Pan Goatee and The Feathered Serpent

Another great writer my pal Chris don’t give his blog a miss one of the yet to be discovered writer’s of the century and a true gent.

Dracul Van Helsing

Pan Goatee and The Winged Serpent

Pan Goatee was busy cutting off the heads of ugly women who were out walking their dogs (the four-legged kind) the past few nights.

“I’ve never seen so many dogs out walking their dogs,” Pan Goatee remarked as he lopped off repulsive looking heads left, right and center.

He lopped off the head of one ugly looking woman who thought she could actually race him across the street at a stop light.

And then lopped off the head of another ugly looking woman who tried to enter his favourite oyster and sushi bar before him.

As he sat enjoying eating his oysters and thinking about the beautiful Aphrodite possibly emerging from one of his oyster shells, he got a call on his Samsung Galaxy S7 Smart Phone.

It came from a wealthy Neo-Nazi sympathizing German industrialist and arms manufacturer who was backing Donald Trump’s…

View original post 555 more words

Keeping the English oout

Even the mighty Roman army knew you cannot beat a Scot in a fight so they build a wall or two to keep them out.

But the English well they just never learned.
So the Scots assimilate them and make them Scots. Even George  4 thought he had Scots blood how’s that for Scottish reason.

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A murder of crows: 10 collective nouns you didn’t realise originate from the Middle Ages
From a ‘pride of lions’ to a ‘misbelief of painters’, many of the terms we use every day have roots in the distant past – specifically, the medieval period. Here, Chloe Rhodes investigates the origins of 10 collective nouns that have survived to become a curious feature of today’s everyday language

Thursday 4th December 2014 Submitted by Emma Mason Share
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Aesop’s fables: The Fox and The Crow. Illustration after 1485 edition printed in Naples by German printers for Francesco del Tuppo. (Photo by Culture Club/Getty Images
Why are geese in a gaggle? And are crows really murderous? Collective nouns are one of the most charming oddities of the English language, often with seemingly bizarre connections to the groups they identify. But have you ever stopped to wonder where these peculiar terms actually came from?

Many of them were first recorded in the 15th century in publications known as Books of Courtesy – manuals on the various aspects of noble living, designed to prevent young aristocrats from embarrassing themselves by saying the wrong thing at court.

The earliest of these documents to survive to the present day was The Egerton Manuscript, dating from around 1450, which featured a list of 106 collective nouns. Several other manuscripts followed, the most influential of which appeared in 1486 in The Book of St Albans – a treatise on hunting, hawking and heraldry, written mostly in verse and attributed to the nun Dame Juliana Barnes (sometimes written Berners), prioress of the Priory of St Mary of Sopwell, near the town of St Albans.

This list features 164 collective nouns, beginning with those describing the ‘beasts of the chase’, but extending to include a wide range of animals and birds and, intriguingly, an extensive array of human professions and types of person.

Those describing animals and birds have diverse sources of inspiration. Some are named for the characteristic behaviour of the animals (‘a leap of leopards’, ‘a busyness of ferrets’), or by the use they were put to by humans (‘a yoke of oxen’, ‘a burden of mules’). Sometimes they’re given group nouns that describe their young (‘a covert of coots’, ‘a kindle of kittens’), and others by the way they respond when flushed (‘a sord of mallards’, ‘a rout of wolves’).

Many of those describing people and professions go further still in revealing the medieval mindset of their inventors, opening a window into the past from which we can enjoy a fascinating view of the medieval world.

1) “A tabernacle of bakers”

Bread was the mainstay of a medieval peasant’s diet, with meat, fish and dairy produce too expensive to be eaten any more than once or twice a week. Strict laws governing the distribution of bread stated that no baker was allowed to sell his bread from beside his own oven, and must instead purvey his produce from a stall at one of the king’s approved markets.

These small, portable shops were known in Middle English as ‘tabernacula’, which were defined by Dutch lexicographer Junius Hadrianus in his Nomenclature, which was first translated into English in 1585, as ‘little shops made of boards’.

