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FULLY ILLUSTRATED, AND IN ALMOST EVERY CASE
FROM THE OBJECT DESCRIBED.
UPCOTT GILL, 170, STRAND,
I am anxious to make it clear that this little Dictionary is intended as a help to beginners. I do not profess to teach those who may be already experienced in yachting and the art of boat-sailing, and still less those acquainted with the sea. For these there are various nautical dictionaries; but so far as I am aware, there is no such work exclusively devoted to those who start in entire ignorance of their subject; and to supply this apparent want the present work is an attempt.
Such a work presents some difficulties, and is, therefore, naturally open to criticism. Nautical terms are essentially technical ; inany are used in various senses, while sometimes several may have but one meaning. And besides these we have a list of expressions which, while they cannot be regarded as sea terms, have direct reference to boat-building and boat-sailing.
It is to be feared, too, that some of those phrases now commonly met with in the sporting journals may have been overlooked. Numerous as are the terms in daily use among seafaring men, their number has been considerably enlarged of late years, not only in consequence of recent improvements in yacht-building, which require new names for parts and fittings hitherto unknown, but chiefly in consequence of that tendency in a certain class of sporting scriveners so to expand the technicality and the volubility of their nautical language that it has been found impossible to keep pace with them.
True maritime terms may generally be traced back to very simple derivations. To understand the derivation of a word is to understand it in its fullest meaning. For this reason, wherever the origin of an expression is known, I have taken the opportunity of inserting it.
The principal works of reference used in this compilation are : Falconer's “ Dictionary of the Marine ”; Smyth’s “Sailor's WordBook”; “Dictionary of Science, Literature and Art” (Brande and Cox); “ The Boating-man’s Vade-Mecum ” (Winn); “Boatsailing for Amateurs” (Davies). To these and other authorities I must acknowledge my indebtedness. And, in conclusion, I must fulfil a promise in dedicating my work to my two children, who, at the ages of seven and eight, are already handy in a boat and familiar with a great number of the terms I have endeavoured to explain.
DICTIONARY OF SEA TERMS.
A.— The highest class under which vessels are registered at Lloyd's. It is sub-divided into Al and A 2. a'.-An Anglo-Saxonism for
It is in constant use at sea, as in a'back, a’board, a’stern, etc. A.B.-The initial letters of the words able-bodied.
A full or first-class seaman, commonly called an able seaman, is classed A.B.
A'back.-Spoken of the sails when laid flat against a mast, either by a sudden change of wind, or, in some instances, they may be laid aback for some special purpose. (See BACK.)
A'baft.-Behind or towards the stern of a vessel. Thus, abaft the funnel,” so frequently seen on board pleasure steam boats, will
behind the funnel.” A'beam.-On the side of a vessel, amidships. Thus wind a'beam, wind on the beam,” will mean wind at right angles to the vessel. (See WIND.)
A'board, or on board.-On, or in, a vessel.
To go about.—To turn a vessel round, in sailing, on to another tack or direction. (See TACK.)
Above board.-Above deck. Hence the expression in everyday use, meaning “honest, fair,” or “ in the light of day."
A’box.-An old term used in wearing a ship. It means to lay the ship a’back, and thus to box her off.
Accul (old term). —Spoken of a deep bight or bay which ends as a cul de sac.
Acker.-An eddy or rising tide. (See EAGRE and BORE.)
A'cock-bill.–Spoken of a ship's anchor, when hanging out with the flukes extended in a position ready for dropping. In most harbours vessels are prohibited from carrying the anchor thus.