G to L


GAB. A notch on the eccentric rod of a steam-engine for fitting a pin in the gab-lever to break the connection with the slide-valves. (See Gabbe.)

GABARRE. Originally a river lighter; now a French store-ship.

GABART, or Gabbert. A flat vessel with a long hatchway, used in canals and rivers.

GABBE. An old but vulgar term for the mouth.—Gift of the gab, or glib-gabbet, facility and recklessness of assertion.

GABBOK. A voracious dog-fish which infests the herring fisheries in St. George's Channel.

GABELLE [Fr.] An excise tribute.

GABERDINE. An old name for a loose felt cloak or mantle.

GABERT. A Scotch lighter. (See Gabart.)

GABIONADE. A parapet of gabions hastily thrown up.

GABIONS. Cylindrical baskets open at both ends, about 3 feet high and 2 feet in diameter, which, being placed on end and filled with earth, greatly facilitate the speedy formation of cover against an enemy's fire. They are much used for revetments in field-works generally.

GABLE, or Gabulle. A term in early voyagers for cable. Thus,

"Softe, ser, seyd the gabulle-rope,
Methinke gode ale is in your tope."
GABLICK, or Gafflock. An old term for a crow-bar.

GABY. A conceited simpleton.

GACHUPINS. The name given in South America to European Spaniards.

GAD. A goad; the point of a spear or pike.

GAD-YANG. A coasting vessel of Cochin-China.

GAFF. A spar used in ships to extend the heads of fore-and-aft sails which are not set on stays. The foremost end of the gaff is termed the jaw, the[331] outer part is called the peak. The jaw forms a semicircle, and is secured in its position by a jaw-rope passing round the mast; on it are strung several small wooden balls called trucks, to lessen the friction on the mast when the sail is hoisting or lowering.—To blow the gaff, said of the revealing a plot or giving convicting evidence.

GAFF-HALLIARDS. See Halliards.

GAFF-HOOK. In fishing, a strong iron hook set on a handle, supplementing the powers of the line and fish-hook with heavy fish, in the same way that the landing-net does with those of moderate size.

GAFFLE. A lever or stirrup for bending a cross-bow.

GAFF-NET. A peculiar net for fishing.

GAFF-TOPSAIL. A light triangular or quadrilateral sail, the head being extended on a small gaff which hoists on the top-mast, and the foot on the lower gaff.

GAGE. The quantity of water a ship draws, or the depth she is immersed.

GAGE, Weather. When one ship is to windward of another she is said to have the weather-gage of her; or if in the opposite position, the lee-gage.

GAGE-COCKS. These are for ascertaining the height of the water in the boiler, by means of three or more pipes, having a cock to each.

GAINED DAY. The twenty-four hours, or day and night, gained by circumnavigating the globe to the eastward. It is the result of sailing in the same direction as the earth revolves, which shortens each day by four minutes for every degree sailed. In the Royal Navy this run gives an additional day's pay to a ship's crew.

GAIN THE WIND, To. To arrive on the weather-side of some other vessel in sight, when both are plying to windward.

GAIR-FISH. A name on our northern coasts for the porpoise.

GAIR-FOWL. A name of the great auk, Alca impennis. (See Auk.)

GAIRG. A Gaelic name for the cormorant.

GALAXY. A name of the Milky Way. (See Via Lactea.)

GALEAS. See Gallias.

GALE OF WIND. Implies what on shore is called a storm, more particularly termed a hard gale or strong gale; number of force, 10.—A stiff gale is the diminutive of the preceding, but stronger than a breeze.—A fresh gale is a still further diminutive, and not too strong for a ship to carry single-reefed top-sails when close-hauled.—A top-gallant gale, if a ship can carry her top-gallant sails.—To gale away, to go free.

GALEOPIS. An ancient war-ship with a prow resembling the beak of a sword-fish.

GALITA. See Guerite.

GALL. See Wind-gall.

GALLANTS. All flags borne on the mizen-mast were so designated.

GALLAN WHALE. The largest whale which visits the Hebrides.

GALLED. The result of friction, to prevent which it is usual to cover, with skins, mats, or canvas, the places most exposed to it. (See Service.)[332]

GALLEON, or Galion. A name formerly given to ships of war furnished with three or four batteries of cannon. It is now retained only by the Spaniards, and applied to the largest size of their merchant ships employed in West India and Vera Cruz voyages. The Portuguese also have ships trading to India and the Brazils nearly resembling the galleons, and called caragues. (See Carack.)

GALLEOT, or Galliot. A small galley designed only for chase, generally carrying but one mast, with sixteen or twenty oars. All the seamen on board act as soldiers, and each has a musket by him ready for use on quitting his oar. Also, a Dutch or Flemish vessel for cargoes, with very rounded ribs and flattish bottom, with a mizen-mast stept far aft, carrying a square-mainsail and main-topsail, a fore-stay to the main-mast (there being no fore-mast), with fore-staysail and jibs. Some also call the bomb-ketches galliots. (See Scampavia.)

GALLERY. A balcony projecting from the admiral's or captain's cabin; it is usually decorated with a balustrade, and extends from one side of the ship to the other; the roof is formed by a sort of vault termed a cove, which is frequently ornamented with carving. (See Stern; also Quarter-gallery.)

GALLERY of a Mine. The passage of horizontal communication, as distinguished from the shaft or vertical descent, made underground by military miners to reach the required position, for lodging the charge, &c.; it averages 41⁄2 feet high by 3 feet wide.

GALLERY-LADDER. Synonymous with stern-ladder.

GALLEY. A low, flat-built vessel with one deck, and propelled by sails and oars, particularly in the Mediterranean. The largest sort, called galleasses, were formerly employed by the Venetians. They were about 160 feet long above, and 130 by the keel, 30 wide, and 20 length of stern-post. They were furnished with three masts and thirty banks of oars, each bank containing two oars, and every oar managed by half-a-dozen slaves, chained to them. There are also half-galleys and quarter-galleys, but found by experience to be of little utility except in fine weather. They generally hug the shore, only sometimes venturing out to sea for a summer cruise. Also, an open boat rowing six or eight oars, and used on the river Thames by custom-house officers, and formerly by press-gangs; hence the names "custom-house galley," "press-galley," &c. Also, a clincher-built fast rowing-boat, rather larger than a gig, appropriated in a man-of-war for the use of the captain. The galley or gally is also the name of the ship's hearth or kitchen, being the place where the grates are put up and the victuals cooked. In small merchantmen it is called the caboose; and is generally abaft the forecastle or fore-part of the ship.

GALLEY-ARCHES. Spacious and well-built structures in many of the Mediterranean ports for the reception and security of galleys.

GALLEY-FOIST or Fust. The lord-mayor's barge, and other vessels for holidays. (See Fust.)[333]

GALLEY-GROWLERS. Idle grumblers and skulkers, from whom discontent and mutiny generally derive their origin. Hence, "galley-packets," news before the mail arrives.

GALLEY-NOSE. The figure-head.

GALLEY-PACKET. An unfounded rumour. (See Galley-growlers.)

GALLEY-PEPPER. The soot or ashes which accidentally drop into victuals in cooking.

GALLEY-SLANG. The neological barbarisms foisted into sea-language.

GALLEY-SLAVE. A person condemned to work at the oar on board a galley, and chained to the deck.

GALLEY-STOKER. A lazy skulker.

GALLEY-TROUGH. See Gerletroch.

GALLIAS. A heavy, low-built vessel of burden. Not to be confounded with galley, for even Shakspeare, in the Taming of the Shrew, makes Tranio say:—

"My father hath no less
Than three great argosies; besides two galeasses,
And twelve tight galleys."
GALLIED. The state of a whale when he is seriously alarmed.

GALLIGASKINS. Wide hose or breeches formerly worn by seamen also called petticoat-trousers. P. Penilesse, in his Supplication to the Divell, says: "Some gally gascoynes or shipman's hose, like the Anabaptists," &c.

GALLING-FIRE. A sustained discharge of cannon, or small arms, which by its execution greatly annoys the enemy.

GALLIVATS. Armed row-boats of India, smaller than a grab; generally 50 to 70 tons.

GALLOON. Gold lace. [Fr. galon; Sp. galon.]

GALLOPER. A small gun used by the Indians, easily drawn by one horse.

GALLOW-GLASSES. Formerly a heavy-armed body of foot; more recently applied to Irish infantry soldiers.

GALLOWS. The cross-pieces on the small bitts at the main and fore hatchways in flush-decked vessels, for stowing away the booms and spars over the boats; also termed gallowses, gallows-tops, gallows-bitts, and gallows-stanchions. The word is used colloquially for archness, as well as for notoriously bad characters.

GALLS. Veins of land through which the water oozes.

GALL-WIND. See Wind-gall.

GALLY-GUN. A kind of culverin.

GALOOT. An awkward soldier, from the Russian golut, or slave. A soubriquet for the young or "green" marine.

GALORE. Plenty, abundance.

GAMBISON. A quilted doublet formerly worn under armour, to prevent its chafing.

GAME-LEG. A lame limb, but not so bad as to unfit for duty.

GAMMON, To. To pass the lashings of the bowsprit.

GAMMONING. Seven or eight turns of a rope-lashing passed alternately[334] over the bowsprit and through a large hole in the cut-water, the better to support the stays of the fore-mast; after all the turns are drawn as firm as possible, the two opposite are braced together under the bowsprit by a frapping. Gammoning lashing, fashion, &c., has a peculiar seamanlike meaning. The gammoning turns are passed from the standing part or bolt forward, over the bowsprit, aft through the knee forward, making a cross lashing. It was the essence of a seaman's ability, and only forecastle men, under the boatswain, executed it. Now galvanized chain is more commonly used than rope for gammoning.

GAMMONING-HOLE. A mortise-opening cut through the knee of the head, between the cheeks, through which the gammoning is passed.

GAMMON-KNEE. A knee-timber fayed and bolted to the stem, a little below the bowsprit.

GAMMON-PLATE. An iron plate bolted to the stem of some vessels for the purpose of supporting the gammoning of the bowsprit.

GAMMON-SHACKLE. A sort of triangular ring formed on the end of a gammon-plate, for the gammoning lashing or chain to be made fast to.

GAND-FLOOK. A name of the saury-pike, Scomberesox saurus.

GANG. A detachment; being a selected number of a ship's crew appointed on any particular service, and commanded by an officer suitable to the occasion.

GANG-BOARD. The narrow platform within the side next the gunwale, connecting the quarter-deck to the forecastle. Also, a plank with several cleats or steps nailed to it to prevent slipping, for the convenience of walking into or out of a boat upon the shore, where the water is shallow.

GANG-CASKS. Small barrels used for bringing water on board in boats; somewhat larger than breakers, and usually containing 32 gallons.

GANGWAY. The platform on each side of the skid-beams leading from the quarter-deck to the forecastle, and peculiar to deep-waisted ships, for the convenience of walking expeditiously fore and aft; it is fenced on the outside by iron stanchions and ropes, or rails, and in vessels of war with a netting, in which part of the hammocks are stowed. In merchant ships it is frequently called the gang-board. Also, that part of a ship's side, and opening in her bulwarks, by which persons enter and depart, provided with a sufficient number of steps or cleats, nailed upon the ship's side, nearly as low as the surface of the water, and sometimes furnished with a railed accommodation-ladder projecting from the ship's side, and secured by iron braces. Also, narrow passages left in the hold, when a ship is laden, in order to enter any particular place as occasion may require, or stop a leak. Also, it implies a thoroughfare of any kind.—To bring to the gangway, to punish a seaman by seizing him up to a grating, there to undergo flogging.

GANNERET. A sort of gull.

GANNET. The Sula bassana, or solan goose: a large sea bird of the family Pelecanidæ, common on the Scottish coasts.

GANNY-WEDGE. A thick wooden wedge, used in splitting timber.[335]

GANTAN. An Indian commercial measure, of which 17 make a baruth.

GANT-LINE. Synonymous with girt-line (which see).

GANT-LOPE, or Gauntlope (commonly pronounced gantlet). A race which a criminal was sentenced to run, in the navy or army, for any heinous offence. The ship's crew, or a certain division of soldiers, were disposed in two rows face to face, each provided with a knotted cord, or knittle, with which they severely struck the delinquent as he ran between them, stripped down to the waist. This was repeated according to the sentence, but seldom beyond three times, and constituted "running the gauntlet."

GANTREE, or Gantril. A wooden stand for a barrel.

GANZEE. Corrupted from Guernsey. (See Jersey.)

GAP. A chasm in the land, which, when near, is useful as a landmark.

GAPE. The principal crevice or crack in shaken timber.—The seams gape, or let in water.

GARAVANCES. The old term for calavances (which see).

GARBEL. A word synonymous with garboard (which see).

GARBLING. The mixing of rubbish with a cargo stowed in bulk.

GARBOARD-STRAKE, or Sand-streak. The first range of planks laid upon a ship's bottom, next the keel, into which it is rabbeted, and into the stem and stern-post at the ends.

GARDE-BRACE. Anglo-Norman for armour for the arm.

GARE. See Gair-fowl. Also, the Anglo-Saxon for ready. (See Yare.)

GARETTE. A watch-tower.

GARFANGLE. An archaic term for an eel-spear.

GAR-FISH. The Belone vulgaris, or bill-fish, the bones of which are green. Also called the guard-fish, but it is from the Anglo-Saxon gar, a weapon.

GARGANEY. The Querquedula circia, a small species of duck, allied to the teal.

GARLAND. A collar of ropes formerly wound round the head of the mast, to keep the shrouds from chafing. Also, a strap lashed to a spar when hoisting it in. Also, a large rope grommet, to place shot in on deck. Also, in shore-batteries, a band, whether of iron or stone, to retain shot together in their appointed place. Also, the ring in a target, in which the mark is set. Also, a wreath made by crossing three small hoops, and covering them with silk and ribbons, hoisted to the main-topgallant-stay of a ship on the day of the captain's wedding; but on a seaman's wedding, to the appropriate mast to which he is stationed. Also, a sort of cabbage-net, whose opening is extended by a hoop, and used by sailors to contain their day's provisions, being hung up to the beams within their berth, safe from cats, rats, ants, and cockroaches.

GARNET. A sort of purchase fixed to the main-stay of a merchant-ship, and used for hoisting the cargo in and out at the time of loading or delivering her. A whip.—Clue-garnet. (See Clue and Clue-garnets.)[336]

GARNEY. A term in the fisheries for the fins, sounds, and tongues of the cod-fish.

GARNISH. Profuse decoration of a ship's head, stern, and quarters. Also money which pressed men in tenders and receiving ships exacted from each other, according to priority.

GARR. An oozy vegetable substance which grows on ships' bottoms.

GARRET, or Garita. A watch-tower in a fortification; an old term.

GARRISON. A military force guarding a town or fortress; a term for the place itself; also for the state of guard there maintained.

GARRISON GUNS. These are more powerful than those intended for the field; and formerly nearly coincided with naval guns; but now, the introduction of armour-plating afloat leads to furnishing coast-batteries with the heaviest guns of all.

GARRISON ORDERS. Those given out by the commandant of a garrison.

GARROOKA. A fishing-craft of the Gulf of Persia.

GARTERS. A slang term for the ship's irons or bilboes.

GARTHMAN. One who plies at a fish-garth, but is prohibited by statute from destroying the fry of fish.

GARVIE. A name on our northern shores for the sprat.

GASKET. A cord, or piece of plaited stuff, to secure furled sails to the yard, by wrapping it three or four times round both, the turns being at a competent distance from each other.—Bunt-gasket ties up the bunt of the sail, and should consequently be the strongest; it is sometimes made in a peculiar net form. In some ships they have given place to beckets.—Double gaskets. Passing additional frapping-lines round the yards in very stormy weather.—Quarter-gasket. Used only for large sails, and is fastened about half-way out upon the yard, which part is called the quarter.—Yard-arm gasket. Used for smaller sails; the end is made fast to the yard-arm, and serves to bind the sail as far as the quarter-gasket on large yards, but extends quite into the bunt of small sails.

GAS-PIPE. A term jocularly applied to the newly-introduced breech-loading rifle.

GAT. A swashway, or channel amongst shoals.

GATE. The old name for landing-places, as Dowgate and Billingsgate; also in cliffs, as Kingsgate, Margate, and Ramsgate; those in Greece and in Italy are called scala. Also, a flood, sluice, or water gate.

GATE, or Sea-gate. When two ships are thrown on board one another by a wave, they are said to be in a sea-gate.

GATHER AFT A SHEET, To. To pull it in, by hauling in slack.

GATHER WAY, To. To begin to feel the impulse of the wind on the sails, so as to obey the helm.

GATH-LINN. A name of the north polar star; two Gaelic words, signifying ray and moisture, in allusion to its subdued brightness.

GATT. A gate or channel, a term used on the Flemish coast and in the Baltic. The Hellegat of New York has become Hell Gate.[337]

GAUB-LINE. A rope leading from the martingale in-board. The same as back-rope.

GAUGE. See Gage.

GAUGE. An instrument for measuring shot, wads, &c. For round shot there are two kinds, viz. the high gauge, a cylinder through which the shot must pass; and the low gauge, a ring through which it must not pass.

GAUGE-COCKS. A neat apparatus for ascertaining the height of the water in a steamer's boiler.

GAUGE-ROD. A graduated iron for sounding the pump-well.

GAUGNET. The Sygnathus acus, sea-needle, or pipe-fish.

GAUNTLET. (See Girt-line.) Also, a rope round the ship to the lower yard-arms, for drying scrubbed hammocks. Of old the term denoted the armed knight's iron glove. (See Gant-lope, for running the gauntlet.)

GAUNTREE. The stand for a water or beer cask.

GAUNTS. The great crested grebe in Lincolnshire.

GAUT, or Ghaut. In the East Indies, a landing-place; and also a chain of hills, as the Western Gauts, on the Mysore coast.

GAVELOCK. An iron crow. Of old, a pike; thus in Arthur and Merlin—

"Gavelokes also thicke flowe
So gnattes, ichil avowe."
GAVER. A Cornish name for the sea cray-fish.

GAW. A southern term for a boat-pole.

GAWDNIE. The dragonet, or yellow gurnard; Callionymus lyra.

GAW-GAW. A lubberly simpleton.

GAWKY. A half-witted, awkward youth. Also, the shell called horse-cockle.

GAWLIN. A small sea-fowl which the natives of the Western Isles of Scotland trust in, as a prognosticator of the weather.

GAWN-TREE. See Gantree.

GAWPUS. A stupid, idle fellow.

GAWRIE. A name for the red gurnard; Trigla cuculus.

GAZONS [Fr.] Sods of earth or turf, cut in wedge-shaped form, to line the parapet and face the outside of works.

GAZZETTA. The name of a small coin in the Adriatic and Levant. It was the price of the first Venetian newspaper, and thereby gave the name to those publications. In the Greek islands the word is used for ancient coins.

G.C.B. The initials for Grand Cross of the most honourable and Military Order of the Bath.

GEAR [the Anglo-Saxon geara, clothing]. A general name for the rigging of any particular spar or sail; and in or out of gear implies anything being fit or unfit for use.

GEARING. A complication of wheels and pinions, or of shafts and pulleys, &c.

GEARS. See Jeers.

GEE, To. To suit or fit; as, "that will just gee."

GELLYWATTE. An old term for a captain's boat, the original of jolly-boat. (See Captain Downton's voyage to India in 1614, where "she was sent to take soundings within the sands.")[338]

GENERAL. The commander of an army: the military rank corresponding to the naval one of admiral. The title includes all officers above colonels, ascending with qualifying prefixes, as brigadier-general, major-general, lieutenant-general, to general, above which is nothing save the exceptional rank of field-marshal and of captain-general or commander-in-chief of the land forces of the United Kingdom.

GENERAL AVERAGE. A claim made upon the owners of a ship and her cargo, when the property of one or more has been sacrificed for the good of the whole.


GENERALISSIMO. The supreme commander of a combined force, or of several armies in the field.

GENERAL OFFICERS. All those above the rank of a colonel.

GENERAL ORDERS. The orders issued by the commander-in-chief of the forces.

GENERAL SHIP. Where persons unconnected with each other load goods on board, in contradistinction to a chartered ship.

GENEVA PRINT. An allusion to the spirituous liquor so called,—

"And if you meet
An officer preaching of sobriety,
Unless he read it in Geneva print,
Lay him by the heels."—Massinger.
GENOUILLERE [Fr.] That part of a battery which remains above the platform, and under the gun after the opening of the embrasure. Of course a knee-step.

GENTLE. A maggot or grub used as a bait by anglers.

GENTLE GALE. In which a ship carries royals and flying-kites; force 4.

GENTLEMEN. The messmates of the gun-room or cockpit—as mates, midshipmen, clerks, and cadets.

GEOCENTRIC. As viewed from the centre of the earth.

GEO-GRAFFY. A beverage made by seamen of burnt biscuit boiled in water.

GEOGRAPHICAL POSITION. See Position, Geographical.

GEORGIUM SIDUS. The planet discovered by Sir W. Herschel was so named at first; but astronomers adopted Uranus instead, as safer to keep in the neutral ground of mythology.

GERLETROCH. The Salmo alpinus, red char, or galley-trough.

GERRACK. A coal-fish in its first year.

GERRET. A samlet or parr.

GERRICK. A Cornish name for a sea-pike.

GERRON. A cant name for the sea-trout.

GESERNE. Anglo-Norman for battle-axe.

GESTLING. A meeting of the members of the Cinque Ports at Romney.

GET AFLOAT. Pulling out a grounded boat.

GET-A-PULL. The order to haul in more of a rope or tackle.

GHAUT. See Gaut.

GHEE. The substitute for butter served out to ships' companies on the Indian station.

GHOST. A false image in the lens of an instrument.

GHRIME-SAIL. The old term for a smoke-sail.

GIB. A forelock.

GIBB. The beak, or hooked upper lip of a male salmon.

GIBBOUS. The form of a planet's disc exceeding a semicircle, but less than a circle.

GIB-FISH. A northern name for the male of the salmon.

GIBRALTAR GYN. Originally devised there for working guns under a low roof. (See Gyn.)

GIDDACK. A name on our northern coasts for the sand-launce or sand-eel, Ammodytes tobianus.

GIFFOOT. A Jewish corruption of the Spanish spoken at Gibraltar and the sea-ports.

GIFT-ROPE [synonymous with guest-rope]. A rope for boats at the guest-warp boom.

GIG. A light narrow galley or ship's boat, clincher-built, and adapted for expedition either by rowing or sailing; the latter ticklish at times.

GILDEE. A name in the Scottish isles for the Morhua barbata, or whiting pout.

GILGUY. A guy for tracing up, or bearing a boom or derrick. Often applied to inefficient guys.

GILL. A ravine down the surface of a cliff; a rivulet through a ravine. The name is often applied also to the valley itself.

GILLER. A horse-hair fishing line.

GILLS. Small hackles for drying hemp.

GILPY. Between a man and boy.

GILSE. A common misnomer of grilse (which see).

GILT. A cant, but old term for money, on which Shakspeare (Henry V. act ii. scene 1) committed a well-known pun—

"Have for the gilt of France (O guilt indeed!)"
GILT-HEAD, or Gilt-poll. The Sparus aurata, a fish of the European and American seas, with a golden mark between the eyes. (See Sedow.)

GIMBALS. The two concentric brass rings, having their axles at right angles, by which a sea-compass is suspended in its box, so as to counteract the effect of the ship's motion. (See Compass.) Also used for the chronometers.

GIMBLETING. The action of turning the anchor round on its fluke, so that the motion of the stock appears similar to that of the handle of a gimlet when it is employed to bore a hole. To turn anything round on its end.

GIMLET-EYE. A penetrating gaze, which sees through a deal plank.

GIMMART. See Gymmyrt.

GIMMEL. Any disposition of rings, as links, device of machinery. (See Gimbals.)[340]

GIN. A small iron cruciform frame, having a swivel-hook, furnished with an iron sheave, to serve as a pulley for the use of chain in discharging cargo and other purposes.

GINGADO. See Jergado.

GINGAL. A long barrelled fire-arm, throwing a ball of from 1⁄4 to 1⁄2 lb., used throughout the East, especially in China; made to load at the breach with a movable chamber. (See also Jingal.)

GINGERBREAD-HATCHES. Luxurious quarters—

"Gingerbread-hatches on shore."
GINGERBREAD WORK. Profusely carved decorations of a ship.

GINGERLY. Spruce and smart, but somewhat affected in movement.

GINNELIN. Catching fish by the hand; tickling them.

GINNERS, or Ginnles. The gills of fish.

GINSENG. A Chinese root, formerly highly prized for its restorative virtues, and greatly valued among the items of a cargo. It is now almost out of the Materia Medica.

GIP, To. To take the entrails out of fishes.

GIRANDOLE. Any whirling fire-work.

GIRD, To. To bind; used formerly for striking a blow.

GIRDLE. An additional planking over the wales or bends. Also, a frapping for girding a ship.

GIRT. The situation of a ship which is moored so taut by her cables, extending from the hawse to two distant anchors, as to be prevented from swinging to the wind or tide. The ship thus circumstanced endeavours to swing, but her side bears upon one of the cables, which catches on her heel, and interrupts her in the act of traversing. In this position she must ride with her broadside or stern to the wind or current, till one or both of the cables are slackened, so as to sink under the keel; after which the ship will readily yield to the effort of the wind or current, and turn her head thither. (See Ride.)

GIRT-LINE. A whip purchase, consisting of a rope passing through a single block on the head of a lower mast to hoist up the rigging thereof, and the persons employed to place it; the girt-line is therefore the first rope employed to rig a ship. (Sometimes mis-called gant-line.)

GISARMS. An archaic term for a halbert or hand-axe.

GIVE A SPELL. To intermit or relieve work. (See Spell.)

GIVE CHASE, To. To make sail in pursuit of a stranger.

GIVE HER so and so. The direction of the officer of the watch to the midshipman, reporting the rate of sailing by the log, and which requires correction in the judgment of that officer, from winds, &c., before marking on the log-board.

GIVE HER SHEET. The order to ease off; give her rope.

GIVE WAY. The order to a boat's crew to renew rowing, or to increase their exertions if they were already rowing. To hang on the oars.

GIVE WAY TOGETHER. So that the oars may all dip and rise together, whereby the force is concentrated.[341]

GIVE WAY WITH A WILL. Pull heartily together.

GIVING. The surging of a seizing; new rope stretching to the strain.

GLACIS. In fortification, that smooth earthen slope outside the ditch which descends to the country, affording a secure parapet to the covered way, and exposing always a convenient surface to the fire of the place.

GLADENE. A very early designation of the sea-onion.

GLAIRE. A broadsword or falchion fixed on a pike.

GLANCE. (See Northern-glance.) Also, a name for anthracite coal.

GLASAG. The Gaelic name of an edible sea-weed of our northern isles.

GLASS. The usual appellation for a telescope (see the old sea song of Lord Howard's capture of Barton the pirate). Also, the familiar term for a barometer. Glass is also used in the plural to denote time-glass on the duration of any action; as, they fought yard-arm and yard-arm three glasses, i.e. three half-hours.—To flog or sweat the half-hour glass. To turn the sand-glass before the sand has quite run out, and thus gaining a few minutes in each half-hour, make the watch too short.—Half-minute and quarter-minute glasses, used to ascertain the rate of the ship's velocity measured by the log; they should be occasionally compared with a good stop watch.—Night-glass. A telescope adapted for viewing objects at night.

GLASS CLEAR? Is the sand out of the upper part? asked previously to turning it, on throwing the log.

GLASSOK. A coast name for the say, seath, or coal-fish.

GLAVE. A light hand-dart. Also, a sword-blade fixed on the end of a pole.

GLAYMORE. A two-handed sword. (See Claymore.)

GLAZED POWDER. Gunpowder of which the grains, by friction against one another in a barrel worked for the purpose, have acquired a fine polish, sometimes promoted by a minute application of black-lead; reputed to be very slightly weaker than the original, and somewhat less liable to deterioration.

GLEN. An Anglo-Saxon term denoting a dale or deep valley; still in use for a ravine.

GLENT, To. To turn aside or quit the original direction, as a shot does from accidentally impinging on a hard substance.

GLIB-GABBET. Smooth and ready speech.

GLIM. A light; familiarly used for the eyes.—Dowse the glim, put out the light.

GLOAMING. The twilight. Also, a gloomy dull state of sky.

GLOBE RANGERS. A soubriquet for the royal marines.

GLOBULAR SAILING. A general designation for all the methods on which the rules of computation are founded, on the hypothesis that the earth is a sphere; including great circle sailing.

GLOG. The Manx or Erse term which denotes the swell or rolling of the sea after a storm.

GLOOM-STOVE. Formerly for drying powder, at a temperature of about[342] 140°; being an iron vessel in a room heated from outside, but steam-pipes are now substituted.

GLOOT. See Galoot.

GLOWER, To. To stare or look intently.

GLUE. See Marine Glue.

GLUM. As applied to the weather, overcast and gloomy. Socially, it is a grievous look.

GLUT. A piece of wood applied as a fulcrum to a lever power. Also, a bit of canvas sewed into the centre of a sail near the head, with an eyelet-hole in the middle for the bunt-jigger or becket to go through. Glut used to prevent slipping, as sand and nippers glut the messenger; the fall of a tackle drawn across the sheaves, by which it is choked or glutted; junks of rope interposed between the messenger and the whelps of the capstan.

GLYN. A deep valley with convex sides. (See Cwm.)

GNARLED. Knotty; said of timber.

GNARRE. An old term for a hard knot in a tree; hence Shakspeare's "unwedgeable and gnarled oak."

GNOLL. A round hillock. (See Knoll.)

GNOMON. The hand; style of a dial.

GO! A word sometimes given when all is ready for the launch of a vessel from the stocks.

GO AHEAD! or Go on! The order to the engineer in a steamer.

GO ASHORE, To. To land on leave.

GO ASHORES. The seamen's best dress.

GOBARTO. A large and ravenous fish of our early voyagers, probably a shark.

GOBBAG. A Gaelic name for the dog-fish.

GOB-DOO. A Manx term for a mussel.

GOBISSON. Gambesson; quilted dress worn under the habergeon.

GOBLACHAN. A Gaelic name for the parr or samlet.

GOB-LINE. See Gaub-line.

GOBON. An old English name for the whiting.

GOB-STICK. A horn or wooden spoon.

GO BY. Stratagem.—To give her the go by, is to escape by deceiving.

GOBY. A name of the gudgeon (which see). It was erroneously applied to white-bait.

GOD. We retain the Anglo-Saxon word to designate the Almighty; signifying good, to do good, doing good, and to benefit; terms such as our classic borrowings cannot pretend to.

GODENDA. An offensive weapon of our early times, being a poleaxe with a spike at its end.

GO DOWN. The name given to store-houses and magazines in the East Indies.

GODSEND. An unexpected relief or prize; but wreckers denote by the term vessels and goods driven on shore.[343]

GOE. A creek, smaller than a voe.

GOELETTE [Fr.] A schooner. Also, a sloop-of-war.

GOGAR. A serrated worm used in the north for fishing-bait.

GOGLET. An earthen vase or bottle for holding water.

GOILLEAR. The Gaelic for a sea-bird of the Hebrides, said to come ashore only in January.

GOING ABOUT. Tacking ship.

GOING FREE. When the bowlines are slackened, or sailing with the wind abeam.

GOING LARGE. Sailing off the wind.

GOING THROUGH THE FLEET. A cruel punishment, long happily abolished. The victim was sentenced to receive a certain portion of the flogging alongside the various ships, towed in a launch by a boat supplied from each vessel, the drummers beating the rogue's march.

GOLDENEY. A name for the yellow gurnard among the northern fishermen.

GOLD FISH. The trivial name of the Cyprinus auratus, one of the most superb of the finny tribe. It was originally brought from China, but is now generally naturalized in Europe.

GOLD MOHUR. A well known current coin in the East Indies, varying a little in value at each presidency, but averaging fifteen rupees, or thirty shillings.

GOLE. An old northern word for a stream or sluice.

GOLLETTE. The shirt of mail formerly worn by foot soldiers. Also, a French sloop-of-war, spelled goëlette.

GOMER. A particular form of chamber in ordnance, consisting in a conical narrowing of the bore towards its inner end. It was first devised for the service of mortars, and named after the inventor, Gomer, in the late wars.

GOMERE [Fr.] The cable of a galley.

GONDOLA. A light pleasure-barge universally used on the canals of Venice, generally propelled by one man standing on the stern with one powerful oar, though the larger kinds have more rowers. The middle-sized gondolas are upwards of 30 feet long and 4 broad, with a well furnished cabin amidships, though exclusively black as restricted by law. They always rise at each end to a very sharp point of about the height of a man's breast. The stem is always surmounted by the ferro, a bright iron beak or cleaver of one uniform shape, seemingly derived from the ancient Romans, being the "rostrisque tridentibus" of Virgil, as may be seen in many of Hadrian's large brass medals. The form of the gondola in the water is traced back till its origin is lost in antiquity, yet (like that of the Turkish caïques) embodies the principles of the wave-line theory, the latest effort of modern ship-building science. Also, a passage-boat of six or eight oars, used on other parts of the coast of Italy.

GONDOLIER. A man who works or navigates a gondola.

GONE. Carried away. "The hawser or cable is gone;" parted, broken.

GONE-GOOSE. A ship deserted or given up in despair (in extremis).[344]

GONFANON [Fr.] Formerly a cavalry banneret; corrupted from the gonfalone of the Italians.

GONG. A kind of Chinese cymbal, with a powerful and sonorous tone produced by the vibrations of its metal, consisting mainly of copper and tutenag or zinc; it is used by some vessels instead of a bell. A companion of Sir James Lancaster in 1605 irreverently states that it makes "a most hellish sound."

GONGA. A general name for a river in India, whence comes Ganges.

GOOD-AT-ALL-POINTS. Practical in every particular.

GOOD-CONDUCT BADGE. Marked by a chevron on the lower part of the sleeve, granted by the admiralty, and carrying a slight increase of pay, to petty officers, seamen, and marines. One of a similar nature is in use in the army.

GOOD MEN. The designation of the able, hard-working, and willing seamen.

GOOD SHOALING. An approach to the shore by very gradual soundings.

GOOLE. An old term for a breach in a sea-bank.

GOOSANDER. The Mergus merganser, a northern sea-fowl, allied to the duck, with a straight, narrow, and serrated bill, hooked at the point.

GOOSE-NECK. A curved iron, fitted outside the after-chains to receive a spare spar, properly the swinging boom, a davit. Also, a sort of iron hook fitted on the inner end of a boom, and introduced into a clamp of iron or eye-bolt, which encircles the mast; or is fitted to some other place in the ship, so that it may be unhooked at pleasure. It is used for various purposes, especially for guest-warps and swinging booms of all descriptions.

GOOSE-WINGS of a Sail. The situation of a course when the buntlines and lee-clue are hauled up, and the weather-clue down. The clues, or lower corners of a ship's main-sail or fore-sail, when the middle part is furled or tied up to the yard. The term is also applied to the fore and main sails of a schooner or other two-masted fore-and-aft vessel; when running before the wind she has these sails set on opposite sides.

GOOSE WITHOUT GRAVY. A severe starting, so called because no blood followed its infliction.

GORAB. See Grab.

GORD. An archaism denoting a deep hole in a river.

GORES. Angular pieces of plank inserted to fill up a vessel's planking at any part requiring it. Also, the angles at one or both ends of such cloths as increase the breadth or depth of a sail. (See Goring-cloth.)

GORGE. The upper and narrowest part of a transverse valley, usually containing the upper bed of a torrent. Also, in fortification, a line joining the inner extremities of a work.

GORGE-HOOK. Two hooks separated by a piece of lead, for the taking of pike or other voracious fish.

GORGET. In former times, and still amongst some foreign troops, a gilt badge of a crescent shape, suspended from the neck, and hanging on the breast, worn by officers on duty.[345]

GORING, or Goring-cloth. That part of the skirts of a sail cut on the bias, where it gradually widens from the upper part down to the clues. (See Sail.)

GORMAW. A coast name for the cormorant.

GORSE. Heath or furze for breaming a vessel's bottom.

GO SLOW. The order to the engineer to cut off steam without stopping the play of the engine.

GOSSOON. A silly awkward lout.

GOTE. See Gutter.

GOUGING. In ship-building (see Snail-creeping). Also, a cruel practice in one or two American states, now extremely rare, in which a man's eye was squeezed out by his rival's thumb-nail, the fingers being entangled in the hair for the necessary purchase.

GOUGINGS. A synonym of gudgeons (which see).

GOUKMEY. One of the names in the north for the gray gurnard.

GOULET. Any narrow entrance to a creek or harbour, as the goletta at Tunis.

GOURIES. The garbage of salmon.

GOVERNMENT. Generally means the constitution of our country as exercised under the legislature of king or queen, lords, and commons.

GOVERNOR. An officer placed by royal commission in command of a fortress, town, or colony. Governors are also appointed to institutions, hospitals, and other establishments. Also, a revolving bifurcate pendulum, with two iron balls, whose centrifugal divergence equalizes the motion of the steam-engine.