2) “A stalk of foresters”

The role of a forester in medieval society was respectable and well paid. Geoffrey Chaucer held the position in the royal forest of North Petherton in Somerset, and records from 1394 show that he was granted an annual pension of £20 by Richard II – a sum that reflected the importance of the role to hunting-mad noblemen.

A forester’s duties included protecting the forest’s stock of game birds, deer and other animals from poachers. From time to time they also stalked criminals, who took to the forests to evade capture.

3) “A melody of harpers”

Depicted in wall paintings in Ancient Egyptian tombs, the harp is one of the oldest musical instruments in the world, and by the medieval period – the age of troubadours and minstrels – was experiencing a surge in popularity.

This was an era defined by its emphasis on knightly tradition, and the harp often accompanied songs about valiant deeds and courtly love. In great demand at the estates of the upper classes, travelling harpists often moved from town to town performing instrumental accompaniment at banquets and recitals of madrigal singing. There were high-born harpists, too: both Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn were keen players.

4) “A sentence of judges”

Up until the 12th century, the law was deeply rooted in the feudal system, whereby the lord of the manor could charge and punish perpetrators of crime – often poaching from his land – as he saw fit. But in 1166, Henry II sought to shift the power away from individual landowners and bring it more directly under his own control.

He established the courts of assizes, where a national bench of judges travelled around the country attending quarterly court sessions. These judges based their decisions on a new set of national laws that were common to all people, which is where we get the term ‘common law’.

Though more egalitarian than the manorial system, assizes judges could be harsh in the sentences they delivered, which ranged from a stint in the stocks to public execution.

5) “A faith of merchants”

Merchants lived outside the rigid structure of feudalism, and their growing success in the 15th century had an enormous impact on the structure of society. They formed guilds of fellow traders, which eventually bought charters directly from the king, allowing the towns to become independent of the lord of the manor.

‘Faith’ as it is used here was a reference to the trustworthiness of a person, and is meant ironically, since merchants were rarely trusted. Court documents from the time record the various tricks of the trade that were used to con the public, including hiding bad grain under good, and stitching undersized coal sacks to disguise small measures of coal.

All offences were officially punishable by a stint in the pillory, but because the guilds were self-regulated, most perpetrators got off with only a fine – to the inevitable anger of the masses.

6) “An abominable sight of monks”

Monks weren’t particularly popular during the 15th century. Bede’s Life of Cuthbert, dated around AD 725, is the story of a party of monks who almost drowned when their boat was caught in a storm on the River Tyne. Cuthbert pleaded with the peasants on the bank for help but “the rustics, turning on him with angry minds and angry mouths, exclaimed, ‘Nobody shall pray for them: May God spare none of them! For they have taken away from men the ancient rites and customs, and how the new ones are to be attended to, nobody knows.’”

By the 15th century this resentment of the trampling of pagan traditions had been exacerbated by a perception of monks as being well fed and comfortable while the general population starved. ‘Abominable’ is defined by the Oxford English Dictionary as “causing moral revulsion”, which is a fairly accurate description of the reaction this image provoked.

7) “A superfluity of nuns”

Superfluity can be interpreted in two ways – the first is as historical fact. There were around 138 nunneries in England between 1270 and 1536, many of which were severely overcrowded. The convent was seen as a natural step for the daughters of the nobility who had passed marriageable age, and lords put pressure on prioresses to accept their daughters even if they were already full.

Alternatively, though, the excess of nuns referred to here could have been a comment on the emerging view among agitators for church reform that the days of the monastery and convent were over. Some 50 years after this noun appeared in print in The Book of St Albans Henry VIII ordered their closure, and the Protestant Reformation was in full swing.

