying of stones, shells, or other hard substances.

PADDLE BOY. A frame of wood enclosing a paddle wheel.

PAINTER is a rope attached to the bows of a boat, used for making her fast. It is usually spliced to a ring bolt inside the stem with a thimble.

PALM. The fluke of an anchor. Also a piece of leather fitted over the thumb and palm of the hand with a flat thimble to receive the head of the needle to press against in sewing canvas.

PARALLEL. Anything that runs in a line, keeping equal distances from each other.

PARBUCKLE. To pass single ropes round a cask or spar, to hoist or lower it.

PARLIAMENT HEEL. The position of a ship when she is careened.

PASSED BOYS. Those who have gone through the course of instruction given in a training ship.

PAUL THERE, MY HEARTY. That is sufficient; discontinue such talking.

PAWL. Stout, short bars of iron which prevent the capstan or windlass from recoiling and overpowering the men.

PAY OFF. An expression used when a ship is in the wind, and is paying off again in the right direction.

PAYAREE. A rope rove through the clews of a fore course for guying them out to the swinging boom when running before the wind.

PAYMASTER. The officer that superintends the provisioning of the ship and payment of the crew.

PENDANT. There are various kinds — as the fish pendant, the stay-tackle pendant, brace pendant, yard-tackle pendant, reef-tackle pendant, &c. It also denotes a long narrow piece of bunting carried at the masthead.

PETTY OFFICERS. Seamen of the first class ranking with a sergeant, and second class with a corporal.

PICK UP A WIND. Ships often go out of their course for the purpose of picking up the trade wind.

PILLOW. A block used for supporting the inner end of the bowsprit.

PINS. Short pieces of wood or iron fixed in different parts of the vessel, for making fast the running rigging, are called belaying pins.

PINNACE. A large boat supplied to a ship of war in size between a launch and a cutter.

PINTLES are hooks on the rudder which enter the braces fixed on the stern to hang, the rudder to.

PIPE DOWN. An order given on deck to dismiss the men after performing any duty.

PLANKS. Thick boards, differing in size, used for covering the sides and decks of a vessel.

PLUG. A round piece of wood inserted into a hole, for either stopping water running out, or letting it in.

PLY. To pull an oar is called plying an oar. It is also a term used for conveying passengers short distances.

p.m. Post meridiem. Afternoon.

POOP. A deck raised over the quarter deck.

POOPED. A wave breaking over the stern of a ship is said to poop her.

POPPETS. Pieces of stout timber used to support a ship when she is launched.

PORT. The opposite of starboard.

PORTHOLES. Holes in the sides of a ship, to point cannon out of, called now embrasures.

PRATIQUE. Leave to communicate after riding quarantine.

PREVENTER. An additional spar, brace, or backstay, &c., used as a support.

PRICKER. A small marline spike used for stretching the holes in sail making.

PUCKER. A seam that does not lay flat in sailmaking. It denotes confusion.

PUDDENING. A quantity of yarn, junk, or rounding, used to prevent chafing.

PUMP SHIP. An expression used when the order is given to clear the hold of water.

PURCHASE. A mechanical power for raising any great weight.

PUT INTO PORT. To enter any port for safety, generally from stress of weather.

QUADRANT. A reflecting instrument, used for measuring altitudes at sea. Also for measuring distances, as one ship from another, laying out targets, &c.

QUARANTINE. All communications cut off from any ship, boat, or shore that has any sickness on board, as fever.

QUARTER CASKS. Half a hogshead, or 28 imperial gallons.

QUARTER DECK. That part of the upper deck abaft the main mast.

QUARTER MASTER. A first class petty officer in a man of war.

QUICK WORK. A term in shipbuilding which applies to that part of a vessel's side which is above the chain wales and decks.

QUID. The thaw or piece of tobacco a man puts into his mouth at a time, that is addicted to the disgusting practice of chewing tobacco.

QUILTING. A kind of coating outside a vessel, consisting of ropes woven together. It also signifies a beating, hence the expression, "I will give you a quilting."

QUOD. Prison, close confinement.

QUOINS. Pieces of wood in shape of a wedge, for the breeches of guns to rest upon.

R means in the muster book "Run."

RABBET. A hole cut in a piece of timber to receive the ends of a number of planks.

RACE. Very strong tides or currents, causing a great overfall, dangerous to small vessels.

RACK. A fair leader for running rigging; to seize two ropes together with racking or cross turns; a frame work for stowing bags or hammocks in.