GOW. An old northern term for the gull.

GOWDIE. The Callionymus lyra, dragonet, or chanticleer.

GOWK. The cuckoo; but also used for a stupid, good-natured fellow.

GOWK-STORM. Late vernal equinoctial gales contemporary with the gowk or cuckoo.

GOWT, or Gote. A limited passage for water.

GOYLIR. A small sea-bird held to precede a storm; hence seamen call them malifiges. Arctic gull.

GRAB. The large coasting vessel of India, generally with two masts, and of 150 to 300 tons.—To grab. In familiar language, to catch or snatch at anything with violence.

GRABBLE, To. To endeavour to hook a sunk article. To catch fish by hand in a brook.

GRAB SERVICE. Country vessels first employed by the Bombay government against the pirates; afterwards erected into the Bombay Marine.

GRACE. See Act of Grace.

GRADE. A degree of rank; a step in order or dignity.

GRAFTING. An ornamental weaving of fine yarns, &c., over the strop of a block; or applied to the tapered ends of the ropes, and termed pointing.

GRAIN of Timber. In a transverse section of a tree, two different[346] grains are seen: those running in a circular manner are called the silver grain; the others radiate, and are called bastard grain.—Grain is also a whirlwind not unfrequent in Normandy, mixed with rain, but seldom continues above a quarter of an hour. They may be foreseen, and while they last the sea is very turbulent; they may return several times in the same day, a dead calm succeeding.

GRAIN. In the grain of, is immediately preceding another ship in the same direction.—Bad-grain, a sea-lawyer; a nuisance.

GRAIN-CUT TIMBER. That which is cut athwart the grain when the grain of the wood does not partake of the shape required.

GRAINED POWDER. That corned or reduced into grains from the cakes, and distinguished from mealed powder, as employed in certain preparations.

GRAINS. A five-pronged fish-spear, grains signifying branches.

GRAIN UPSET. When a mast suffers by buckles, it is said to have its grain upset. A species of wrinkle on the soft outer grain which will be found corresponding to a defect on the other side. It is frequently produced by an injudicious setting up of the rigging.

GRAM. A species of pulse given to horses, sheep, and oxen in the East Indies, and supplied to ships for feeding live-stock.

GRAMPUS. A corruption of gran pisce. An animal of the cetacean or whale tribe, distinguished by the large pointed teeth with which both jaws are armed, and by the high falcate dorsal fin. It generally attains a length of 20 to 25 feet, and is very active and voracious.

GRAMPUS, Blowing the. Sluicing a person with water, especially practised on him who skulks or sleeps on his watch.

GRAND DIVISION. A division of a battalion composed of two companies, or ordinary divisions, in line.

GRANDSIRE. The name of a four-oared boat which belonged to Peter the Great, now carefully preserved at St. Petersburg as the origin of the Russian fleet.

GRANNY'S BEND. The slippery hitch made by a lubber.

GRANNY'S KNOT. This is a term of derision when a reef-knot is crossed the wrong way, so as to be insecure. It is the natural knot tied by women or landsmen, and derided by seamen because it cannot be untied when it is jammed.

GRAPESHOT. A missile from guns intermediate between case-shot and solid shot, having much of the destructive spread of the former with somewhat of the range and penetrative force of the latter. A round of grapeshot consists of three tiers of cast-iron balls arranged, generally three in a tier, between four parallel iron discs connected together by a central wrought-iron pin. For carronades, the grape, not being liable to such a violent dispersive shock, they are simply packed in canisters with wooden bottoms.

GRAPNEL, or Grapling. A sort of small anchor for boats, having a ring at one end, and four palmed claws at the other.—Fire grapnel.[347] Resembling the former, but its flukes are furnished with strong fish-hook barbs on their points, usually fixed by a chain on the yard-arms of a ship, to grapple any adversary whom she intends to board, and particularly requisite in fire-ships. Also, used to grapple ships on fire, in order to tow them away from injuring other vessels.

GRAPNEL-ROPE. That which is bent to the grapnel by which a boat rides, now substituted by chain.

GRAPPLE, To. To hook with a grapnel; to lay hold of. First used by Duilius to prevent the escape of the Carthaginians.

GRASP. The handle of a sword, and of an oar. Also, the small of the butt of a musket.

GRASS. A term applied to vegetables in general. (See Feed of Grass.)

GRASS-COMBERS. A galley-term for all those landsmen who enter the naval service from farming counties. Lord Exmouth found many of them learn their duties easily, and turn out valuable seamen.

GRATING-DECK. A light movable deck, similar to the hatch-deck, but with open gratings.

GRATINGS. An open wood-work of cross battens and ledges forming cover for the hatchways, serving to give light and air to the lower decks. In nautical phrase, he "who can't see a hole through a grating" is excessively drunk.

GRATINGS OF THE HEAD. See Head-gratings.

GRATUITOUS MONEY. A term officially used for bounty granted to volunteers in Lord Exmouth's expedition against Algiers.

GRAVE, To. To clean a vessel's bottom, and pay it over.

GRAVELIN. A small migratory fish, commonly reputed to be the spawn of the salmon.

GRAVELLED. Vexed, mortified.

GRAVING. The act of cleaning a ship's bottom by burning off the impurities, and paying it over with tar or other substance, while she is laid aground during the recess of the tide. (See Breaming.)

GRAVING BEACH or Slip. A portion of the dockyard where ships were landed for a tide.

GRAVING-DOCK. An artificial receptacle used for the inspecting, repairing, and cleaning a vessel's bottom. It is so contrived that after the ship is floated in, the water may run out with the fall of the tide, the shutting of the gates preventing its return.

GRAVITATION. The natural tendency or inclination of all bodies towards the centre of the earth; and which was established by Sir Isaac Newton, as the great law of nature.

GRAVITY, Centre of. The centre of gravity of a ship is that point about which all parts of the body, in any situation, balance each other. (See Specific Gravity.)

GRAWLS. The young salmon, probably the same as grilse.

GRAY-FISH, and Gray-lord. Two of the many names given to the Gadus carbonarius or coal-fish.[348]

GRAYLE. Small sand. Also, an old term for thin gravel.

GRAYLING. A fresh-water fish of the Salmo tribe. (See Ombre.)

GRAYNING. A species of dace found on our northern coast.

GRAY-SCHOOL. A particular shoal of large salmon in the Solway about the middle of July.

GRAZE. The point at which a shot strikes and rebounds from earth or water.

GRAZING-FIRE. That which sweeps close to the surface it defends.

GREASY. Synonymous with dirty weather.

GREAT CIRCLE. One whose assumed plane passes through the centre of the sphere, dividing it equally.

GREAT-CIRCLE SAILING. Is a method for determining a series of points in an arc of a great circle between two points on the surface of the earth, for the purpose of directing a ship's course as nearly as possible on such arc; that is, on the curve of shortest distance between the place from which she sets out, and that at which she is to arrive.

GREAT GUN. The general sea-term for cannons, or officers of great repute.

GREAT GUNS and Small-arms. The general armament of a ship. Also, a slang term for the blowing and raining of heavy weather.

GREAT-LINE FISHING. That carried on over the deeper banks of the ocean. (See Line-fishing.) It is more applicable to hand-fishing, as on the banks of Newfoundland, in depths over 60 fathoms.

GREAT OCEAN. The Pacific, so called from its superior extent.


GREAVES. Armour for the legs.

GRECALE. A north-eastern breeze off the coast of Sicily, Greece lying N.E.

GREEN. Raw and untutored; a metaphor from unripe fruit—thus Shakspeare makes Pandulph say:

"How green are you and fresh in this old world!"
GREEN-BONE. The trivial name of the viviparous blenny, or guffer, the backbone of which is green when boiled; also of the gar-fish.

GREEN-FISH. Cod, hake, haddock, herrings, &c., unsalted.

GREEN-HANDS. Those embarked for the first time, and consequently inexperienced.

GREEN-HORN. A lubberly, uninitiated fellow. A novice of marked gullibility.

GREENLAND DOVE. The puffinet; called scraber in the Hebrides; about the size of a pigeon.


GREEN-MEN. The five supernumerary seamen who had not been before in the Arctic Seas, whom vessels in the whale-fishery were obliged to bear, to get the tonnage bounty.

GREEN SEA. A large body of water shipped on a vessel's deck; it derives its name from the green colour of a sheet of water between the eye and the light when its mass is too large to be broken up into spray.

GREEN-SLAKE. The sea-weed otherwise called lettuce-laver (which see).[349]

GREEN TURTLE. The common name for the edible turtle, which does not yield tortoise-shell.

GREENWICH STARS. Those used for lunar computations in the nautical ephemeris.

GREEP. The old orthography of gripe.

GREGO. A coarse Levantine jacket, with a hood. A cant term for a rough great-coat.

GRENADE. Now restricted to hand-grenade, weighing about 2 lbs., and the fuze being previously lit, is conveniently thrown by hand from the tops of ships on to an enemy's deck, from the parapet into the ditch, or generally against an enemy otherwise difficult to reach. A number of grenades, moreover, being quilted together with their fuzes outwards, called a "bouquet," is fired short distances with good effect from mortars in the latter stages of a siege.

GRENADIERS. Formerly the right company of each battalion, composed of the largest men, and originally equipped for using hand-grenades. Now-a-days the companies of a regiment are equalized in size and other matters; and the title in the British army remains only to the fine regiment of grenadier guards.

GRENADO. The old name for a live shell. Thuanus says that they were first used at the siege of Wacklindonck, near Gueldres; and that their inventor, in an experiment in Venice, occasioned the burning of two-thirds of that city.

GREVE. A low flat sandy shore; whence graving is derived.

GREY-FRIARS. A name given to the oxen of Tuscany, with which the Mediterranean fleet was supplied.

GREY-HEAD. A fish of the haddock kind, taken on the coast of Galloway.

GREYHOUND. A hammock with so little bedding as to be unfit for stowing in the nettings.

GRIAN. A Gaelic term for the bottom, whether of river, lake, or sea.

GRIBAN. A small two-masted vessel of Normandy.

GRID. The diminutive of gridiron.

GRIDIRON. A solid timber stage or frame, formed of cross-beams of wood, for receiving a ship with a falling tide, in order that her bottom may be examined. The Americans also use for a similar purpose an apparatus called a screw-dock, and another known as the hydraulic-dock.

GRIFFIN, or Griff. A name given to Europeans during the first year of their arrival in India; it has become a general term for an inexperienced youngster.

GRIG. Small eels.

GRILL, To. To broil on the bars of the galley-range, as implied by its French derivation.

GRILSE. One of the salmon tribe, generally considered to be a young salmon on the return from its first sojourn at the sea; though by some still supposed to be a distinct fish.[350]

GRIN AND BEAR IT. The stoical resignation to unavoidable hardship, which, being heard on board ship by Lord Byron, produced the fine stanza in "Childe Harold," commencing "Existence might be borne."

GRIND. A half kink in a hempen cable.

GRIP. The Anglo-Saxon grep. The handle of a sword; also a small ditch or drain. To hold, as "the anchor grips." Also, a peculiar groove in rifled ordnance.

GRIPE. Is generally formed by the scarph of the stem and keel. (See Fore-foot.) This is retained, or shaved away, according to the object of making the vessel hold a better wind, or have greater facility in wearing.—To gripe. To carry too much weather-helm. A vessel gripes when she tends to come up into the wind while sailing close-hauled. She gripes according to her trim. If it continues it is remedied by lightening forward, or making her draw deeper aft.

GRIPED-TO. The situation of a boat when secured by gripes.

GRIPES. A broad plait formed by an assemblage of ropes, woven and fitted with thimbles and laniards, used to steady the boats upon the deck of a ship at sea. The gripes are fastened at their ends to ring-bolts in the deck, on each side of the boat; whence, passing over her middle and extremities, they are set up by means of the laniards. Gripes for a quarter boat are similarly used.

GRITT. An east-country term for the sea-crab.

GROATS. An allowance for each man per mensem, assigned formerly to the chaplain for pay.

GROBMAN. A west-country term for a sea-bream about two-thirds grown.

GRODAN. A peculiar boat of the Orcades; also the Erse for a gurnard.

GROG. A drink issued in the navy, consisting of one part of spirits diluted with three of water; introduced in 1740 by Admiral Vernon, as a check to intoxication by mere rum, and said to have been named from his grogram coat. Pindar, however, alludes to the Cyclops diluting their beverage with ten waters. As the water on board, in olden times, became very unwholesome, it was necessary to mix it with spirits, but iron tanks have partly remedied this. The addition of sugar and lemon-juice now makes grog an agreeable anti-scorbutic.

GROG-BLOSSOM. A red confluence on the nose and face of an excessive drinker of ardent spirits; though sometimes resulting from other causes.

GROG-GROG. The soft cry of the solan goose.

GROGGY, or Groggified. Rendered stupid by drinking, or incapable of performing duty by illness; as also a ship when crank, and birds when crippled.

GROGRAM. From gros-grain. A coarse stuff of which boat-cloaks were made. From one which Admiral Vernon wore, came the term grog.

GROINING. A peculiar mode of submarine embankment; a quay run out transversely to the shore.

GROMAL. An old word for gromet, or apprentice.[351]

GROMET. A boy of the crew of the ships formerly furnished by the Cinque Ports (a diminutive from the Teutonic grom, a youth); his duty was to keep ship in harbour. Now applied to the ship's apprentices.

GROMMET, or Grummet. A ring formed of a single strand of rope, laid in three times round; used to fasten the upper edge of a sail to its stay in different places, and by means of which the sail is hoisted or lowered. Iron or wooden hanks have now been substituted. (See Hanks.) Grommets are also used with pins for large boats' oars, instead of rowlocks, and for many other purposes.

GROMMET-WAD. A ring made of 11⁄2 or 2 inch rope, having attached to it two cross-pieces or diameters of the same material; it acts by the ends of these pieces biting on the interior of the bore of the gun.

GROOVE-ROLLERS. These are fixed in a groove of the tiller-sweep in large ships, to aid the tiller-ropes, and prevent friction.

GROPERS. The ships stationed in the Channel and North Sea.

GROPING. An old mode of catching trout by tickling them with the hands under rocks or banks. Shakspeare makes the clown in "Measure for Measure" say that Claudio's offence was—

"Groping for trouts in a peculiar river."
GROSETTA. A minute coin of Ragusa, somewhat less than a farthing.

GROUND, To. To take the bottom or shore; to be run aground through ignorance, violence, or accident.—To strike ground. To obtain soundings.

GROUNDAGE. A local duty charged on vessels coming to anchor in a port or standing in a roadstead, as anchorage.

GROUND-BAIT, or Groundling. A loach or loche.

GROUND-GRU. See Anchor-ice.

GROUND-GUDGEON. A little fish, the Cobitis barbatula.

GROUND-ICE. See Anchor-ice.

GROUNDING. The act of laying a ship on shore, in order to bream or repair her; it is also applied to runnings aground accidentally when under sail.

GROUND-PLOT. See Ichnography.

GROUND-SEA. The West Indian name for the swell called rollers, or in Jamaica the north sea. It occurs in a calm, and with no other indication of a previous gale; the sea rises in huge billows, dashes against the shore with roarings resembling thunder, probably due to the "northers," which suddenly rage off the capes of Virginia, round to the Gulf of Mexico, and drive off the sea from America, affecting the Bahama Banks, but not reaching to Jamaica or Cuba. The rollers set in terrifically in the Gulf of California, causing vessels to founder or strike in 7 fathoms, and devastating the coast-line. H.M.S. Lily foundered off Tristan d'Acunha in similar weather. In all the latter cases no satisfactory cause is yet assigned. (See Roller.)

GROUND-STRAKE. A name sometimes used for garboard-strake.

GROUND-SWELL. A sudden swell preceding a gale, which rises along[352] shore, often in fine weather, and when the sea beyond it is calm. (See Roller.)

GROUND-TACKLE. A general name given to all sorts of ropes and furniture which belong to the anchors, or which are employed in securing a ship in a road or harbour.

GROUND-TIER. The lowest water-casks in the hold before the introduction of iron tanks. It also implies anything else stowed there.

GROUND-TIMBERS. Those which lie on the keel, and are fastened to it with bolts through the kelson.

GROUND-WAYS. The large blocks and thick planks which support the cradle on which a ship is launched. Also, the foundation whereon a vessel is built.

GROUP. A set of islands not ranged in a row so as to form a chain, and the word is often used synonymously with cluster.

GROUPER. A variety of the snapper, which forms a staple article of food in the Bermudas, and in the West Indies generally.

GROWEN. See Grown-sea.

GROWING. Implies the direction of the cable from the ship towards the anchors; as, the cable grows on the starboard-bow, i.e. stretches out forwards towards the starboard or right side.

GROWING PAY. That which succeeds the dead-horse, or pay in prospect.

GROWLERS. Smart, but sometimes all-jaw seamen, who have seen some service, but indulge in invectives against restrictive regulations, rendering them undesirable men. There are also too many "civil growlers" of the same kidney.

GROWN-SEA. When the waves have felt the full influence of a gale.

GRUANE. The Erse term for the gills of a fish.

GRUB. A coarse but common term for provisions in general—

"In other words they toss'd the grub
Out of their own provision tub."
GRUB-TRAP. A vulgarism for the mouth.

GRUFF-GOODS. An Indian return cargo consisting of raw materials—cotton, rice, pepper, sugar, hemp, saltpetre, &c.

GRUMBLER. A discontented yet often hard-working seaman. Also, the gurnard, a fish of the blenny kind, which makes a rumbling noise when struggling to disengage itself on reaching the surface.

GRUMMET. See Grommet.

GRUNTER. A name of the Pogonias of Cuvier (a fish also termed the banded drum and young sheepskin); and several other fish.

GRYPHON. An archaic term for the meteorological phenomenon now called typhoon. (See Typhoon.)

[353]GUANO. The excrement of sea-birds, a valuable manure found in thick beds on certain islets on the coast of Peru, indeed, in all tropical climates. The transport of it occupies a number of vessels, called guaneros. It is of a dingy yellow colour, and offensive ammoniacal effluvium. Captain Shelvocke mentions it in 1720, having taken a small bark laden with it.

GUARA. The singular and ingenious rudder by which the rafts or balzas of Peru are enabled to work to windward. It consists of long boards between the beams, which are raised or sunk according to the required evolution. A device not unlike the sliding-keels or centre-boards lately introduced.

GUARANTEE. An undertaking to secure the performance of articles stipulated between any two parties. Also, the individual who so undertakes.

GUARD. The duty performed by a body of men stationed to watch and protect any post against surprise. A division of marines appointed to take the duty for a stated portion of time. "Guard, turn out!" the order to the marines on the captain's approaching the ship. Also, the bow of a trigger and the hilt of a sword.

GUARDA-COSTA. Vessels of war of various sizes which formerly cruised against smugglers on the South American coasts.

GUARD-BOARDS. Synonymous with chain-wales.

GUARD-BOAT. A boat appointed to row the rounds amongst the ships of war in any harbour, &c., to observe that their officers keep a good look-out, calling to the guard-boat as she passes, and not suffering her crew to come on board without previously having communicated the watch-word of the night. Also, a boat employed to enforce the quarantine regulations.

GUARD-BOOK. Report of guard; a copy of which is delivered at the admiral's office by the officer of the last guard. Also, a full set of his accounts kept by a warrant-officer for the purpose of passing them.

GUARD-FISH. A corruption of the word gar-fish.

GUARDIAN of the Cinque Ports. Otherwise lord warden (which see).

GUARD-IRONS. Curved bars of iron placed over the ornaments of a ship to defend them from damage.

GUARDO. A familiar term applied equally to a guard-ship or any person belonging to her. It implies "harbour-going;" an easy life.

GUARDO-MOVE. A trick upon a landsman, generally performed in a guard-ship.

GUARD-SHIP. A vessel of war appointed to superintend the marine affairs in a harbour, and to visit the ships which are not commissioned every night; she is also to receive seamen who are impressed in time of war. In the great ports she carries the flag of the commander-in-chief. Each ship takes the guard in turn at 9 a.m.; the vessel thus on duty hoists the union-jack at the mizen, and performs the duties afloat for twenty-four hours. The officer of the guard is accountable to the admiral for all transactions on the water during his guard.

GUBB, or Gubben. The Erse term for a young sea-gull.[354]

GUBBER. One who gathers oakum, driftwood, &c., along a beach. The word also means black mud.

GUDDLE, To. To catch fish with the hands by groping along a stream's bank.

GUDGE, To. To poke or prod for fish under stones and banks of a river.

GUDGEON. The Gobio fluviatilis, a well-known river-fish, 6 or 7 inches in length.

GUDGEONS. The metal braces with eyes bolted upon the stern-post for the pintles of the rudder to work in, as upon hinges. Also, the notches made in the carrick-bitts for receiving the metal bushes wherein the spindle of a windlass works.

GUEBRES. Fire-worshippers. (See Parsees.)

GUERDON. A reward or recompense for good service.

GUERILLA. Originally an irregular warfare, but now used mostly for the irresponsible kind of partisan who carries it on.

GUERITE, or Galita. In fortification, a projecting turret on the top of the escarp, whence a sentry may observe the outside of the rampart.


GUESS-WARP, or Guest-rope. A rope carried to a distant object, in order to warp a vessel towards it, or to make fast a boat. (See Chest-rope.)

GUESTLINGS. The name of certain meetings held at the Cinque Ports.

GUEST-WARP BOOM. A swinging spar (lower studding-boom) rigged from the ship's side with a warp for boats to ride by.

GUFFER. A British sea-fish of the blenny tribe, common under stones at low-water mark, remarkable as being ovo-viviparous.

GUIDE. See Floor-guide.

GUIDE-RODS. The regulators of the cross-head of an engine's air-pump.

GUIDES. Men supposed to know the country and its roads employed to direct a body of men on their march. The French and Belgians have "corps de guides."

GUIDON. The swallow-tailed silk flag in use by dragoon regiments, instead of a standard. Also, the sergeant bearing the same.

GUIDOR. A name in our old statutes synonymous with conder (which see).

GUILLEM. A sea-fowl. (See Lavy.)

GUILLEMOT. A web-footed diving sea-bird allied to the auks.

GUIMAD. A small fish of the river Dee.

GUINEA-BOAT. A fast-rowing galley, of former times, expressly built for smuggling gold across the Channel, in use at Deal.

GUINEAMAN. A negro slave-ship.

GUINEA-PIGS. The younger midshipmen of an Indiaman.

GUIST. The same as guess or guest (which see).

GULDEN. A name for a water-fowl.

GULF, or Gulph. A capacious bay, and sometimes taking the name of a sea when it is very extensive; such are the Euxine or Black Sea, otherwise called the Gulf of Constantinople; the Adriatic Sea, called also the Gulf[355] of Venice; the Mediterranean is itself a prodigious specimen. A gulf is, strictly speaking, distinguished from a sea in being smaller, and from a bay in being larger and deeper than it is broad. It is observed that the sea is always most dangerous near gulfs, from the currents being penned up by the shores.

GULF-STREAM. Is especially referable to that of Mexico, the waters of which flow in a warm stream at various velocities over the banks between Cuba and America, past the Bermudas, touch the tail of the great bank of Newfoundland, and thence in a sweep to Europe, part going north, and the other southerly down to the tropics again.

GULF-WEED. The Fucus natans, considered to belong to the Gulf Stream, and found floating in the Sargasso Sea in the North Atlantic. Many small crustacea live amongst it, and assume its bright orange-yellow hue.

GUL-GUL. A sort of chunam or cement made of pounded sea-shells mixed with oil, which hardens like a stone, and is put over a ship's bottom in India, so that worms cannot penetrate even when the copper is off.

GULL. A well-known sea-bird of the genus Larus; there are many species. Also, a large trout in the north. The name is, moreover, familiarly used for a lout easily deceived or cheated; thus Butler in Hudibras—

"The paltry story is untrue,
And forg'd to cheat such gulls as you."
It is also applied to the washing away of earth by the violent flowing of water; the origin perhaps of the Kentish gull-stream.

GULLET. A small stream in a water-worn course.

GULL-SHARPER. One who preys upon Johnny Raws.

GULLY. The channels worn on the face of mountains by heavy rains. Also, a rivulet which empties itself into the sea.

GULLY SQUALL. Well known off tropical America in the Pacific, particularly abreast of the lakes of Leon, Nicaragua, &c. Monte Desolado gusts have dismantled many stout ships.

GULPIN. An awkward soldier; a weak credulous fellow [from the Gaelic golben, a novice].

GUM. "Shaking the gum out of a sail" is said of the effect of bad weather on new canvas.

GUMPUS. A fish, called also numscull, for allowing itself to be guddled.

GUN. The usual service name for a cannon (which see); it was originally called great gun, to distinguish it from the small or hand guns, muskets, blunderbusses, &c. The general construction for guns of cast metal is fairly represented by the old rule that the circumference at the breech ought to measure eleven calibres, at the trunnions nine, and at the muzzle seven, for iron; and in each instance two calibres less for brass guns. But the introduction of wrought-iron guns, built up with outer jackets of metal shrunk on one above another, is developing other names and proportions in the new artillery. (See Built-up Guns.) The weight of these latter, though differently disposed, and required not so much for strength as for[356] modifying the recoil or shock to the carriage on discharge, is not very much less, proportionally, for heavy guns of full power, than that of the old ones, being about 11⁄4 cwt. of gun for every 1 lb. of shot; for light guns for field purposes it is about 3⁄4 cwt. for every 1 lb. of shot. Guns are generally designated from the weight of the shot they discharge, though some few natures, introduced principally for firing shells, were distinguished by the diameter of their bore in inches; with the larger guns of the new system, in addition to this diameter, the weight in tons is also specified.—Gun, in north-country cant, meant a large flagon of ale, and son of a gun was a jovial toper: the term, owed its derivation to lads born under the breast of the lower-deck guns in olden times, when women were allowed to accompany their husbands. Even in 1820 the best petty officers were allowed this indulgence, about one to every hundred men. Gunners also, who superintended the youngsters, took their wives, and many living admirals can revert to kindness experienced from them. These "sons of a gun" were tars, and no mistake.—Morning gun, a signal fired by an admiral or commodore at day-break every morning for the drums or bugles to sound the reveillé. A gun of like name and nature is generally in use in fortresses; as is also the evening gun, fired by an admiral or commodore at 9 p.m. in summer, and 8 p.m. in winter, every night, on which the drums or bugles sound the retreat.

GUN AND HEAD MONEY. Given to the captors of an enemy's ship of war destroyed, or deserted, in fight. It was formerly assumed to be about £1000 per gun.

GUNBOAT. A light-draught boat fitted to carry one or more cannon in the bow, so as to cannonade an enemy while she is end-on. They are principally useful in fine weather, to cover the landing of troops, or such other occasions. They were formerly impelled by sails and sweeps but now by steam-power, which has generally increased their size, and much developed their importance. According to Froissart, cannon were fired from boats in the fourteenth century.

GUN-CHAMBERS. In early artillery, a movable chamber with a handle, like a paterero, used in loading at the breech. In more recent times the name has been used for the small portable mortars for firing salutes in the parks.

GUN-COTTON. An explosive compound, having some advantages over gunpowder, but so irregular hitherto in its action that it is at present used only for mining purposes. It consists of ordinary cotton treated with nitric and sulphuric acid and water, and has been named by chemists "pyroxylin," "nitro-cellulose," &c.

GUN-DECK. See Decks.

GUN-FIRE. The morning or evening guns, familiarly termed "the admiral falling down the hatchway."

GUN-GEAR. Everything pertaining to its handling.

GUN-HARPOON. See Harpoon.

GUN-LADLE. See Ladle.[357]

GUN-LOD. A vessel filled with combustibles, but rather for explosion than as a fire-ship.

GUN-METAL. The alloy from which brass guns are cast consists of 100 parts of copper to 10 of tin, retaining much of the tenacity of the former, and much harder than either of the components; but the late improved working of wrought-iron and steel has nearly superseded its application to guns.

GUNNADE. A short 32-pounder gun of 6 feet, introduced in 1814; afterwards termed the shell-gun.

GUNNEL. See Gunwale.

GUNNELL. A spotted ribbon-bodied fish, living under stones and among rocks.

GUNNER, of a Ship of War. A warrant-officer appointed to take charge of the ammunition and artillery on board; to keep the latter properly fitted, and to instruct the sailors in the exercise of the cannon. The warrant of chief-gunner is now given to first-class gunners.—Quarter-gunners. Men formerly placed under the direction of the gunner, one quarter-gunner being allowed to every four guns. In the army, gunner is the proper title of a private soldier of the Royal Artillery, with the exception of those styled drivers.

GUNNER-FLOOK. A name among our northern fishermen for the Pleuronectes maximus, or turbot.

GUNNER'S DAUGHTER. The name of the gun to which boys were married, or lashed, to be punished.

GUNNER'S HANDSPIKE. Is shorter and flatter than the ordinary handspike, and is shod with iron at the point, so that it bites with greater certainty against the trucks of guns.

GUNNER'S MATE. A petty officer appointed to assist the gunner.

GUNNER'S PIECE. In destroying and bursting guns, means a fragment of the breech, which generally flies upward.


GUNNER'S TAILOR. An old rating for the man who made the cartridge-bags.


GUNNERY. The art of charging, pointing, firing, and managing artillery of all kinds.

GUNNERY-LIEUTENANT. "One who, having obtained a warrant from a gunnery ship, is eligible to large ships to assist specially in supervising the gunnery duties; he draws increased pay."

GUNNERY-SHIP. A ship fitted for training men in the practice of charging, pointing, and firing guns and mortars for the Royal Navy. (See Seamen-gunners.)

GUNNING. An old term for shooting; it is now adopted by the Americans. After the wreck of the Wager, on hearing the pistols fired at Cozens, "it was rainy weather, and not fit for gunning, so that we could not imagine the meaning of it."—Gunning a ship. Fitting her with[358] ordnance.—Gunning, in mining, is when the blast explodes and does not rend the mass.—Gunning, signals enforced by guns.

GUNNING-BOAT, or Gunning-shout. A light and narrow boat in which the fen-men pursue the flocks of wild-fowl.

GUNNY. Sackcloth or coarse canvas, made of fibres used in India, chiefly of jute.

GUNNY-BAGS. The sacks used on the India station for holding rice, biscuit, &c.; often as sand-bags in fortification.

GUN-PENDULUM. See Ballistic Pendulum.

GUN-PORTS. See Ports.

GUNPOWDER. The well-known explosive composition which, for its regularity of effect and convenience in manufacture and use, is still preferred for general purposes to all the new and more violent but more capricious agents. In England it is composed of 75 parts saltpetre to 10 sulphur and 15 charcoal; these proportions are varied slightly in different countries. The ingredients are mixed together with great mechanical nicety, and the compound is then pressed and granulated. On the application of fire it is converted into gas with vast explosive power, but subject to tolerably well-known laws.

GUN-ROOM. A compartment on the after-end of the lower gun-deck of large ships of war, partly occupied by the junior officers; but in smaller vessels it is below the gun-deck, and the mess-room of the lieutenants.

GUNROOM-PORTS. In frigates, stern-ports cut through the gun-room.

GUN-SEARCHER. An iron instrument with several sharp-pointed prongs and a wooden handle: it is used to find whether the bore is honey-combed.

GUN-SHOT. Formerly, the distance up to which a gun would throw a shot direct to its mark, without added elevation; as the "line of metal" (which see) was generally used in laying, this range was about 800 yards. But now that ranges are so greatly increased, with but slight additions to the elevation, the term will include the distances of ordinary "horizontal fire" (which see); as between ships, with rifled guns, it will not quite reach two miles: though when the mark is large, as a town or dockyard, it is still within long range at five miles' distance.

GUN-SIGHT. See Dispart, or Sights.

GUN-SLINGS. Long rope grommets used for hoisting in and mounting them.

GUN-STONES. An old term for cannon-balls, from stones having been first supplied to the ordnance and used for that purpose. Shakspeare makes Henry V. tell the French ambassadors that their master's tennis-balls shall be changed to gun-stones. This term was retained for a bullet, after the introduction of iron shot.

GUN-TACKLE PURCHASE. A tackle composed of a rope rove through two single blocks, the standing part being made fast to the strop of one of the blocks. It multiplies the power applied threefold.

GUNTEN. A boat of burden in the Moluccas.

GUNTER'S LINE. Called also the line of numbers, and the line of lines,[359] is placed upon scales and sectors, and named from its inventor, Edmund Gunter. It is a logarithmic scale of proportionals, wherein the distance between each division is equal to the number of mean proportionals contained between the two terms, in such parts as the distance between 1 and 10 is 10,000, &c.

GUNTER'S QUADRANT. A kind of stereographic projection on the plane of the equinoctial; the eye is supposed in one of the poles, so that the tropic, ecliptic, and horizon form the arches of the circles, but the hour-circles are all curves, drawn by means of several altitudes of the sun, for some particular latitude, for every day in the year. The use of this instrument is to find the hour of the day, the sun's azimuth, and other common problems of the globe; as also to take the altitude of an object in degrees.

GUNWALE, or Gunnel. Nearly synonymous with plank-sheer (which see); but its strict application is that horizontal plank which covers the heads of the timbers between the main and fore drifts. The gunwale of a boat is a piece of timber going round the upper sheer-strake as a binder for its top-work.—Gunwale-to. Vessels heeling over, so that the gunwale is even with the water. When a boat sails with a free wind, and rolls each side, or gunwale, to the water's edge, she rolls gunwale-to.

GURGE. A gulf or whirlpool.

GURNARD. A fish of the genus Trigla, so called from its peculiar grunt when removed from the water. Falstaff uses the term "soused gurnet" in a most contemptuous view, owing to its poorness; and its head being all skin and bone gave rise to the saying that the flesh on a gurnard's head is rank poison.

GURNET-PENDANT. A rope, the thimble of which is hooked to the quarter-tackle of the main-yard; it is led through a hole in the deck, for the purpose of raising the breech of a gun, when hoisting in, to the level required to place it on its carriage.

GUSSOCK. An east-country term for a strong and sudden gust of wind.

GUST, or Gush. A sudden violent wind experienced near mountainous lands; it is of short duration, and generally succeeded by fine breezes.

GUT. A somewhat coarse term for the main part of a strait or channel, as the Gut of Gibraltar, Gut of Canso.

GUTTER [Anglo-Saxon géotan, to pour out or shed]. A ditch, sluice, or gote.

GUTTER-LEDGE. A cross-bar laid along the middle of a large hatchway in some vessels, to support the covers and enable them the better to sustain any weighty body.

GUY. A rope used to steady a weighty body from swinging against the ship's side while it is hoisting or lowering, particularly when, there is a high sea. Also, a rope extended from the head of sheers, and made fast at a distance on each side to steady them. The jib-boom is supported by its guys. Also, the name of a tackle used to confine a boom forward, when a vessel is going large, and so prevent the sail from gybing, which would endanger the springing of the boom, or perhaps the upsetting of the vessel.[360] Also, a large slack rope, extending from the head of the main-mast to the head of the fore-mast, and sustaining a temporary tackle to load or unload a ship with.

GYBING. Another form for jibing (which see).

GYE. A west-country term for a salt-water ditch.

GYMMYRT. The Erse or Manx for rowing with oars.

GYMNOTUS ELECTRICUS. An eel from the Surinam river, several feet in length, which inflicts electrical shocks.

GYN. A three-legged machine fitted with a windlass, heaving in the fall from a purchase-block at the summit, much used on shore for mounting and dismounting guns, driving piles, &c. (See Gibraltar Gyn.)

GYP. A strong gasp for breath, like a fish just taken out of the water.

GYVER. An old term for blocks or pulleys.

GYVES. Fetters; the old word for handcuffs.


HAAF. Cod, ling, or tusk deep-sea fisheries of the Shetland and Orkney islanders.

HAAF-BOAT. One fitted for deep-water fishing.

HAAFURES. A northern term for fishermen's lines.

HAAK. See Hake.

HAAR. A chill easterly wind on our northern coasts. (See Harr.)

HABERDDEN. Cod or stock-fish dried and cured on board; that cured at Aberdeen was the best.

HABERGEON. A coat of mail for the head and shoulders.

HABILIMENTS of War. A statute term, for arms and all provisions for maintaining war.

HABLE. An Anglo-Norman term for a sea-port or haven; it is used in statute 27 Henry VII. cap. 3.

HACKATEE. A fresh-water tortoise in the West Indies; it has a long neck and flat feet, and weighs 10 to 15 lbs.

HACKBUSH. A heavy hand-gun. (See Hagbut.)

HACKLE, Heckle, or Hetchel. A machine for teazing flax. Also, a west-country name for the stickleback.

HACK-SAW. Used for cutting off the heads of bolts; made of a scythe fresh serrated.

HACK-WATCH, or Job-watch (which see).

HACOT. From the Anglo-Saxon hacod, a large sort of pike.

HADDIE. A north-coast diminutive of haddock.

HADDO-BREEKS. A northern term for the roe of the haddock.[361]

HADDOCK. The Gadus æglefinus, a species of cod fabled to bear the thumb-mark of St. Peter.