8) “A stud of horses”

Horses were at the absolute centre of life in the Middle Ages. Rather than the breeds we’re familiar with today, medieval horses were classified by the role they played in society. There were destriers, stallions that were used as warhorses by royalty and lords; palfreys, bred for general-purpose riding, war and travel, usually owned by the wealthy; coursers, steady cavalry horses; and rouncies – common-grade hack horses of no special breeding.

During the Middle Ages, monasteries often ran breeding centres called stud farms – ‘stud’ has its roots in the German word ‘Stute’, meaning mare. State stud farms also existed: the first was established under Louis XIV of France in 1665, by which time ‘a stud of horses’ was already established as the proper collective.

9) ‘A pack/cry/kennel of hounds’

Hunting dogs were important members of the medieval household. Every noble family kept kennels for their dogs, and these were looked after by a team of dedicated servants.

‘A cry of hounds’ is thought to derive from the hunting cry that instructs the hounds in their pursuit. The traditional English hunting call ‘Tally Ho!’ is a shortening of ‘Tallio, hoix, hark, forward,’ which, according to an 1801 edition of The Sporting Magazine, is an Anglicized version of the French terms ‘Thia-hilaud’ and ‘a qui forheur’, which appear in La Vénerie by Jacques du Fouilloux, first published at Poitiers in 1561.

This was adapted into English by George Gascoigne under the title The Noble Arte of Venerie, and became one of the pillars of a young gentleman’s hunting education.

10) “A richesse of martens”

The European pine marten was considered a top prize for hunters in the Middle Ages. Of all the ‘vermin of the chase’, which included foxes, wild cats, polecats and squirrels, the marten was the most sought after because of its valuable pelt.

Tudor ‘statutes of apparel’ – strict laws governing the amount of money the people could spend on clothing – dictated the colours, cuts and materials that could be worn by each level of society, and stated which furs could be worn by which tier of the aristocracy. Only those of or above the rank of duke, marquise and earl were allowed to wear sable fur, while ermine, the white winter coat of the stoat, which could only be obtained for a few months of the year, was reserved for royalty.

Chloe Rhodes’ An Unkindness of Ravens: A Book of Collective Nouns is published by Michael O’Mara. To find out more, click here.

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Glossary of nautical terms
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This is a partial glossary of nautical terms; some remain current, while many date from the 17th to 19th centuries. See also Wiktionary’s nautical terms, Category:Nautical terms, and Nautical metaphors in English. See the Further reading section for additional words and references.

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Jack
1. A sailor. Also jack tar or just tar.
2. A flag. Typically the flag was talked about as if it were a member of the crew. Strictly speaking, a flag is only a “jack” if it is worn at the jackstaff at the bow of a ship.
Jackass-barque
Sometimes spelled jackass bark, is a sailing ship with three (or more) masts, of which the foremast is square-rigged and the main is partially square-rigged (topsail, topgallant, etc.) and partially fore-and-aft rigged (course). The mizzen mast is fore-and-aft rigged.
Jack Dusty
A naval stores clerk.
Jack Tar
A sailor dressed in ‘square rig’ with square collar. Formerly with a tarred pigtail.
Jacklines or jack stays
Lines, often steel wire with a plastic jacket, from the bow to the stern on both port and starboard. A crewmember clips his safety harness to a jackline, allowing him to walk along the deck while still being safely attached to the vessel.
Jenny
See genoa
Jetty
A man-made wall in open water rising several feet above high tide made of rubble and rocks used to create a breakwater, shelter, erosion control, a channel, or other such purpose.
Jetsam
Debris ejected from a ship that sinks or washes ashore. See also Flotsam.
Jib
A triangular staysail at the front of a ship.
Jibboom
A spar used to extend the bowsprit.
Jibe
See gybe.
Jibe-ho
See gybe-oh.
Jigger-mast
The fourth mast, although ships with four or more masts were uncommon, or the aft most mast where it is smallest on vessels of less than four masts.
Jollies
Traditional Royal Navy nickname for the Royal Marines.
Joggle
a slender triangular recess cut into the faying surface of a frame or steamed timber to fit over the land of clinker planking, or cut into the faying edge of a plank or rebate to avoid feather ends on a strake of planking. The feather end is cut off to produce a nib. The joggle and nib in this case is made wide enough to allow a caulking iron to enter the seam.
Jonah
A person (either a sailor or a passenger) who carries a jinx, one whose presence on board brings bad luck and endangers the ship.
Junk
1. Old cordage past its useful service life as lines aboard ship. The strands of old junk were teased apart in the process called picking oakum.
2. A sailing ship of classic Chinese design with characteristic full batten sails that span the masts usually on unstayed rigs.
Jury rig
Both the act of rigging a temporary mast and sails and the name of the resulting rig. A jury rig would be built at sea when the original rig was damaged, then it would be used to sail to a harbor or other safe place for permanent repairs.
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Nautical References