RACK BLOCK. A series of blocks cut in one piece of wood for running ropes to lead through.

RAFT. Timber fastened together to float.

RAKE. The inclination of a mast from the perpendicular.

RANGE. A term applied to a line or row. A fire grate is called a galley range.

RANGE OF CABLE. A certain quantity of cable arranged on the deck, so as to allow the anchor to reach the ground.

RATLINES. Lines like the bars of a ladder, running across the shrouds, used to step upon in going aloft.

READY ABOUT. An order given to prepare for tacking.

REEF. Reducing a sail, when there is too much wind, is called taking in a reef.

REEVE. To pass the end of a rope through a block, or any aperture.

RELIEVING TACKLE. Tackles hooked to the tillers of large ships, in case the wheel ropes should carry away in heavy weather.

REMARK BOOK. A book containing observations of all ports visited, and sent annually to the admiralty.

RENDER. A rope is said to render when it goes freely through any place.

REPRIMAND. A reproof given by a captain, or by order of a court martial, to any person, for error or misconduct.

RIBS. Timbers or framework of a ship.

RIDE AT ANCHOR. Said of a ship at anchor.

RIDERS are timbers laid as required to bind a ship, and give her extra strength.

RIGHT. To right the helm is to put it amidships. It is used to denote any particular direction, such as "Right ahead," " Right astern," or "Right abeam.''

RIG. To fit a ship ready for sea. A ship is said to be such and such a rig, as "schooner rig," &c. An expression used by sailors for dress.

RIG THE GRATINGS. To prepare for corporal punishment.

RING. The iron ring of an anchor to which the cable is bent.

RING BOLT. An eyebolt driven into the deck, or elsewhere, with a ring through the eye.

RING TAIL. A kind of studdingsail, hoisted beyond the after edge of those sails which are extended by a gaff and a boom over the stern.

ROACH. The curve in the foot of square sails.

ROAD, or ROADSTEAD. An anchorage some distance from the shore, such as Spithead, St. Helen's, Portland, &c.

ROAST BEEF DRESS. Full-dress uniform.

ROUGH BOOK. A book in which the warrant officers make their immediate entries of expenditure.

ROUGH TREE. An unfinished spar.

ROUND-HOUSE. A common expression on board ship for a water closet.

ROUND-IN. To haul in on a fall: especially applied to the braces, as "Round in the weather braces."

ROUND-TO. To bring to, or haul to the wind, by means of the helm.

ROUTINE. A universal system laid down for performing the daily duties of a ship.

ROWLOCKS. Places cut in the gunwale of a boat, for the oar to rest in while pulling.

RUBBER. Apiece of old canvas used for scrubbing paint work. A small instrument used to rub or flatten down the seams in sail making.

RUN. The edge of a top.

RUN. The distance sailed by a ship from noon to noon.

RUN AWAY WITH IT. The order given to the men manning any purchase that is required to be hauled on quickly.

RUN DOWN A VESSEL. To come into collision with a vessel, bow on.

RUNG HEADS. The upper ends of the floor timbers.

RUNNING BOWSPRIT. A bowsprit that can be rigged in at pleasure; used in cutters and iron-clads.

SAFETY KEEL. A description of keel, so constructed as to afford better security.

SAG. A ship dropping to leeward is said to sag to leeward. A ship that drops amidship, her midship port being lower than her bow or stern, is said to be sagged, opposite to hogged.

SAIL-HO. An expression used in reporting a strange sail at sea, when first seen, either from the deck or mast-head.

SAIL-HOOK. A small hook used for holding the seams of a sail while sewing.

SAILING DIRECTIONS. A book giving the particulars of any place as to dangers, &c.

SALT JUNK. See Junk.

SALVAGE MONEY. A reward granted for saving a ship or cargo.

SAVE ALL. A small sail, set in merchant ships, under the foot of a lower studdingsail.

SCANTLING. A term applied to any piece of timber, with regard to its breadth and thickness, when reduced to the standard size.

SCARPH. To join a spar or two pieces of timber together, wedge fashion.

SCORE. A groove in a block or dead-eye.

SCOTCHMAN. A piece of wood or iron, placed over the shrouds or elsewhere, for a protection against chafing.

SCROLL. A piece of timber bolted to the knees of the head, in place of a figure-head.

SCUD. Thin clouds going very fast are called scud. A ship running before a gale is said to be scudding.

SCULL. A short oar.

SEA BOAT. An expression used indicative of the qualities of a ship in a heavy sea. As "She is a good sea boat," or "She is a bad sea boat.'

