Boating Terms and Trivia To Impress Your Friends
Ahoy, mateys! This be a fair and true listing of a few words and a little trivia as to the origin having to do with ships and sailing. These terms come mainly from the great age of sailing ships, the 16th to 18th centuries, and almost all hail from great seafaring peoples of the day, those being English, Norse, Dutch and German.
Freeboard Distance between waterline and main deck of a ship.
Galley The word has made its way into most Western European languages. Originally "low, flat-built seagoing vessel of one deck," once a common type in the Mediterranean. Meaning "cooking range or cooking room on a ship" dates from 1750.
Poop Deck Enclosed structure at stern of ship above main deck, ( yes it is used what you think) The term Head is nautical for toilet. in the days of sail. A plank was placed near the bow or prow of the ship. The plank over hung the ship edge over the water. that is where ships crew relieve themselves. The Officers were able to use an enclosed area on the poop deck.
Mizzen Mast Aftermost fore-and-aft sail of a three-masted ship," early 15 century., , via French "foresail, foremast," altered (by influence of Italian "mizzen") from Old French , from Catalan , from Latin "of the middle" (from the root "middle").
The sense of the English and Italian words agree, but the etymology is off because the "middle" mast on a ship is the mainmast. Perhaps it refers to a sail of "middle" size, or the thing described changed. Klein suggests an alternate etymology of the French word, from Arabic via Italian. The supports the mizzen-sail.
Anchor "Device for securing ships to the ground under the water by means of cables," Old English , borrowedmfrom Latin "an anchor," from or cognate with Greek "an anchor, a hook," from root "to bend" .A very early borrowing into English and said to be the only Latin nautical term used in the Germanic languages (German , Swedish , etc.). The unetymological emerged late 16 century., a pedantic imitation of a corrupt spelling of the Latin word. The figurative sense of "that which gives stability or security"
Sail Old English "travel on water in a ship; equip with a sail," from the same Germanic source as ; cognate with Old Norse , Middle Dutch , Dutch , Middle Low German , German . Meaning "to set out on a sea voyage, leave port" .Boat "small open vessel (smaller than a ) used to cross waters, propelled by oars, a sail, or (later) an engine," Old English , from Proto-Germanic (source also of Old Norse , Dutch , German ), possibly from PIE root "to split," if the notion is of making a boat by hollowing out a tree trunk or from split planking. Or it may be an extension of the name for some part of a ship.
Ship Old English "ship, boat," from Proto-Germanic (source also of Old Norse, Old Saxon, Old Frisian, Gothic , Danish , Swedish , Middle Dutch , Dutch , Old High German , German ), "Germanic noun of obscure origin" [Watkins]. Others suggest perhaps originally "tree cut out or hollowed out," and derive it from the root "to cut, split".