In order best to understand the action of Billy Budd, it helps to understand some of the specifics of the seventy-four gun man-of-war that is H.M.S. Indomitable. To that end, this page provides a basic introduction to some of the nautical terminology.
At the beginning of several sections, additional notes try to contextualize the information and make clearer the relationships of the following terms to the novel. Also, when possible, terms that share the same base and vary only in application — foretop, foretopsail, foretopmen, etc. — are grouped together.

If you come to this page from the text of the novel, you may click the “Back” button on your browser or click on the chapter number at the end of the entry. If you are interested in looking at the various groups of terms, you may scroll up and down this page clicking on the chapter number to see the word used in context.

Orientation

As in many novels where the action takes place at sea, Billy Budd is filled with references to direction that can seem quite foreign to many readers. Below is a basic diagram as well as several of the most common directional references used in the novel.

Bow, Stern: The bow is the forward end of the ship, beginning on both sides where the planks arch inwards and ending where they close at the prow. The stern, on the other hand, is the rear end of the vessel. [19] [28]
Fore, Aft: The fore is the part of the ship that lies near the bow or in that direction. Anything that is aft falls near the stern of the ship.[26]
Lee, Leeward : The lee side is that side of the ship sheltered from the wind; or, more generally, any object that is away from the wind. The term is also used to indicate that an object that is on that side of the ship.[6] [15] [19] [22]
Starboard: The right-hand side of the vessel when facing the bow (see above). Traditionally, it is the side of the ship reserved for the Captain, who took his exercise on the starboard side of the poop deck or quarterdeck.[19] [25] [28]
Weather side: Like lee, the term weather refers to a side of the ship in reference to wind. The weather side is the side toward the wind, or windward.[6] [19] [22]
The Royal Navy circa 1797

Throughout Billy Budd, much is made of the type of ships involved in any given action. Below are several specific descriptions of the vessels to which Melville refers.

Brig: A Brig is a two-masted vessel, square-rigged — i.e. a vessel with yards and sails set across the masts as opposed to a fore-and-aft rigged craft — on both masts. [22]
Frigate: A fast, three masted fully rigged ship of the fifth or sixth rate (i.e. carrying anywhere from 20 to 48 guns). At the time of this narrative, frigates served primarily “scouts” for the main body of the fleet.[Dedication] [3] [19]
Ironclads: Generally, the term applies to all ships clad with iron for defense. At the time of the narrative, however, there had been no large-scale development for protecting ships in this way. It is the gradual improvement of artillery during the 18th century that laid the foundation for the emergence of the ironclad in the 19th century.[4]
Line-of-Battle-Ships:Broadly, any rated ship of sufficient size to take part in the battle line during a major fleet action.[19] [29]
Rate: Rate applies to the classification of ships according to size and armament. There were six rates at the time of the narrative: 1st (100+ guns), 2nd (90-98 guns), 3rd (64-80 guns), 4th (50-60 guns), 5th (32-48 guns), and 6th (20-32 guns). Ships of the first three rates were considered powerful enough to fight in a line of battle in a major fleet action.[19]
Man-of-War: Any armed ship of a national navy usually carrying between 20 and 120 guns.[1] [8]
“Seventy-four”: A third rate man-of-war carrying seventy-four guns. The seventy-four, the type of ship that made up the bulk of the royal fleet at the time of the narrative, was noted for the balance of firepower and maneuverability.[3] [6] [11] [25] [26]
Squadron: In the most general sense, a squadron is any detachment of warships on some special duty. In the British Navy, it was one of three divisions — the red, blue, or white — of the fleet forming one body under the command of a flag-officer.[21]
Steamer: As opposed to a Steamboat, a light-draft vessel used in inland waters, a Steamship is a fully-armed sea-going ship powered by steam as opposed to sail.[22]
Three-deckers: More than simply a ship with three decks, it is a ship fitted for carrying guns on three decks. The Indomitable is a seventy-four gun two decker ship; larger ships such as Nelson’s first-rater H.M.S. Victory were three deckers.[3]
Hierarchy at Sea