HÆVER. See Eaver.

HAFNE. An old word for haven, from the Danish.

HAFT. (See Heft.) The handle of a knife or tool.

HAG-BOAT. See Heck-boat.

HAGBUT. A wall-piece placed upon a tripod; the arquebuse.

HAGBUTAR. The bearer of a fire-arm formerly used; it was somewhat larger than a musket.

HAGG. An arquebuse with a bent butt. Also, a swampy moss.

HAG'S TEETH. (See Hake's Teeth.) Those parts of a matting or pointing interwoven with the rest in an irregular manner, so as to spoil the uniformity. (See Pointing.) In soundings, see Hake's Teeth.

HAIK. See Hike Up.

HAIL, To. To hail "from a country," or claim it as a birthplace. A ship is said to hail from the port where she is registered, and therefore properly belongs to. When hailed at sea it is, "From whence do you come?" and "where bound?"—"Pass within hail," a special signal to approach and receive orders or intelligence, when boats cannot be lowered or time is precious. One vessel, the senior, lies to; the other passes the stern under the lee.—Hail-fellows, messmates well matched.

HAILING. To call to another vessel; the salutation or accosting of a ship at a distance.

HAILING-ALOFT. To call to men in the tops and at the mast-head to "look out," too often an inconsistent bluster from the deck.

HAIL-SHOT. Small shot for cannon.

HAILSHOT-PIECE. A sort of gun supplied of old to our ships, with dice of iron as the missile.

HAIR. The cold nipping wind called haar in the north: as in Beaumont and Fletcher,

"Here all is cold as the hairs in winter."
HAIR-BRACKET. The moulding at the back of the figure-head.

HAIR-TRIGGER. A trigger to a gun-lock, so delicately adjusted that the slightest touch will discharge the piece.

HAKE. An old term for a hand-gun. Also, the fish Gadus merluccius, a well-known gregarious and voracious fish of the cod family, often termed sea-pike.

HAKE'S TEETH. A phrase applied to some part of the deep soundings in the British Channel; but it is a distinct shell-fish, being the Dentalium, the presence of which is a valuable guide to the Channel pilot in foggy weather.

HALBAZ. See Kalbaz.

HALBERT. A sort of spear formerly carried by sergeants of infantry, that they, standing in the ranks behind the officers or the colours, should afford additional defence at those important points.

HALCYON PISCATOR, or King-fisher. This beautiful bird's floating[362] nest was fabled to calm the winds and seas while the bird sat. This occurring in winter gave rise to the expression "halcyon days."

HALE. An old word for haul (which see).

HALF AN EYE, Seeing with. Discerning instantly and clearly.

HALF-BEAMS. Short timbers, from the side to the hatchways, to support the deck where there is no framing. (See Fork-beams.)

HALF-BREADTH of the Rising. A ship-builder's term for a curve in the floor-plan, which limits the distances of the centres of the floor-sweeps from the middle line of the body-plan.

HALF-BREADTH PLAN. In ship-building, the same as floor-plan.

HALF-COCK. To go off at half-cock is an unexpected discharge of a fire-arm; hurried conduct without due preparation, and consequently failure.

HALF-DAVIT. Otherwise fish-davit (which see).

HALF-DECK. A space between the foremost bulk-head of the steerage and the fore-part of the quarter-deck. In the Northumberland colliers the steerage itself is called the half-deck, and is usually the habitation of the crew.

HALF-DROWNED LAND. Shores which are rather more elevated and bear more verdure than drowned land (which see).

HALF-FLOOD. See Flood.

HALF-GALLEY. See Galley.

HALF-HITCH. Pass the end of a rope round its standing part, and bring it up through the bight. (See Three Half-hitches.)

HALF-LAUGHS and Purser's Grins. Hypocritical and satirical sneers.

HALF-MAN. A landsman or boy in a coaster, undeserving the pay of a full-man.

HALF-MAST. The lowering a flag in respect for the death of an officer.


HALF-MOON. An old form of outwork somewhat similar to the ravelin, originally placed before the salients of bastions.

HALF-PIKE. An iron spike fixed on a short ashen staff, used to repel the assault of boarders, and hence frequently termed a boarding-pike.

HALF-POINT. A subdivision of the compass card, equal to 5° 37′ of the circle.

HALF-PORTS. A sort of one-inch deal shutter for the upper half of those ports which have no hanging lids; the lower half-port is solid and hinged, having a semicircle cut out for the gun when level, and falling down outwards when ready for action; the upper half-port fits loosely into rabbets, and is secured only by laniards.

HALF-SEA. The old term for mid-channel.

HALF SEAS OVER. Nearly intoxicated. This term was used by Swift.

HALF-SPEED! An order in steam navigation to reduce the speed. (See Full Speed!)

HALF-TIDE ROCKS. Those showing their heads at half-ebb. (See Tide.)

HALF-TIMBERS. The short timbers or futtocks in the cant-bodies,[363] answering to the lower futtocks in the square-body; they are placed so as to give good shiftings.

HALF-TOP. The mode of making ships' tops in two pieces, which are afterwards secured as a whole by what are termed sleepers.

HALF-TOPSAILS, Under. Said of a chase about 12 miles distant, the rest being below the horizon.

HALF-TURN AHEAD! An order in steam navigation. (See Turn Ahead!)

HALF-WATCH TACKLE. A luff purchase. (See Watch-tackle.)

HALIBUT. A large oceanic bank fish, Hippoglossus vulgaris, weighing from 300 to 500 lbs. particularly off Newfoundland; it resembles plaice, and is excellent food, nor does it easily putrefy.

HALLEY'S CHART. The name given to the protracted curves of the variation of the compass, known as the variation chart.

HALLIARDS, Halyards, or Haulyards. The ropes or tackles usually employed to hoist or lower any sail upon its respective yards, gaffs, or stay, except the cross-jack and spritsail-yard, which are always slung; but in small craft the spritsail-yard also has halliards. (See Jeers.)

HALO. An extensive luminous ring including, the sun or moon, whose light, passing through the intervening vapour, gives rise to the phenomenon. Halos are called lunar or solar, according as they appear round the moon or sun. Prismatically coloured halos indicate the presence of watery vapour, whereas white ones show that the vapour is frozen.

HALSE, or Halser. Archaic spelling for hawser.

HALSTER. A west-country term for a man who draws a barge along by a rope.

HALT! The military word of command to stop marching, or any other evolution. A halt includes the period of such discontinuance.

HALVE-NET. A standing net used in the north to prevent fishes from returning with the falling tide.

HALYARDS. See Halliards.

HAMACS. Columbus found that the inhabitants of the Bahama Islands had for beds nets of cotton suspended at each end, which they called hamacs, a name since adopted universally amongst seamen. (See Hammock.)

HAMBER, or Hambro'-line. Small line used for seizings, lashings, &c.

HAMMACOE. Beam battens. (See Hammock-battens.)

HAMMER. The shipwright's hammer is a well-known tool for driving nails and clenching bolts, differing from hammers in general.

HAMMER, of a Gun-lock. Formerly the steel covering of the pan from which the flint of the cock struck sparks on to the priming; but now the cock itself, by its hammer action on the cap or other percussion priming, discharges the piece. Whether the hammer will be superseded by the needle remains to be determined.

HAMMER-HEADED SHARK. The Zygæna malleus, a strange, ugly shark. The eyes are situated at the extremities of the hammer-shaped[364] head. They seldom take bait or annoy human beings. They are for the most part inert, live near the surf edge, and are frequently found washed up on sandy beaches. Chiefly found on the coasts of Barbary.

HAMMERING. A heavy cannonade at close quarters.

HAMMOCK. A swinging sea-bed, the undisputed invention of Alcibiades; but the modern name is derived from the Caribs. (See Hamacs.) At present the hammock consists of a piece of canvas, 6 feet long and 4 feet wide, gathered together at the two ends by means of clews, formed by a grommet and knittles, whence the head-clue and foot-clue: the hammock is hung horizontally under the deck, and forms a receptacle for the bed on which the seamen sleep. There are usually allowed from 14 to 20 inches between hammock and hammock in a ship of war. In preparing for action, the hammocks, together with their contents, are all firmly corded, taken upon deck, and fixed in various nettings, so as to form a barricade against musket-balls. (See Engagement.)

HAMMOCK-BATTENS or Racks. Cleats or battens nailed to the sides of a vessel's beams, from which to suspend the seamen's hammocks.

HAMMOCK-BERTHING. Forecastle-men forward, and thence passing aft, foretop-men, maintop-men, mizentop-men, waisters, after-guard, and boys. Quartermasters in the tiers.

HAMMOCK-CLOTHS. To protect them from wet while stowed in the nettings on deck.

HAMMOCK GANT-LINES. Lines extended from the jib-boom end around the ship, triced up to the lower yard-arms, for drying scrubbed hammocks.

HAMMOCK-NETTINGS. Take their distinguishing names according to their location in the ship, as forecastle, waist, quarter-deck.

HAMMOCK-RACKS. See Hammock-battens.

HAMPER. Things, which, though necessary, are in the way in times of gale or service. (See Top-hamper.)

HAMPERED. Perplexed and troubled.

HAMRON. An archaic term, meaning the hold of a ship.

HANCES. Spandrels; the falls or descents of fife-rails. Also, the breakings of the rudder abaft. (See Haunch.)

HAND. A phrase often used for the word man, as, "a hand to the lead," "clap more hands on," &c.—To hand a sail, is to furl it.—To lend a hand, to assist.—Bear a hand, make haste.—Hand in the leech, a call in furling sails. To comprehend this it must be understood that the leech, or outer border of the sail, if left to belly or fill with wind, would set at naught all the powers of the men. It is therefore necessary, as Falconer has it, "the tempest to disarm;" so by handing in this leech-rope before the yard, the canvas is easily folded in, and the gasket passed round.

HAND-GRENADE. A small shell for throwing by hand. (See Grenade.)

HAND-GUN. An old term for small arms in the times of Henry VII. and VIII.[365]

HANDLASS. A west-country term for a small kind of windlass.

HANDLE. The title prefixed to a person's name.—To handle a ship well, is to work her in a seamanlike manner.

HAND-LEAD. A small lead used in the channels, or chains, when approaching land, and for sounding in rivers or harbours under 20 fathoms. (See Lead.)

HANDLES OF A GUN. The dolphins.

HAND-LINE. A line bent to the hand-lead, measured at certain intervals with what are called marks and deeps from 2 and 3 fathoms to 20.

HAND MAST-PIECE. The smaller hand mast-spars.

HAND MAST-SPAR. A round mast; those from Riga are commonly over 70 feet long by 20 inches diameter.

HANDMAID. An old denomination for a tender; thus, in Drake's expedition to Cadiz, two of Her Majesty's pinnaces were appointed to attend his squadron as handmaids.

HAND-OVER-HAND. Hauling rapidly upon any rope, by the men passing their hands alternately one before the other, or one above the other if they are hoisting. A sailor is said to go hand-over-hand if he lifts his own weight and ascends a single rope without the help of his legs. Hand-over-hand also implies rapidly; as, we are coming up with the chase hand-over-hand.

HAND-PUMP. The common movable pump for obtaining fresh water, &c., from tanks or casks.

HAND-SAW. The smallest of the saws used by shipwrights, and used by one hand.

HAND-SCREW. A handy kind of single jack-screw.

HANDSOMELY. Signifies steadily or leisurely; as, "lower away handsomely," when required to be done gradually and carefully. The term "handsomely" repeated, implies "have a care; not so fast; tenderly."

HANDSPIKE. A lever made of tough ash, and used to heave round the windlass in order to draw up the anchor from the bottom, or move any heavy articles, particularly in merchant ships. The handle is round, but the other end is square, conforming to the shape of the holes in the windlass. (See Gunner's Handspike.)

HANDS REEF TOP-SAILS! The order to reef by all hands, instead of the watch, or watch and idlers.

HAND-TIGHT. A rope hauled as taut as it can be by hand only.

HAND-UNDER-HAND. Descending a rope by the converse of hand-over-hand ascent.

HANDY-BILLY. A small jigger purchase, used particularly in tops or the holds, for assisting in hoisting when weak-handed. A watch-tackle. (See Jigger.)

HANDY-SHIP. One that steers easily, and can be worked with the watch; or as some seamen would express it, "work herself."

HANG. In timber, opposed to sny (which see).—To hang. Said of a mast that inclines; it hangs forward, if too much stayed; hangs aft, if it[366] requires staying.—To hang the mast. By some temporary means, until the mast-rope be fleeted.—To hang on a rope or tackle-fall, is to hold it fast without belaying; also to pull forcibly with the whole weight.—To hang aback. To be slack on duty.

HANGER. The old word for the Persian dagger, and latterly for a short curved sword.

HANG-FIRE. When the priming burns without igniting the cartridge, or the charge does not rapidly ignite after pulling the trigger. Figuratively, to hang fire, is to hesitate or flinch.

HANGING. A word expressive of anything declining in the middle part below a straight line, as the hanging of a deck or a sheer. Also, when a ship is difficult to be removed from the stocks, or in manœuvre.

HANGING-BLOCKS. These are sometimes fitted with a long and short leg, and lash over the eyes of the top-mast rigging; when under, they are made fast to a strap. The topsail-tye reeves through these blocks, the tye-block on the yard, and the standing part is secured to the mast-head.

HANGING-CLAMP. A semicircular iron, with a foot at each end to receive nails, by which it is fixed to any part of the ship to hang stages to, &c.

HANGING-COMPASS. A compass so constructed as to hang with its face downwards, the point which supports the card being fixed in the centre of the glass, and the gimbals are attached to a beam over the observer's head. There is usually one hung in the cabin, that, by looking up to it, the ship's course may be observed at any moment; whence it is also termed a tell-tale.

HANGING HOOK-POTS. Tin utensils fitted for hanging to the bars before the galley-grate.

HANGING-KNEES. Those which are applied under the lodging-knees, and are fayed vertically to the sides.

HANGING-STAGE. Any stage hung over the side, bows, or stern, for painting, caulking, or temporary repairs.

HANGING STANDARD-KNEE. A knee fayed vertically beneath a hold-beam, with one arm bolted on the lower side of the beam.

HANGING-STOVES. Used for ventilating or drying between decks.

HANGING THE RUDDER. So as to allow the pintles to fall into their corresponding braces, constantly in boats, and frequently also in whaling vessels, but seldom in other ships: the rudder after being shipped is generally secured by wood-locks to prevent its unshipping at sea.

HANG ON HER! In rowing, is the order to stretch out to the utmost to preserve or increase head-way on the boat.

HANK FOR HANK. In beating against the wind each board is thus sometimes denoted. Also, expressive of two ships which tack simultaneously and make progress to windward together in racing, &c.

HANKS. Hoops or rings of rope, wood, or iron, fixed upon the stays, to seize the luff of fore-and-aft sails, and to confine the staysails thereto, at different distances. Those of wood are used in lieu of grommets, being[367] much more convenient, and of a later invention. They are framed by the bending of a rough piece of wood into the form of a wreath, and fastened at the two ends by means of notches, thereby retaining their circular figure and elasticity; whereas the grommets which are formed of rope are apt to relax in warm weather, and adhere to the stays, so as to prevent the sails from being readily hoisted or lowered.—Iron hanks are more generally used now that stays are made of wire.—Hank is also a skein of line or twine.—Getting into a hank, irritated by jokes.

HANSE-TOWNS. Established in the 13th century, for the mutual protection of mercantile property. Now confined to Lübeck, Hamburg, and Bremen.

HAPPY-GO-LUCKY. A reckless indifference as to danger.

HAQUE. A little hand-gun of former times.

HAQUEBUT. A form of spelling arquebuse. A bigger sort of hand-gun than the haque.

HARASS, To. To torment and fatigue men with needless work.

HARBOUR. A general name given to any safe sea-port. The qualities requisite in a good harbour are, that it should afford security from the effects of the wind and sea; that the bottom be entirely free from rocks and shallows, but good holding ground; that the opening be of sufficient extent to admit the entrance or departure of large ships without difficulty; that it should have convenience to receive the shipping of different nations, especially those which are laden with merchandises; and that it possess establishments for refitting vessels. To render a harbour complete, there ought to be good defences, a good lighthouse, and a number of mooring and warping buoys; and finally, that it have plenty of fuel, water, provisions, and other materials for sea use. Such a harbour, if used as a place of commercial transactions, is called a port.

HARBOUR-DUES. See Port-charges.

HARBOUR-DUTY MEN. Riggers, leading men, and others, ordered to perform the dockyard or port duties, too often superannuated, or otherwise unfit.

HARBOUR-GASKETS. Broad, but short and well-blacked gaskets, placed at equal distances on the yard, for showing off a well-furled sail in port: there is generally one upon every other seam.

HARBOUR-GUARDS. Men detached from the ordinary, as a working party.

HARBOUR-LOG. That part of the log-book which consists solely of remarks, and relates only to transactions while the ship is in port.

HARBOUR-MASTER. An officer appointed to inspect the moorings, and to see that the ships are properly berthed, and the regulations of the harbour strictly observed by the different ships frequenting it.

HARBOUR-REACH. The reach or stretch of a winding river which leads direct to the harbour.

HARBOUR-WATCH. A division or subdivision of the watch kept on night-duty, when the ship rides at single anchor, to meet any emergency.[368]

HARD. A road-path made through mud for landing at. (See Ard.)

HARD-A-LEE. The situation of the tiller when it brings the rudder hard over to windward. Strictly speaking, it only relates to a tiller which extends forward from the rudder-head; now many extend aft, in which case the order remains the same, but the tiller and rudder are both brought over to windward. Also, the order to put the tiller in this position.

HARD AND FAST. Said of a ship on shore.

HARD-A-PORT! The order so to place the tiller as to bring the rudder over to the starboard-side of the stern-post, whichever way the tiller leads. (See Hard-a-lee.)

HARD-A-STARBOARD. The order so to place the tiller as to bring the rudder over to the port-side of the stern-post, whichever way the tiller leads. (See Hard-a-lee.)

HARD-A-WEATHER! The order so to place the tiller as to bring the rudder on the lee-side of the stern-post, whichever way the tiller leads, in order to bear away; it is the position of the helm as opposed to hard-a-lee (which see). Also, a hardy seaman.

HARD BARGAIN. A useless fellow; a skulker.

HARD FISH. A term indiscriminately applied to cod, ling, haddock, torsk, &c., salted and dried.

HARD GALE. When the violence of the wind reduces a ship to be under her storm staysails, No. 10 force.

HARD-HEAD. The Clupea menhaden, or Alosa tyrannus, an oily fish taken in immense quantities on the American coasts, insomuch that they are used for manuring land. Also, on our coasts the father-lasher or sea-scorpion, Cottus scorpius, and in some parts the grey gurnard, are so called.

HARD-HORSE. A tyrannical officer.

HARDING. A light kind of duck canvas made in the north.

HARD UP. The tiller so placed as to carry the rudder close over to leeward of the stern-post. Also, used figuratively for being in great distress, or poverty-struck; obliged to bear up for Poverty Bay; cleared out.

HARD UP IN A CLINCH, and no Knife to cut the Seizing. Overtaken by misfortune, and no means of evading it.

HARDS. See Acumba.

HARLE. Mists or thick rolling fogs from the sea, so called in the north. Also, a name of the goosander (which see).

HARMATTAN. A Fantee name for a singular periodical easterly wind which prevails on the west coast of Africa, generally in December, January, and February; it is dry, though always accompanied by haze, the result of fine red dust suspended in the atmosphere and obscuring the sun; this wind is opposed to the sea-breeze, which would otherwise blow fresh from the west on to the land.

HARNESS. An old statute term for the tackling or furniture of a ship.

HARNESS-CASK. A large conical tub for containing the salt provisions intended for present consumption. Alluding to the junk, which is often[369] called salt-horse, it has been described as the tub where the horse, and not the harness, is kept.

HARP-COCK. An old modification of the harpoon.

HARPENS. See Harpings.

HARPER-CRAB. See Tommy Harper.

HARPINGS, or Harpens. The fore-parts of the wales which encompass the bow of a ship, and are fastened to the stem, being thicker than the after-part of the wales, in order to strengthen the ship in that place where she sustains the greatest shock of resistance in plunging into the sea, or dividing it, under a great pressure of sail. Also, the pieces of oak, similar to ribbands, but trimmed and bolted to the shape of the body of the ship, which hold the fore and after cant bodies together, until the ship is planked. But this term is mostly applicable to those at the bow; hence arises the phrase "clean and full harpings." Harpings in the bow of a vessel are decried as rendering the ship uneasy.—Cat harpings. The legs which cross from futtock-staff to futtock-staff, below the tops, to girt in the rigging, and allow the lower yards to brace sharp up.

HARPOON, or Harpago. A spear or javelin with a barbed point, used to strike whales and other fish. The harpoon is furnished with a long shank, and has at one end a broad and flat triangular head, sharpened at both edges so as to penetrate the whale with facility, but blunt behind to prevent its cutting out. To the other end a fore-ganger is bent, to which is fastened a long cord called the whale-line, which lies carefully coiled in the boat in such a manner as to run out without being interrupted or entangled. Several coils, each 130 fathoms of whale-line (soft laid and of clean silky fibre) are in readiness; the instant the whale is struck the men cant the oars, so that the roll may not immerse them in the water. The line, which has a turn round the bollard, flies like lightning, and is intensely watched. One man pours water on the smoking bollard, another is ready with a sharp axe to cut, and the others see that the lines run free. Seven or eight coils have been run out before the whale "sounds," or strikes bottom, when he rises again to breathe, and probably gets a similar dose.—Gun harpoon. A weapon used for the same purpose as the preceding, but it is fired out of a gun, instead of being thrown by hand; it is made entirely of steel, and has a chain or long shackle attached to it, to which the whale-line is fastened. Greener's harpoon-gun is a kind of wall-piece fixed in a crutch, which steps into the bow-bollard of the whale-boat. The harpoon projects about four inches beyond the muzzle. It consists of its barbed point attached to a long link, with a solid button at its opposite end to fit the gun; on one rod of this link is a ring which runs to the muzzle, and is there attached to the whale-line by a thong of seal or walrus hide, wet. The gun being fired, the harpoon is projected, the ring sliding up to the button, when the line follows. Some of these harpoons or other engines have grenades—glass globules with prussic acid or other chemicals—which sicken the whale instantly, and little trouble ensues.[370]

HARPOONER, Harponeer, or Harpineer. The expert bowman in a whale-boat, whose duty it is to throw or fire the harpoon.

HARP-SEAL. The Phoca grœnlandica, a species of seal from the Arctic seas; so called from the form of a dark-brown mark upon its back.

HARQUEBUSS, or Arquebuss. Something larger than a musket. Sometimes called caliver. (See Arquebuss.)

HARR, or Harl. A sea-storm, from a northern term for snarling, in allusion to the noise. Also, a cold thick mist or fog in easterly winds; the haar.

HARRY-BANNINGS. A north-country name for sticklebacks.

HARRY-NET. A net with such small meshes, and so formed, as to take even the young and small fish.

HARVEST-MOON. The full moon nearest the autumnal equinox, when for several successive evenings she rises at the same hour; and this name is given in consequence of the supposed advantage of the additional length of moonlight to agriculture.

HASEGA. A corruption of asseguay (which see).

HASK. An archaism for a fish-basket.

HASLAR HAGS. The nurses of the naval hospital Haslar.

HASLAR HOSPITAL. A fine establishment near Gosport, for the reception and cure of the sick and wounded of the Royal Navy.

HASP. A semicircular clamp turning in an eye-bolt in the stem-head of a sloop or boat, and fastened by a forelock in order to secure the bowsprit down to the bows. (See Span-shackle.)

HASTAN. The Manx or Erse term for a large eel or conger.

HASTY-PUDDING. A batter made of flour or oatmeal stirred in boiling water, and eaten with treacle or sugar at sea. This dish is not altogether to be despised in need, although Lord Dorset—the sailor poet—speaks of it disparagingly:

"Sure hasty-pudding is thy chiefest dish,
With bullock's liver, or some stinking fish."
HATCH. A half-door. A contrivance for trapping salmon. (See Heck.)

HATCH-BARS. To secure the hatches; are padlocked and sealed.

HATCH-BOAT. A sort of small vessel known as a pilot-boat, having a deck composed almost entirely of hatches.

HATCH-DECK. Gun brigs had hatches instead of lower decks.

HATCHELLING. The combing and preparing hemp for rope-making.

HATCHES. Flood-gates set in a river to stop the current of water. Also, coverings of grating, or close hatches to seal the holds.—To lie under hatches, stowed in the hold. Terms used figuratively for being in distress and death.

HATCHET-FASHION. Cutting at the heads of antagonists, instead of thrusting.

HATCH-RINGS. Rings to lift the hatches by, or replace them.

HATCHWAY. A square or oblong opening in the middle of the deck[371] of a ship, of which there are generally three—the fore, main, and after—affording passages up and down from one deck to another, and again descending into the hold. The coverings over these openings are called hatches. Goods of bulk are let down into the hold by the hatchways. To lay anything in the hatchway, is to put it so that the hatches cannot be approached or opened. The hatches of a smaller kind are distinguished by the name of scuttles.

HATCHWAY-NETTINGS. Nettings sometimes placed over the hatchways instead of gratings, for security and circulation of air. They arrest the fall of any one from a deck above.

HATCHWAY-SCREENS. Pieces of fear-nought, or thick woollen cloth, put round the hatchways of a man-of-war in time of action, to screen the passages to the magazine.

HATCHWAY-STOPPERS. Those for a hempen cable are fitted as a ring-stopper, only a larger rope. They are rove through a hole on each side of the coamings, in the corner of the hatchway; and both tails, made selvagee-fashion, are dogged along the cable. When a chain-cable is used, the stopper works from a beam on the lower deck.

HAT-MONEY. A word sometimes used for primage, or the trifling payment received by the master of a ship for care of goods.

HAUBERK. See Auberk.

HAUGH. Flat or marshy ground by the side of a river.

HAUL, To. An expression peculiar to seamen, implying to pull or bowse at a single rope, without the assistance of blocks or other mechanical powers upon it; as "haul in," "haul down," "haul up," "haul aft," "haul together." (See Bowse, Hoist, and Rouse.) A vessel hauls her wind by trimming the yards and sails so as to lie nearer to, or close to the wind, and by the power of the rudder shaping her course accordingly.

HAUL ABOARD THE FORE AND MAIN TACKS. This is to haul them forward, and down to the chess-trees on the weather-side.

HAUL AFT A SHEET. To pull it in more towards the stern, so as to trim the sail nearer to the wind.

HAULAGE. A traction-way.

HAUL-BOWLINGS. The old name for the able-bodied seamen.

HAUL HER WIND. Said of a vessel when she comes close upon the wind.—Haul your wind, or haul to the wind, signifies that the ship's head is to be brought nearer to the wind—a very usual phrase when she has been going free.

HAUL IN, To. To sail close to the wind, in order to approach nearer to an object.

HAULING DOWN VACANCY. The colloquialism expressive of the promotion of a flag-lieutenant and midshipman on an admiral's hauling down his flag.

HAULING-LINE. A line made fast to any object, to be hauled nearer or on board, as a hawser, a spar, &c.

HAULING SHARP. Going upon half allowance of food.[372]

HAUL MY WIND. An expression when an individual is going upon a new line of action. To avoid a quarrel or difficulty.

HAUL OF ALL! An order to brace round all the yards at once—a manœuvre sometimes used in tacking, or on a sudden change of wind; it requires a strong crew.

HAUL OFF, To. To sail closer to the wind, in order to get further from any object.

HAUL OUT TO LEEWARD! In reefing top-sails, the cry when the weather earing is passed.

HAUL ROUND. Said when the wind is gradually shifting towards any particular point of the compass. Edging round a danger.

HAULS AFT, or Veers aft. Said of the wind when it draws astern.

HAULSER. The old orthography for hawser.

HAULS FORWARD. Said of the wind when it draws before the beam.

HAUL UNDER THE CHAINS. This is a phrase signifying a ship's working and straining on the masts and shrouds, so as to make the seams open and shut as she rolls.

HAULYARDS. See Halliards.

HAUNCES. The breakings of the rudder abaft.

HAUNCH. A sudden fall or break, as from the drifts forward and aft to the waist. The same as hance.

HAVEN [Anglo-Saxon, hæfen]. A safe refuge from the violence of wind and sea; much the same as harbour, though of less importance. A good anchorage rather than place of perfect shelter. Milford Haven is an exception.

HAVENET. This word has appeared in vocabularies as a small haven.

HAVEN-SCREAMER. The sea-gull, called hæfen by the Anglo-Saxons.

HAVERSACK. A coarse linen bag with a strap fitting over the shoulder worn by soldiers or small-arm men in marching order, for carrying their provision, instead of the knapsack.

HAVILLER. See Huffler.

HAVOC. Formerly a war cry, and the signal for indiscriminate slaughter. Thus Shakspeare,

"Cry havoc! and let slip the dogs of war."
HAWK'S-BILL. Chelone imbricata, a well-known turtle frequenting the Atlantic and Indian Oceans, so named from having a small mouth like the beak of a hawk; it produces the tortoise-shell of commerce. The flesh is indifferent, but the eggs very good.

HAWSE. This is a term of great meaning. Strictly, it is that part of a vessel's bow where holes are cut for her cables to pass through. It is also generally understood to imply the situation of the cables before the ship's stem, when she is moored with two anchors out from forward, one on the starboard, and the other on the port bow. It also denotes any small distance between her head and the anchors employed to ride her, as "he has anchored in our hawse," "the brig fell athwart our hawse," &c. Also, said of a vessel a little in advance of the stem; as, she sails athwart[373] hawse, or has anchored in the hawse. If a vessel drives at her anchors into the hawse of another she is said to "foul the hawse" of the vessel riding there; hence the threat of a man-of-war's-man, "If you foul my hawse, I'll cut your cable," no merchant vessel being allowed to approach a ship-of-war within certain limits, and never to make fast to the government buoys.—A bold hawse is when the holes are high above the water. "Freshen hawse," or "veer out more cable," is said when part of the cable that lies in the hawse is fretted or chafed, and more should be veered out, so that another part of it may rest in the hawse. "Freshen hawse" also means, clap a service on or round the cable in the hawses to prevent it from fretting; hemp cables only are rounded or cackled. Also, a dram after fatiguing duty. "Clearing hawse," is untwisting or disentangling two cables that come through different holes, and make a foul hawse.

HAWSE-BAGS. Canvas bags filled with oakum, used in heavy seas to stop the hawse-holes and prevent the water coming in.

HAWSE-BLOCKS. Bucklers, or pieces of wood made to fit over the hawse-holes when at sea, to back the hawse-plugs.

HAWSE-BOLSTERS. Planks above and below the hawse-holes. Also, pieces of canvas stuffed with oakum and roped round, for plugging when the cables are bent.

HAWSE-BOX, or Naval Hood. Pieces of plank bolted outside round each of the hawse-holes, to support the projecting part of the hawse-pipe.

HAWSE-BUCKLERS. Plugs of wood to fit the hawse-holes, and hatches to bolt over, to keep the sea from spurting in.

HAWSE-FALLEN. To ride hawse-fallen, is when the water breaks into the hawse in a rough sea, driving all before it.

HAWSE-FULL. Riding hawse-full; pitching bows under.

HAWSE-HOLES. Cylindrical holes cut through the bows of a ship on each side of the stem, through which the cables pass, in order to be drawn into or let out of the vessel, as occasion requires.

HAWSE-HOOK. A compass breast timber which crosses the hawse-timber above the ends of the upper-deck planking, and over the hawse-holes. (See Breast-hooks.)

HAWSE-PIECES. The timbers which compose the bow of a vessel, and their sides look fore and aft; it is a name given to the foremost timbers of a ship, whose lower ends rest upon the knuckle-timbers. They are generally parallel to the stem, having their upper ends sometimes terminated by the lower part of the beak-head and otherwise by the top of the bow. Also, timbers through which the hawse-holes are cut.

HAWSE-PIPE. A cast-iron pipe in the hawse-holes to prevent the cable from cutting the wood.

HAWSE-PLUGS. Blocks of wood made to fit into the hawse-pipes, and put in from the outside to stop the hawses, and thereby prevent the water from washing into the manger. The plug, coated with old canvas, is first inserted, then a mat or swab, and over it the buckler or shield, which bolts upward and downward into the breast-hooks.[374]

HAWSER. A large rope or cablet, which holds the middle degree between the cable and tow-line, being a size smaller than the former, and as much larger than the latter; curiously, it is not hawser but cable laid.

HAWSER-LAID ROPE. Is rope made in the usual way, being three or four strands of yarns laid up right-handed, or with the sun; it is used for small running rigging, as well as for standing rigging, shrouds, &c.; in the latter case it is generally tarred to keep out rain. It is supposed that this style of rope is stronger in proportion to the number of yarns than cable or water-laid rope, which is more tightly twisted, each strand being a small rope. This latter is more impervious to water, and therefore good for cables, hawsers, &c.; it is laid left-handed, or against the sun.

HAWSE-TIMBERS. The upright timbers in the bow, bolted on each side of the stem, in which the hawse-holes are cut.

HAWSE-WOOD. A general name for the hawse-timbers.

HAY. A straight rank of men drawn up exactly in a line.

HAYE. A peculiar ground-shark on the coast of Guinea.

HAYLER. An archaism for halliard.

HAZE. A grayish vapour, less dense than a fog, and therefore does not generally exclude objects from sight.

HAZE, To. To punish a man by making him do unnecessary work.

HEAD. The upper part or end of anything, as a mast-head, a timber-head. Also, an ornamental figure on a ship's stem expressive of her name, or emblematical of her object, &c. (See Billet-head, Bust-head, Family-head, Fiddle-head, Figure-head, Scroll-head, &c.) Also, in a more enlarged sense, the whole fore-part of a ship, including the bows on each side; the head therefore opens the column of water through which the ship passes when advancing; hence we say, head-way, head-sails, head-sea, &c. It is evident that the fore-part of a ship is called its head, from its analogy to that of a fish, or any animal while swimming. Also, in a confined sense, to that part on each side of the stem outside the bows proper which is appropriated to the use of the sailors for wringing swabs, or any wet jobs, for no wet is permitted in-board after the decks are dried. Also, hydrographically, the upper part of a gulf, bay, or creek.—By the head, the state of a ship which, by her lading, draws more water forward than aft. This may be remedied without reference to cargo in ships-of-war, by shifting shot, guns, &c. Vessels by the head are frequently uneasy, gripe and pitch more than when by the stern.

HEAD AND GUN-MONEY. An encouragement in the prize acts by which £5 a head is given to the captors for every person on board a captured vessel of war, or pirate.

HEAD-BOARDS. The berthing or close-boarding between the head-rails.

HEAD-CLUE of a Hammock. Where the head rests. (See Hammock.)

HEAD-CRINGLES. Earing-cringles at the upper clues or corners of a sail.

HEAD-EARINGS. The laniards to haul out the earings. (See Earings.)

HEADER. The person in the Newfoundland fishing vessels who is engaged[375] to cut open the fish, tear out the entrails, break off the head, and pass it over to the splitter, who sits opposite to him.

HEAD-FAST. A rope or chain employed to fasten the head of a ship or boat to a wharf or buoy, or to some other vessel alongside.—Head-fast of a boat, the tow-rope or painter.

HEAD-HOLES. The eyelet-holes where the rope-bands of a sail are fitted; they are worked button-hole fashion, over grommets of twine of several thicknesses; sometimes of cod-line.

HEADING. As to ships in company, one advancing by sail or steam faster than another heads her.

HEADING UP THE LAND WATER. When the flood-tide is backed by a wind, so that the ebb is retarded, causing an overflow.

HEAD-KNEES. Pieces of moulded compass timber fayed edgeways to the cut-water and stem, to steady the former. These are also called cheek-knees.

HEADLAND. Wherever the coast presents a high cliffy salient angle to the sea, without projecting far into it, it is called a headland; but if the point be low, it is a spit, tongue, or point. (See Bluff.)

HEADMOST. The situation of any ship or ships which are the most advanced in a fleet, or line of battle. The opposite of sternmost.

HEAD-NETTING. An ornamental netting used in merchant ships instead of the fayed planking to the head-rails.

HEAD OF A COMET. The brighter part of a comet, from which the tail proceeds.

HEAD OF A MAST, or Mast-head. The upper part of any mast, or that whereon the caps or trucks are fitted.

HEAD OF A WORK. In fortification, the part most advanced towards the enemy. In progressive works, such as siege-approaches and saps, it is the farthest point then attained.

HEAD OF WATER. Water kept to a height by winds, or by artificial dams and sluice-gates. The vertical column which dock-gates have to bear.

HEAD-PIECE. A term for the helmet.

HEAD-PUMP. A small pump fixed at the vessel's bow, its lower end communicating with the sea: it is mostly used for washing decks.

HEAD-QUARTERS. The place where the general, or commanding officer, takes up his quarters. Also, the man-of-war, or transport, which carries the staff of an expedition.