SEA DEVIL. A common, small fish.

SEA LEGS. The power of walking steadily on a ship's deck, notwithstanding her rolling and pitching.

SEAM. The interval between the planking of a deck.

SEAMANSHIP. The practical art of rigging and working a ship.

SEA PIE. A mess made by sailors of meat and potatoes, with a layer of crust over it, — some times two or three layers of dough, when it is called a two or three decker.

SEAWORTHY. The condition of a ship in every way adapted for her voyage.

SEND. A ship is said to send heavily when her bow or stern pitches with great force into the trough of the sea.

SHARP UP. When the yards are braced as near fore and aft as possible.

SHEARS. Spars used for getting masts in or out.

SHEATHING. Laying copper or other sheets on a ship's bottom.

SHEET. A rope used in setting a sail, to keep the clew down to its place.

SHIPMATES. Men composing the crew of a ship.

SHIP SHAPE. Properly done. In a seamanlike way. "Ship shape and Bristol fashion" is a sea phrase.

SHOE. A piece of wood used for the heels of shears, fish davits, &c.

SHORE. Short spars, used for supports — Cap shores, &c.

SHOW A LEG. An exclamation from the boatswain's mate, when turning the watch out at night, requiring them to show they are awake — "Show a leg and turn out."

SIGNALS. Mode of speaking by means of flags and otherwise.

SILLS. The higher and lower parts of the framing of the ports. The bottom pieces of any ports.

SKIDS. Massive fenders, consisting of long pieces of timber formed to answer the vertical curve of a ship's side, in order to preserve it when heavy bodies are hoisted in or lowered against it. Used in cutters for hoisting boats up.

SKIN is a term often applied to the inside planking of a vessel, the outside being the case.

SKIPPER. A term used in merchant ships, signifying the captain.

SKYLARKING. An order given on board a man of war after evening quarters, to pipe bands to dance and skylark, when the crew are allowed to amuse themselves as they like.

SLACK. Part of a rope or sail hanging down loosely is called the slack.

SLING. To pass a rope round anything is said to sling it.

SLIP. To let anything go suddenly. An anchor and chain cut away is said to be slipped. A slip is also a place for building or repairing vessels.

SLIP-KNOT. One that will not bear a strain.

SLUE. To turn anything round, or over.

SLUSH. The fat skimmed off the meat in coppers.

SMALL ARMS. The muskets, pistols, cutlasses, &c., in charge of the gunner, on board ship.

SMALL STUFF. A term used for nettle stuff or spunyarn, &c.

SMART. Quick and active.

SNATCH. An open lead for a rope.

SNIG. To haul on the bight of a rope when its lower end is fast.

SNOTTER. A rope with an eye, which goes over a yard-arm; used to bend a tripping line to in sending down topgallant and royal yards in vessels of war. The lower support of the sprit.

SNUB. To check a rope suddenly.

SNUG. Under safe sail for a gale

SO. An order to desist hauling upon anything, when it has come to its right position.

SOLE. A piece of timber fastened to the foot of the rudder, to make it level with the false keel.

SOUND. To obtain the depth of water by the lead line.

SOUNDINGS. To be in soundings implies being so near the land that a deep sea lead will reach the bottom, which is seldom practicable in the ocean. As soundings may, however, be obtained at enormous depths, and at great distances from the land, the term is limited to parts not far from the shore, and where the depth is about 80 or 100 fathoms.

SPAN. A rope with both ends secured, and a purchase hooked to its bight.

SPAR. The general term for all masts, yards, booms, gaffs, &c.

SPELL. An allotted time given to any work. To spell is to relieve another at his work.

SPENCER. A name applied to fore and main trysails of a ship.

SPIDER. An iron outrigger on a ship's side, to keep a block off clear.

SPIDER HOOP. An iron encircling hoop, fitted with belaying pins round the mast.

SPILL. To shake the wind out of a sail, by rounding in the weather braces or otherwise.

SPLICE THE MAIN BRACE. To serve out an extra allowance of grog in bad weather, or after severe exertion.

SPOON DRIFT. Water swept from the tops of the waves, by the violence of the wind.

SPRAY. An occasional sprinkling dashed from the top of a wave by the wind.

SPREE. A bit of fun. Sailors call their amusements on shore, "Being on the spree."

SPRING. A crack running in a transverse direction through any part of a mast or yard, which renders it unsafe to carry the ordinary sail; and the spar is then said to be sprung.