Commissioned Officers: At the top of the naval military hierarchy, the commissioned officers are those who hold, in writing, a warrant or letters patent issued by the state that grant authority to hold office and exercise duties.[8] [26] [30]
Admiral: The highest naval officer of flag-rank who commands one of the principal divisions of the fleet. Depending on which division he commands (van or fore, middle, or rear), the admiralty is divided into positions of Admiral, Vice-Admiral, and Rear-Admiral.[21]
Captain: In the navy, the Captain holds the commissioned rank next below rear-admiral. By extension, the term is applied to a commander of any naval vessel, regardless of commissioned rank.[1]
First Officer or First Mate: The commissioned officer next in rank to the master of the ship.[28]
First Lieutenant, Lieutenants: The most junior of the traditional officers’ naval ranks. Though the terminology had shifted a bit by Melville’s time, at the time of the narrative, the first lieutenant was an executive officer of the marines charged with stationing officers and crew for the necessary handling of the sails, at the guns, and in the messes. The Lieutenants hold rank equal to that of Captain in the army and are charged primarily with duty as watch-officers, i.e. serving as the representative of the commanding officer while on duty.[1] [8] [21] [22] [23] [28]
Chaplain: Though he could also be appointed as an inferior officer, the Chaplain was often a commissioned officer of rank. Regardless of rank, the Chaplain’s duties included those that his corollary on land would serve: preaching, ministering to the sick, and counseling the condemned.[25] [26]
Wardroom or Warrant Officers: One of a varied group of officers below the commissioned officers. They served as heads of specialized technical branches of the ships’ company.[24]
Purser: Appointed by admiralty warrant but having no professional examination, the purser was responsible for keeping the ship’s accounts and for issuing provisions and clothing. By the beginning of the nineteenth century, the purser was considered a wardroom officer.[27]
Sailing Master : The officer charged with navigation of the ship.[22]
Surgeon: A member of the medical detachment aboard a ship. Generally, he was prevented from involvement in conflicts, instead serving within the hold to help treat those injured.[20] [21] [27]
Midshipman: Non-commissioned sea-officers who were considered prospective commissioned officers. One in such a position would, after two years of service, take an examination to be commissioned as a lieutenant.[19] [22]
Rate: For titles of station aboard a ship, all non-commissioned officers were marked in the ship’s muster-book according to skills and duties. The chief grades in the Royal Navy were seaman (subdivided into ordinary and able), petty officers, and landsmen. The term also applies to the classification of ships according to size and armament.
Petty Officers : Simply a naval officer corresponding in rank to a non-commissioned officer in the army. He holds position at the discretion and pleasure of the appointing authority, generally the commanding officer.[8] [19] [22] [30]
Boatswain: Usually one of the best sailors, the boatswain (pronounced ‘bosun’) was responsible for inspecting the ship’s sails and rigging every morning. He was also in charge of all deck activities, such as dropping anchor and handling the sails. He issued orders piping on a silver boatswain’s whistle.[24] [25] [28]
Apothecary: Appointed by the surgeon of the cruise, he is the chief assistant to the medical officer.[18]
Armorer: The petty officer in charge of keeping the small-arms in condition for service.[18]
Captain of the Hold: In this sense, Captain refers to a specific leading man of the ship’s company charged with maintaining order in the portion of the ship below the lower deck.[18]
Corporal: In this case the Ship’s Corporal who assists the Master-at-Arms with his duties.[11]
Coxswain: The person who has charge of the boat and crew in the absence of officers. On a man-of-war, the Captain’s coxswain ranked high among the petty officers and had charge of the Captain’s boat and attends him.[20]
Master-at-Arms, “Jimmy Legs”: The chief petty officer aboard a man-of-war, the master-at-arms (as Melville notes) attends to the police duties of the ship. The title derives from his traditional duty of instructing the crew in the use of small arms. “Jimmy Legs” is a humorous nickname for the Master-at-Arms.[8] [9] [14] [17] [19] [20] [22] [24] [30]
Ship’s Yeoman: An appointed officer who has charge of stores and keeps accounts in his special department.[18]
Marines, Marine Guard: As distinguished from sailors, the marines where specialized soldiers who served aboard a man-of-war. During the time of the narrative, a large ship of line like the seventy-four often consisted of more than twenty percent marines who served in gun crews, with boarding parties, and as sharpshooters or sentries.[20] [20] [26] [29]
Captain of the Marines: Though under the broad control of the naval admiralty, the Captain of the Marines, the ranking marine aboard a man-of-war, was responsible for command over the marines while under sail.[20] [21] [22]
Sailors, Blue-jackets: As opposed to marines, the terms used in reference to all experienced, skilled seaman. The term ‘bluejacket’ derived from the color of their uniform.[2] [3] [11] [16] [19] [24] [31]
Helmsman: the sailor charged with piloting the ship.[28]
Landsmen: As opposed to skilled seaman, the landsmen were those with no naval training who performed basic tasks on ship such as hauling and hoisting.[15]
Afterguard, Afterguardsmen: The afterguardsmen, usually drawn from the landsmen who are not required to go aloft except to loose and furl the mainsail, are those stationed on the quarter-deck and poop to man the gear.[9] [15] [16] [18] [22]
Sails