HEAD-RAILS. The short rails of the head, extending from the back of the figure to the cat-head: equally useful and ornamental. There are two on each side, one straight and the other curved. (See False Rail.) Also, used familiarly for teeth.

HEAD-ROPE. That part of the bolt-rope which terminates any sail on the upper edge, and to which it is accordingly sewed. (See Bolt-rope.) Also, the small rope to which a flag is fastened, to hoist it to the mast-head, or head of the ensign-staff.[376]

HEAD-SAILS. A general name for all those sails which may be set on the fore-mast and bowsprit, jib, and flying jib-boom, and employed to influence the fore-part of the ship.

HEAD-SEA. A name given to the waves when they oppose a ship's course, as the ship must rise over, or cut through each. Their effect depends upon their height, form, and speed; sometimes they are steep, quick, and irregular, so that a ship is caught by a second before she has recovered from the first; these render her wet and uneasy.

HEAD-SHEETS. Specially jibs and staysail sheets, before the fore-mast.

HEAD-STICK. A short round stick with a hole at each end, through which the head-rope of some triangular sails is thrust, before it is sewed on. Its use is to prevent the head of the sail from twisting.

HEAD TO WIND. The situation of a ship or boat when her head is pointed directly to windward. The term is particularly applied in the act of tacking, or while lying at anchor.

HEAD-WAY. A ship is said to gather head-way when she passes any object thrown overboard at the bow, and it passes astern into her wake. A ship may also, by the action of swell, forge ahead.

HEAD-WIND. A breeze blowing from the direction of the ship's intended course. Thus, if a ship is bound N.E. a N.E. wind is a head-wind "dead on end," as seamen express it.—The wind heads us, that is, veers towards the direction of the ship's course.

HEALD. The heel over of a grounded ship.

HEALTH-GUARD. Officers appointed to superintend the due observance of the quarantine regulations.

HEART. A block of wood forming a peculiar sort of triangular dead-eye, somewhat resembling the shape of a heart; it is furnished with only one large hole in the middle, grooved for the rope instead of the three holes. It is principally used to the stays, as the dead-eyes are to the shrouds. (See Dead-eye.)

HEARTH. Applied to the ship's fire-place, coppers, and galley generally.

HEARTY. Open and free. "My hearties," a cheerful salute to shipmates and seamen in general. "What cheer, my hearties?" how fare ye? what's your news?

HEART-YARNS. The centre yarns of a strand. Also, the heart-yarn or centre, on which four-stranded rope is formed.

HEATH. Various broom-stuffs used in breaming.

HEAVE, To. To throw anything overboard. To cast, as heaving the log or the lead. Also, to drag, prize, or purchase, as heaving up the anchor.

HEAVE ABOUT, To. To go upon the other tack suddenly.

HEAVE AND A-WASH. An encouraging call when the ring of the anchor rises to the surface, and the stock stirs the water.

HEAVE AND A-WEIGH. Signifies that the next effort will start the anchor from its bed, and make it a-trip. "Heave and a-weigh, sir," from the forecastle, denotes that the anchor is a-weigh; it inspirits the men to run it to the bows rapidly.[377]

HEAVE AND IN SIGHT. A notice given by the boatswain to the crew when the anchor is drawn up so near the surface of the water as to be seen by its muddy water surrounding it.

HEAVE AND PAUL. Is the order to turn the capstan or windlass till the paul may be put in, by which it is prevented from coming up, and is something similar to belay, applied to a running rope.

HEAVE AND RALLY! An encouraging order to the men at the capstan to heave with spirit, with a rush, and thereby force the anchor out of the ground. When there is a rising sea "heave and rally" implies, "heave and stand to your bars," the pauls taking the strain, and the next wave probably lifting the anchor.

HEAVE AND SET. The ship's motion in rising and falling to the waves when at anchor.


HEAVE HEARTY. Heave strong and with a will.

HEAVE OF THE SEA. The power that the swell of the sea exerts upon a ship in driving her out of, or faster on in, her course, and for which allowance must be made in the day's work. It is a similar, or the same action in force as in a head-sea.

HEAVE OUT THERE! The order to hasten men from their hammocks.

HEAVER. A wooden bar or staff, sometimes tapered at the ends; it is employed as a lever or purchase on many occasions, such as setting up the top-mast shrouds, stropping large blocks, seizing the standing rigging, &c. Also, a name on the Kentish shores for the haviler crab.

HEAVE SHORT, To. To heave in on the cable until the vessel is nearly over her anchor, or sufficiently near it for sail being made before the anchor is tripped. Short, is when the fore-stay and cable are in line.

HEAVE THE LEAD. To take soundings with the hand lead-line. "Get a cast of the lead," with the deep-sea lead and line.

HEAVE THE LOG. Determine the ship's velocity by the log line and glass.

HEAVE-TO, To. To put a vessel in the position of lying-to, by adjusting her sails so as to counteract each other, and thereby check her way, or keep her perfectly still. In a gale, it implies to set merely enough sail to steady the ship; the aim being to keep the sea on the weather bow whilst the rudder has but little influence, the sail is chiefly set on the main and mizen-mast; as hove-to under a close-reefed main-topsail, or main-trysail, or driver. It is customary in a foul wind gale, and a last resource in a fair one.

HEAVING AHEAD. Is the act of advancing or drawing a ship forwards by heaving on a cable or rope made fast to some fixed point before her.

HEAVING AND SETTING. Riding hard, pitching and sending.

HEAVING ASTERN. Causing a ship to recede or go backwards, by heaving on a cable or other rope fastened to some fixed point behind her. This more immediately applies to drawing a vessel off a shoal.[378]

HEAVING A STRAIN. Working at the windlass or capstan with more than usual exertion.

HEAVING DOWN. (See Careening.) The bringing one of a ship's sides down into the water, by means of purchases on the masts, in order to repair any injury which is below her water-line on the other.

HEAVING IN. Shortening in the cable. Also, the binding a block and hook by a seizing.

HEAVING IN STAYS. The act of tacking, when, the wind being ahead, great pressure is thrown upon the stays.

HEAVING KEEL OUT. The utmost effect to be produced by careening, viz. to raise the keel out of the water in order to repair or clean it. (See Heaving Down.)

HEAVING OUT. The act of loosing or unfurling a sail; particularly applied to the staysails; or in the tops, footing the sail out of the top.

HEAVING TAUT. The act of turning the capstan, &c., till the rope applied thereto becomes straight and ready for action.

HEAVING THROUGH ALL. The surging or slipping of the cable when the nippers do not hold.

HEAVY DRIFT-ICE. Dense ice, which has a great depth in the water in proportion to its size, and is not in a state of decay, therefore dangerous to shipping.

HEAVY GALE. A strong wind, in which a ship is reduced to storm-staysails and close-reefed main-topsail. Force 10.

HEAVY METAL, or Heavy Ordnance. Ordnance of large calibre.

HEAVY SEA. High and strong waves.

HEBBER-MAN. An old name for a fisherman on the Thames below London Bridge, who took whitings, smelts, &c., commonly at ebbing-water.

HEBBING-WEIR. Contrivances for taking fish at ebbing-water.

HECK-BOAT. The old term for pinks. Latterly a clincher-built boat with covered fore-sheets, and one mast with a trysail.

HECKLE. Said to be from the Teutonic heckelen, to dress flax for rope-making. Also, an artificial fly for fishing.

HECKLE-BACK. A name of the fifteen-spined stickleback, Gasterosteus spinachia.

HEDA. An early term for a small haven, wharf, or landing-place.

HEDAGIUM. A toll or duty paid at the wharf for landing goods, &c.

HEDGEHOGS. A name formerly applied to vessels which rowed with many oars. Also, small stunted trees unfit for timber.

HEEL. The after end of a ship's keel, and the lower end of the stern-post to which it is connected. Also, the lower end of any mast, boom, bowsprit, or timber. Also, that part of the end of the butt of a musket which is uppermost when at the firing position.—To heel. To lie over, or incline to either side out of the perpendicular: usually applied to a ship when canted by the wind, or by being unequally ballasted. (See Crank, Stiff, and Trim.)[379]

HEEL-BRACE. A piece of iron-work applicable to the lower part of a rudder, in case of casualty to the lower pintles.

HEELING GUNWALE TO. Pressing down sideways to her upper works, particularly applied to boats running before a heavy sea, when they may roll their weather gunwales to.

HEEL-KNEE. The compass-piece which connects the keel with the stern-post.

HEEL-LASHING. The rope which secures the inner part of a studding-sail boom to the yard; also, that which secures the jib-boom.

HEEL OF A MAST. The lower end, which either fits into the step attached to the keel, or in top-masts is sustained by the fid upon the trestle-trees. Heeling is the square part of the spar through which the fid hole is cut.

HEEL-ROPE. That which hauls out the bowsprit in cutters, and the jib and studding-sail booms, or anything else where it passes through the heel of the spar, except in the case of top-masts and topgallant-masts, where it becomes a mast-rope.

HEELS. Having the heels of a ship; sailing faster.

HEEL-TACKLES. The luff purchases for the heels of each sheer previous to taking in masts, or otherwise using them.

HEEVIL. An old northern term for the conger.

HEFT. The Anglo-Saxon hæft; the handle of a dirk, knife, or any edge-tool; also, the handle of an oar.

HEIGHT. Synonymous with hill, and meaning generally any ground above the common level of the place. Our early navigators used the word as a synonym of latitude.

HEIGHT of the Hold. Used for the depth of the hold.

HEIGHT OF BREADTH. In ship-building, is a delineation generally in two lines—upper and lower—determining the height of the broadest place of each timber.

HELIACAL. A star rises heliacally when it first becomes visible in the morning, after having been hidden in the sun's rays; and it sets heliacally when it is first lost in the evening twilight, owing to the sun's proximity.

HELIER. A cavern into which the tide flows.

HELIOCENTRIC. As seen from, or having reference to, the centre of the sun.

HELIOMETER. An instrument designed for the accurate measurement of the diameters of the sun or planets.

HELIOSTAADT, or Heliotrope. This instrument reflects the sun's rays by a silvered disc, used in the great trigonometrical surveys. It has been visible at 100 miles' distance, from Cumberland to Ireland.

HELL-AFLOAT. A vessel with a bad name for tyranny.

HELM. Properly is the tiller, but sometimes used to express the rudder, and the means used for turning it, which, in small vessels and boats, is merely a tiller, but in larger vessels a wheel is added, which supplies the[380] leverage for pulling the tiller either way; they are connected by ropes or chains.—A-lee the helm, or Down with the helm! So place the tiller that the rudder is brought on the weather side of the stern-post. These, and the following orders, were established when tillers extended forward from the rudder-head, but now they often extend aft, which requires the motion of the tiller to be reversed. With the latter style of tiller the order "down with the helm" is carried out by bringing the tiller up to the weather side of the ship; which being done, the order "Helm's a lee" follows.—Bear up the helm. That is, let the ship go more large before the wind.—Ease the helm. To let the helm come more amidships, when it has been put hard up or down.—It is common to ease the helm before a heavy sea takes the ship when close-hauled.—Helm amidships, or right the helm. That is, keep it even with the middle of the ship, in a line with the keel.—Helm over. The position of the tiller to enable a vessel steaming ahead to describe a curve.—Port the helm. Place the tiller so as to carry the rudder to starboard. (See A-lee the helm.)—Shift the helm. Put it from port to starboard, and vice versâ, or it may be amidships.—Starboard the helm. Place the tiller so as to carry the rudder to port.—Up with the helm. Place the tiller so as to carry the rudder to leeward. (See A-lee the helm.)

HELMED. An old word for steered; it is metaphorically used by Shakspeare in Measure for Measure.

HELMET. A piece of defensive armour; a covering for the head.

HELM-PORT. The round hole or cavity in a ship's counter, through which the head of the rudder passes into the trunk.

HELM-PORT TRANSOM. The piece of timber placed across the lower counter, withinside the height of the helm-port, and bolted through every timber for the security of that part of the ship.

HELMSMAN. The timoneer, or person, who guides the ship or boat by the management of the helm. The same as steersman.

HELM-WIND. A singular meteorological phenomenon which occurs in the north of England. Besides special places in Cumberland and Westmoreland, it suddenly rushes from an immense cloud that gathers round the summit of Cross-Fell, covering it like a helmet. Its effects reach the sea-board.

HELMY. Rainy [from an Anglo-Saxon phrase for rainy weather].

HELTER-SKELTER. Hurry and confusion. Defiance of good order. Privateerism.

HELVE. The handle of the carpenter's mauls, axes, and adzes; also of an oar, &c.

HELYER. See Helier.

HEMISPHERE. Half the surface of a globe. The celestial equator divides the heavens into two hemispheres—the northern and the southern.

HEMP. Cannabis sativa. A manufactorial plant of equal antiquity with flax. The produce of hemp in fibre varies from three to six hundred weight per acre, and forms the best of all cordage and ropes. It is mixed[381] with opium in the preparation of those rich drugs called hashishe in Cairo and Constantinople. Those who were in the constant use of them were called hashishin (herb-eaters); and being often by their stimulative properties excited almost to frenzy and to murder, the word "assassin" is said to have been derived by the crusaders from this source. While the French army was in Egypt, Napoleon I. was obliged to prohibit, under the severest penalties, the sale and use of these pernicious substances.

HENDECAGON. A right-lined figure with eleven sides; if it be regular, the sides and angles are all equal.

HEN-FRIGATE. A ship wherein the captain's wife interfered in the duty or regulations.

HEN'S-WARE. A name of the edible sea-weed Fucus esculentus.

HEP-PAH, or Hippa. A New Zealand fort, or space surrounded with stout palisades; these rude defences have given our soldiers and sailors much trouble to reduce. (See Pah.)

HEPTAGON. A right-lined figure with seven sides; if it be regular, the sides and angles are all equal.

HERCULES. The large mass of iron by the blows of which anchors are welded.

HERE-AWAY. A term when a look-out man announces a rhumb or bearing of any object in this quarter.

HERE-FARE [Anglo-Saxon]. An expedition; going to warfare.

HERISSON. A balanced barrier to a passage in a fort, of the nature of a turnstile.

HERLING. A congener of the salmon species found in Scotland; it is small, and shaped like a sea-trout.

HERMAPHRODITE or Brig Schooner, is square-rigged, but without a top forward, and schooner-rigged abaft; carrying only fore-and-aft sails on the main-mast; in other phrase, she is a vessel with a brig's fore-mast and a schooner's main-mast.

HERMIT-CRAB. A name applied to a group of crabs (family Paguridæ), of which the hinder part of the body is soft, and which habitually lodge themselves in the empty shell of some mollusc. Also called soldier-crabs.

HERMO. A Mediterranean term for the meteor called corpo santo.

HERNE. A bight or corner, as Herne Bay, so called from lying in an angle.

HERNSHAW and Herne. Old words for the heron.

HERON. A large bird of the genus Ardea, which feeds on fish.

HERRING. A common fish—the Clupea harengus; Anglo-Saxon hæring and hering.

HERRING-BONING. A method of sewing up rents in a sail by small cross-stitches, by which the seam is kept flat.

HERRING-BUSS. A peculiar boat of 10 or 15 tons, for the herring fishery. (See Buss.)[382]

HERRING-COB. A young herring.

HERRING-GUTTED. See Shotten-herring.

HERRING-HOG. A name for the porpoise.

HERRING-POND. The Atlantic Ocean.

HETERODROMOUS LEVERS. The windlass, capstan, crank, crane, &c.

HETEROPLON. A kind of naval insurance, where the insurers only run the risk of the outward voyage; when both the going out and return of a vessel is insured, it is called amphoteroplon.

HETTLE. A rocky fishing-ground in the Firth of Forth, which gives name to the fish called Hettle-codling.

HEUGH. A craggy dry dell; a ravine without water.

HEXAGON. A right-lined figure with six sides; if it be regular, the sides and angles are all equal.

HEYS-AND-HOW. An ancient sea-cheer.

HI! Often used for hoy; as, "Hi, you there!" Also, the old term for they, as in Sir Ferumbras—

"Costroye there was, the Admiral,
With vitaile great plente,
And the standard of the sowdon royal,
Toward Mantrible ridden hi."
HIDDEN HARBOUR. That of which the outer points so overlap as to cause the coast to appear to be continuous.

HIDE, To. To beat; to rope's-end or drub. Also, to secrete.

HIE, To. To flow quickly in a tide-way.

HIE ALOFT. Away aloft.

HIGH. In gunnery, signifies tightly fitting the bore; said of shot, wads, &c. Also, a gun is said to be laid high when too much elevated.

HIGH-AND-DRY. The situation of a ship or other vessel which is aground, so as to be seen dry upon the strand when the tide ebbs from her.

HIGH ENOUGH. Said in hoisting in goods, water, or masts.

HIGH FLOOD. See Flood.

HIGH LATITUDES. Those regions far removed from the equator towards the poles of the earth above the 50th degree.

HIGH TIDE, or High Water. Figuratively, a full purse. Constance, in Shakspeare's King John, uses the term high tides as denoting the gold-letter days or holidays of the calendar.

HIGH-WATER. The greatest height of the flood-tide. (See Tide.)

HIGH-WATER MARK. The line made by the water upon the shore, when at its greatest height; it is also designated the flood-mark and spring-tide mark. This constitutes the boundary line of admiralty jurisdiction as to the soil.

HIGH WIND. See Heavy Gale.

HIGRE. See Bore and Eagre.

HIKE. A brief equivalent to "Be off," "Go away." It is generally used in a contemptuous sense; as, he was "hiked off"—that is, dismissed at once, or in a hurry. To swing.[383]

HIKE UP, To. To kidnap; to carry off by force.

HILL. In use with the Anglo-Saxons. An insulated rise of the ground, usually applied to heights below 1000 feet, yet higher than a hillock or hummock (which see).

HILLOCK. A small coast-hill, differing from a hummock in having a peaked or pointed summit.

HILT. The handle and guard of a sword.

HIND-CASTLE. A word formerly used for the poop, as being opposed to fore-castle.

HIPPAGINES, or Hippagogæ. Ancient transports for carrying cavalry.

HIPPER, or Hipping-stones. Large stones placed for crossing a brook.

HIPPOCAMPUS. A small fish, so termed from the head resembling that of a horse. They live among reeds and long fuci, to which they cling with prehensile tails.

HIPPODAMES. An old word for sea-horses.

HIPSY. A drink compounded of wine, water, and brandy.

HIRE, To. To take vessel or men on service at a stipulated remuneration.

HIRECANO. An old word for hurricane.

HIRST. The roughest part of a river-ford. A bank.

HITCH. A species of knot by which one rope is connected with another, or to some object. They are various; as, clove-hitch, racking-hitch, timber-hitch (stopped), rolling-hitch, running-hitch, half-hitch, blackwall-hitch, magnus-hitch, marline-spike hitch, harness-hitch, &c. (See Bend and Knot.) It also signifies motion by a jerk. Figuratively, it is applied to an impediment. A seaman often hitches up his trowsers, which "have no lifts or braces."—To hitch is to make fast a rope, &c., to catch with a hook. Thus of old, when a boat was to be hoisted in, they said—"Hitch the tackles into the rings of the boat."

HITCHER. An old term for a boat-hook.

HO! or Hay! An exclamation derived from our Danish ancestors, and literally meaning stop!

HOAKY. A common petty oath—"By the hoaky!" by your hearth or fire.

HOAM. The dried fat of the cod-fish.

HOASTMEN. An ancient guild at Newcastle dealing in coals.

HOAY, or Hoy! a word frequently added to an exclamation bespeaking attention, as "Main-top, hoay!" and is chiefly used to persons aloft or without the ship.

HOB-A-NOB. To drink cosily; the act of touching glasses in pledging a health. An early and extensive custom falling into disuse.

HOBBLE. A perplexity or difficulty.—Hobbles, irons or fetters.

HOBBLER. A coast-man of Kent, a bit of a smuggler, and an unlicensed pilot, ever ready for a job in either of these occupations. Also, a man on land employed in towing a vessel by a rope. Also, a sentinel who kept watch at a beacon.

HOBITS. Small mortars of 6 or 8 inches bore mounted on gun-carriages; in use before the howitzer.[384]

HOBRIN. A northern designation of the blue shark, Squalus glaucus.

HOC. The picked dog-fish, Squalus acanthias.

HOCK-SAW. A fermented drink along the coasts of China, partaking more of the nature of beer than of spirit, and therefore less injurious than sam-tsin.

HOD. A hole under a bank or rock, forming a retreat for fish.

HODDY-DODDY. A west-country name for a revolving light.

HODMADODS. The name among early navigators for Hottentots.


HODOMETRICAL. A method of finding the longitude at sea by dead-reckoning.

HOE. See Howe.

HOE-MOTHER, or Homer. The basking shark, Squalus maximus.

HOE-TUSK. Squalus mustela, smooth hound-fish of the Shetlanders.

HOG. A kind of rough, flat scrubbing broom, serving to scrape a ship's bottom under water, particularly in the act of boot-topping (which see); formed by inclosing a multitude of short twigs of birch, or the like, between two pieces of plank, which are firmly attached to each other; the ends of the twigs are then cut off even, so as to form a brush of considerable extent. To this is fitted a long staff, together with two ropes, the former of which is used to thrust the hog under the ship's bottom, and the latter to guide and pull it up again close to the planks, so as to rub off all the dirt. This work is usually performed in the ship's boat.

HOG-BOAT. See Heck-boat.

HOGGED. A significant word derived from the animal; it implies that the two ends of a ship's decks droop lower than the midship part, consequently, that her keel and bottom are so strained as to curve upwards. The term is therefore in opposition to that of sagging.

HOG-IN-ARMOUR. Soubriquet for an iron-clad ship.

HOGO. From the French haut-gout, a disagreeable smell, but rather applied to ill-ventilated berths than to bilge-water.

HOISE. The old word for hoist.

HOIST. The perpendicular height of a sail or flag; in the latter it is opposed to the fly, which implies its breadth from the staff to the outer edge: or that part to which the halliards are bent.

HOIST, or Hoise, To. To raise anything; but the term is specially applied to the operation of swaying up a body by the assistance of tackles. It is also invariably used for the hauling up the sails along the masts or stays, and the displaying of flags and pendants, though by the help of a single block only. (See Sway, Tracing-up, and Whip.)

HOISTING-TACKLE. A whip, a burton, or greater purchase, as yard-arm tackles, &c.

HOISTING THE FLAG. An admiral assuming his command "hoists his flag," and is saluted with a definite number of guns by all vessels present.

HOISTING THE PENDANT. Commissioning a ship.[385]

HOLD. The whole interior cavity of a ship, or all that part comprehended between the floor and the lower deck throughout her length.—The after-hold lies abaft the main-mast, and is usually set apart for the provisions in ships of war.—The fore-hold is situated about the fore-hatchway, in continuation with the main-hold, and serves the same purposes.—The main-hold is just before the main-mast, and generally contains the fresh water and beer for the use of the ship's company.—To rummage the hold is to examine its contents.—To stow the hold is to arrange its contents in the most secure and commodious manner possible.—To trim the hold (see Trim of the Hold). Also, an Anglo-Saxon term for a fort, castle, or stronghold.—Hold is also generally understood of a ship with regard to the land or to another ship; hence we say, "Keep a good hold of the land," or "Keep the land well aboard," which are synonymous phrases, implying to keep near the land; when applied to a ship, we say, "She holds her own;" i.e. goes as fast as the other ship; holds her wind, or way.—To hold. To assemble for public business; as, to hold a court-martial, a survey, &c.—Hold! An authoritative way of separating combatants, according to the old military laws at tournaments, &c.; stand fast!

HOLD A GOOD WIND, To. To have weatherly qualities.

HOLD-ALL. A portable case for holding small articles required by soldiers, marines, and small-arm men on service.

HOLD-BEAMS. The lowest range of beams in a merchantman. In a man-of-war they support the orlop-deck. (See Orlop-beams.)

HOLDERS. The people employed in the hold duties of a ship.

HOLD-FAST. A rope; also the order to the people aloft, when shaking out reefs, &c., to suspend the operation. In ship-building, it means a bolt going down through the rough tree rail, and the fore or after part of each stanchion.

HOLDING-ON. The act of pulling back the hind part of any rope.

HOLDING ON THE SLACK. Doing nothing. (See Eyelids.)

HOLDING WATER. The act of checking the progress of a boat by holding the oar-blades in the water, and bearing the flat part strongly against the current alongside, so as to meet its resistance. (See Back Astern, Oar, and Row.)

HOLD OFF. The keeping the hove-in part of a cable or hawser clear of the capstan.

HOLD ON. Keep all you have got in pulling a rope.—Hold on a minute. Wait or stop.—Hold on with your nails and eyelids. A derisive injunction to a timid climber.

HOLD ON, GOOD STICKS! An apostrophe often made when the masts complain in a fresh squall, or are over-pressed, and it is unadvisable to shorten sail.

HOLD-STANCHIONS. Those which support the hold-beams amidships, and rest on the kelson.

HOLD UP, To. In meteorological parlance, for the weather to clear up after a gale; to stop raining.[386]

HOLE. A clear open space amongst ice in the Arctic seas.

HOLEBER. A kind of light horseman, who rode about from place to place in the night, to gain intelligence of the landing of boats, men, &c., on the Kentish coast.

HOLES, Eyelet or Œillet. The holes in sails for points and rope-bands which are fenced round by stitching the edge to a small log-line grommet. In the drumhead of a capstan, the holes receive the capstan-bars.

HOLIDAY. Any part left neglected or uncovered in paying or painting, blacking, or tarring.

HOLLANDS. The spirit principally distilled in Holland.

HOLLARDS. The dead branches and loppings of trees.

HOLLEBUT. A spelling of halibut.

HOLLOA, or Holla. An answer to any person calling from a distance, to show they hear. Thus, if the master intends to give any order to the people in the main-top, he previously calls, "Main-top, hoay." It is also the first answer received when hailing a ship. (See Hailing and Hoay.)

HOLLOW. The bore of a rocket. In naval architecture, a name for the fifth or top-timber sweep (which see). Also, hollow or curved leeches of sails, in contradistinction to straight.

HOLLOW BASTION. In fortification, a bastion of which the terreplein or interior terrace is not continued beyond a certain distance to the rear of the parapet, and thus leaves a central area at a lower level.

HOLLOW-MOULD. The same as floor-hollow (which see).

HOLLOWS and ROUNDS. Plane-tools used for making mouldings.

HOLLOW SEA. The undulation of the waves after a gale; long hollow-jawed sea; ground-swell.

HOLLOW SHOT. Introduced principally for naval use before the horizontal firing of shells from guns became general. Their weight was about two-thirds that of the solid shot; thus they required less charge of powder and weight of gun than the latter, whilst their smashing effect and first ranges were supposed to be greater. It is clear, however, that if filled with powder, their destructive effect must be immensely increased.

HOLLOW SQUARE. The square generally used by British infantry; a formation to resist cavalry. Each side is composed of four ranks of men, the two foremost kneeling with bayonets forming a fence breast high; the inclosed central space affords shelter to officers, colours, &c. With breech-loading muskets this defence will become less necessary. (See also Rallying Square.)

HOLM. (See Clett.) A name both on the shores of Britain and Norway for a small uninhabited island used for pasture; yet in old writers it sometimes is applied to the sea, or a deep water. Also, an ill-defined name applied to a low islet in a river, as well as the flat land by the river side.

HOLOMETRUM GEOMETRICUM. A nautical instrument of brass, one of which, price £4, was supplied to Martin Frobisher in 1576.

HOLSOM. A term applied to a ship that rides without rolling or labouring.

HOLSTER. A case or cover for a pistol, worn at the saddle-bow.[387]

HOLT [from the Anglo-Saxon]. A peaked hill covered with a wood.

HOLUS-BOLUS. Altogether; all at once.

HOLY-STONE. A sandstone for scrubbing decks, so called from being originally used for Sunday cleaning, or obtained by plundering churchyards of their tombstones, or because the seamen have to go on their knees to use it.

HOME. The proper situation of any object, when it retains its full force of action, or when it is properly lodged for convenience. In the former sense it is applied to the sails; in the latter it usually refers to the stowage of the hold. The anchor is said to come home when it loosens, or drags through the ground by the effort of the wind or current. (See Anchor.)—Home is the word given by the captain of the gun when, by the sense of his thumb on the touch-hole, he determines that the charge is home, and no air escapes by the touch-hole. It is the word given to denote the top-sail or other sheets being "home," or butting.—Sheet home! The order to extend the clues of sails to the yard-arms.—The wind blows home. When it sets continuously over the sea and land with equal velocity. When opposed by vertical or high land, the breeze loses its force as the land is neared: then it does not blow home, as about Gibraltar and Toulon.

HOME-SERVICE. The Channel service; any force, either naval or military, stationed in and about the United Kingdom.

HOME-TRADERS. The contradistinction of foreign-going ships.

HOMEWARD-BOUND. Said of a ship when returning from a voyage to the place whence she was fitted out; or the country to which she belongs.

HOMEWARD-BOUNDER. A ship on her course home.

HOMMELIN. The Raia rubus, or rough ray.

HONEST-POUNDS. Used in contradistinction to "purser's pounds" (which see).

HONEYCOMB. A spongy kind of flaw in the metal of ordnance, generally due to faulty casting.

HONG. Mercantile houses in China, with convenient warehouses adjoining. Also, a society of the principal merchants of the place.

HONOURS OF WAR. Favourable terms granted to a capitulating enemy on evacuating a fortress; they vary in degree, according to circumstances; generally understood to mean, to march out armed, colours flying, &c., but to pile arms at a given point, and leave them, and be sent home, or give parole not to serve until duly exchanged.

HOO. See Howe.

HOOD. A covering for a companion-hatch, skylight, &c. Also, the piece of tarred or painted canvas which used to cover the eyes of rigging to prevent water from damaging them; now seldom used. Also, the name given to the upper part of the galley chimney, made to turn round with the wind, that the smoke may always go to leeward.—Naval hoods or whood. Large thick pieces of timber which encircle the hawse-holes.

HOOD-ENDS. The ends of the planks which fit into the rabbets of the stem and stern posts.[388]

HOOD OF A PUMP. A frame covering the upper wheel of a chain-pump.

HOODS, or Hoodings. The foremost and aftermost planks of the bottom, within and without. Also, coverings to shelter the mortar in bomb-vessels.

HOOK. There are several kinds used at sea, as boat-hooks, can-hooks, cat-hooks, fish-hooks, and the like. A name given to reaches, or angular points in rivers, such as Sandy Hook at New York.—Laying-hook. A winch used in rope-making.—Loof-tackle hooks, termed luffs. A tackle with two hooks, one to hitch into a cringle of the main or fore sail in the bolt-rope, and the other to hitch into a strap spliced to the chess-tree. They pull down the sail, and in a stiff gale help to hold it so that all the stress may not bear upon the tack.

HOOK AND BUTT. The scarphing or laying two ends of planks over each other. (See Butt-and-Butt and Hook-scarph.)

HOOK-BLOCK. Any block, of iron or wood, strapped with a hook.

HOOK-BOLTS. Those used to secure lower-deck ports.

HOOKER, or Howker. A coast or fishing vessel—a small hoy-built craft with one mast, intended for fishing. They are common on our coasts, and greatly used by pilots, especially off the Irish ports. Also, Jack's name for his vessel, the favourite "old hooker." Also, a term for a short pipe, probably derived from hookah.

HOOKEY. See Hoaky.

HOOKING. In ship-carpentry this is the act of working the edge of one plank into that of another, in such a manner that they cannot be drawn asunder.

HOOK OF THE DECKS. See Breast-hooks.

HOOK-POTS. Tin cans fitted to hang on the bars of the galley range.

HOOK-ROPES. A rope 6 or 8 fathoms long, with a hook and thimble spliced at one end, and whipped at the other: it is used in coiling hempen cables in the tiers, dragging chain, &c.

HOOK-SCARPH. In ship-carpentry, the joining of two pieces of wood by a strong method of hook-butting, which mode of connecting is termed hook and butt.

HOOP. The principal hoops of different kinds used for nautical purposes, are noticed under their several names, as mast-hoops, clasp-hoops, &c. In wind-bound ships in former times the left hands of several boys were tied to a hoop, and their right armed with a nettle, they being naked down to the waist. On the boatswain giving one a cut with his cat, the boy struck the one before him, and each one did the same, beginning gently, but, becoming irritated, they at last laid on in earnest. Also, a nautical punishment for quarrelsome fighters was, that two offenders, similarly fastened, thrashed each other until one gave in. The craven was usually additionally punished by the commander.

HOOPS. The strong iron bindings of the anchor-stock to the shank, though square, are called hoops.[389]

HOPE. A small bay; it was an early term for valley, and is still used in Kent for a brook, and gives name to the adjacent anchorages. Johnson defines it to be any sloping plain between two ridges of hills.

HOPPER-PUNT. A flat-floored lighter for carrying soil or mud, with a hopper or receptacle in its centre, to contain the lading.

HOPPO. The chief of the customs in China.

HOPPO-MEN. Chinese custom-house officers.

HORARY ANGLE. The apparent time by the sun, or the sidereal time of the moon, or planets, or stars, from the meridian.

HORARY MOTION. The march or movement of any heavenly body in the space of an hour.

HORARY TABLES. Tables for facilitating the determination of horary angles.

HORIE-GOOSE. A northern name for the Anser bernicla, or brent-goose.

HORIOLÆ. Small fishing-boats of the ancients.

HORIZON. The apparent or visible circle which bounds our vision at sea; it is that line which is described by the sky and water appearing to meet. This is designated as the sensible horizon; the rational, or true one, being a great circle of the heavens, parallel to the sensible horizon, but passing through the centre of the earth.

HORIZON-GLASSES. Two small speculums on one of the radii of a quadrant or sextant; the one half of the fore horizon-glass is silvered, while the other half is transparent, in order that an object may be seen directly through it: the back horizon-glass is silvered above and below, but in the middle there is a transparent stripe through which the horizon can be seen.

HORIZONTAL. A direction parallel to the horizon, or what is commonly termed lying flat. One of the greatest inconveniences navigators have to struggle with is the frequent want of a distinct sight of the horizon. To obviate this a horizontal spinning speculum was adopted by Mr. Lerson, who was lost in the Victory man-of-war, in which ship he was sent out to make trial of his instrument. This was afterwards improved by Smeaton, and consists of a well-polished metal speculum about 31⁄2 inches in diameter, inclosed within a circular rim of brass, so fitted that the centre of gravity of the whole shall fall near the point on which it spins. This is the end of a steel axis running through the centre of the speculum, above which it finishes in a square for the convenience of fitting a roller on it, bearing a piece of tape wound round it. The cup in which it spins is made of agate flint, or other hard substance. Sextants, with spirit-levels attached, have latterly been used, as well as Becher's horizon; but great dexterity is demanded for anything like an approximation to the truth; wherefore this continues to be a great desideratum in navigation.

HORIZONTAL FIRE. From artillery, is that in which the piece is laid either direct on the object, or with but small elevation above it, the limit[390] on land being 10°, and afloat still less. It is the most telling under ordinary circumstances, and includes all other varieties, with the exception of vertical fire, which has elevations of from 30° and upwards; and, according to some few, curved fire, an intermediate kind, of limited application.


HORIZONTAL PLAN. In ship-building, the draught of a proposed ship, showing the whole as if seen from above.

HORIZONTAL RIBBAND LINES. A term given by shipwrights to those lines, or occult ribbands, by which the cant-timbers are laid off, and truly bevelled.

HORN. The arm of a cleat or kevel.

HORN-CARD. Transparent graduated horn-plates to use on charts, either as protractors or for meteorological purposes, to represent the direction of the wind in a cyclone.

HORNED ANGLE. That which is made by a right line, whether tangent or secant, with the circumference of a circle.

HORNEL. A northern term for the largest species of sand-launce or sand-eel.

HORN-FISC. Anglo-Saxon for the sword-fish.

HORN-FISTED. Having hands inured to hauling ropes.

HORNING. In naval architecture, is the placing or proving anything to stand square from the middle line of the ship, by setting an equal distance thereon.

HORN-KECK. An old term for the green-back fish.

HORNOTINÆ. Ancient vessels which were built in a year.

HORNS. The points of the jaws of the booms. Also, the outer ends of the cross-trees. Also, two extreme points of land inclosing a bay.

HORNS OF THE MOON. The extremities of the lunar crescent, in which form she is said to be horned.

HORNS OF THE RUDDER. See Rudder-horn.

HORNS OF THE TILLER. The pins at the extremity.

HORN-WORK. In fortification, a form of outwork having for its head a bastioned front, and for its sides two long straight faces, which are flanked by the guns of the body of the place. Sometimes it is a detached outwork.

HOROLOGIUM UNIVERSALE. An old brass nautical instrument, one of which was supplied to Martin Frobisher, at an expense of £2, 6s. 8d., when fitting out on his first voyage for the discovery of a north-west passage.

HORS DE COMBAT. A term adopted from the French, signifying so far disabled as to be incapable of taking farther share in the action.