SPRING STAYS are rather smaller than the stays, and are placed above them, being intended to replace them should the main one be shot away.

SPRING TIDES. The highest and lowest range of tides, occurring every new and full moon.

SPRUNG. A man is said to be sprung who has taken a glass of grog too much.

SPURLING LINE. A line communicating between the tiller and tell-tale.

SPURS. Pieces of timber which are fitted to the bilge ways, having their upper ends bolted to the vessel's side, above the water.

SPUR SHOES. Huge pieces of timber that come abaft the pump well.

SQUALL. A sudden gust of wind, very common in the Mediterranean, particularly in the Levant. "A black squall" is one attended with a dark cloud and copious rain; "A white squall" is one only indicated in its approach by the foam it raises.

SQUARE KNOT. The same as reef knot.

SQUARE RIGGED. A vessel with square sails, as opposed to fore and aft rigged. Also applied when the yards are longer than usual.

STABBER. The same as pricker.

STAFF. A long, light pole or mast, erected in different parts of a ship, to hoist the colours on — as the ensign staff, reared immediately over the stern; and the jack staff, fixed on the bowsprit cap.

STANCHIONS. Upright posts of wood or iron, placed so as to support the beams of a vessel,

STAND BY. An order given to be on the alert.

STARBOWLINES. A familiar term for the men in the starboard watch.

START. To start a cask is to knock the bung out.

STEADY. An order given to the helmsman not to alter the course.

STEERAGE. The act of steering. That part of the between decks which is just forward of the cabin.

STEP OUT. To move cheerfully, and together with a tackle fall.

STERN. The after end of a vessel, ending in the taffrail above, and the counters below.

STERN SHEETS. That part of a boat between the stern and the aftermost thwart, where the passengers sit.

STIFF. The opposite to crank. Stable or steady. A boat or ship that stands up well under canvas.

STIRRUPS. Ropes with eyes at their ends, through which the foot ropes are rove, and by which they are supported.

STOCKS. A frame of blocks and shores, to build ships on.

STOOLS. Small channels abaft the main channels for the dead eyes of the backstays, called also monkey channels.

SUPPORTERS. Knee timbers, placed under the cat heads, for their support and security.

SURF. The breaking of the sea on the shore, or any rock lying near the surface.

SWIPES. A term used by sailors for small beer.

SYPHERING. Lapping the edges of planks over each other for a bulk head.

TACK. A board or single course to windward. A rope used to haul out sails to windward.

TACKS and SHEETS. An order in putting a ship about.

TACTICS. The art of disposing and directing naval or military forces in action with the enemy.

TAIL. The end, as tail block, tail of a bank, &c.

TAIL ON. To clap on, and pull on a rope.

TAUNT. Applied to a ship with unusually high masts.

TAUT. A technical term used by sailors, meaning tight.

TELL-TALE. A hanging compass, hung from the beams in the captain's cabin.

TELL THAT TO THE MARINES. An exclamation made by a sailor when anything very unlikely is told him, and adding to it, "The blue jackets won't believe it."

TEND. To watch a ship at anchor, on the turn of a tide, and cast her by the helm and spanker, if necessary, to keep an open hawse.

THOLE-PINS. Wooden pins shipped in a gunwale of a boat, instead of a rowlock, for oars to rest in.

THREE SHEETS IN THE WIND. An expression used by sailors of persons when unsteady from drink.

THRUM. Any coarse woollen or hempen yarn, used for mops and mats, worked on canvas, with a large bolt rope needle.

THWARTS. Seats for the oars-men.

TIMENOGUY. A rope formerly carried taut between the different parts of a vessel, to prevent the sheet or tack of a course from getting foul in working ship.

TOM PEPPER. A term for a liar,

TOMPION. A circular plug of wood fitted to a wad, used to stop the muzzle of a gun.

TON FOR TON AND MAN FOR MAN. A phrase signifying that ships sailing as consorts ought fairly to divide whatever prize they take.

TOP-LIGHT. A signal lantern carried in the top.

TOP THE GLIM. Put the lights out.

TOP YOUR BOOM. An expression used by a sailor to make yourself scarce; to go on your way before you are helped off.

TOUCH AND GO. A ship touching the ground, and not remaining fast.

TRIATIC STAY. A rope fastened at each end of the fore and main masts, with thimbles placed in its bight, to hook the stay tackles to.

TRICK. The time allotted for a man to remain at one time at the helm.

TRIM. A ship is said to be in good trim when she answers her helm readily.