Boom: A long spar run out to extend the foot of a particular sail. [15] [26]
Deadeyes: The flat, round wooden block with a grooved perimeter and three holes through which the lanyard is threaded and used to extend the shrouds; also the triangular blocks with one large hole that are similarly used to extend the stays.[15]
Chains, Forechains: The name used collectively to refer to the hardware that secures the lower shrouds of the mast outside the ship’s side. Usually, the mast which is secured is specified (i.e. forechains or mainchains).[15] [19] [22]
Lower Sails, Upper Sails: The larger, lower sails provide the power for vessels. The smaller, upper or topsails are set above the course and are usually divided into two sails so that they may be set and taken in independently.[19]
Mainsails: The principal sail on a vessel. On a man-of-war, the mainsail is the lowest and largest sail on the mainmast.[15]
Stunsails: The stun- or studdingsails are extra sails set outside the square sails of a ship during a fair wind.[9]
to Reef, to Furl: These are the verbs which describe the management of the sails. To reef is to reduce the amount of exposed sail by rolling up a part and securing it with the reef points. To furl a sail is to roll up and bind a sail neatly upon the yard or boom.[15]
Masts and Rigging

Stays: The stay is a large rope that supports the mast either fore (forestays) or aft (backstays). The stays are named according to the mast they support.[15]
Foremast: The forward lower mast nearest the bow.[15] [19] [26]
Halyards: One of various ropes or tackles used for raising and lowering a sail, yard, spar, or flag.[2] [27] [31]
Mainmast, Mainmastmen: The central mast in a three-masted ship. The mainmastmen are those whose duties involve working with that mast.[9] [15] [19] [26]
Mizzenmast: On a three-masted ship, the rear mast most aft near the stern.
Masthead: The masthead is the highest reach of the mast where the flag is flown. More specifically, the term refers to the head of the lower mast used for observation or a place of confinement as punishment.[3]
Spar: A spar is the general term for all the poles in a vessels rigging and includes masts, yards, and booms.[31]
Tops, Topmen : The top is, appropriately, the top of the mast and the small platform there. The various tops are named for the mast on which they sit (foretop, maintop, etc.). Those who are stationed for duty in the tops are topmen. [Dedication] [9] [24]
Foretop, Foretopmen: The top of the foremast. Generally, the foretopmen were young er, stronger seamen.[2] [9] [17] [18] [20] [22] [31]
Mizzentop, Mizzentopmen: The aft-most top. The mizzentopmen were usually older, more experiences sailors a bit past their prime and less fit for service in the fore or main top.[19]
Shrouds: A range of large ropes extending from the mastheads to the sides of the ship to provide lateral support to the masts thereby enabling them to carry the sails. Parallel bands of ratlines between the shrouds functioned as ladders for the topmen to climb up and down the mastheads.[15]