HORSE. A foot-rope reaching from the opposite quarter of a yard to its arms or shoulders, and depending about two or three feet under the yard, for the sailors to tread on while they are loosing, reefing, or furling the sails, rigging out the studding-sail booms, &c. In order to keep the[391] horse more parallel to the yard, it is usually attached thereto at proper distances, by certain ropes called stirrups, which have an eye spliced into their lower ends, through which the horse passes. (See Stirrups and Foot-ropes.) Also, a rope formerly fast to the fore-mast fore-shrouds, with a dead-eye to receive the spritsail-sheet-pendant, and keep the spritsail-sheets clear of the flukes of the anchor. Also, the breast-rope which is made fast to the shrouds to protect the leadsman. Also, applied to any pendant and thimble through which running-rigging was led, now commonly called a lizard. Also, a thick rope, extending in a perpendicular direction near the fore or after side of a mast, for the purpose of hoisting some yard, or extending a sail thereon; when before the mast, it is used for the square-sail, whose yard is attached to the horse by means of a traveller or bull's-eye, which slides up and down. When it is abaft the mast, it is intended for the trysail of a snow; but is seldom used in this position, except in those sloops of war which occasionally assume the appearance of snows to deceive the enemy. Also, the name of the sawyer's frame or trestle. Also, the round iron bar formerly fixed to the main-rail at the head with stanchions; a fir rail is now used, and the head berthed up. Also, in cutters or schooners, one horse is a stout iron bar, with a large thimble, which spans the vessel from side to side close to the deck before the fore-mast. To this the forestaysail-sheet is hauled, and traverses. The other horse is a similar bar abaft, on which the main-boom sheet traverses. Also, cross-pieces on the tops of standards, on which the booms or spare-spars or boats are lashed between the fore and main masts. Horses are also termed jack-stays, on which sails are hauled out, as gaff-sails. Horse is a term of derision where an officer assumes the grandioso, demanding honour where honour is not his due. Also, a strict disciplinarian, in nautical parlance. Also, tough salt beef—salt horse.—Flemish horse is the horse which has an iron thimble in one end, which goes over the iron point of the yard-arm before the studding-sail boom-iron is put on; in the other, a lashing eye, which is secured near the head earing of the top-sail. It is intended for the men at the earing in reefing, or when setting the top-gallant-studding-sails.

HORSE-ARTILLERY. A branch of field artillery specially equipped to manœuvre with cavalry, having lighter guns, and all its gunners mounted on horseback. Its service demands a rare combination of soldierly qualities.

HORSE-BUCKETS. Covered buckets for carrying spirits or water in.

HORSE-BUCKLE. The great whelk.


HORSE-FOOT. A name of the Limulus polyphemus of the shores of America, where from its shape it is called the horse-shoe or lantern crab.

HORSE-LATITUDES. A space between the westerly winds of higher latitudes and the trade-winds, notorious for tedious calms. The name arose from our old navigators often throwing the horses overboard which they were transporting to America and the West Indies.[392]

HORSE-MACKEREL. A large and coarse member of the Scomber family, remarkably greedy, and therefore easily taken, but unwholesome.

HORSE-MARINE. An awkward lubberly person. One out of place.

HORSE-MUSSEL. See Duck-mussel.

HORSE-POTATOES. The old word for yams.

HORSE-POWER. A comparative estimate of the capacity of steam-engines, by assuming a certain average effective pressure of steam, and a certain average linear velocity of the piston. The pressure multiplied by the velocity gives the effective force of the engine exerted through a given number of feet per minute; and since the force called a horse-power means 33,000 lbs. acting thus one foot per minute, it follows that the nominal power of the engine will be found by dividing the effective force exerted by the piston, multiplied by the number of feet per minute through which it acts by 33,000.

HORSES. Blocks in whalers for cutting blubber on. (See White-horse.)

HORSE-SHOE. In old fortification, a low work of this plan sometimes thrown up in ditches.

HORSE-SHOE CLAMP. The iron or copper straps so shaped, used as the fastenings which connect the gripe with the fore-foot at the scarph of the keel and stem.

HORSE-SHOE HINGES. Those by which side-scuttles or ventilators to the cabins are hung.

HORSE-SHOE RACK. A sweep curving from the bitt-heads abaft the main-mast carrying a set of nine-pin swivel-blocks as the fair leaders of the light running gear, staysail, halliards, &c.

HORSE-TONGUE. A name applied to a kind of sole.

HORSE-UP. See Horsing-iron.

HORSING-IRON. An iron fixed in a withy handle, sometimes only lashed to a stick or tree-nail, and used with a beetle by caulkers.—To horse-up, or harden in the oakum of a vessel's seams.

HOSE (for watering, &c.) An elastic pipe.

HOSE-FISH. A name for a kind of cuttle-fish.

HOSPITAL. A place appointed for the reception of sick and wounded men, with a regular medical establishment. (See Naval Hospitals.)

HOSPITAL-SHIP. A vessel fitted to receive the sick, either remaining in port, or accompanying a fleet, as circumstance demands. She carries the chief surgeons, &c. The Dreadnought, off Greenwich, is a free hospital-ship for seamen of all nations.

HOSTAGE. A person given up to an enemy as a pledge or security for the performance of the articles of a treaty.

HOSTILE CHARACTER is legally constituted by having landed in an enemy's territory, and by residing there, temporary absence being immaterial; by permanent trade with an enemy; and by sailing under an enemy's flag.

HOST-MEN. An ancient guild or fraternity at Newcastle, to whom we are indebted for the valuable sea-coal trade. (See Hoastmen.)[393]

HOT COPPERS. Dry fauces; morning thirst, but generally applied to those who were drinking hard over-night.

HOT-PRESS. When the press-gangs were instructed, on imminent emergency, to impress seamen, regardless of the protections.

HOT-SHOT. Balls made red-hot in a furnace. Amongst the savages in Bergou, the women are in the rear of the combatants, and they heat the heads of the spears, exchanging them for such as are cooled in the fight.

HOT-WELL. In a steamer, a reservoir from whence to feed the boiler with the warm water received out of the condenser; it also forms part of the discharge passage from the air-pump into the sea.

HOUND-FISH. The old Anglo-Saxon term for dog-fish—húnd-fisc.

HOUNDS. Those projections at the mast-head serving as supports for the trestle-trees of large and rigging of smaller masts to rest upon. With lower masts they are termed cheeks.

HOUNSID. A rope bound round with service.

HOUR-ANGLE. The angular distance of a heavenly body east or west of the meridian.

HOUR-GLASS. The sand-glass: a measure of the hour.

HOUSE, To. To enter within board. To house a topgallant-mast, is to lower it so as to prevent the rigging resting or chafing on the cap, and securing its heel to the mast below it. This admits of double-reefed top-sails being set beneath.

HOUSE-BOAT. One with a cabin; a coche d'eau.

HOUSED. The situation of the great guns upon the lower gun-decks when they are run in clear of the port, and secured. The breech being let down, the muzzle rests against the side above the port; they are then secured by their tackles, muzzle-lashings, and breechings. Over the muzzle of every gun are two strong eye-bolts for the muzzle-lashings, which are 31⁄2-inch rope. When this operation is well performed, no accident is feared, as every act is one of mechanical skill. A gun is sometimes housed fore and aft to make room, as in the cabin, &c. Ships in ordinary, not in commission, are housed over by a substantial roofing.

HOUSEHOLD TROOPS. A designation of the horse and foot guards, who enjoy many immunities and privileges for attending the sovereign.

HOUSEWIFE. See Huz-zif.

HOUSING, or House-line. A small line formed of three fine strands, smaller than rope yarn; principally used for seizings of the block-strops, fastening the clues of sails to their bolt-ropes, and other purposes. (See Marline, Twine.)

HOUSING-IN. After a ship in building is past the breadth of her bearing, and that she is brought in too narrow to her upper works, she is said to be housed in, or pinched. (See Tumbling Home.)

HOUSING OF A LOWER MAST. That part of a mast which is below deck to the step in the kelson; of a bowsprit, the portion within the knight-heads.

HOUSING-RINGS. Ring-bolts over the lower deck-ports, through the[394] beam-clamps, to which the muzzle-lashings of the guns are passed when housed.

HOUVARI. A strong land wind of the West Indies, accompanied with rain, thunder, and lightning.

HOUZING. A northern term for lading water.

HOVE DOWN, properly hove out or careened. The situation of a ship when heeled or placed thus for repairs.—Hove off, when removed from the ground.—Hove up, when brought into the slips or docks by cradles on the gridiron, &c.

HOVE-IN-SIGHT. The anchor in view. Also, a sail just discovered.

HOVE-IN-STAYS. The position of a ship in the act of going about.

HOVE KEEL OUT. Hove so completely over the beam-ends that the keel is above the water.

HOVELLERS. A Cinque-Port term for pilots and their boatmen; but colloquially, it is also applied to sturdy vagrants who infest the sea-coast in bad weather, in expectation of wreck and plunder.

HOVERING, and Hovering Acts. Said of smugglers of old.

HOVE-SHORT. The ship with her cable hove taut towards her anchor, when the sails are usually loosed and braced for canting; sheeted home.—Hove well short, the position of the ship when she is drawn by the capstan nearly over her anchor.

HOVE-TO. From the act of heaving-to; the motion of the ship stopped. It is curious to observe that seamen have retained an old word which has otherwise been long disused. It occurs in Grafton's Chronicle, where the mayor and aldermen of London, in 1256, understanding that Henry III. was coming to Westminster from Windsor, went to Knightsbridge, "and hoved there to salute the king."

HOW. An ancient term for the carina or hold of a ship.

HOWE, Hoe, or Hoo. A knoll, mound, or elevated hillock.

HOW FARE YE? Are you all hearty? are you working together? a good old sea phrase not yet lost.

HOWITZER. A piece of ordnance specially designed for the horizontal firing of shells, being shorter and much lighter than any gun of the same calibre. The rifled gun, however, throwing a shell of the same capacity from a smaller bore, and with much greater power, is superseding it for general purposes.

HOWKER. See Hooker.

HOWLE. An old English word for the hold of a ship. When the foot-hooks or futtocks of a ship are scarphed into the ground-timbers and bolted, and the plank laid up to the orlop-deck, then they say, "the ship begins to howle."

HOY. A call to a man. Also, a small vessel, usually rigged as a sloop, and employed in carrying passengers and goods, particularly in short distances on the sea-coast; it acquired its name from stopping when called to from the shore, to take up goods or passengers. In Holland the hoy has two masts, in England but one, where the main-sail is sometimes extended[395] by a boom, and sometimes without it. In the naval service there are gun-hoy, powder-hoy, provision-hoy, anchor-hoy, all rigged sloop-fashion.

HOYSE. The old word for hoist.

HUBBLE-BUBBLE. An eastern pipe for smoking tobacco through water, which makes a bubbling noise.

HUDDOCK. The cabin of a keel or coal-barge.

"'Twas between Ebbron and Yarrow,
There cam on a varry strong gale;
The skipper luicked out o' th' huddock,
Crying, 'Smash, man, lower the sail!'"
HUDDUM. The old northern term for a kind of whale.

HUER. A man posted on an elevation near the sea, who, by concerted signals, directs the fishermen when a shoal of fish is in sight. Synonymous with conder (which see). Also, the hot fountains in the sea near Iceland, where many of them issue from the land.

HUFFED. Chagrined, offended, often needlessly.

HUFFLER. One who carries off fresh provisions to a ship; a Kentish term.

HUG, To.—To hug the land, to sail as near it as possible, the land however being to windward.—To hug the wind, to keep the ship as close-hauled to the wind as possible.

HUGGER-MUGGER. In its Shakspearian bearing may have meant secretly, or in a clandestine manner, but its nautical application is to express anything out of order or done in a slovenly way.

HUISSIERS. The flat-bottomed transports in which horses were embarked in the Crusades.

HULCOCK. A northern name for the Squalus galeus, or smooth hound-fish.

HULK. Is generally applied to a vessel condemned as unfit for the risks of the sea, and used as a store-vessel and housing for crews while refitting the vessels they belong to. There are also hulks for convicts, and for masting, as sheer-hulk. (See Sheers.)

HULL. The Gothic hulga meant a husk or external covering, and hence the body of a ship, independent of masts, yards, sails, rigging, and other furniture, is so called.—To hull, signifies to hit with shot; to drive to and fro without rudder, sail, or oar; as Milton—

"He looked and saw the ark hull on the flood."
—To strike hull in a storm, is to take in her sails and lash the helm on the lee side of the ship, which is termed to lie a-hull.

HULL-DOWN. Is said of a ship when at such a distance that, from the convexity of the globe, only her masts and sails are to be seen.

HULLING. Lying in wait at sea without any sails set. Also, to hit with shot.

HULLOCK of a Sail. A small part lowered in a gale.

HULL-TO. The situation of a ship when she is lying a-hull, or with all her sails furled.

HULLY. A long wicker-trap used for catching eels.[396]

HUMBER-KEEL. A particular clincher-built craft used on the Humber.

HUMLA-BAND. A northern term for the grommet to an oar-pin or thole.

HUMMOCK. A hill with a rounded summit or conical eminence on the sea-coast. When in pairs they are termed paps by navigators (which see).

HUMMOCKS OF ICE. Protuberant lumps of ice thrown up by some pressure upon a field or floe, or any other frozen plane. The pieces which rise when large fragments come in contact, and bits of pack are frozen together and covered with snow.

HUMMUMS. From the Arabic word hammam, a bagnio or bath.

HUMP-BACKED WHALE. A species of whalebone whale, the Megaptera longimana, which attains to 45 or 50 feet in length, and is distinguished by its low rounded dorsal fin.

HURD. The strand of a rope.

HURDICES. Ramparts, scaffolds, fortifications, &c.

HURDIGERS. Particular artificers employed in constructing the castles in our early ships.

HURLEBLAST. An archaic term for hurricane.

HURRICANE. See Typhoon.

HURRICANE-DECK. A light deck over the saloon of some steamers.

HURRICANE-HOUSE. Any building run up for temporary purposes; the name is occasionally given to the round-house on a vessel's deck.

HURRICANO. Shakspeare evidently makes King Lear use this word as a water-spout.

HURRY. A staith or wharf where coals are shipped in the north.

HURST. Anglo-Saxon to express a wood.

HURT. A wound or injury for which a compensation can be claimed.

HURTLE, To. To send bodily on by a swell or wind.

HUSBAND, or Ship's Husband. An agent appointed by deed, executed by all the owners, with power to advance and lend, to make all payments, to receive the prices of freights, and to retain all claims. But this office gives him no authority to insure or to borrow money; and he is to render a full account to his employers.

HUSH. A name of the lump-fish, denoting the female.

HUSSAR, or Huzzar. A Hungarian term signifying "twentieth," as the first hussars were formed by selecting from various regiments the ablest man in every twenty; now generally a light-cavalry soldier equipped somewhat after the original Hungarian fashion.

HUT. The same as barrack (which see).

HUTT. The breech-pin of a gun.

HUZZA! This was originally the hudsa, or cry, of the Hungarian light horse, but is now also the national shout of the English in joy and triumph.

HUZ-ZIF. A general corruption of housewife. A very useful contrivance for holding needles and thread, and the like.[397]


HYDRAULIC PRESS. The simple yet powerful water-press invented by Bramah, without which it would have been a puzzle to float the enormous Great Eastern.

HYDRAULIC PURCHASE. A machine for drawing up vessels on a slip, in which the pumping of water is used to multiply the force applied.

HYDRAULICS. See Hydrology.

HYDROGRAPHER. One who surveys coasts, &c., and constructs true maps and charts founded on astronomical observations. The hydrographer to the admiralty presides over the hydrographical office.

HYDROGRAPHICAL CHARTS or Maps. Usually called sea-charts, are projections of some part of the sea and its neighbouring coast for the use of navigation, and therefore the depth of water and nature of the bottom are minutely noted.

HYDROGRAPHICAL OFFICE. A department of the admiralty where the labours of the marine surveyors of the Royal Navy are collected and published.

HYDROGRAPHY. The science of marine surveying, requiring the principal points to be astronomically fixed.

HYDROLOGY. That part of physics which explains the properties of water, and is usually divided into hydrostatics and hydraulics. The former treats of weighing water and fluids in general, and of ascertaining their specific gravities; the latter shows the manner of conveying water from one place to another.

HYDROMETER. An instrument constructed to measure the specific gravities of fluids. That used at sea for testing the amount of salt in the water is a glass tube containing a scale, the bottom of the tube swelling out into two bulbs, of which the lower is laden with shot, which causes the instrument to float perpendicularly, and as it displaces its own weight of water, of course it sinks deeper as the water is lighter, which is recorded by the scale.

HYGRE. (See Bore and Eagre.) An effect of counter-currents.

HYGROMETER. An instrument for ascertaining the quantity of moisture in the atmosphere.

HYPERBOLA. One of the conic sections formed by cutting a cone by a plane which is so inclined to the axis, that when produced it cuts also the opposite cone, or the cone which is the continuation of the former, on the opposite side of the vertex.

HYPOTHECA. A mortgage. In the civil law, was where the thing pledged remained with the debtor.

HYPOTHECATION. An authority to the master, amounting almost to a power of the absolute disposal of the ship in a foreign country; he may hypothecate not only the hull, but his freight and cargo, for necessary and urgent repairs.

HYTHE. A pier or wharf to lade or unlade wares at [from the Anglo-Saxon hyd, coast or haven].


I. The third class of rating on Lloyd's books, for the comparative excellence of merchant ships. (See A.)

ICE-ANCHOR. A bar of round iron tapered to a point, and bent as a pot-hook; a hole is cut in the ice, the point entered, and the hawser bent to the shorter hook; by this vessels ride safely till any motion of the ice capsizes it, and then it is hauled in. The ice is usually entered by a lance, which cuts its hole easily.

ICE-BEAMS. Strengtheners for whalers. (See Fortifying.)

ICEBERG. An insulated mountain of ice, whether on Arctic lands or floating in the sea. Some have been known to be aground in 120 fathoms water, and rise to the height of 150 feet above it. Cook's obtaining fresh water from floating icebergs was not a new discovery. The Hudson's Bay ships had long made use of it; and in July, 1585, Captain Davis met with ice "which melted into very good fresh water."

ICE-BIRDS. Small sea-fowl in the polar regions.

ICE-BLINK. A streak or stratum of lucid whiteness which appears over the ice in that part of the atmosphere adjoining the horizon, and proceeds from an extensive aggregation of ice reflecting the rays of light into the circumambient air.

ICE-BOAT. A peculiar track-schuyt for the Dutch canals in winter.

ICE-BOUND. A vessel so surrounded by ice as to be prevented from proceeding on her voyage.

ICE-CHISEL. A large socket-chisel into which a pole is inserted, used to cut holes in the ice.

ICE-CLAWS. A flat claw with two prongs spread like a can-hook; the same as a single span or claw-dog.

ICE-FENDERS. Fenders of any kind, used to protect a vessel from injury by ice; usually broken spars hanging vertically where the strain is expected.

ICE LANE or Vein. A narrow temporary channel of water in the packs or other large collections of ice.

ICE-MASTER. A pilot, or man of experience, for the Arctic Sea.

ICE-PLANK. See Spike-plank.

ICE-QUAKE. The rending crash which accompanies the breaking of floes of ice.

ICE-SAW. A huge saw for cutting through ice; it is made of 2⁄8 to 3⁄8 inch plates of iron, and varies in length from 10 to 24 feet.

ICE-SLUDGE. Small comminuted ice, or bay-ice broken up by the wind.

ICE-TONGUE. See Tongue.

ICHNOGRAPHY. A ground plot or plan of a fortification, showing the details of the construction as if cut horizontally through.

ICK. An Erse or Manx term for a creek or gullet.

IDLER. A general designation for all those on board a ship-of-war, who,[399] from being liable to constant day duty, are not subjected to keep the night-watch, but must go on deck if all hands are called during the night. Surgeons, marine-officers, paymasters, and the civil department, are also thus denominated.

IDOLEERS. The name by which the Dutch authorities are known in their oriental colonies, the designation being a corruption of edle herren.

IGNORANCE. If a loss happen through the ignorance of the master of a ship, it is not considered as a peril of the sea; consequently the assurers are not liable. Nor is his ignorance of admiralty-law admissible as an excuse.

IGUANA. A large lizard used for food in tropical climates.

ILAND. The Saxon ealand (See Island.)

ILDE, and Ile. Archaic terms for island.

ILET. Lacing holes. (See Eyelet-holes.)


IMMER. A water-fowl (See Ember-goose). The Colymbus immer of Linn., the great plunger of Buffon.

IMMERSION. The prismatic solid carried under water on the lee-side of a ship by its inclination.—Centre of immersion, the mean centre of the part immersed. (See Centre of Cavity.) Astronomically, immersion means the disappearance of a heavenly body when undergoing eclipse.

IMP. One length of twisted hair in a fishing-line.

IMPEDIMENTA. The ancient term for the baggage of an army.

IMPORT, Importation, and Importer, being exactly the reverse of export, exportation, and exporter, refer to those terms, and take the opposite meaning. To import is therefore to bring commodities into a country for the purpose of traffic.

IMPOSSIBLE. A hateful word, generally supplanted among good seamen by "we'll try." A thing which is impossible in law, is pronounced to be all one with a thing impossible in nature.

IMPOST. The tax received for such foreign merchandises as are brought into any haven within a prince's dominions.

IMPREGNABLE. Said of a fortress or position supposed to be proof against any attack.

IMPRESS, To. To compel to serve.

IMPRESSION. The effect produced upon any ship, place, or body of troops, by a hostile attack.

IMPRESSMENT. The system and act of pressing seamen, and compelling them—under plea of state necessity—to serve in our men-of-war.

IMPREST. Charge on the pay of an officer.

IMPREST-MONEY. That paid on the enlistment of soldiers.

IN. The state of any sails in a ship when they are furled or stowed, in opposition to out, which implies that they are set, or extended to assist the ship's course. Hence, in is also used as an order to shorten sail, as "In topgallant-sails." It was moreover an old word for embanking and inclosing; thus Sir Nicholas L'Estrange (Harleian[400] MS. 6395) speaks of him who had "the patent for inning the salt marshes."

IN AND OUT. A term sometimes used for the scantling of timbers, the moulding way, and particularly for those bolts that are driven into the hanging and lodging knees, drawn through the ship's sides, and termed in-and-out bolts.

IN-BOARD. Within the ship; the opposite of out-board.

IN-BOATS! The order to hoist the boats in-board.

IN-BOW! The order to the bowman to throw in his oar, and prepare his boat-hook, previous to getting alongside.

INCH. The smallest lineal measure to which a name is given; but it has many subdivisions. Also, a general name for a small coast islet on the northern shores, from the old Gaelic word.

INCIDENCE, Angle of. That which the direction of a ray of light, &c., makes at the point where it strikes with a line drawn perpendicularly to the surface of that body.

INCLINATION. In geometry, is the mutual tendency of two lines or planes towards each other, so as to form an angle.

INCLINATION OF AN ORBIT. The angle which the path of a comet or planet makes with the plane of the ecliptic.

INCLINATORY NEEDLE. An old term for the dipping-needle (which see).

INCLINOMETER. An invention by Wales in Cook's second voyage, where particulars are given.

INCOMPETENCY, or Insufficiency, of a Merchantman's Crew. A bar to any claim on warrantry; as it is an implied condition in the sea-worthiness of a ship, that at sailing she must have a master of competent skill, and a crew sufficient to navigate her on the voyage.

INDEMNIFICATION. A stipulated compensation for damage done.

INDEMNITY. Amnesty; security against punishment.

INDENTED LINE. In fortification, a connected line of works composed of faces which offer a continued series of alternate salient and re-entering angles. It is conveniently applied on the banks of a river entering a town, and was to be seen on the James river in Virginia, near Richmond, in 1864.

INDENTED PARAPET. One of which the interior slope is indented with a series of vertical cavities, enabling the men stationed within them to fire across the proper front.

INDENTING FOR STORES. An indispensable duty to show that every article has been actually received.

INDENTURES, Pair of. A term for charter-party.

INDEX. The flat bar which carries the nonius scale and index-glass of a quadrant, octant, quintant, or sextant.

INDEX-ERROR. The reading of the verniers of the above-named instruments. It is the correction to be applied to the + or - reading of a vernier when the horizon and index-glasses are parallel.[401]

INDEX-GLASS. A plane speculum, or mirror of quick-silvered glass, which moves with the index, and is designed to reflect the image of the sun or other object upon the horizon glass, whence it is again reflected to the eye of the observer.

INDEX-ROD. A graduated indicator.

INDIAMAN. A term occasionally applied to any ship in the East India trade, but in strict parlance the large ships formerly officered by the East India Company for that trade, and generally armed.

INDIAN INK. Properly Chinese; compounded of a peculiar lamp-black and gum.

INDIAN OCEAN. The great Oriental Ocean.

INDRAUGHT. A particular flowing of the ocean towards any contracting part of a coast or coasts, as that which sets from the Atlantic into the Straits of Gibraltar, and on other coasts of Europe and Africa. It usually applies to a strong current, apt to engender a sort of vortex.

INDUCED MAGNETISM. The magnetic action of the earth, whereby every particle of soft iron in certain positions is converted into a magnet.

INDULTO. The duty formerly exacted by the crown of Spain upon colonial commodities.

INEQUALITY, Secular. A small irregularity in the motions of planets, which becomes important only after a long lapse of years. The great inequality of Jupiter and Saturn is a variation of their orbital positions, caused by the disturbing action of one planet on the other.

INERTIA. The passive principle by which bodies persist in a state of motion or rest, and resist as much as they are resisted. (See Vis Inertiæ.)

INFANTRY. Foot soldiers of the regular army; so called throughout Europe after the original Spanish "infanteria," or troops of the infanta or queen of Spain, who first developed on a large scale the importance of the arm.

INFERIOR CONJUNCTION. Mercury or Venus is said to be in inferior conjunction, when it is situated in the same longitude as the sun, and between that luminary and the earth.

INFERIOR PLANETS. This name, the opposite of superior, is applied to Mercury and Venus, because they revolve in orbits interior to the earth's path.

INFORMATION. In admiralty courts, implies a clause introduced into a citation, intimating that in the event of a party cited not appearing, the court will proceed in his absence.

INGS. An old word said to be left here by the Danes; it signifies low grounds or springy meadows near a river, or creek, liable to occasional overflowings.

IN-HAULER. The rope used for hauling in the clue of a boom-sail, or jib-traveller: it is the reverse of out-hauler.

INITIAL VELOCITY. The velocity of a projectile at the moment of discharge from a gun.

INJECTION-PIPE. This is fixed in the interior of a marine steam-engine,[402] is fitted with a cock, and communicates with the water outside: it is for the purpose of playing into the condenser while the engine is working, and creating a vacuum.

INLAND SEA. Mediterranean. Implies a very large gulf surrounded by land, except at the communication with the ocean, as the Baltic, Red, and Mediterranean Seas.

INLAND TRADE. That which is wholly managed at home, and the term is in contradistinction to commerce. In China it is applied to canal-trade.

INLET. A term in some cases synonymous with cove and creek (which see), in contradistinction to outlet, when speaking of the supply and discharge of lakes and broad waters, or an opening in the land, forming a passage to any inclosed water.

INNER AND OUTER TURNS. Terms applied to the passing of the reef-earings, besides its over and under turns.

INNER JIB-STAY. A temporary stay lashed half-way in, on the jib-boom; it sets up with lashing-eyes at the fore top-mast head.

INNER POST, or Inner Stern-post. The post on which the transoms are seated. An oak timber brought on and fayed at the fore-edge of the main-post, and generally continued as high as the wing-transom, to seat the other transoms upon, and strengthen the whole. (See Stern-post.) It applies to the main stern-post in steamers, the screw acting between it and the outer, on which the rudder is hung.

INNINGS. Coast lands recovered from the sea by draining.

INNIS. An old Gaelic term for an island, still in use.

INQUIRY, Court of, is assembled by order of a commanding officer to inquire into matters of an intricate nature, for his information; but has no power of adjudication whatever: but too like the Star Chamber.

INSHORE. The opposite of offing.—Inshore tack. Standing in from sea-ward when working to windward on a coast.

INSHORED. Come to shore.

INSIDE MUSTER-PAPER. A description of paper supplied from the dockyards, ruled and headed, for making ships' books.

INSPECTION. The mode of working up the dead-reckoning by computed nautical tables. Also, a general examination or survey of all parts of a sea or land force by an officer of competent authority.

INSTALMENT. A partial payment.

INSTANCE COURT. A department of the admiralty court, governed by the civil law, the laws of Oleron, and the customs of the admiralty, modified by statute law.

INSTITUTION. An establishment founded partly with a view to instruction; as the Royal United Service Institution in London.

INSTRUCTIONS. See Printed Instructions.

INSTRUMENT. A term of extensive application among tools and weapons; but it is here introduced as an official conveyance of some right, or the record of some fact.[403]

INSUFFICIENCY of a Merchantman's Crew. This bars the owner's claim on the sea-worthy warrant. (See Incompetency.)

INSURANCE. See Marine Insurance.

INSURED. The party who obtains the policy and pays the premium.

INSURER. The party taking the risk of a policy. (See Underwriters.)

INTACT. Unhurt; undamaged.

INTENSITY OF LIGHT. The degree of brightness of a planet or comet, expressed as a number varying with the distance of the body from the sun and earth.

INTERCALARY. Any period of time interpolated in the calendar for the purpose of accommodating the mode of reckoning with the course of the sun.


INTERLOPER. A smuggling or forced trade vessel. As a nautical phrase it was generally applied to the "letters of marque" on the coasts of South America, or a cruiser off her admiral's limits (poaching).

INTERMEDIATE SHAFT. In a steamer, is the iron crank common to both engines.

INTERNAL CONTACT. This, in a transit of Mercury or Venus across the solar disc, occurs when the planet is just within the sun's margin.

INTERNAL PLANKING. This is termed ceiling of the ship.

INTERNAL SAFETY-VALVE. A valve opening from the outside of a steamer's boiler, in order to allow air to enter the boiler when the pressure becomes too weak within.

INTERROGATORIES. The practice in the prize court is, on the breaking out of a war, to prepare standing commissions for the examination of witnesses, to which certain interrogatories are annexed; to these the examination is confined. Private interrogatories are inadmissible as evidence.

INTERSECTION. The point in which one line crosses another.

INTERTROPICAL. The space included between the tropics on each side of the equator, making a zone of nearly 47°.

INTERVAL. In military affairs, the lateral space between works or bodies of troops, as distinguished from distance, which is the depth or measurement in a direction from front to rear.

IN THE WIND. The state of a vessel when thrown with her head into the wind, but not quite all in the wind (see All). It is figuratively used for being nearly intoxicated.

INTRENCHMENT. Any work made to fortify a post against an enemy, but usually implying a ditch or trench, with a parapet.

INUNDATIONS. In ancient Egypt officers estimated the case of sufferers from the inundations of the Nile. The changes of property in Bengal, by alluvion, are equally attended to. Inundation is also a method of impeding the approach of an enemy, by damming up the course of a brook or river, so as to intercept the water, and set the neighbourhood afloat. In Egypt the plan was diametrically opposite; for by flooding Lake Mareotis,[404] our gunboats were enabled greatly to annoy the French garrison at Alexandria.

INVALID. A maimed or sick soldier or sailor.—To invalid is to cause to retire from active service from inability.

INVER. A Gaelic name, still retained in Scotland, for the month of a river.

INVESTMENT. The first process of a siege, in taking measures to seize all the avenues, blocking up the garrison, and preventing relief getting into the place before the arrival of the main army with the siege-train.

INVINCIBLE. A name boastfully applied both to naval and military forces, which have nevertheless been utterly vanquished.

INVOICE. An account from a merchant to his factor, containing the particulars and prices of each parcel of goods in the cargo, with the amount of the freight, duties, and other charges thereon.

INWARD. The opposite of outward (which see).

INWARD CHARGES. Pilotage and other expenses incurred in entering any port.

IODINE. A substance chiefly obtained from kelp or sea-weed, extensively employed in medicine and the arts. Its vapour has a beautiful violet colour.

IRIS EARS. A name applied to the shells of the Haliotis—a univalve mollusc found clinging like limpets to rocks; very abundant in Guernsey.

IRISH HORSE. Old salt beef: hence the sailor's address to his salt beef—

"Salt horse, salt horse, what brought you here?
You've carried turf for many a year.
From Dublin quay to Ballyack
You've carried turf upon your back," &c.
IRISH PENNANTS. Rope-yarns hanging about on the rigging. Loose reef-points or gaskets flying about, or fag-ends of ropes.

IRON-BOUND. A coast where the shores are composed of rocks which mostly rise perpendicularly from the sea, and have no anchorage near to them, therefore dangerous for vessels to borrow upon.

IRON-BOUND BLOCKS. Those which are fitted with iron strops.

IRON-CLAD, CASED, COATED, or PLATED VESSEL. One covered entirely, or in special parts, with iron plates intended to resist ordinary missiles. Where parts only are so protected, of course it may be done more effectually.

IRON GARTERS. A cant word for bilboes, or fetters.

IRON-HORSE. The iron rail of the head; the horse of the fore-sheet or boom-sheet traveller.

IRON-PLATED SHIPS. See Armour-clad.

IRONS. A ship is said to be in irons when, by mismanagement, she is permitted to come up in the wind and lose her way; so that, having no steerage, she must either be boxed off on the former tack, or fall off on the other; for she will not cast one way or the other, without[405] bracing in the yards. Also, bilboes (which see). Also, the tools used by the caulkers for driving oakum into the seams. (See also Boom-irons.)

IRON-SICK. The condition of vessels when the iron work becomes loose in the timbers from corrosion by gallic acid, and the speeks or sheathing nails are eaten away by rust.

IRON-SIDES. Formerly a sobriquet for favourite veteran men-of-war, but latterly applied to iron and iron-clad ships.

IRON WEDGES. Tapered iron wedges on the well-known mechanical principle, for splitting out blocks and for other similar purposes.

IRON-WORK. A general name for all pieces of iron, of whatever figure or size, which are used in the construction and equipment of ships.

IRREGULAR BASTION. One whose opposite faces or flanks do not correspond; this, as well as the constant irregularity of most real fortification, is generally the result of the local features of the neighbourhood.

ISLAND. May be simply described as a tract of land entirely surrounded with water; but the whole continuous land of the Old World forms one island, and the New World another; while canals across the isthmuses of Suez and Panama would make each into two. The term properly only applies to smaller portions of land; and Australia, Madagascar, Borneo, and Britain are among the larger examples. Their materials and form are equally various, and so is their origin; some having evidently been upheaved by volcanic eruption, others are the result of accretion, and still more revealing by their strata that they were formerly attached to a neighbouring land. The sudden emergence of Sabrina, in the Atlantic, has occasioned wonder in our own day. So has that of Graham's Island, near the south coast of Sicily; and the Archipelago is daily at work.

ISLAND HARBOUR. That which is protected from the violence of the sea by one or more islands or islets screening its mouth.

ISLAND OF ICE. A name given to a great quantity of ice collected into one solid mass and floating upon the sea; they are often met with on the coasts of Spitzbergen, to the great danger of the shipping employed in the Greenland fishery.

ISLE. A colloquial abbreviation of island.


ISLET, or Islot. Smaller than an island, yet larger than a key; an insular spot about a couple of miles in circuit.

ISOSCELES. A triangle with only two of its sides equal.

ISSUE. The act of dispensing slops, tobacco, beds, &c., to the ship's company; a distribution.

ISSUE-BOOK. That which contains the record of issues to the crew, and the charges made against them.

ISTHMUS. A narrow neck of land which joins a peninsula to its continent, or two islands together, or two peninsulas, without reference to size. The Isthmus of Suez alone prevents Africa from being an island, as that of Darien connects the two Americas.[406]

IURRAM. A Gaelic word signifying a boat-song, intended to regulate the strokes of the oars. Also, a song sung during any kind of work.

IVIGAR. A name in our northern isles for the sea-urchin, Echinus marinus.

IVORY GULL, or Snow-bird. The Larus eburneus of Arctic seas. It has a yellowish beak, jet black legs, and plumage of a dazzling white.


JAB, To. To pierce fish by prodding.

JABART. A northern term for a fish out of season.

JABB. A peculiar net used for catching the fry of the coal-fish.

JACK. In the British navy the jack is a small union flag, formed by the intersection of St. George's and St. Andrew's crosses (which see), usually displayed from a staff erected on the outer end of a ship's bowsprit. In merchant ships the union is bordered with white or red. (See Union-jack.) Also, a common term for the jack or cross-trees. Also, a young male pike, Esox lucius, under a foot in length. Also, a drinking vessel of half-pint contents. (See Black-jack.)—Jack, or Jack Tar, a familiar term for a sailor. A fore-mast man and an able seaman. It was an early term for short coats, jackets, and a sort of coat-of-mail or defensive lorica, or upper garment.

JACK ADAMS. A stubborn fool.

JACK AFLOAT. A sailor. Euripides used almost the same term in floater, for a seaman.

JACKASSES. Heavy rough boats used in Newfoundland.