TROPHIES. Things captured from an enemy, and shown or treasured as tokens of victory.

TRUE BLUE. A sailor that is "true to his uniform, and uniformly true."

TUMBLING HOME. Said of a ship's sides when they fall in above the bends. The opposite of wall-sided.

UGLY. When the weather has a threatening aspect.

UNDER WAY. A ship moving after her anchor is up. [Some write this "Under weigh," but it is incorrect.]

UP WITH THE HELM. To put the tiller a-weather smartly.

VANE. A fly horn at the masthead, made of feathers or bunting, to show the direction of the wind.

VARIATION. A term applied to the deviation of the magnetic needle, or compass, from the true north point towards either east or west.

VEER AND HAUL TO. To tauten and slacken two or three times before giving the final pull on a rope, which is done by a signal.

VEER. To pay out a rope or cable. Change of wind with the sun.

VENTILATOR. Machines contrived to expel the foul air from the store rooms and hold.

VIOL. A large messenger formerly used to assist in weighing an anchor by the capstan.

WAD. A plug made of old rope closely fitting the bore of a gun.

WAFT. [More correctly written Wheft.] A flag or ensign, with different indications, stopped together at the head and middle portions, slightly rolled up lengthwise, and hoisted at different positions at the after part of a ship.

WALL-SIDED. Applied to vessels with sides straight up and down.

WASHBOARDS. Light pieces of board, placed above the gunwale of a boat.

WATCH AND WATCH. Being in two watches, on deck and below alternately.

WATER SAIL. A sail used by merchant ships, set under the swinging boom.

WEAR AND TEAR. The decay of the hull, spars, sails, ropes, and other stores of a ship during a voyage.

WEATHER EYE. Being on the look-out for squalls; constantly on your guard.

WEATHER GUAGE. On the windward side.

WEATHER LURCH. A ship rolling to windward.

WHISTLE FOR THE WIND. A very old superstitious custom among seamen. They are equally careful of not whistling during a heavy gale.

WINCH. A purchase formed by a horizontal spindle or shaft, with a wheel or crank at the end.

WINDBOUND. Unable to sail because of contrary winds.

WINDLASS is a machine erected in the fore part of a ship, which serves to ride by, as well as heave in the cable.

WIND RODE. The position of a vessel at anchor when she rides by the force of the wind instead of the tide or current.

WIND SAIL. A canvas funnel opened at top to face wind, used for ventilating "between decks" of vessels.

WING AND WING. The situation of a vessel when she is going dead before the wind, with the foresail boomed out on one side, and the mainsail on the other.

WINGERS. Casks stowed in the wing of a ship.

WITHE or WYTHE. An iron instrument with a ring to it, fitted on the end of a boom or mast, through which another boom or mast is rigged out and secured.

WOOLDING. Winding rope round a mast or yard that is sprung.

WORK UP. To draw the yarns from old rigging, and make them into spunyarn. It is also an expression used for keeping a crew constantly at their work.

YARD. A long timber suspended upon the mast of a vessel to spread a sail.

YARDARM AND YARDARM. The position of two vessels lying alongside one other — so close that their yardarms touch.

YARN. Thread of a rope. A sailor's tale.

YAWL. A man of war's boat, with 12 oars. A smack.

YAW-SIGHTED. A sailor's expression for a person that squints.

YOKE. A piece of wood placed across the head of a boat's rudder, with a rope attached to each end, by which the boat is steered.

YOKE LINES. Ropes by which the boat's steerage is managed.

YOU, SIR. A sharp expression used by some officers in addressing a subordinate.

ZAFAR. A coil of Spanish rope.

ZEAL. A quality particularly requisite in forming the character of an efficient officer.

ZENITH. The pole of the horizon, or that point in the heavens directly overhead, as nadir is that which is directly under our feet.

ZEPHYR. A light, pleasant breeze.

ZERO. The cypher; the point from which a thermometer is graduated.

ZOLL, or SAUL. An Indian timber, much used in the construction of country vessels.

ZUMBRA. A Spanish skiff, or yawl.

Charles Burney: The Young Seaman's Manual and Rigger's Guide.
Kegan Paul, Trench, Trubner, & Co, London, 1901 (13 ed., rev.). 8vo, 15×8,5 cm, xl, 591 pp, ill., 9 plates.
Appears to be a reprint of the 1876 edition. First edition 1869.

Transcribed by Lars Bruzelius.

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Copyright © 2006 Lars Bruzelius.