Yards, Yardarm: A yard is the long, narrow wooden spar slung at its center form the mast and serving to support and extend a square sail that is bent into it. The yardarm is either of the ends of the yard. It is from these that men were hanged. (as with most things on a ship, the yards are identified by the position and mast). [9] [19] [22][26] [31]
Decks

Berth-deck: Broadly, a sleeping place in the ship; particularly, that deck that contains the sailors’ hammocks.[25]
Bridge: The bridge is the platform extending across the deck above the rail for the convenience of the officer in charge of the ship. [22]
Bulwarks: The planking or woodwork above a deck.[15] [16]
Cockpit: The aft section of the lowest deck in a man-of-war, the cockpit was usually reserved for the quarters of the midshipmen and others, but was also used for the care of the wounded during engagements. There is also a fore cockpit usually reserved from he boatswain and carpenter.[29]
Deckstation: The place for anyone stationed on a given deck.[15]
Forecastle, Forecastlemen : The short raised deck at the fore of the ship originally used by archers. In a man-of-war, it is the upper part of the deck forward of the foremast. The term forecastlemen refers to any member of the crew whose quarters were beneath that deck.[8] [15]
Gangway: On deep waisted ships like the seventy-four, a narrow platform extending from the quarter-deck to the forecastle.[9]
Gun Decks: Upper and Lower: The gun decks extend below the spar-deck where the guns are carried.[8] [9] [19] [24] [25] [28] [31]
Hatchways: Hatchways are the openings in a ship’s deck through which cargo can be moved to the hold. More generally, it is the term for any passageway from one deck to another.[26]
Open Deck : Another term applied to the central part of the main or spar-deck between the foremast and the mainmast.[28]
Poop-deck: A partial deck which is the portion of the spar-deck extending from the mizzenmast aft.[21]
Quarter-deck, Quarter-deck Cabin: The part of the spar-deck from the mainmast aft. It is generally reserved for commanding officers and the officer of the deck.[19] [20] [22] [23] [26] [28]
Spar-deck: At one time, it was any temporary deck. It came to be the common term for the entire upper deck above the main deck.[26]
Waist: The middle part of the upper deck extending between quarter-deck and the forecastle.[19]
Other Useful Terms

Batteries: Any place where the guns and mortar are mounted. The term is also used to designate collectively a body of cannon. [25]

Battle Lanterns: The lantern supplied to each gun to light up the decks during an engagement at night.[25]

to Becalm : To render quiet or calm by intercepting the current of air in its passage to an object (e.g. the jib is becalmed by the foresail before the wind).[16]

Breeching: The large rope rove through the cascabel (at the base) of a gun and secured to the ship’s side to limit recoil when firing.[25]