JACKASS PENGUIN. A bird, apt while on shore to throw its head backwards, and make a strange noise, somewhat resembling the braying of an ass.

JACK-BARREL. A minnow.

JACK-BLOCK. A block occasionally attached to the topgallant-tie, and through which the top-gallant top-rope is rove, to sway up or strike the yard.

JACK-BOOTS. Large coverings for the feet and legs, outside all, worn by fishermen.

JACK CROSS-TREES. Single iron cross-trees at the head of long topgallant-masts, to support royal and skysail masts.

JACKEE-JA. A Greenland canoe.

JACKET. A doublet; any kind of outer coat.—Cork jacket, is lined with cork in pieces, in order to give it buoyancy, and yet a degree of flexibility, that the activity of the wearer may not be impeded in swimming.[407]

JACKETS. The casings of the passages by which steam is delivered into the cylinders of steam-engines. They are non-conductors of heat to check its escape.

JACKETTING. A starting, or infliction of the rope's-end.

JACK-HERN. A name on our southern coasts for the heron.

JACKING. Taking the skin off a seal.

JACK IN OFFICE. An insolent fellow in authority.

JACK IN THE BASKET. A sort of wooden cap or basket on the top of a pole, to mark a sand-bank or hidden danger.

JACK IN THE BOX. A very handy engine, consisting of a large wooden male screw turning in a female one, which forms the upper part of a strong wooden box, shaped like the frustum of a pyramid. It is used by means of levers passing through holes in it as a press in packing, and for other purposes.

JACK IN THE BREAD-ROOM, or Jack in the Dust. The purser's steward's assistant in the bread and steward's room.

JACK-KNIFE. A horn-handled clasp-knife with a laniard, worn by seamen.

JACKMAN. A musketeer of former times, wearing a short mail jack or jacket.

JACK NASTY-FACE. A cook's assistant.

JACK OF DOVER. An old sea-dish, the composition of which is now lost. Chaucer's host in rallying the cook exclaims,

"And many a Jack of Dover hast thou sold,
That hath been twies hot and twies cold."
JACK O' LANTERN. The corpo santo, or St. Elmo's light, is sometimes so called.

JACK-PINS. A name applied to the fife-rail pins, also called Tack-pins.

JACK ROBINSON.—Before you could say Jack Robinson, is a very old expression for a short time,—

"A warke it ys as easie to be doone,
As tys to saye Jacke Robyson."
JACK'S ALIVE. A once popular sea-port dance.

JACK-SCREW. A small machine used to cant or lift weighty substances, and in stowing cotton or other elastic goods. It consists of a wooden frame containing cogged iron wheels of increasing powers. The outer one, which moves the rest, is put in motion by a winch on the outside, and is called either single or double, according to its increasing force. The pinions act upon an iron bar called the spear.

JACK-SHARK. A common sobriquet of the Squalus tribe.

JACK-SHARP. A small fresh-water fish, otherwise known as prickly-back.

JACK'S QUARTER-DECK. The deck elevation forward in some vessels, often called a top-gallant forecastle.

JACK-STAFF. A short staff raised at the bowsprit-cap, upon which the union-jack is hoisted.[408]

JACK-STAYS. Ropes, battens, or iron bars placed on a yard or spar and set taut, either for bending the head of a sail to, or acting as a traveller. Frequently resorted to for the staysails, square-sail yard, &c.

JACOB'S LADDER. The assemblage of shakes and short fractures, rising one above another, in a defective single-tree spar. Also, short ladders made with wooden steps and rope sides for ascending the rigging.

JACOB'S STAFF, or Cross-staff. A mathematical instrument to take altitudes, consisting of a brass circle, divided into four equal parts by two lines cutting each other in the centre; at each extremity of either line is fixed a sight perpendicularly over the lines, with holes below each slit for the better discovery of distant objects. The cross is mounted on a staff or stand for use. Sometimes, instead of four sights, there are eight.

JACULATOR. A fish whose chief sustenance is flies, which it secures by shooting a drop of water at them from its mouth.

JAG, To. To notch an edge irregularly.—Jagged, a term applied to denticulated edges, as in jagged bolts to prevent their coming out.

JAGARA, or Joggaree. A coarse brown sugar of India.

JAGS. Splinters to a shot-hole.

JAIL-BIRD. One who has been confined in prison, from the old term of cage for a prison; a felon absurdly (and injuriously to the country) sentenced to serve in the navy.

JALIAS. Small craft on the Arracan and Pegu coasts.

JAM, To. Anything being confined, so that it cannot be freed without trouble and force; the term is also applied to the act of confining it. To squeeze, to wedge, to press against. (See Jambing.)

JAMAICA DISCIPLINE. The buccaneer regulations respecting prize shares, insisting that all prizes be divided among the captors.

JAMBEAUX. Armour to protect the legs.

JAMBING, or Jamming. The act of inclosing any object between two bodies, so as to render it immovable while they continue in that position; usually applied to a running rope, when, from pressure, it cannot travel in the blocks; the opposite of rendering (which see).

JAMBS. Door-posts in general; but in particular thick broad pieces of oak, fixed up endways, between which the lights of the powder magazine are fitted.

JAMMED IN A CLINCH. The same as hard up in a clinch (which see).—Jammed in a clinch like Jackson, involved in difficulty of a secondary degree, as when Jackson, after feeding for a week in the bread-room, could not escape through the scuttle.

JANGADA. A sort of fishing float, or rather raft, composed of three or four long pieces of wood lashed together, used on the coasts of Peru and Brazil. The owner is called a jangadeira, but the term is evidently an application of jergado (which see).

JANGAR. A kind of pontoon constructed of two boats with a platform laid across them, used by the natives in the East Indies to convey horses, cattle, &c., across rivers.[409]

JANISSARY. A term derived from jeni cheri, meaning new soldiers, in the Turkish service.

JANTOOK, or Chuntock. A Chinese officer with vice-regal powers: he of Canton was called John Tuck by our seamen.

JANTY, or Jaunty. A vessel in showy condition; dressed in flags.

JAPANESE WHALE-BOAT. A long, open, and sharp rowing-boat of Japan.

JARGANEE. A Manx term for small worms on the sea-shore, and used as bait.

JARRING. The vibrations and tremblings occasioned in some steam-vessels by the machinery.

JAVA POT. A kind of sponge of the species Alcyonium.

JAVELS. An old term for dirty, idle fellows, wandering about quays and docks.

JAW. The inner, hollowed, semicircular end of a gaff or boom, which presses against the mast; the points of the jaw are called horns. Also, coarse and often petulant loquacity.—Long-jawed applies to a rope or cable, when by great strain it untwists, and exhibits one revolution where four were before; similar to long and short threads of the screw.

JAW-BREAKERS. Hard and infrequent words.

JAWING-TACKS. When a person speaks with vociferous fluency, he is said to have hauled his jawing-tacks on board.

JAW-ME-DOWN. An arrogant, overbearing, and unsound loud arguer.

JAW OF A BLOCK. The space in the shell where the sheave revolves.

JAW-ROPE. A line attached to the horns of the jaws to prevent the gaff from coming off the mast. It is usually furnished with bull's eyes (perforated balls) to make it shift easily up or down the mast.

JAYLS. The cracks and fissures of timber in seasoning.

JEER-BITTS. Those to which the jeers are fastened and belayed.

JEER-BLOCKS. Are twofold or threefold blocks, through which the jeer-falls are rove, and applied to hoist, suspend, or lower the main and fore yards.

JEER-CAPSTAN. One placed between the fore and main masts, serving to stretch a rope, heave upon the jeers, and take the viol to. Very seldom used. It is indeed deemed the spare capstan, and is frequently housed in by sheep-pens and fowl-racks.

JEERS. Answer the same purpose to the main-sail, fore-sail, and mizen, as halliards do to all inferior sails. The tye, a sort of runner, or thick rope, is the upper part of the jeers. Also, an assemblage of strong tackles by which the lower yards are hoisted up along the mast, or lowered down, as occasion requires; the former of which operations is called swaying, and the latter striking (both of which see).

JEFFERY'S GLUE. See Marine Glue.

JELBA. A large coasting-boat of the Red Sea.

JELLY-FISH. A common name for the Medusæ, soft gelatinous marine animals, belonging to the class Acalephæ.[410]

JEMMY. A finical fellow in the usual sense, but adopted as a nautical term by the mutineers of '97, to express the nobs, or heads of officers. Also, a handy crow-bar or lever.

JEMMY DUCKS. The ship's poulterer. A sobriquet which has universally obtained in a man-of-war.

JERBE. See Jelba.

JERGADO, or Gingado. An early term for a light skiff (circa 1550).

JERK. A sudden snatch or drawing pull; particularly applied to that given to the trigger of a lock. (See Saccade.)

JERKED BEEF. Charqui. Meat cured by drying in the open air, with or without salt. Also, the name of an American coin.

JERKIN. An old name for a coatee, or skirted jacket.

JERKING. A quick break in a heavy roll of the sea.

JERME. A trading vessel of Egypt.

JERQUER. A customs officer, whose duty is to examine the land-waiters' books, and check them.

JERQUING A VESSEL. A search performed by the jerquer of the customs, after a vessel is unloaded, to see that no unentered goods have been concealed.

JERSEY. Fine wool, formerly called gearnsey, ganzee, or guernsey.—Jersey frocks, woollen frocks supplied to seamen.

JETSAM, or Jetson. In legal parlance, is the place where goods thrown overboard sink, and remain under water. Also, the goods cast into the sea.

JETTISON, or Jetsen. The act of throwing goods overboard to lighten a ship in stress of weather. The loss forms a subject for general average.

JETTY, Jettee, or Jutty. A name given in the royal dockyards to that part of a wharf which projects beyond the rest, but more particularly the front of a wharf, the side of which forms one of the cheeks of a dry or wet dock. Such a projection, whether of wood or stone, from the outer end of a wharf, is called a jetty-head.

JEW-BALANCE. A Mediterranean name of the Zygæna malleus, or hammer-headed shark.

JEWEL. The starting of a wooden bridge. Also, the pivot of a watch-wheel.

JEWEL-BLOCKS. Are attached to eye-bolts on those yards where studding-sails are hoisted, and carry these sails to the extreme ends of the yards. When these jewel-blocks are removed, it is understood that there is no intention to proceed to sea, and vice versâ. The halliards, by which the studding-sails are hoisted, are passed through the jewel-block, whence, communicating with a block on the several mast-heads, they lead downwards to the top or decks, where they may be conveniently hoisted. (See Sail.)

JEWELS. See Jocalia.

JEW'S-HARP. The shackle for joining a chain-cable to the anchor-ring.

JIB. A large triangular sail, set on a stay, forward. It extends from the outer end of the jib-boom towards the fore top-mast head; in cutters and[411] sloops it is on the bowsprit, and extends towards the lower mast-head. (See Sail.) The jib is a sail of great command with any side wind, in turning her head to leeward. There are other jibs, as inner jib, standing-jib, flying-jib, spindle-jib, jib of jibs, jib-topsails, &c.—Jib is also used for the expression of the face, as the cut of his jib. Also, the arm of a crane.—To jib, is when, before the wind, the sail takes over to the opposite quarter; dangerous in strong breezes. (See Gybing.)—Clear away the jib! The order to loose it, preparatory to its being set.—Flying-jib. A sail set upon the flying jib-boom.—Middle or inner jib. A sail sometimes set on a stay secured to the middle of the jib-boom.

JIB AND STAYSAIL JACK. A designation of inexperienced officers, who are troublesome to the watch by constantly calling it unnecessarily to trim, make, or shorten sail.

JIBBER THE KIBBER. A cant term for a diabolical trick for decoying vessels on shore for plunder, by tying a lantern to a horse's neck, one of whose legs is checked; so that at night the motion has somewhat the appearance of a ship's light.—Jib or jibber means a horse that starts or shrinks; and Shakspeare uses it in the sense of a worn-out horse.

JIB-BOOM. A continuation of the bowsprit forward, being a spar run out from the extremity in a similar manner to a top-mast on a lower-mast, and serving to extend the foot of the jib and the stay of the foretop-gallant-mast, the tack of the jib being lashed to it. It is usually attached to the bowsprit by means of the cap and the saddle, where a strong lashing confines it.—Flying jib-boom. A boom extended beyond the preceding, to which it is secured by a boom-iron and heel-lashing; to the outer end of this boom the tack of the flying-jib is hauled out, and the fore-royal-stay passes through it.

JIB-FORESAIL. In cutters, schooners, &c., it is the stay-foresail.

JIB-GUYS. Stout ropes which act as backstays do to a mast, by supporting the jib-boom against the pressure of its sail and the ship's motion.

JIBING, or Gybing. A corruption of jibbing. The act of shifting over the boom of a fore-and-aft sail from one side of the vessel to the other. By a boom-sail is meant any sail the bottom of which is extended by a boom, which has its fore-end jawed or hooked to its respective mast, so as to swing occasionally on either side of the vessel, describing an arc, of which the mast will be the centre. As the wind or the course changes, the boom and its sail are jibed to the other side of the vessel, as a door turns on its hinges.

JIB OF JIBS. A sixth jib on the bowsprit, only known to flying-kite-men: the sequence being—storm, inner, outer, flying, spindle, jib of jibs.

JIB-STAY. The stay on which the jib is set.

JIB-TOPSAIL. A light sail set on the topmost stay of a fore-and-aft rigged vessel.

JIB-TRAVELLER. An iron ring fitted to run out and in on the jib-boom, for the purpose of bringing outwards or inwards the tack, or the outer corner of the sail; to this traveller the jib-guys are lashed.[412]

JIB-TYE. A rope rove through a sheave or block on the fore-topmast head, for hoisting the jib.

JIFFY. A short space of time, a moment. "In a jiffy," in an instant; equivalent with crack, trice, &c.

JIG. The weight furnished with hooks, used in jigging (which see).

JIGGAMAREE. A mongrel makeshift manœuvre. Any absurd attempt to substitute a bad contrivance for what the custom of the sea may be.

JIGGER. A light tackle used to hold on the cable when it is heaved into the ship. (See Holding-on.) Also, a small sail rigged out on a mast and boom from the stern of a cutter, boat, &c.—Fleet-jigger. A term used by the man who holds on the jigger, when by its distance from the windlass it becomes necessary to fleet, or replace it in a proper state for action. When the man gives the above notice, another at the windlass immediately fixes his handspike between the deck and the cable, so as to jam the latter to the windlass, and prevent it from running out till the jigger is replaced on the cable near the windlass.

JIGGER, Chigre. A very teazing sand-flea, which penetrates and breeds under the skin of the feet, but particularly at the toes. It must be removed, or it occasions dreadful sores. The operation is effected by a needle; but the sac which contains the brood must not be broken, or the whole foot would be infected, if any remained in it.

JIGGERED-UP. Done up; tired out.

JIGGER-MAST. In large vessels it is an additional aftermost mast; thus any sail set on the ensign-staff would be a jigger.

JIGGER-TACKLE. A small tackle consisting of a double and a single block, and used by seamen on sundry occasions about the decks or aloft.

JIGGING. A mode of catching fish by dropping a weighted line with several hooks set back to back amongst them, and jerking it suddenly upwards; the weight is frequently cast in the form of a small fish. Also, short pulls at a tackle fall.

JILALO. A large passage-boat of Manilla, fitted with out-riggers.

JILL. A fourth part of a pint measure; a seaman's daily allowance of rum, which formerly was half a pint.

JIMMAL, or Jimble. See Gimbals.

JINGAL. A kind of long heavy musket supported about the centre of its length on a pivot, carrying a ball of from a quarter to half a pound, and generally fired by a matchlock; much used in China and the Indies. It is charged by a separate chamber, dropped into the breech and keyed.

JINNY-SPINNER. One of the names for the cockroach.

JIRK, To. To cut or score the flesh of the wild hog on the inner surface, as practised by the Maroons. It is then smoked and otherwise prepared in a manner that gives the meat a fine flavour.

JOB. A stipulated work.

JOBATION. A private but severe lecture and reprimand.

JOB CAPTAIN. One who gets a temporary appointment to a ship, whose regular commander is a member of parliament, [413]&c.

JOB-WATCH, or Hack-watch, for taking astronomical sights, which saves taking the chronometer on deck or on shore to note the time.

JOCALIA. An Anglo-Norman law-term signifying jewels, which, with gold and silver, were exempted in our smuggling enactments.

JOCKS. Scotch seamen.

JOG. The shoulder or step of the rudder.

JOGGING. A protuberance on the surface of sawn wood.

JOGGLE. The cubic joints of stones on piers, quays, and docks. Also, notches at the ends of paddle-beam iron-knees outside, to act as a stop to the diagonal iron-stay, which is extended between the arms of each knee. (See Jugle.)

JOG-THE-LOO! A command in small vessels to work the pump-brake, or to pump briskly.

JOHN. A name given to dried fish. (See Poor John.)

JOHN BULL. The origin of this nickname is traced to a satire written in the reign of Queen Anne, by Dr. Arbuthnot, to throw ridicule on the politics of the Spanish succession.

JOHN COMPANY. The former board of directors for East India affairs.

JOHN DORY. A corruption of jaune doré, which is the colour of this fish. It is one of the Scombridæ, Zeus faber. John Dory was also the name of a celebrated French pirate.

JOHNNY RAW, or Johnny Newcome. An inexperienced youngster commencing his career; also applied to landsmen in general. (See Raw.)

JOHNNY SHARK. A common sobriquet of the Squalus tribe.

JOHN-O'-GROAT'S BUCKIE. A northern name for the Cypræa pediculus, a small shell found on our sea-coasts.

JOHN TUCK. The galley corruption of chantuck, or jantook, a Chinese viceroy, specially meaning the viceroy of Canton.

JOIN, To. To repair to a ship, and personally to enter on an official position on board her. So also the junction of one or more ships with each other.

JOINER. One who is a cabinet-maker, and performs neat work as captain's joiner.

JOINT. The place where any two pieces of timber or plank are united. It is also used to express the lines which are laid down in the mould-loft for shaping the timbers.

JOLLY. This term is usually applied to a comely and corpulent person, but afloat it is a familiar name for a soldier.—Tame jolly, a militiaman; royal jolly, a marine.

JOLLY-BOAT. A smaller boat than the cutter, but likewise clincher-built. It is generally a hack boat for small work, being about 4 feet beam to 12 feet length, with a bluff bow and very wide transom; a kind of washing-tub. (See Gellywatte and Cutter.)

JOLLY JUMPERS. Sails above the moon-rakers.

JOLLY ROGER. A pirate's flag; a white skull in a black field.

JONATHAN. A name often applied to Americans in general, but really[414] appropriate to the Quakers in America, being a corruption of John Nathan.

JONK. See Junk.

JORUM, of Grog, &c. A full bowl or jug.

JOURNAL. Synonymous at sea with log-book; it is a daily register of the ship's course and distance, the winds and weather, and a general account of whatever is of importance. In sea-journals, the day, or twenty-four hours, used to terminate at noon, because the ship's position is then generally determined by observation; but the shore account of time is now adopted afloat. In machinery, journal is the bearing part of a shaft, upon which it rests on its Y's or bearings.

JOURNEY-WORK. Work performed by the day.

JOVIALL. Relating to the system of the planet Jupiter.

JOVICENTRIC. As seen from, or having relation to, the centre of Jupiter.

JOWDER. A term on our western coasts to denote a retail dealer in fish.

JOWL. The head of a fish. (Also, see Block.)—Cheek by jowl. Close together.

JUAN-MOOAR. The Manx and Erse term for the black-backed gull.

JUBALTARE. The early English word for Gibraltar.

JUDGE-ADVOCATE of the Fleet, or to the Forces. A legal officer whose duty it is to investigate offences previous to determining on sending them before a court-martial, and then to report on the sentence awarded. He has civil deputies in Great Britain; but officers (generally secretaries to admirals, or pursers) are appointed by the courts abroad.

JUDGE-ADVOCATE, DEPUTY. An officer appointed to assist the court upon some general courts-martial for the trial of officers, seamen, and marines, accused of a breach of the articles of war.

JUDGMENT. In prize matters, the sentences of foreign courts, even though such decisions be manifestly unjust, are conclusive in ours by comity. The tribunals of France are not so complacent.

JUFFER. See Uphroe.

JUGGLE-MEER. A west-country word for a coast quagmire.

JUGLE, or Joggle. In ship-building, a notch in the edge of a plank to admit the narrow butt of another, as of the narrow end of a steeling-strake.

JULIAN PERIOD. A period of 7980 years, dating from b.c. 4713; being the product of the numbers 15, 19, and 28 multiplied into each other, they being respectively the lengths, in Julian years, of the Indiction, Metonic Cycle, and Solar Cycle. The Julian year was a period of 3651⁄4 days, which was adopted as the length of the year after the reformation of the calendar by Julius Cæsar.

JULIO. An Italian coin, worth about sixpence.

JUMPERS. The short external duck-frock worn by sail-makers, artificers, riggers, &c., to preserve the clothing beneath.

JUMP-JOINTED. When the plates of an iron vessel are flush, as in those that are carvel-built.[415]

JUNCO. See Purre.

JUNGADA. A balza, or simple kind of raft, of several logs of wood, fitted with a tilt, and used on the coasts of Peru. It has a mast and sails, and by means of a rudder, not unlike a sliding keel in principle, is capable of working to windward. (See Guara.)

JUNGLE. A wilderness of wood; in Bengal the word is also applied to a tract covered with long grass, which grows to an extraordinary height. Jungles are dreaded for the fevers they engender.

JUNK. The Chinese junk is the largest vessel built by that nation, and at one period exceeding in tonnage any war-vessels then possessed by England. The extreme beam is one-third from the stern; it shows no stem, it being chamfered off. The bow on deck is square, over which the anchors slide fore and aft. Having no keel, and being very full at the stern, a huge rudder is suspended, which at sea is lowered below the depth of the bottom. The masts are immense, in one piece. The cane sails are lug and heavy. The hull is divided into water-tight compartments, like tanks.—Junk is also any remnants or pieces of old cable, or condemned rope, cut into small portions for the purpose of making points, mats, swabs, gaskets, sinnet, oakum, and the like (which see). Also, a dense cellular tissue in the head of the sperm-whale, infiltrated with spermaceti. Also, salt beef, as tough to the teeth as bits of rope, whence the epithet.

JUNKET. A long basket for catching fish.—Junketting, good cheer and hearty jollification.

JUPITER. The longest known of the superior planets, and the largest in the solar system; it is accompanied by four satellites.

JURATORY CAUTION. A process in the instance court of the admiralty, to which a party is discretionally admitted on making oath that he is unable to find sureties.

JUREBASSO. A rating in former times given to a handy man, who was partly interpreter and partly purchaser of stock.

JURISDICTION. Right, power, or authority which magistrates or courts have to administer justice.—Within jurisdiction of civil powers, as regards naval matters, is within a line drawn from headland to headland in sight of each other, and forming part of the same county. The admiralty jurisdiction is confined to three miles from the coast in civil matters, but exists wherever the flag flies at sea in criminal.

JURY-MAST. A temporary or occasional mast erected in a ship in the place of one which has been carried away in a gale, battle, &c. Jury-masts are sometimes erected in a new ship to navigate her down a river, or to a neighbouring port, where her proper masts are prepared for her. Such jury-masts are simply less in dimension for a light-trimmed vessel; as a frigate would have a brig's spars.

JURY-RUDDER. A contrivance, of which there are several kinds, for supplying a vessel with the means of steering when an accident has befallen the rudder.[416]

JUS PISCANDI. The right of fishing.

JUWAUR. The spring-flood of the Ganges and adjacent rivers.


KAAG. A Manx or Gaelic term for a forelock, stopper, or linch-pin.

KABBELOW. Cod-fish which has been salted and hung for a few days, but not thoroughly dried. Also, a dish of cod mashed.

KABOZIR. A chief or governor on the African coast.

KABURNS. The old name for nippers.

KAFILA. A well-known Eastern word, meaning a party with camels travelling or sojourning; but it was also applied by our early voyagers to convoys of merchant ships.

KAIA. An old term for a quay or wharf.

KAIQUE. See Caique.

KALBAZ, or Halbaz. Pronounced kalva; one of the best Turkish delicacies, composed of honey, must, and almonds, beat up together.

KALENDAR. Time accommodated to the uses of life. (See Almanac.)

KALI. Salsola kali, a marine plant, generally burned to supply soda for the glass manufactories. Sub-carbonate of potass.

KAMSIN. A south-westerly wind which blows over Egypt in March and April, generally not more than three successive days at a time. Its name signifies the wind of fifty days, not as blowing for such a period, but because it only occurs during fifty days of March and April.

KANJIA. A passage-boat of the Nile.

KANNA. A name for ginseng (which see).

KARAVALLA. See Caravel.

KARBATZ. A common boat of Lapland.

KAT. A timber vessel used on the northern coasts of England.

KATABATHRA. Subterraneous passages in certain mountains in Greece, through which the superfluous waters are discharged.

KATAN. A Japanese sword, otherwise cattan.

KATTAN. A corruption of yataghan (which see).

KATTY. See Catty.

KAULE. A license for trade, given by the authorities in India to our early voyagers.

KAVA. A beverage, in the South Sea Islands, made by steeping the Piper inebrians in water.

KAVER. A word used in the Hebrides for a gentle breeze.

KAY, or Key [probably from the Dutch kaayen, to haul]. A place to which ships are hauled. Knoll or head of a shoal—kaya, Malay.

KAYAK. A fishing-boat in all the north polar countries; most likely a corrupted form of the eastern kaique by our early voyagers.[417]

KAYNARD. A term of reproach amongst our early voyagers, probably from canis.

KAYU-PUTIH, or Cajeputi Oil. From the Malay words kayu, wood; and putih, oil; the useful oil obtained from the Melaleuca leucadendron.

KAZIE. A Shetland fishing-boat.

K.C.B. Sigla of Knight Commander of the most honourable military order of the Bath.

KEAVIE. A coast name for a species of crab that devours cuttle-fish greedily.

KEAVIE-CLEEK. In the north a crooked piece of iron for catching crabs.

KECKLING, or Cackling. Is covering a cable spirally (in opposition to rounding, which is close) with three-inch old rope to protect it from chafe in the hawse-hole.

KEDELS. See Kiddles.

KEDGE, or Kedger. A small anchor used to keep a ship steady and clear from her bower-anchor while she rides in harbour, particularly at the turn of the tide. The kedge-anchors are also used to warp a ship from one part of a harbour to another. They are generally furnished with an iron stock, which is easily displaced for the convenience of stowing. The old English word kedge signified brisk, and they are generally run in to a quick step. (See Anchor, Warp.)—To kedge. To warp a ship ahead, though the tide be contrary, by means of the kedge-anchor and hawser.

KEDGER. A mean fellow, more properly cadger; one in everybody's mess, but in no one's watch. An old term for a fisherman.

KEDGE-ROPE. The rope which belongs to the kedge-anchor, and restrains the vessel from driving over her bower-anchor.

KEDGING. The operation of tide-working in a narrow channel or river, by kedge-hauling.

KEEL. The lowest and principal timber of a ship, running fore and aft its whole length, and supporting the frame like the backbone in quadrupeds; it is usually first laid on the blocks in building, being the base of the superstructure. Accordingly, the stem and stern-posts are, in some measure, a continuation of the keel, and serve to connect the extremities of the sides by transoms, as the keel forms and unites the bottom by timbers. The keel is generally composed of several thick pieces placed length ways, which, after being scarphed together, are bolted and clinched upon the upper side. In iron vessels the keel is formed of one or more plates of iron, having a concave curve, or limber channel, along its upper surface.—To give the keel, is to careen.—Keel formerly meant a vessel; so many "keels struck the sands." Also, a low flat-bottomed vessel used on the Tyne to carry coals (21 tons 4 cwt.) down from Newcastle for loading the colliers; hence the latter are said to carry so many keels of coals. [Anglo-Saxon ceol, a small bark.]—False keel. A fir keel-piece bolted to the bottom of the keel, to assist stability and make a ship hold a better[418] wind. It is temporary, being pinned by stake-bolts with spear-points; so when a vessel grounds, this frequently, being of fir or Canada elm, floats and comes up alongside.—Rabbets of the keel. The furrow, which is continued up stem and stern-post, into which the garboard and other streaks fay. The butts take into the gripe ahead, or after-deadwood and stern-post abaft.—Rank keel. A very deep keel, one calculated to keep the ship from rolling heavily.—Upon an even keel. The position of a ship when her keel is parallel to the plane of the horizon, so that she is equally deep in the water at both ends.

KEELAGE. A local duty charged on all vessels coming into a harbour.

KEEL-BLOCKS. Short log ends of timbers on which the keel of a vessel rests while building or repairing, affording access to work beneath.

KEEL-DEETERS. The wives and daughters of keelmen, who sweep and clean the keels, having the sweepings of small coal for their trouble.

KEEL-HAULING. A severe punishment formerly inflicted for various offences, especially in the Dutch navy. The culprit was suspended by a rope from one fore yard-arm attached to his back, with a weight upon his legs, and having another rope fastened to him, leading under the ship's bottom, and through a block at its opposite yard-arm; he was then let fall into the sea, when, passing under the ship's bottom, he was hoisted up on the opposite side of the vessel to the other yard-arm. Aptly described as "under-going a great hard-ship."

KEELING. Rolling on her keel. Also, a sort of cod-fish; some restrict the term to the Gadus morhua, or large cod.

KEEL LEG or Hook. Means any anchor; as, "she has come to a keelock."

KEELMEN. A rough and hardy body of men, who work the keels of Newcastle. Sometimes termed keel-bullies. They are recognized as mariners in various statutes.

KEEL-PIECES. The parts of the keel which are of large timber.

KEEL-RAKE. Synonymous with keel-haul. See Keel-hauling.

KEEL-ROPE. A coarse rope formerly used for cleaning the limber-holes.

KEELS. An old British name for long vessels—formerly written ceol and cyulis. Verstegan informs us that the Saxons came over in three large ships, styled by themselves keeles.

KEELSON, or Kelson. An internal keel, laid upon the middle of the floor-timbers, immediately over the keel, and serving to bind all together by means of long bolts driven from without, and clinched on the upper side of the keelson. The main keelson, in order to fit with more security upon the floor-timbers, is notched opposite to each of them, and there secured by spike-nails. The pieces of which it is formed are usually less in breadth and thickness than those of the keel.

KEELSON-RIDER. See False Kelson.

KEEL-STAPLES. Generally made of copper, from six to twelve inches long, with a jagged hook to each end. They are driven into the sides of the main and false keels to fasten them.

KEEP. A strong donjon or tower in the middle of a castle, usually the[419] last resort of its garrison in a siege. Also, a reservoir for fish by the side of a river.—To keep, a term used on several occasions in navigation; as, "Keep her away," alter the ship's course to leeward, by sailing further off the wind. The reverse is, "Keep your wind, keep your luff," close to the wind.

KEEP A GOOD HOLD OF THE LAND. Is to hug it as near as it can safely be done.

KEEP HER OWN. Not to fall off; not driven back by tide.

KEEPING A GOOD OFFING. To keep well off shore while under sail, so as to be clear of danger should the wind suddenly shift and blow towards the shore.

KEEPING A WATCH. To have charge of the deck. Also, the act of being on watch-duty.

KEEPING FULL FOR STAYS. A necessary precaution to give the sails full force, in aid of the rudder when going about.

KEEPING HER WAY. The force of steady motion through the water, continued after the power which gave it has varied or diminished.

KEEPING THE SEA. The term formerly used when orders were issued for the array of the inhabitants of the sea-coasts.

KEEP OFF. To fall to a distance from the shore, or a ship, &c. (See Offing.)

KEEP THE LAND ABOARD. Is to sail along it, or within sight, as much as possible, or as close as danger will permit.

KEEP YOUR LUFF. An order to the helmsman to keep the ship close to the wind, i.e. sailing with a course as near as possible to the direction from which the wind is coming. (See Close-hauled.)

KEG. A small cask, of no fixed contents. Used familiarly for taking offence, as to keg, is to irritate.—To carry the keg. To continue; originally a smuggler's phrase.

KEGGED. Feeling affronted or jeered at.

KELDS. The still parts of a river, which have an oily smoothness while the rest of the water is ruffled.

KELF. The incision made in a tree by the axe when felling it.

KELING. A large kind of cod. Thus in Havelok:—

"Keling he tok, and tumberel,
Hering, and the makerel."
KELKS. The milt or roe of fish.

KELLAGH. The Erse term for a wooden anchor with a stone in it, but in later times is applied to any grapnel or small anchor.

KELP. Salsola kali; the ashes produced by the combustion of various marine algæ, and used in obtaining iodine, soda, &c.

KELPIE. A mischievous sea-sprite, supposed to haunt the fords and ferries of the northern coasts of Great Britain, especially in storms.

KELT. A salmon that has been spawning; a foul fish.

KELTER. Ships and men are said to be in prime kelter when in fine order and well-rigged.[420]

KEMP. An old term for a soldier, camper, or camp man. Also a kind of eel.

KEMSTOCK. An old term for capstan.

KEN, To. Ang.-Sax. descrying, as Shakspeare in Henry VI.:—

"And far as I could ken thy chalky cliffs."
—Ken, a speck, a striking object or mark.

KENNETS. Large cleats. (See Kevels.) Also, a coarse Welsh cloth of commerce; see statute 33 Henry VIII. c. 3.

KENNING BY KENNING. A mode of increasing wages formerly, according to whaling law, by seeing how a man performed his duty.

KENNING-GLASS. A hand spy-glass or telescope.

KEN-SPECKLED. Conspicuous; having distinct marks.

KENTLEDGE. Pigs of iron cast for permanent ballast, laid over the kelson-plates, or if in the limbers, then called limber-kentledge.

KENTLEDGE GOODS. In lieu of ballast.

KENT-PURCHASE. A misspelling of cant-purchase, or one used to turn a whale round during the operation of flensing.

KEPLER'S LAWS. Three famous laws of nature detected by Kepler early in the seventeenth century:—1. The primary planets revolve about the sun in ellipses, having that luminary in one of the foci. 2. The planets describe about the sun equal areas in equal times. 3. The squares of the periodic times of the planets are to each other as the cubes of their mean distances from the sun.

KEPLING. See Caplin.

KERFE. The furrow or slit made by the saw in dividing timber.

KERLANGUISHES. The swift-sailing boats of the Bosphorus. The name signifies swallows.

KERMES. A little red gall, occasioned by the puncture of the Coccus ilicis on the leaves of the Quercus coccifera, or Kermes oak; an article of commerce from Spain, used in dyeing.

KERNEL. Corrupted from crenelle; the holes in a battlement made for the purpose of shooting arrows and small shot.

KERNES. Light-armed Irish foot soldiers of low degree, who cleared the way for the heavy gallow-glasses.

KERS. An Anglo-Saxon word for water-cresses.

KERT. An old spelling for chart.

KERVEL. See Carvel.

KETCH. A vessel of the galliot order, equipped with two masts—viz. the main and mizen masts—usually from 100 to 250 tons burden. Ketches were principally used as yachts for conveying great personages from one place to another. The peculiarity of this rig, affording so much space before the main-mast, and at the greatest beam, caused them to be used for mortar-vessels, hence—Bomb-ketches, which are built remarkably strong, with a greater number of riders than any other vessel of war, as requisite to sustain the violent shock produced by the discharge of their mortars. (See Bomb-vessel, Mortar, and Shell.)[421]

KETERINS. Marauders who formerly infested the Irish coast and channel.

KETOS, or Cetus. An ancient ship of large dimensions.

KETTLE. The brass or metal box of a compass.

KETTLE-BOTTOM. A name applied to a ship with a flat floor.

KETTLE-NET. A net used in taking mackerel.

KETTLE OF FISH. To have made a pretty kettle of fish of it, implies a perplexity in judgment.

KEVEL-HEADS. The ends of the top timbers, which, rising above the gunwale, serve to belay the ropes, or to be used as kevels.

KEVELING. A coast name for the skate.

KEVELS, or Cavils. Large cleats, or also pieces of oak passing through a mortice in the rail, and answer the purpose of timber-heads for belaying ropes to.

KEY. In ship-building, means a dry piece of oak or elm, cut tapering, to drive into scarphs that have hook-butts, to wedge deck-planks, or to join any pieces of wood tightly to each other. Iron forelocks.

KEY, or Cay [derived from the Spanish cayos, rocks]. What in later years have been so termed will be found in the old Spanish charts as cayos. The term was introduced to us by the buccaneers as small insular spots with a scant vegetation; without the latter they are merely termed sand-banks. Key is especially used in the West Indies, and often applied to the smaller coral shoals produced by zoophytes.

KEY, or Quay. A long wharf, usually built of stone, by the side of a harbour, and having posts and rings, cranes, and store-houses, for the convenience of merchant ships.

KEYAGE, or Quayage. Money paid for landing goods at a key or quay. The same as wharfage.

KEYLE. (See Keel.) The vessel of that name.

KEY-MODEL. In ship-building, a model formed by pieces of board laid on each other horizontally. These boards, being all shaped from the lines on the paper, when put together and fairly adjusted, present the true form of the proposed ship.

KEY OF THE RUDDER. (See Wood-locks.) In machinery, applies to wedges, forelocks, &c.

KHALISHEES. Native Indian sailors.

KHAVIAR. See Caviare.

KHIZR. The patron deity of the sea in the East Indies, to whom small boats, called beera, are annually sacrificed on the shores and rivers.

KIBE. A flaw produced in the bore of a gun by a shot striking against it.

KIBLINGS. Parts of a small fish used for bait on the banks of Newfoundland.

KICK. The springing back of a musket when fired. Also, the violent recoil by which a carronade is often thrown off the slide of its carriage. A comparison of excellence or novelty; the very kick.

KICKSHAW. Applied to French cookery, or unsubstantial trifles.[422]

KICK THE BUCKET, To. To expire; an inconsiderate phrase for dying.

KICK UP A DUST, To. To create a row or disturbance.

KID. A presuming man.—Kiddy fellow, neat in his dress. Also, a compartment in some fishing-vessels, wherein the fish are thrown as they are caught. Also, a small wooden tub for grog, with two ears; or generally for a mess utensil of that kind. (See Kit.)

KIDDLES. Stakes whereby the free passage of boats and vessels is hindered. Also, temporary open weirs for catching fish.

KIDLEYWINK. A low beershop in our western ports.

KIDNAP, To. To crimp or carry off by artifice.

KIDNEY. Men of the same kidney, i.e. of a similar disposition.

KIFTIS. The large passage-boats of India, fitted with cabins on each side from stem to stern.

KIHAIA. An officer of Turkish ports in superintendence of customs, &c.; often deputy-governor.

KILDERKIN. A vessel containing the eighth part of a hogshead.

KILE. See Kyle.

KILL. A channel or stream, as Cats-kill, Schuylkill, &c.

KILL-DEVIL. New rum, from its pernicious effects.

KILLER. A name for the grampus, Orca gladiator, given on account of the ferocity with which it attacks and destroys whales, seals, and other marine animals. (See Grampus.)

KILLESE. The groove in a cross-bow.

KILLING-OFF. Striking the names of dead officers from the navy list by a coup de plume.

KILLOCK. A small anchor. Flue of an anchor. (See Kellagh.)

KILLY-LEEPIE. A name on our northern shores for the Tringa hypoleucos or common sand-piper.

KILN. The dockyard building wherein planks are steamed for the purpose of bending them to round the extremities of a ship.

KIN. See Kinn.

KING ARTHUR. A game played on board ship in warm climates, in which a person, grotesquely personating King Arthur, is drenched with buckets of water until he can, by making one of his persecutors smile or laugh, change places with him.

KING-CRAB. The Limulus polyphemus of the West Indies.

KING-FISH. The Zeus luna. Carteret took one at Masafuero 51⁄2 feet long, and weighing 87 lbs. Also, the Scomber maximus of the West Indies.

KING-FISHER. The Alcedo ispida; a small bird of brilliant plumage frequenting rivers and brooks, and feeding upon fish, which it catches with great dexterity. (See Halcyon.)

KING JOHN'S MEN. The Adullamites of the navy.

KING'S BARGAIN: Good or Bad; said of a seaman according to his activity and merit, or sloth and demerit.[423]

KING'S BENCHER. The busiest of the galley orators: also galley-skulkers.

KING'S HARD BARGAIN. A useless fellow, who is not worth his hire.

KING'S LETTER MEN. An extinct class of officers, of similar rank with midshipmen. The royal letter was a kind of promise that if they conducted themselves well, they should be promoted to the rank of lieutenant.

KING'S OWN. All the articles supplied from the royal magazines, and marked with the broad arrow. Salt beef or junk.

KING'S PARADE. A name given to the quarter-deck of a man-of-war, which is customarily saluted by touching the hat when stepping on it.

KINK. An accidental curling, twist, or doubling turn in a cable or rope, occasioned by its being very stiff, or close laid, or by being drawn too hastily out of the coil or tier in which it was coiled. (See Coiling.)—To kink. To twist.

KINKLINGS. A coast name for periwinkles.

KINN. From the Gaelic word for head; meaning, in local names, a hill or promontory.

KINTLE. A dozen of anything. Remotely corrupted from quintal.

KINTLIDGE. A term for iron-ballast. (See Kentledge.)

KIOCK, or Blue-back. An alosa fish, used by the American and other fishermen as a bait for mackerel.

KIOSK. A pavilion on the poop of some Turkish vessels.

KIPLIN. The more perishable parts of the cod-fish, cured separately from the body.

KIPPAGE. An old term for equipage, or ship's company.

KIPPER. Salmon in the act of spawning; also, the male fish, and especially beaked fish. Kipper is also applied to salmon which has undergone the process of kippering (which see).

KIPPERING. A method of curing fish in which salt is little used, but mainly sugar, pepper, and drying in the sun, and occasionally some smoke. Salmon thus treated is considered a dainty, though the cure is far less lasting than with salt.

KIPPER-TIME. The time during which the statutes prohibit the taking of salmon.

KISMISSES. The raisins issued in India, resembling the sultanas of the Levant. The word is derived from the Turkish. They seldom have seeds.

KIST. A word still in use in the north for chest.

KIT. A small wooden pail or bucket, wherewith boats are baled out; generally with an ear. (See Kid.) Also, a contemptuous term for total; as, the whole kit of them.

KITT, or Kit. An officer's outfit. Also, a term among soldiers and marines to express the complement of regimental necessaries, which they are obliged to keep in repair. Also, a seaman's wardrobe.

KITTIWAKE. A species of gull of the northern seas; so called from its peculiar cry: the Larus tridactylus.

KITTY-WITCH. A small kind of crab on the east coast.[424]

KLEG. The fish Gadus barbatus.

KLEPTES. The pirates of the Archipelago; literally the Greek for robbers.

KLICK-HOOKS. Large hooks for catching salmon in the daytime.

KLINKER. A flat-bottomed lighter or praam of Sweden and Denmark.

KLINKETS. Small grating-gates, made through palisades for sallies.

KLIPPEN. The German for cliffs; in use in the Baltic.—Blinde Klippen, reefs of rocks under water.

KLOSH. Seamen of Denmark, Norway, and Sweden.

KNAGGY. Crotchety; sour-tempered.

KNAGS. Points of rocks. Also, hard knots in wood.

KNAP [from the Anglo-Saxon cnæp, a protuberance]. The top of a hill. Also, a blow or correction, as "you'll knap it," for some misdeed.

KNAPSACK. A light water-proof case fitted to the back, in which the foot-soldier carries his necessaries on a march.

KNARRS. Knots in spars. (See Gnarre.)

KNECK. The twisting of rope or cable as it is veering out.

KNEE. Naturally grown timber, or bars of iron, bent to a right angle, or to fit the surfaces, and to secure bodies firmly together, as hanging-knees secure the deck-beams to the sides. They are divided into hanging-knees, diagonal hanging-knees, lodging-knees or deck-beam knees, transom-knees, helm-post transom-knees, wing transom-knees (which see).

KNEE OF THE HEAD. A large flat piece of timber, fixed edgeways, and fayed upon the fore-part of a ship's stem, supporting the ornamental figure. (See Head.) Besides which, this piece is otherwise useful as serving to secure the boom or bumkin, by which the fore-tack is extended to windward, and by its great breadth preventing the ship from falling to leeward, when close-hauled, so much as she would otherwise be liable to do. It also affords security to the bowsprit by increasing the angle of the bobstay, so as to make it act more perpendicularly on the bowsprit. The knee of the head is a phrase peculiar to shipwrights; by seamen it is called the cut-water (which see).

KNEES. Dagger-knees are those which are fixed rather obliquely to avoid an adjacent gun-port, or where, from the vicinity of the next beam, there is not space for the arms of two lodging-knees.—Lodging-knees are fixed horizontally in the ship's frame, having one arm bolted to the beam, and the other across two or three of the timbers.—Standard-knees are those which, being upon a deck, have one arm bolted down to it, and the other pointing upwards secured to the ship's side; such also, are the bits and channels.

KNEE-TIMBER. That sort of crooked timber which forms at its back or elbow an angle of from 24° to 45°; but the more acute this angle is, the more valuable is the timber on that account. Used for knees, rising floors, and crutches. Same as raking-knees.

KNETTAR. A string used to tie the mouth of a sack.

KNIFE. An old name for a dagger: thus Lady Macbeth—

"That my keen knife see not the wound it makes."
[425]KNIGHT-HEADS. Two large oak timbers, one on each side of the stem, rising up sufficiently above it to support the bowsprit, which is fixed between them. The term is synonymous with bollard timbers.—Knight-heads also formerly denoted in many merchant ships, two strong frames of timber fixed on the main-deck, a little behind the fore-mast, which supported the ends of the windlass. They were frequently called the bitts, and then their upper parts only were denominated the knight-heads, from having been embellished with a carved head. (See Windlass.) Also, a name formerly given to the lower jear-blocks, which were then no other than bitts, containing several sheaves, and nearly resembling our present topsail-sheet bitts.

KNIGHTHOOD. An institution by princes, either for the defence of religion, or as marks of honour on officers who have distinguished themselves by their valour and address. This dignity being personal, dies with the individual so honoured. The initials of our own orders are:—K.G., Knight of the Garter; K.T., Knight of the Thistle; K.S.P., Knight of St. Patrick; G.C.B., Grand Cross of the Bath; K.C.B., Knight Commander of the Bath; G.C.H., Knight Grand Cross of the Hanoverian Guelphic Order; K.H., Knight of the Hanoverian Guelphic Order; G.C.M.G., Grand Cross of St. Michael and George; E.S.I., Most Exalted Star of India. The principal foreign orders worn by our navy are those of Hanover, St. Ferdinand and Merit, the Tower and Sword, Legion of Honour, Maria Theresa, St. Bento d'Avis, Cross of Charles III., San Fernando, St. Louis, St. Vladimir, St. Anne of Russia, Red Eagle of Prussia, Redeemer of Greece, Medjidie of Turkey, Leopold of Austria, Iron Crown of Austria, William of the Netherlands.

KNIGHTS. Two short thick pieces of wood, formerly carved like a man's head, having four sheaves in each, one of them abaft the fore-mast, called fore-knight, and the other abaft the main-mast, called main-knight.

KNITTLE. See Nettles.

KNOB, or Knobbe. An officer; perhaps from the Scotch term knabbie, the lower class of gentry.

KNOCKER. A peculiar and fetid species of West Indian cockroach, so called on account of the knocking noise they make in the night.

KNOCK OFF WORK and Carry Deals. A term used to deride the idea of any work, however light, being relaxation; just as giving up taking in heavy beams of timber and being set to carry deals, is not really knocking off work.

KNOLL. The top of a rounded hill; the head of a bank, or the most elevated part of a submarine shoal. [Perhaps derived from nowl, a provincialism for head.]

KNOPP. See Knap.

KNOT. A large knob formed on the extremity of a rope, generally by untwisting its ends, and interweaving them regularly among each other; of these there are several sorts, differing in form, size, and name, as[426] diamond knot, kop knot, overhand knot, reef knot, shroud knot, stopper knot, single wall knot, double wall knot. The bowline knot is so firmly made, and fastened to the cringles of the sails, that they must break, or the sails split, before it will slip. (See Running Bowline.) The sheepshank knot serves to shorten a rope without cutting it, and may be presently loosened. The wall-knot is so made with the lays of a rope that it cannot slip, and serves for sheets, tacks, and stoppers. Knots are generally used to act as a button, in preventing the end of a rope from slipping through the hole of a dead-eye, or through the turns of a laniard, by which they are sometimes made fast to other ropes.—Knot also implies a division on the log line, bearing a similar proportion to a mile, which half a minute does to an hour; that is, it is 1⁄120 of a mile; hence we say, the ship was going 8 knots, signifying 8 miles per hour. Indeed, in nautical parlance, the words knot and mile are synonyms, alluding to the geographical mile of 60′ to a degree of latitude.

KNOWL. A term commonly given to the summits of elevated lands in the west of England, therefore probably the same as knoll.

KNOWLEDGE. In admiralty law, opposed to ignorance, and the want of which is liable to heavy penalty.

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

KNUCKLE-RAILS. Those mouldings which are placed at the knuckles of the stern-timbers.

KNUCKLE-TIMBERS. The top-timbers in the fore-body, the heads of which stand perpendicular, and form an angle with the flare or hollow of the top-side.

KNUCKLE-UNDER. Obey your superior's order; give way to circumstances.

KNURRT. Stunted; not freely grown.

KOFF. A large Dutch coasting trader, fitted with two masts, and sails set with sprits.

KOMETA. A captain formerly elected in the Spanish navy by twelve experienced navigators.

KOOLIE, or Coolie. An Indian day-labourer and porter.

KOOND. A large cistern at a watering-place in India.

KOPEK. A Russian copper coin, 100 of which make a rouble; in value nearly a halfpenny, and named from kopea, a spear, because formerly stamped with St. George spearing the dragon.

KOROCORA. A broad-beamed Molucca vessel, with high stem and stern, and an out-rigger. It is common among the Malay islands.

KOTA. An excellent turpentine procured in India.

KOUPANG. A gold coin of Japan and the Moluccas, of various value, from 25 to 44 shillings.

KOWDIE. The New Zealand pine spars.

KRABLA. A Russian vessel, usually from Archangel, fitted for killing the whale, walrus, and other Arctic quarry.[427]

KRAKEN. The fictitious sea-monster of Norway.

KRANG. The body of a whale when divested of its blubber, and therefore abandoned by the whalers.

KRAYER. A small vessel, but perhaps larger than the cogge, being thus mentioned in the Morte Arthure—

"Be thanne cogge appone cogge, krayers and other."
KREE, To. A north-country word: to beat, or bruise.

KREEL. A framework of timber for the catching of fish, especially salmon. Also a crab-pot, made of osiers, on the principal of a wire mouse-trap. Also, a sportsman's fishing basket.

KRENNEL. The smaller cringle for bowline bridles, &c.

KRINGLE, To. To dry and shrivel up. Also a form of cringle (which see).

KRIS. The formidable dagger used by the Malays.

KROO-MEN, or Crew-men. Fishmen. A tribe of African negroes inhabiting Cape Palmas, Krou-settra, and Settra-krou, subjects of Great Britain, and cannot be made slaves; they are specially employed in wooding and watering where hazardous to European constitutions.

KUB-HOUSE, or Cubboos. See Caboose.

KYAR. Cordage made in India from the fibres which envelope the cocoa nut, and having the advantage of elasticity and buoyancy, makes capital cables for country ships. (See Coir.)

KYDLE. A dam in a river for taking fish—

"Fishes love soote smell; also it is trewe
Thei love not old kydles as thei doe the newe."
KYLE. A bay, or arm of the sea, on our northern shores, as the Kyles of Bute, &c.

KYNTALL. An old form of quintal (which see).


L. The three L's were formerly vaunted by seamen who despised the use of nautical astronomy; viz. lead, latitude, and look-out, all of them admirable in their way. Dr. or Captain Halley added the fourth L—the greatly desired longitude.

LAAS. An obsolete term for an illegal net or snare.

LABARUM. A standard in early days.

LABBER, To. To struggle in water, as a fish when caught. To splash.

LABOUR. In the relative mechanical efforts of the human body labouring in various posture, 6821⁄3 have been given for the rowing effort, 476 for the effort at a winch, and 2091⁄3 for the effort at a pump.

LABOURING. The act of a ship's working, pitching, or rolling heavily,[428] in a turbulent sea, by which the masts, and even the hull, are greatly endangered.

LABOURSOME. Said of a ship which is subject to roll and pitch violently in a heavy sea, either from some defect in her construction, or improper stowage of her hold.

LACE, To. To apply a bonnet by lacing it to a sail. Also, to beat or punish with a rattan or rope's-end. Also, the trimmings of uniforms.

LACHES. In law, loose practice, or where parties let matters sleep for above seven years, when by applying to the admiralty court they might have compelled the production of an account.

LACING. Rope or cord used to lace a sail to a gaff, or a bonnet to a sail. Also, one of the principal pieces that compose the knee of the head, running up as high as the top of the hair-bracket. Also, a piece of compass or knee timber, fayed to the back of the figure-head and the knee of the head, and bolted to each.

LACUSTRINE. Belonging or referring to a lake.

LADDER. The accommodation ladder is a sort of light staircase occasionally fixed on the gangway. It is furnished with rails and man-ropes; the lower end of it is kept at a proper distance from the ship's side by iron bars or braces to render it more convenient. (See Gangway.)—Forecastle-ladder and hold-ladder, for getting into or out of those parts of a ship.—Jacob's ladder, abaft top-gallant masts, where no ratlines are provided.—Quarter or stern ladders. Two ladders of rope, suspended from the right and left side of a ship's stern, whereby to get into the boats which are moored astern.

LADDER-WAYS. The hatchways, scuttles or other openings in the decks, wherein the ladders are placed.

LADE. Anglo-Saxon lædan, to pour out. The mouth of a channel or drain. To lade a boat, is to throw water out.

LADE-GORN, or Lade-pail. A bucket with a long handle to lade water with.

LADEN. The state of a ship when charged with materials equal to her capacity. If the goods be heavy, her burden is determined by weight; but if light, she carries as much as she can conveniently stow. A ton in measure is estimated at 2000 lbs. in weight; a vessel of 200 tons ought therefore to carry a weight equal to 400,000 lbs.; but if she cannot float high enough with as great a quantity of it as her hold will contain, then a diminution of it becomes necessary. Vessels carry heavy goods by the ton of 20 cwt., but lighter goods by a ton of cubic feet, which varies according to the custom of the port; in London it is 40, in India from 50 to 52, depending on the goods. Vessels can carry (not safely) twice their tonnage.

LADEN IN BULK. A cargo neither in casks, bales, nor cases, but lying loose in the hold, only defended from wet by mats and dunnage. Such are usually cargoes of salt, corn, &c.

LADIA. An unwieldy boat in Russia, for transporting the produce of the interior.[429]

LADIE'S LADDER. Shrouds rattled too closely.

LADING. A vessel's cargo.

LADLE, for a Gun. An instrument for charging with loose powder; formed of a cylindrical sheet of copper-tube fitted to the end of a long staff.—Paying-ladle. An iron ladle with a long channelled spout opposite to the handle; it is used to pour melted pitch into the seams.

LADRON. A term for thief, adopted from the Spanish.

LADRONE SHIP. Literally a pirate, but it is the usual epithet applied by the Chinese to a man-of-war.

LADY OF THE GUN-ROOM. A gunner's mate, who takes charge of the after-scuttle, where gunners' stores are kept.

LAGAN, or Lagam. Anglo-Saxon liggan. A term in derelict law for goods which are sunk, with a buoy attached, that they may be recovered. Also, things found at the bottom of the sea. Ponderous articles which sink with the ship in wreck.

LAGGERS. On canals, men who lie on their backs on the top of the lading, and pushing against the bridges and tunnels pass the boats through. Also, a transported convict; a lazy fellow.—To lag. To loiter.

LAGGIN. The end of the stave outside a cask or tub.

LAGOON. An inland broad expanse of salt water, usually shallow, and connected with the sea by one or more channels, or washes over the reef.

LAGOON ISLANDS. Those produced by coral animals; they are of various shapes, belted with coral, frequently with channels by which ships may enter, and lie safely inside. They are often studded with the cocoa-nut palm. (See Atolls.)

LAGUNES. The shallows which extend round Venice; their depth between the city and the mainland is 3 to 6 feet in general; they are occasioned by the quantities of sand carried down by the rivers which descend from the Alps, and fall into the Adriatic along its north-western shores.

LAG-WOOD. The larger sticks from the head of an oak-tree when felled.

LAID. A fisherman's name for the pollack. Also, a term in rope-making, the twist being the lay; single-laid, is one strand; hawser-laid, three strands twisted into a rope; cablet-laid, three ropes laid together; this is also termed water-laid.

LAID ABACK. See Aback.

LAID TO. A term used sometimes for hove to, but when a vessel lays to the sails are kept full. As in a gale of wind, under staysails, or close reefs, &c.

LAID UP. A vessel dismantled and moored in a harbour, either for want of employment, or as unfit for further service.

LAKE. A large inland expanse of water, with or without communication with the sea. A lake, strictly considered, has no visible affluent or effluent; but many of the loughs of Ireland, and lochs of Scotland, partake of the nature of havens or gulfs. Moreover, some lakes have affluents without outlets, and others have an outlet without any visible affluent; therein differing from lagoons and ponds. The water of lakes entirely[430] encompassed by land is sometimes salt; that communicating with the sea by means of rivers is fresh.

LAKE-LAWYER. A voracious fish in the lakes of America, called also the mud-fish.

LAMANTIN. A name used by the early voyagers for the manatee.

LAMB'S-WOOL SKY. A collection of white orbicular masses of cloud.

LAMBUSTING. A starting with a rope's-end.

LAMPER-EEL. A common corruption of lamprey.

LAMPREY. An eel-like cyclostomous fish, belonging to the genus Petromyzon. There are several species, some marine, others fluviatile.

LAMPRON. The old name for the lamprey.

LAMP-SHELLS. A name applied to the Terebratulæ of zoologists.

LANCE-KNIGHT. A foot-soldier of old.

LANCEPESADO. From Ital. lancia spezzata, or broken lance; originally a soldier who, having broken his lance on the enemy, and lost his horse in fight, was entertained as a volunteer till he could remount himself; hence lance-corporal, one doing corporal's duty, on the pay of a private.

LANCHANG. A Malay proa, carrying twenty-five or thirty men.

LAND. In a general sense denotes terra firma, as distinguished from sea; but, also, land-laid, or to lay the land, is just to lose sight of it.—Land-locked is when land lies all round the ship.—Land is shut in, signifies that another point of land hides that from which the ship came.—The ship lies land to, implies so far from shore that it can only just be discerned.—To set the land, is to see by compass how it bears.—To make the land. To sight it after an absence.—To land on deck. A nautical anomaly, meaning to lower casks or weighty goods on deck from the tackles.

LAND-BLINK. On Arctic voyages, a peculiar atmospheric brightness on approaching land covered with snow; usually more yellow than ice-blink.

LAND-BREEZE. A current of air which, in the temperate zones, and still more within the tropics, regularly sets from the land towards the sea during the night, and this even on opposite points of the coast. It results from land losing its heat quicker than water; hence the air above it becomes heavier, and rushes towards the sea to establish equilibrium.

LANDES. The heathy track between Bordeaux and the Basses Pyrénées; but also denoting uncultivated or unreclaimable spots.

LAND-FALL. Making the land. "A good land-fall" signifies making the land at or near the place to which the course was intended, while "a bad land-fall" implies the contrary.

LAND-FEATHER. A sea-cove.

LAND HO! The cry when land is first seen.

LAND-ICE. Flat ice connected with the shore, within which there is no channel.

LANDING-STRAKE. In boats, the upper strake of plank but one.

LANDING-SURVEYOR. The custom-house officer who appoints and superintends the landing-waiters.[431]

LANDING-WAITERS. Persons appointed from the custom-house to inspect goods discharged from foreign parts.

LAND-LOUPER. [Dutch.] Meaning he who flies from this country for crime or debt, but not to be confounded with land-lubber (which see).

LAND-LUBBER. A useless longshorer; a vagrant stroller. Applied by sailors to the mass of landsmen, especially those without employment.

LANDMARK. Any steeple, tree, windmill, or other object, serving to guide the seaman into port, or through a channel.

LAND-SHARKS. Crimps, pettifogging attorneys, slopmongers, and the canaille infesting the slums of sea-port towns.

LAND-SLIP. The fall of a quantity of land from a cliff or declivity; the land sliding away so as often to carry trees with it still standing upright.

LANDSMEN. The rating formerly of those on board a ship who had never been at sea, and who were usually stationed among the waisters or after-guard. Some of those used to small craft are more ready about the decks than in going aloft. The rating is now Second-class Ordinary.

LAND-TURN. A wind that blows in the night, at certain times, in most hot countries.

LAND-WAITERS. See Landing-waiters.

LANE. "Make a lane there!" An order for men to open a passage and allow a person to pass through.

LANE or Vein of Ice. A narrow channel between two fields. Any open cracks or separations of floe offering navigation.

LANGREL, or Langrage. A villanous kind of shot, consisting of various fragments of iron bound together, so as to fit the bore of the cannon from which it is to be discharged. It is seldom used but by privateers.

LANGUET. A small slip of metal on the hilt of a sword, which overhangs the scabbard; the ear of a sword.

LANIARD, or Lanniers. A short piece of rope or line made fast to anything to secure it, or as a handle. Such are the laniards of the gun-locks, of the gun-ports, of the buoy, of the cat-hook, &c. The principal laniards are those which secure the shrouds and stays, termed laniards of lower, top-mast, or other rigging. (See Dead-eye and Heart.)

LANTCHA. A large Malay craft of the Indian Archipelago.

LANTERN. Ships of war had formerly three poop-lanterns, and one in the main-top, to designate the admiral's ship; also deck-lanterns, fighting-lanterns, magazine-lanterns, &c. The signal-lanterns are peculiar. The great ship lantern, hanging to the poop, appears on the Trajan Column.

LANTERN-BRACES. Iron bars to secure the lanterns.

LANTERN-FISH. A west-country name for the smooth sole.

LANTIONE. A Chinese rowing-boat.

LANYARDS. See Laniard.

LAP-JOINTED. The plates of an iron vessel overlapping each other, as in clincher work.

LAPLAND WITCHES. People in Lapland who profess to sell fair winds, thus retaining a remnant of ancient classical superstition.[432]

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.

LAPPELLE, or Lapel. The facing of uniform coats. Until the introduction of epaulettes in 1812, the white lapelle was used as synonymous with lieutenant's commission. Hence the brackish poet, in the craven midshipman's lament—

"If I had in my country staid,
I then had learnt some useful trade,
And scorned the white lapelle."
LAPPING. The undulations occasioned in the waves by the paddle-wheels of a steam-boat. In the polar seas, lapping applies to the young or thin ice, one plate overlapping another, so dangerous to boats and their crews. Also, the overlaying of plank edges in working.

LAPS. The remaining part of the ends of carlings, &c., which are to bear a great weight or pressure; such, for instance, as the capstan-step.

LAP'S COURSE. One of the oldest and most savoury of the regular forecastle dishes. (See Lobscouse.)

LARBOARD. The left side of a ship, when the spectator's face is towards the bow. The Italians derive starboard from questa borda, "this side," and larboard from, quella borda, "that side;" abbreviated into sta borda and la borda. Their resemblance caused so many mistakes that, by order of the admiralty, larboard is now thrown overboard, and port substituted. "Port the helm" is even mentioned in Arthur Pit's voyage in 1580.

LARBOARD-WATCH. The old term for port-watch. The division of a ship's company called for duty, while the other, the starboard, is relieved from it. (See Watch.)

LARBOLINS, or Larbolians. A cant term implying the larboard-watch, the opposite of starboard:—

"Larbolins stout, you must turn out,
And sleep no more within;
For if you do, we'll cut your clue,
And let starbolins in."
LARGE. Sailing large: going with the wind free when studding-sails will draw.

LARK. A small boat. Also, frolicsome merriment. (See Sky-larking.)

LARRUP, To. An old word meaning to beat with a rope's-end, strap, or colt.

LASCAR. A native sailor in the East Indies; also, in a military sense, natives of India employed in pitching tents, or dragging artillery, as gun-lascars.

LASH. A string, or small cord, forming the boatswain's cat.—To lash or lace. To bind anything with a rope or line.

LASH AND CARRY. The order given by the boatswain and his mates on piping up the hammocks, to accelerate the duty.

LASH AWAY. A phrase to hasten the lashing of hammocks.

LASHER. See Father-lasher.[433]

LASHER BULL-HEAD. A name for the fish Cottus scorpius.

LASHING. A rope used to fasten any movable body in a ship, or about her masts, sails, and rigging.

LASHING-EYES. Fittings for lower stays, block-strops, &c., by loops made in the ends of ropes, for a lashing to be rove through to secure them.

LASK, To. To go large.—Lasking along. Sailing away with a quartering wind.

LASKETS. Small lines like hoops, sewed to the bonnets and drablers of a sail, to secure the bonnets to the courses, or the drablers to the bonnets.

LAST. A dry measure containing 80 bushels of corn. A cargo. A weight of 4000 lbs. A last of cod or white herrings is 12 barrels. Last, or ship-last, a Swedish weight of 2 tons.

LASTAGE. This is a commercial term for the general lading of a ship. It is also applied to that custom which is paid for wares sold by the last, as herrings, pitch, &c.

LASTER. The coming in of the tide.

LAST QUARTER. See Quarter, Last.

LATCH. An old term for a cross-bow; temp. Henry VII.—Lee-latch. Dropping to leeward of the course.

LATCHES. The same as laskets (which see; also keys).

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

LATEEN SAIL AND YARD. A long triangular sail, bent by its foremost leech to a lateen yard, which hoists obliquely to the mast; it is mostly used by xebecs, feluccas, &c., in the Mediterranean. A gaff-topsail, if triangular and set on a yard, is lateen. The term lateen-rigged, where sails have short tacks, is wrong. These latter are nothing more or less than clumsy lugs or quadrilaterals. The lateen tack is the yard-arm bowsed amidships.

LATHE. A term for a sort of a cross-bow once used in the fleet.

LATHER, To. To beat or drub soundly.

LATITUDE. In wide terms, the extent of the earth from one pole to the other; but strictly it is the distance of any place from the equator in degrees and their parts; or an arc of the meridian intercepted between the zenith of the place and the equinoctial. Geographical latitude is either northern or southern, according as the place spoken of is on this or that side of the equator. Geocentric latitude is the angular distance of a place from the equator, as corrected for the oblateness of the earth's form; in other words, it is the geographical latitude diminished by the angle of the vertical.

LATITUDE BY ACCOUNT. That estimated by the log-board, and the last determined by observation.

LATITUDE BY OBSERVATION. The latitude determined by observations of the sun, star, or moon, by meridional, as also by double altitudes.[434]

LATITUDE OF A CELESTIAL OBJECT. An arc of a circle of longitude between the centre of that object and the ecliptic, and is north or south according to its position.

LAUNCE. A term when the pump sucks—from the Danish lœns, exhausted. Also, a west-country term for the sand-eel, a capital bait for mackerel.

LAUNCE-GAY. An offensive weapon used of old, but prohibited by statute so far back as 7 Richard II. c. 13.

LAUNCH. The largest or long boat of a ship of war. Others of greater size for gunboats are used by the French, Spaniards, Italians, &c., in the Mediterranean. A launch being proportionably longer, lower, and more flat-bottomed than the merchantman's long-boat, is in consequence less fit for sailing, but better calculated for rowing and approaching a flat shore. Its principal superiority consists in being much fitter to under-run the cable, lay out anchors, &c., which is a very necessary employment in the harbours of the Levant, where the cables of different ships are fastened across each other, and frequently render such operations necessary.

LAUNCH, To. To send a ship, craft, or boat off the slip on shore into the water, "her native element," as newspapers say. Also, to move things; as, launch forward, or launch aft. Launch is also the movement by which the ship or boat descends into the water.

LAUNCH-HO! The order to let go the top-rope after the top-mast has been swayed up and fidded. It is literally "high enough." So in pumping, when the spear sucks, this term is "Cease."

LAUNCHING-WAYS. In ship-building, the bed of timber placed on the incline under the bottom of a ship; otherwise called bilge-ways. On this the cradles, which are movable vertical shores, to keep the ship upright, slide. Sometimes also termed bilge-ways.

LAVEER, To. An old sea-term for beating a ship to windward; to tack.

LAVER. An edible sea-weed—the Ulva lactuca, anciently lhavan. From this a food is made, called laver-bread, on the shores of S. Wales.

LAVY. A sea-bird nearly as large as a duck, held by the people of the Hebrides as a prognosticator of weather.

LAW OF NATIONS. It was originally merely the necessary law of nature applied to nations, as in the instance of receiving distressed ships with humanity. By various conventional compacts, the Law of Nations became positive; thus flags of truce are respected, and prisoners are not put to death. One independent state is declared incompetent to prescribe to another, so long as that state is innoxious to its neighbours. The Law of Nations consists of those principles and regulations, founded in reason and general convenience, by which the mutual intercourse between independent states is everywhere conducted.

LAX. A term for salmon when ascending a river, on the north coast of Scotland.

LAX-FISHER. A taker of salmon in their passage from the sea.[435]

LAY, By the. When a man is paid in proportion to the success of the voyage, instead of by the month. This is common in whalers.

LAY, To. To come or go; as, lay aloft, lay forward, lay aft, lay out. This is not the neuter verb lie mispronounced, but the active verb lay. (See Lie Out!)

LAY A GUN, To. So to direct it as that its shot may be expected to strike a given object; for which purpose its axis must be pointed above the latter, at an angle of elevation increasing according to its distance.

LAY-DAYS. The time allowed for shipping or discharging a cargo; and if not done within the term, fair weather permitting, the vessel comes on demurrage. Thus Captain Cuttle—

"A rough hardy seaman, unus'd to shore ways,
Knew little of ladies, but much of lay-days."
LAY HER COURSE, To. To be able to sail in the direction wished for, however barely the wind permits it.

LAY IN. The opposite of lay out. The order for men to come in from the yards after reefing or furling. It also applies to manning, or laying in, to the capstan-bars.

LAYING or Lying out on a yard. To go out towards the yard-arms.

LAYING or LYING ALONG. Pressed down sideways by a stiff gale.

LAYING A ROPE. Arranging the yarns for the strands, and then the strands for making a rope, or cable.

LAYING DOWN, or Laying off. The act of delineating the various lines of a ship to the full size on the mould-loft floor, from the draught given.

LAYINGS. A sort of pavement of culch, on the mud of estuaries, for forming a bed for oysters.

LAYING-TOP. A conical piece of wood, having three or four scores or notches on its surface, used in rope-making to guide the lay.

LAY IN SEA-STOCK, To. To make provision for the voyage.

LAY IN THE OARS. Unship them from the rowlocks, and place them fore and aft in the boat.

LAY LORDS. The civil members of the admiralty board.

LAY OF A ROPE. The direction in which its strands are twisted; hawser is right-handed; cablet left-handed.

LAY or LIE ON YOUR OARS! The order to desist rowing, without laying the oars in.—Lay out on your oars! is the order to give way, or pull with greater force.

LAY OUT. See Lie Out!

LAY THE LAND, To. Barely to lose sight of it.

LAY-TO. To bring the weather-bow to the sea, with one sail set, and the helm lashed a-lee. (See Lie-to.)

LAY UP A SHIP, To. To dismantle her.

LAZARETTO. A building or vessel appointed for the performance of quarantine, in which all persons are confined coming from places infected with the plague or other infectious diseases. Also, a place parted off at[436] the fore part of the 'tween decks, in some merchantmen, for stowing provisions and stores in.

LAZARUS. The game at cards, called also blind-hookey and snogo.

LAZY GUY. A small tackle or rope to prevent the spanker-boom from swaying about in fine weather.

LAZY PAINTER. A small temporary rope to hold a boat in fine weather.

LEAD, Sounding. An instrument for discovering the depth of water; it is a tapered cylinder of lead, of 7, 14, or 28 lbs. weight, and attached, by means of a strop, to the lead-line, which is marked at certain distances to ascertain the fathoms. (See Hand-line.)—Deep-sea lead. A lead of a larger size, being from 28 to 56 lbs. in weight, and attached to a much longer line. (See Deep-sea Line.)—To heave the lead. To throw it into the sea as far ahead as possible, if the ship is under way.

LEAD. The direction in which running ropes lead fair, and come down to the deck. Also, in Arctic seas, a channel through the ice; synonymous with lane. To lead into battle, or into harbour.

LEADER. A chief. Also, the conducting ship, boat, or man in an enterprise. Also, the guide in firing rockets.

LEADING-BLOCKS. The several blocks used for guiding the direction of any purchase, as hook, snatch, or tail blocks.

LEADING-MARKS. Those objects which, kept in line or in transit, guide the pilot while working into port, as trees, spires, buoys, &c.

LEADING-PART. The rope of a tackle which runs between the fall and the standing part. Generally confused with the fall. It is that part of the fall which is to be hauled on, or overhauled, to ease the purchase.

LEADING-STRINGS. The yoke-lines for steering a boat.

LEADING-WIND. Wind abeam or quartering; more particularly a free or fair wind, and is used in contradistinction to a scant wind. (See Wind.)

LEAD-LINE. A line attached to the upper end of the sounding-lead. (See Hand-line and Deep-sea Line.)

LEAD-NAILS. Small round-headed composition nails for nailing lead.

LEADSMAN. The man who heaves the hand-lead in the channels. In Calcutta the young gentlemen learning to be pilots are called leadsmen.

LEAF. The side of a lock-gate.

LEAGUE. A confederacy; an alliance. Also, a measure of length consisting of three nautical miles, much used in estimating sea-distances; = 3041 fathoms.

LEAGUER. An old term for a camp. Also, leaguers, the longest water-casks, stowed next the kelson, of 159 English imperial gallons each. Before the invention of water-tanks, leaguers composed the whole ground tier of casks in men-of-war.