Cabin: The apartment occupied by the commanding officer and other line officers. the cabin is often divided into compartments by light bulkheads to form two or More staterooms. Vere’s cabin is divided thus.[20]

Capstan: The cylindrical wheel and axle mechanism powered by the crew hands and used to wind up a cable around the barrel. Its primary function is to weigh the anchor.[2]

Carronade: First used aboard British ships in 1779, the carronade was a short barreled, lightweight gun designed to fire heavy shot over a short distance. [22]

Class: see Grade [25]

Cordage: The generic term for any rope on a ship, but especially denoting the ropes of the rigging.[19]

Dockyard: Dockyards are the arsenals on land containing naval stores and timbers for ship-building. [31]

Watch, Dog-watch: The watch is the period of time that each division of the ship’s company alternately remains on deck. A watch lasts for four hours, with the exception of the dog-watch which lasts two and serves to prevent the watch from being kept by the same men every day. The various watches are: First (2000 to midnight); Middle or Graveyard (midnight to 0400); Morning (0400 to 0800); Forenoon (0800 to 1200); Afternoon (1200 to 1600); First Dog (1600 to 1800); and Second Dog (1800-2000).[16] [18] [19]

Drum: Like the pipe, the drum is sometimes used to give orders aboard a ship.[28]

Drumhead, Drumhead Court: The Drumhead itself is the circular top of the capstan where the bars are fitted to aid in turning. The Drumhead Court, a summary court martial held while the ship is still at sea and presided over by the ranking officer, takes its name from the occasional necessity of the drumhead doing service as a writing table. Usually, only the senior naval officers — as opposed to marine officers — make up the court which has full power to convict and sentence while at sea. [20] [21] [22] [28] [29]

Duck Trousers: The duck trousers get their name from the material from which they are made, a linen or cotton fabric that is finer and lighter than canvas. While occasionally used for men’s clothing, generally, the fabric is used for the lighter sails of vessels and the sacking of beds. [25]

Grades: Although in some ways synonymous with rank, there is a fine distinction between ranks and grade when used by members of the military or navy. In this usage, the former term distinguishes the relative authority between individuals of the same grade. That is to say, while there may be many of the same grade, there can only be one of a certain rank.[5]

Hands: The metonym term for members of the ships crew.[28]

Hull: The hull is the frame or body of the ship excluding the masts and superstructure.[26]

Lanyards: The generic term for any short piece of rope used to fasten something, make it secure, or serve as a handle.[15]

Launch: Of the several boats carried aboard a man-of-war, the launch is the largest and heaviest. Usually, it is fitted for both sails (2) and oars and stretches to nearly 30 feet.[15]

Lintstocks/Linstocks: The short staffs for holding a matchrope by which the larger guns are fired.[25]

Marlinspike: The marlinspike is a pointed tool used to part the strands of a rope so as to splice it.[15]

Mess, Messmates : Each mess designates the specific divisions of a company of officers or crew who take their meals together in a given place. Those members of the same mess are termed messmates.[18] [31]

Muster : As a verb, to muster is to assemble the entire ship’s company for an inspection, exercise, or other communal activity. A a noun, the muster is a list of the members of the ship’s company.[30]

Powder-boys: Also called powder-monkeys, the powder-boys were those responsible for passing cartridges to the guns.[26]

Rammers: A rammer is the long staff with a cylindrical head used in loading to press home the charge of a gun.[25]

Shotbox: The shotbox is where ammunition for the guns is stored.[9]

Side-tackles: As a means of securing the gun, the side-tackle is connected to either side of a gun-carriage as well as to the ship’s side.[25]

Stateroom: A stateroom is the small room in the cabin or wardroom of a man-of-war for use by an individual, usually one of higher rank.. [20] [23]

Tar-bucket: The tar bucket is the place aboard the ship for storage of the tar used to protect rope from the weather and from dampness penetrating among the fibers.[2]

Tars: Tar is the slang term for an experienced sailor.[26]

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