LEAK [Anglo-Saxon leccinc]. A chink in the deck, sides, or bottom of a ship, through which the water gets into her hull. When a leak begins, a vessel is said to have sprung a leak.

LEAKAGE. Loss by the act of leaking out of a cask. Also, an allowance of 12 per cent., to merchants importing wine, by the customs.[437]

LEAKIES. Certain irregularities of tide in the Firth of Forth.

LEAKY. The state of a ship admitting water, and a cask or other vessel letting out its contents.

LEAN. Used in the same sense as clean or sharp; the reverse of full or bluff in the form of a ship.

LEAN-BOW. Having a sharp entrance; a thin narrow bow being opposed to bold bow. Fine forward, very fine is lean as a lizard.

LEAP. The sudden fall of a river in one sheet. Also, a weel, made of twigs, to catch fish in.

LEAPER. See Lipper.

LEAT. A canal leading from a pool to a mill-course.

LEATHAG. A Celtic name for the plaice or flounder.

LEATHER. See Lather.

LEATHER-JACKET. A tropical fish with a very thick skin.

LEAVE. Permission to be absent from the ship for the day. (See Absence, Liberty.)—French leave. Going on shore without permission.—Long leave. Permission to be absent for a number of days.

LEAVE-BREAKING. A liberty man not being back to his time.

LEAVE-TICKET. See Liberty-ticket.

LEAX. See Lex.

LEDGE. A compact line of rocks running parallel to the coast, and which is not unfrequent opposite sandy beaches. The north coast of Africa, between the Nile and the Lesser Syrtis, is replete with them.

LEDGES. The 'thwart-ship pieces from the waste-trees to the roof-trees in the framing of the decks, let into the carlings, to bear gratings, &c. Any cross-pieces of fir or scantling.

LEDO. A barbarous Latin law-term (ledo -onis) for the rising water, or increase of the sea.

LEE. From the Scandinavian word lœ or laa, the sea; it is the side opposite to that from which the wind is blowing; as, if a vessel has the wind on her port side, that side will be the weather, and the starboard will be the lee side.—Under the lee, expresses the situation of a vessel anchored or sailing near the weather-shore, where there is always smoother water than at a great distance from it.—To lay a ship by the lee, or to come up by the lee, is to let her run off until the wind is brought on the lee-quarter, so that all her sails lie flat against the masts and shrouds.

LEE-ANCHOR. The leeward one, if under weigh; or that to leeward to which a ship, when moored, is riding.

LEE-BEAM. On the lee-side of the ship, at right angles with the keel.

LEE-BOARDS. Wooden wings or strong frames of plank affixed to the sides of flat-bottomed vessels, such as Dutch schuyts, &c.; these traversing on a stout bolt, by being let down into the water, when the vessel is close-hauled, decrease her drifting to leeward.

LEECHES. The borders or edges of a sail, which are either sloping or perpendicular; those of the square sails are denominated from the ship's side, as the starboard-leech of the main-sail, &c.; but the sails which are[438] fixed obliquely on the masts have their leeches named from their situation with regard to the ship's length, as the hoist or luff, or fore-leech of the mizen, the after-leech of the jib, &c.

LEECH-LINES. Ropes fastened to the leeches of the main-sail, fore-sail, and cross-jack, communicating with blocks under the tops, and serving to truss those sails up to the yards. (See Brails.)—Harbour leech-lines. Ropes made fast at the middle of the topsail-yards, then passing round the leeches of the top-sails, and through blocks upon the topsail-tye, serving to truss the sails very close up to the yard, previous to their being furled in a body.

LEECH-ROPE. A name given to that vertical part of the bolt-rope to which the border or edge of a sail is sewed. In all sails whose opposite leeches are of the same length, it is terminated above by the earing, and below by the clue. (See Bolt-rope, Clue, and Earings.)

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

LEE-FANGE. The iron bar upon which the sheets of fore-and-aft sails traverse, in small vessels. (See Horse.)

LEE-GAUGE. Implies being farther from the point whence the wind blows, than another vessel in company.

LEE-GUNWALE UNDER. A colloquial phrase for being sorely over-pressed, by canvas or other cause.

LEE-HATCH, Take care of the! A word of caution to the helmsman, not to let the ship fall to leeward of her course.

LEE-HITCH. The helmsman getting to leeward of the course.

LEE-LURCHES. The sudden and violent rolls which a ship often takes to leeward when a large wave strikes her on the weather-side.

LEE-SHORE. A ship is said to be on a lee-shore, when she is near it, with the wind blowing right on to it.

LEE-SIDE. All that part of a ship or boat which lies between the mast and the side farthest from the wind, the other half being the weather-side.

LEE-SIDE of the Quarter-deck. Colloquially called the midshipman's parade.

LEE-TIDE. A tide running in the same direction as the wind, and forcing a ship to leeward of the line upon which she appears to sail.

LEEWARD. The lee-side. (See Lee.) The opposite of lee is weather, and of leeward, windward.

LEEWARDLY. Said of a ship or vessel which presents so little resistance to the water, when on a wind, as to bag away to leeward. It is the contrary to weatherly.

LEE-WAY. What a vessel loses by drifting to leeward in her course. When she is sailing close-hauled in a smooth sea with all sail set, she should make little or no lee-way; but a proportionate allowance must be made under every reduction of sail or increase of sea, the amount depending on the seaman's skill, and his knowledge of the vessel's qualities.[439]

LEE-WHEEL. The assistant to the helmsman.

LEG. The run made on a single tack. Long and short legs (see Tack and Half-tack).

LEG ALONG. Ropes laid on end, ready for manning.

LEG-BAIL. Dishonest desertion from duty. The phrase is not confined to its nautical bearing.

LEGGERS. See Leaguer.

LEGS. (See Angle.) A fast-sailing vessel is said to have legs.—Legs are used in cutters, yachts, &c., to shore them up in dry harbours when the tide leaves them. The leech-line cringles have also been called legs. Also, the parts of a point which hang on each side of the sail.

LEGS of the Martinets. Small lines through the bolt-ropes of the courses, above a foot in length, and spliced at either end into themselves, making a small eye into which the martinets are hitched.

LEGS AND WINGS. See Over-masted.

LEISTER. A three-pronged dart for striking fish, used in the north of England.

LEIT. A northern term for a snood or link of horse-hair for a fishing-line.

LEITH. A channel on the coast of Sweden, like that round the point of Landfoort to Stockholm.

LEMBUS. A light undecked vessel, used by ancient pirates.

LEMING-STAR. An old name for a comet.

LEMON-ROB. The inspissated juice of limes or lemons, a powerful anti-scorbutic.

LEND A FIST or a Hand. A request to another to help.

LEND US YOUR POUND HERE! A phrase demanding assistance in man-weight; alluding to the daily allowance of beef.

LENGTHENING. The operation of cutting a ship down across the middle, and adding a certain portion to her length. This is done by sawing her planks asunder in different parts of her length, on each side of the midship-frame, to prevent her from being weakened too much in one place. One end is then drawn apart to the required distance. An intermediate piece of timber is next added to the keel, and the vacancy filled up. The two parts of the keelson are afterwards united. Finally, the planks of the side are prolonged, so as to unite with each other, and those of the ceiling refitted.

LENGTHENING-PIECE. The same as short top-timber (which see).

LENS. The glass of a telescope, or of a microscope, with curved surfaces like a lentil, whence the name.

LENT. The spring fast, during which butchers were prohibited to kill flesh unless for victualling ships, except by special license.

LENTRIÆ. Ancient small vessels, used on rivers.

LENUNCULI. Ancient fishing-boats.

LEO. The fifth sign of the zodiac, which the sun enters about the 22d of July. It is one of the ancient constellations.

LEPPO. A sort of chunam, used on the China station, for paying vessels.[440]

LERRICK. A name of the water-bird also called sand-lark or sand-piper.

LESSER CIRCLE. One whose plane does not pass through the centre of the sphere, and therefore divides it unequally. (See Great Circle.)

LET DRAW! The order to let the wind take the after-leeches of the jibs, &c., over to the lee-side, while tacking.

LET DRIVE, To. To slip or let fly. To discharge, as a shot from a gun.

LET FALL! The order to drop a sail loosed from its gaskets, in order to set it.

LET FLY, To. To let go a rope at once, suddenly.

LET GO AND HAUL! or Afore haul! The order to haul the head-yards round by the braces when the ship casts on the other tack. "Let go," alluding to the fore-bowline and lee head-braces.

LET GO UNDER FOOT. See Under Foot.

LET IN, To. To fix or fit a diminished part of one plank or piece of timber into a score formed in another to receive it, as the ends of the carlings into the beams.

LET OUT, or Shake out, a Reef, To. To increase the dimensions of a sail, by untying the points confining a reef in it.

LET-PASS. Permission given by superior authority to a vessel, to be shown to ships of war, to allow it to proceed on its voyage.

LET RUN, or let go by the Run. Cast off at once.

LETTER-BOARD. Another term for name-board (which see).

LETTER-BOOK. A book wherein is preserved a copy of all letters and orders written by the captain of a ship on public service.

LETTER MEN. See King's Letter Men.

LETTERS. See Circulars and Official Letters.

LETTERS OF MART or Marque. A commission formerly granted by the lords of the admiralty, or by the admiral of any distant station, to a merchant-ship or privateer, to cruize against and make prizes of the enemy's ships. The ship so commissioned is also called a letter of marque. The act of parliament requires that on granting letters of marque and reprisal, the captain and two sureties shall appear and give security. In 1778 it was decided that all the ships taken from France by vessels having letters of marque only against the Americans, became droits of admiralty. This commission was forfeitable for acts of cruelty or misconduct.

LETTERS OF REPRISAL. The same as letters of marque.

LETTUCE-LAVER. The edible sea-weed Ulva lactuca.

LEVANT. A wind coming from the east, which freshens as the sun rises, and subsides as it declines—To levant, to desert.

LEVANTER. A strong and raw easterly wind in the Mediterranean.

LEVANTS. Land-springs on the coasts of Sussex and Hampshire.

LEVEE. A French word for a mole or causeway, adopted of late for river embankments of magnitude, as those of the Po, the Thames, and the Mississippi.[441]

LEVEL-ERROR. The microscopic deviation of the axis of a transit instrument from the horizontal position.

LEVELING. The art of finding how much higher or lower horizontally any given point on the earth's surface is, than another point on the same; practised in various ways.

LEVELLED OUT. Any line continued out from a given point, or intersection of an angle, in a horizontal direction.

LEVEL-LINES. Lines determining the shape of a ship's body horizontally, or square from the middle line of the ship.

LEVELS. Horizontal lines; or as a base square to a perpendicular bob.

LEVER. In the marine steam-engine, the lever and counter-balance weight are fixed upon the wiper-shaft, to form an equipoise to the valves. There is one on each side of the cylinder. (See Spanner.)—Also, an inflexible bar of iron or wood to raise weights, which takes rank as the first and most simple of the mechanical powers.—To lever. An old word for unloading a ship.

LEVERAGE. The amount of a lever power.

LEVES. Very light open boats of the ancients.

LEVET. The blast of a trumpet or horn.

LEVIN. The old term for lightning.

LEVY. An enrolment or conscription.—To levy. To raise recruits.

LEWER. A provincialism for handspike; a corrupt form of lever.

LEWIS-HOLES. Two holes in the surface of a mortar, superseding ears.

LEWTH [from the Anglo-Saxon lywd]. A place of shelter from the wind.

LEX, or Leax. The Anglo-Saxon term for salmon.

L.G. These uncials on a powder-barrel mean large-grain powder.

LIBERA PISCARIA. A law-term denoting a fishery free to any one.

LIBERTY. Permission to go on shore or ship-visiting.

LIBERTY-DAY. A day announced for permitting a part of the crew to go ashore.

LIBERTY-LIQUOR. Spirits formerly allowed to be purchased when seamen had visitors; now forbidden.

LIBERTY-MEN. Those on leave of absence.

LIBERTY-TICKET. A document specifying the date and extent of the leave granted to a seaman or marine proceeding on his private affairs.

LIBRA. The seventh sign of the zodiac, which the sun enters about the 21st of September; the commencement of this constellation, where the equator intersects the ecliptic, is called the autumnal equinox, from night and day being equal.


LIBURNA, or Liburnica. Light ancient galliots, both for sails and oars; of the latter from one rank to five; so called from the Liburni, pirates of the Adriatic.

LICENSE. An official permission from the Board of Trade, to such persons as it thinks fit to supply seamen or apprentices for merchant-ships in the United Kingdom. (See Runner, Licensed.)[442]

LICK. In common parlance is a blow. To do anything partially, is to give it a lick and a promise, as in painting or blacking.—To lick, to surpass a rival, or excel him in anything.—Lick of the tar-brush, a seaman.

LICORN. An old name for the howitzer of the last century, then but a kind of mortar fitted on a field-carriage to fire shells at low angles.

LIDO. A borrowed term signifying the shore or margin of the sea.

LIE A HULL. Synonymous with hull to, or hulling.

LIE ALONG, To. (See Along.) A ship is said to lie along when she leans over with a side wind.—To lie along the land, is to keep a course parallel with it.

LIE ATHWART, To. When the tide slackens, and the wind is across tide, it makes a vessel ride athwart.

LIE BY, To. Dodging under small sail under the land.

LIE IN! The order to come in from the yards when reefing, furling, or other duty is performed.

LIEN. A claim to property, and a consequent right of retention. But ships cannot be the subjects of a specific lien to the creditors who supply them with necessaries, because a lien presumes possession by the creditor, and therein the power of holding it till his demands are satisfied. To prevent manifest impediment to commerce, the law of England rejects almost wholly the doctrine of lien as regards ships.

LIE OFF! An order given to a boat to remain off on her oars till permission is given for her to come alongside.

LIE OUT! The order to the men aloft to distribute themselves on the yards for loosing, reefing, or furling sails.

LIE OVER. A ship heeling to it with the wind abeam.

LIESTER. See Lister.

LIE THE COURSE, To. When the vessel's head is in the direction wished.

LIE-TO, To. To cause a vessel to keep her head steady as regards a gale, so that a heavy sea may not tumble into her. She has perhaps a main-topsail or trysails, and comes up to within six points, and falls off to wind abeam, forging rather ahead, but should not altogether fall too much to leeward.

LIE UNDER ARMS, To. To remain in a state of preparation for immediate action.

LIEUTENANT, in the Royal Navy. The officer next in rank and power below the commander. There are several lieutenants in a large ship, and they take precedence according to the dates of their commissions. The senior lieutenant, during the absence of the commander, is charged with the command of the ship, as also with the execution of whatever orders he may have received from the commander relating to the queen's service; holding another's place, as the name implies in French.—Lieutenant in the army. The subaltern officer next in rank below the captain.

LIEUTENANT-AT-ARMS. Formerly the junior lieutenant, who, with the master-at-arms, was charged with the drilling of the small-arm men.[443]

LIEUTENANT-COLONEL. The next below the colonel, generally having the active command in the regiment, whether in cavalry, infantry, or artillery, the full colonels being mostly on staff employ, or even in retirement.

LIEUTENANT-GENERAL. The officer taking the next place to a general, ranking with vice-admiral.

LIEUTENANT'S STORE-ROOM. More commonly called the ward-room store-room (which see).

LIFE-BELT. An india-rubber or cork girdle round a person's waist to buoy him up in the water.

LIFE-BOAT. One of such peculiar construction that it cannot sink or be swamped. It is equipped for attending wherever a wreck may happen, and saving the lives of the crew: really one of the greatest blessings conferred by civilization and humanity on mariners. Life-boats were invented by Admiral Samuel Graves, who died in 1787. The Royal National Life-boat Institution has saved by its boats, or by special exertions for which it has granted rewards, 14,980 lives, from the year of its establishment, 1824, to the end of 1865.

LIFE-BUOYS. Are of various descriptions. A very useful one, patented by Cook, is supplied to all Her Majesty's ships. It is composed of two copper cylinders, and has a balanced stem carrying a fuse, burning twenty minutes. It is kept suspended on the quarter, can be let go, and ignited instantaneously, and will support two men for a considerable time.

LIFE-GUARDS. A greatly-privileged body of cavalry, specially assigned to the guarding of the sovereign's person.

LIFE-KITE. A contrivance for saving the lives of shipwrecked persons by forming a communication between the wreck and a lee-shore.

LIFE-LINES. Stretched from gun to gun, and about the upper deck in bad weather, to prevent the men being washed away. The life-lines aloft are stretched from the lifts to the masts to enable seamen to stand securely when manning yards, as in a salute to admirals, &c.

LIFE-PRESERVER. An air-tight apparatus for saving people in cases of wreck.

LIFT. A term applied to the sails when the wind catches them on the leeches and causes them to ruffle slightly. Also implies help in work in hand, as "give us a lift."

LIFT AN ANCHOR, To. Either by the purchase; or a ship if she has not sufficient cable on a steep bank lifts, or shoulders, her anchor.

LIFTED. Promoted somewhat unexpectedly.

LIFTER. See Wiper.

LIFTING. The rising of fog or haze from the surface of the water.

LIFTING-JACK. A portable machine for lifting heavy objects, acting by the power either of the lever, the tooth and pinion, or the screw.

LIFTS. Ropes which reach from each mast-head to their respective yard-arms to steady and suspend the ends. Their use is to keep the yard in equilibrium, or to raise one of its extremities higher than the other if[444] necessary, but particularly to support the weight when a number of men are employed on it, furling or reefing the sail. The yards are said to be squared by the lifts when they hang at right angles with the masts.—Topping-lifts. (See Topping-lifts.)

LIG. A fish-hook, with lead cast round its upper part in order to sink it.

LIGAN. See Lagan.

LIGGER. A line with a float and bait, used for catching pike. A night-hook laid for a pike or eel.

LIGHT, To. To move or lift anything along; as "light over to windward," the cry for helping the man at the weather-earing when taking in a reef. Each man holding by a reef-point helps it over, as the lee-earing cannot be passed until the man to windward calls out, "Haul out to leeward."

LIGHT AIRS. Unsteady and faint flaws of wind.

LIGHT ALONG! Lend assistance in hauling cables, hawsers, or large ropes along, and lifting some parts in a required direction.

LIGHT-BALLS. Are thrown from mortars at night to discover the enemy's working parties, &c. They are composed of saltpetre, sulphur, resin, and linseed-oil, and burn with great brilliancy. The parachute light-ball, which suspends itself in the air by the action of the heated gas from the light against the parachute, is most convenient.

LIGHT BOBS. The old soubriquet for light infantry (which see).

LIGHT BREEZES. When light airs have become steady.

LIGHTEN, To. To throw ballast, stores, cargo, or other things, overboard in stress of weather, to render the vessel more buoyant.

LIGHTER. A large, open, flat-bottomed boat, with heavy bearings, employed to carry goods to or from ships.—Ballast lighter. A vessel fitted up to raise ballast from the bottom of a harbour.—Covered or close lighter. One furnished with a deck throughout her whole length, in order to secure such merchandise as might be damaged by wet, and to prevent pillage.

LIGHTERAGE. The charge made for the hire of a lighter.

LIGHTERMAN. A man employed in a lighter.

LIGHT-HANDED. Short of the complement of men.

LIGHT-HORSE. A name formerly given to all mounted men who were not encumbered with armour.

LIGHT-HORSEMAN. An old name for the light boat, since called a gig. (See Wallmia.)

LIGHTHOUSE. A sort of tower, erected upon a headland, islet, or rock, whose lights may be seen at a great distance from the land to warn shipping of their approach to these dangers.—A floating light, or light vessel, strongly moored, is used to mark dangers under water. Lights are variously distinguished, as by the number, colour, and continuity of their lights, whether flashing, revolving, &c.

LIGHT ICE. That which has but little depth in the water; it is not considered dangerous to shipping, as not being heavy.

LIGHT INFANTRY. Troops specially trained to the extended and rapid movements necessary to cover the manœuvres of the main body.[445]

LIGHTNING-CONDUCTOR. The lightning-conductor (introduced by Sir Snow Harris) is a plate connected from the royal mast-head down to the deck, thence by the beams to the ship's copper into the sea. Another kind is a copper-wire chain or rope hoisted to the truck, then passing down by the backstays over the channels into the sea.

LIGHT-PORT. A scuttle made for showing a light through. Also, a port in timber ships kept open until brought deep by cargo. It is then secured and caulked in. (See Raft-port.)

LIGHT-ROOM. In a ship-of-war, a small space parted off from the magazine, having double-glass windows for more safely transmitting the light by which the gunner and his assistants fill their cartridges. Large ships generally have two light-rooms, the after and the fore.

LIGHTS. In men-of-war, all the seamen's lights are extinguished by 8 p.m., the officers' at 10, unless the commanding officer gives his permission, through the master-at-arms, for a longer time, as occasion may require.

LIGHT SAILS. All above the topgallant-sails; also the studding-sails and flying jib. Men-of-war carry topgallant-sails over double reef.

LIGHT SHIP. In contradistinction to laden; a ship is said to be light when she has no cargo, or merely in ballast. When very crank, she is said to be flying light. Also, a vessel bearing a light as a guide to navigators.

LIGHT WATER-DRAUGHT. The depth of water which a vessel draws when she is empty, or nearly so.

LIGHT WATER-LINE. The line showing the depression of the ship's body in the water when just launched, or quite unladen. (See Water-line.)

LIGNAMINA. Timber fit for building.

LIGNUM VITÆ. Guaiacum officinale. A West Indian tree, of the wood of which sheaves of blocks are made. It was allowed to be imported free of all duties.

LIMB. The graduated arc of an astronomical or surveying instrument. In astronomy, it is the edge or border of the disc of the sun, moon, or one of the planets; in which sense we say the upper limb, the lower limb, the sun or moon's nearest limb, &c.

LIMBER. In artillery, the two-wheeled carriage to which the trail of a field gun-carriage is attached for travel.—Limber-boxes are the chests fitted above the axle-tree of the limber for ammunition.—Limber up! is the command so to raise and attach.

LIMBER BOARDS or Plates. Short movable pieces of plank; a part of the lining of a ship's floor, close to the keelson, and immediately above the limbers. They are occasionally removed to clear them of any rubbish by which they may be clogged, so as to interrupt the passage of water to the pump-well.

LIMBER-BOX. Synonymous with limber-trunk.

LIMBER-CLEARER. A small chain rove fore-and-aft through the limber-passage to clear it when necessary, by hauling backwards and forwards.[446]

LIMBER-PASSAGE. The line of limber-holes throughout the whole length of the floor, on each side of the keelson, for the water to have free access to the pumps.

LIMBER-PLATES. See Limber-boards.

LIMBER-STREAK. The streak of foot-waling nearest the keelson, wrought over the lower ends of the first futtocks.

LIMBO. Restraint, durance, confinement under arrest, or in the bilboes. Dante uses this term for a division of the infernal regions.

LIMB-TANGENT. The accurate touch of the edge of a celestial body to the horizon.

LIME or LEMON JUICE. A valuable anti-scorbutic, included by act of parliament in the scale of provisions for seamen. It has latterly been so much adulterated that scurvy has increased threefold in a few years.

LIME-POTS. Formerly supplied among the munitions of war to ships.

LIMITING PARALLELS. The parallels of latitude upon the earth's surface, within which occultations of stars or planets by the moon are possible. They are given in the Nautical Almanac for each occultation.

LIMMER. The side-rope to a poop or other ladder.

LIMPET. A well-known shell-fish, giving rise to the brackish proverb, "Sticking fast like a limpet to a rock."

LINCH or LINS PIN. The iron pin which keeps the trucks of a gun-carriage confined to the axle-tree.

LINE, To. To cover one piece with another. Also, to mark out the work on a floor for determining the shape of a vessel's body.—To line a ship, is to strike off with a batten, or otherwise, the directional lines for painting her. (See Toe a Line.)

LINE. The general appellation of a number of small ropes in a ship, as buntlines, clue-lines, bowlines, &c. Also, the term in common parlance for the equator. Also, in the army, distinguishes the regular numbered regiments of cavalry and infantry from the artillery and guards, to whom exceptional functions are assigned. In fortification, it means a trench, approaches, &c. In a geometrical sense, it signifies length without breadth; and in military parlance, it is drawing up a front of soldiers.—Concluding line. A small rope, which is hitched to the middle of every step of a stern-ladder.—Deep-sea line. A long line, marked at every five fathoms with small strands of line, knotted, and used with the deep-sea lead. The first 20 fathoms are marked as follows: 2 and 3 fathoms with black leather; 5 with white bunting; 7 with red; 10 with leather and a hole in it. Then 13, 15, and 17 repeat the previous marks of 3, 5, and 7. Two knots indicate 20, three knots 30, four knots 40 fathoms, and so on, with an additional knot for every ten. Meanwhile a single knot indicates the intermediate fives. Besides this system some pilots prefer their own marks, as in the Hooghly, where they always measure the line for themselves. The term "deep-sea line" must not now be confined to the use of the lead for the ordinary purposes of safe navigation; deep-sea soundings for scientific purposes are recorded in[447] thousands of fathoms, in which case the line is sometimes made of silk, the object being to obtain the largest amount of strength with a small weight.—Fishing-lines. Particular kinds of lines, generally used for fishing snood, mackerel, whiting, cod, albacore, &c.—Hand-line. A line about 20 fathoms long, marked like the first 20 fathoms of the deep-sea line. It is made fast to a hand-lead of from 7 to 14 lbs., and used to determine the depth of water in going in or out of a harbour, river, channel, &c.—Hauling-line. Any rope let down out of a top, &c., to haul up some light body by hand.—Knave-line. A rope fastened to the cross-trees, under the main or fore top, whence it comes down by the ties to the ram-head, and there it is rove through a piece of wood about 2 feet long, and so is brought to the ship's side, and there hauled up taut to the rails.—Life-line. A rope occasionally extended in several situations for persons to lay hold of, to prevent their falling.—Mar-line. A particular kind of small line, composed of two strands very little twisted; there is both tarred and white mar-line. That supplied for the gunner and for bending light sails is untarred.—Navel-line. A rope depending from the heads of the main and fore masts, and passed round to the bight of the truss to keep it up, whilst the yard is being swayed up, or when the truss, in bracing sharp up, is overhauled to the full.—Spilling-lines. Ropes fixed occasionally to the square sails, particularly the main and fore courses in bad weather, for reefing or furling them more conveniently; they are rove through blocks upon the yard, whence leading round the sail they are fastened abaft the yard, so that the sail is very closely confined.—White-line. That which has not been tarred, in contradistinction to tarred line.

LINE-BREADTH. See Breadth Line.

LINE OF BATTLE. A disposition of the fleet at the moment of engagement, by signal or previous order, on which occasion the vessels are usually drawn up as much as possible in a specified bearing, as well to gain and keep the advantage of the wind, as to run the same board, about 1 cable, or 100 fathoms distant from each other. The line-of-battle in sea-fights occurs both in Plutarch (Themistocles) and Froissart.

LINE-OF-BATTLE SHIPS. Formerly those of 74 guns and upwards; or in these iron days, any vessel capable of giving and taking the tremendous blows of the larger ordnance.

LINE OF BEARING. A previously determined bearing given out by a commander-in-chief, as well as line-of-battle. "From line of battle form line of bearing," or reverse. The line of bearing must be that point of the compass on which the ships bear from each other, and from which the line of battle can readily be formed without losing speed or ground.

LINE OF COLLIMATION. See Collimation, Line of.

LINE OF DEFENCE. In fortification, the face of a work receiving flank defence, together with its prolongation to the flanking work.

LINE OF DEMARCATION. A line which is drawn by consent, to ascertain the limits of territories belonging to different powers.

LINE OF LINE. See Gunter's Line.[448]

LINE-OF-METAL ELEVATION. That which the axis of a gun has above the object when its line of metal is pointed on the latter; it averages 11⁄2° in guns of the old construction.

LINE OF NODES. The imaginary line joining the ascending and descending nodes of the orbit of a planet or comet.

LINE OF OPERATIONS. In strategy, the line an army follows to attain its objective point.

LINE OUT STUFF. To mark timber for dressing to shape.

LINERS. Line-of-battle ships. Also, a designation of such packet or passenger ships as trade periodically and regularly to and from ports beyond sea, in contradistinction to chance vessels. Also, a term applied by seamen to men-of-war and to their crews.

LINES. With shipwrights, are the various plans for determining the shape and form of the ship's body on the mould-loft floor. Also, a species of field-works, consisting of a series of fronts, constructed in order to cover the front and form the immediate defence of an army or the frontiers of a state.

LINES OF FLOTATION. Those horizontal marks supposed to be described by the surface of the water on the bottom of a ship, and which are exhibited at certain depths upon the sheer-draught. (See Light Water-line, and Load Water-line.)

LING. A brushwood useful in breaming. Also, a fish, the Lota molva; it invariably inhabits the deep valleys of the sea, while the cod is always found on the banks. When sun-dried it is called stock-fish.

LINGET. Small langridge; slugs.

LINGO. A very old word for tongue or dialect, rather than language or speech.

LININGS. The reef-bands, leech and top linings, buntline cloths, and other applied pieces, to prevent the chafing of the sails. In ship-building, the term means thin dressed board nailed over any rough surface to give it a finish.

LINKISTER. An interpreter; linguist.

LINKS. A northern phrase for the windings of a river; also for flat sands on the sea-shore, and low lands overflowed at spring tides.

LINK WORMING. Guarding a cable from friction, by worming it with chains.

LINNE. A Gaelic term for pool, pond, lake, or sea.

LINSEY-WOLSEY. A stuff in extensive use commercially; it is a mixture of flax and wool.

LINSTOCK. In olden times it was a staff about 3 feet long, having a sharp point at the foot to stick in the deck, and a forked head to hold a lighted match. It gave way to the less dangerous match-tub, and since that to gun-locks, friction-tubes, &c. Shakspeare in Henry V. says:

"And the nimble gunner
With linstock now the devilish cannon touches,
And down goes all before them."
[449]LINTRES. Ancient canoes capable of carrying three lintrarii.

LIP. Insolence and bounce.

LIPPER. A sea which washes over the weather chess-tree, perhaps leaper. Also, the spray from small waves breaking against a ship's bows.

LIPPING. Making notches on the edge of a cutlass or sword.

LIPS OF SCARPHS. The substance left at the ends, which would otherwise become sharp, and be liable to split.

LIQUORS. A term applicable to all fluids, but at sea it is expressly applied to alcoholic spirits.

LIRA. An Italian coin. A silver coin of about tenpence sterling.

LISBONINE. A national denomination for the moidore.

LISSOM. Active, supple.

LIST, To. To incline to one side; as "the ship has a list to port," i.e. leans over to that side.

LIST. A roll of names, as the army and navy lists; but usually at sea it means the doctor's list. Also, the abbreviation for enlist. "Why did you list?" said when a man is grumbling who has entered a service voluntarily.

LIST AND RECEIPT. The official document sent with officers or men of any description, discharged from one ship to another; it merely states the names and qualities, with the date of discharge.

LISTER. A sort of three-pronged harpoon used in the salmon fisheries; also, a light spear for killing fish in general.

LISTING. A narrow strip cut off the edge of a plank, in order to expose for examination, and get at, a vessel's timbers.

LITTER. A sort of hurdle bed, on which to carry wounded men from the field to the boats.

LITTORAL. Relating to a coast; often used as synonymous with sea-board.

LITTORARIÆ. Ancient coasting vessels.

LIVE, To. To be able to withstand the fury of the elements; said of a boat or ship, &c.

LIVE-LUMBER. Passengers, ladies, landsmen, cattle, sheep, pigs, and poultry.

LIVELY. To lift lightly to the sea; as a boat, &c.

LIVER-FACED. Mean and cowardly, independent of complexion.

LIVERY-ARROW. A missile formerly supplied to our ships of war.

LIVE-SHELL. One filled with its charge of powder or other combustible. It is also called a loaded shell.

LIVID SKY. That blackish red and blue which pervade the sky, previous to an easterly gale, at sea:—

"Deep midnight now involves the livid skies
Where eastern breezes, yet enervate, rise."—Falconer.
LIZARD. A piece of rope, sometimes with two legs, and one or more iron thimbles spliced into it. It is used for various purposes; one is often made fast to the topsail-tye, for the buntlines to reeve through, to[450] confine them to the centre of the yard. A lizard with a tail and thimble is used as a fair lead, to lead out where the lift runs in a line with the object. The lower boom topping-lift is thus helped by carrying the lizard out to the fore-brace block. In yards sent aloft ready for crossing, the lizard confines the yard rope until the order is given, "Sway across," when, letting the lizard run, all cross simultaneously.

LIZIERE. In fortification, a word sometimes used for berm (which see). A narrow bank of earth supporting the parapet when deformed by fire.

LLANOS [Sp. plains]. Immense plains in S. America, with alternate arid patches and verdure.

LLOYD'S. An establishment which, from a subscription coffee-house, has grown to a society which has transacted the bulk of the British insurance business regularly since 1601; and even before that period assurers had met there "time out of mind." A register is kept of every ship, whether foreign or English, with the place where it was built, the materials used in its construction, its age, state of repair, and general character.

LLOYD'S AGENTS. Persons appointed in all parts of the commercial world, to forward accounts of the arrivals and departures of vessels, or any information interesting to the underwriters.

LLOYD'S LIST. A gazette, published formerly twice a week, but latterly daily, under the superintendence of a committee chosen by the subscribers, and transmitted over the whole world.

LLOYD'S REGISTER. An annual list of British and foreign shipping, ranked by letter and number in different classes.

LLOYD'S SURVEYORS. Practical persons specially appointed in London, and most of the out-ports of the United Kingdom, to investigate the state and condition of merchant-ships for the underwriters.

LOADED-SHELL. A shell filled with lead, to be thrown from a mortar. The term is also used for live-shells.

LOADING-CHAMBER. The paterero, or inserting piece in breech-loading.

LOADING OF A SHIP. See Cargo and Lading.

LOADSMAN. A pilot, or person who conducts into or out of harbours.

LOADSTONE. See Magnet and Dipping-needle.

LOAD WATER-LINE. The draught of water exhibited when the ship is properly loaded; in a word, her proper displacement, not always sufficiently considered.

LOAD WATER-SECTION. A horizontal section at the load water-line in the ship-builder's draught.

LOAFER. One who hangs about a dock, ready for every job except a hard one.

LOATH TO DEPART. Probably the first line of some favourite song; formerly the air was sounded in men-of-war, when going foreign, for the women and children to quit the ship.

LOB. A sluggish booby; whence lubber. Also, that part of a tree where it first divides into branches.[451]

LOBBY. A name sometimes given to an apartment close before the great cabin bulk-head.

LOB-COCK. A lubber; an old term of utter contempt.

LOBLOLLY. A name formerly applied to pottage, burgoo, or gruel.

LOBLOLLY-BOY. A man who attended the surgeon and his assistants, to summon the sick, and attend on them. A man is now stationed in the bay, under the designation of sick-berth attendant.

LOBSCOUSE. An olla-podrida of salt-meat, biscuit, potatoes, onions, spices, &c., minced small and stewed together. (See Lap's Course.)

LOBSTER. A well-known marine crustacean, Astacus marinus. Also, red-coats of old; whence lobster-box, a colloquialism for barracks.

LOBSTER-BOAT. A bluff, clincher-built vessel, fitted with a well, to preserve the lobsters alive.

LOBSTER-TOAD. See Deep-sea Crab.

LOB-TAILING. The act of the sperm whale in violently beating the water with its tail.

LOB-WORM. A worm found at low-water in sand, esteemed for bait.

LOCAL ATTRACTION. The effect of the iron in a ship on her compasses; it varies with the position of a compass in a ship, also with that of a ship on the earth's surface, and with the direction of the ship's head. In iron ships it is affected by the line of direction in which they are built. Its detection and remedies are amongst the most important studies of navigators of iron ships and steamers.

LOCAL MARINE-BOARD. See Marine Boards.

LOCH. Gaelic for lake, in Scotland and Ireland. In Scotland also an arm of the sea, where the tides ebb and flow; on the east coast called a firth, though on the west mostly termed a loch.

LOCHABER AXE. A formidable weapon once used by the Highlanders.

LOCK. The striking instrument by which fire is produced for the discharge of a gun, containing the cock, the hammer, the pan, &c. It was first introduced in naval ordnance by Sir Charles Douglas, and has now given way to the detonating hammer and friction-tube, as the old match and the salamander did to the lock.

LOCK. A spelling of loch (which see). Also, the general name for any works made to confine or raise the water of a river; a canal inclosed between the sluice-gate above and the flood-gate below.

LOCK, To. To entangle the lower yards when tacking.

LOCKAGE. The cost of passing vessels through canal-locks.

LOCKER. Divisions in cabins and store-rooms.—Boatswain's locker. A chest in small craft wherein material for working upon rigging is kept.—Chain-locker or chain-well, where the chain-cables are kept; best abreast the main-mast, as central weight, but often before the fore-mast.—Davy Jones' locker. The bottom of the sea, where nothing is lost, because you know where it is.—Shot-lockers, near the pump-well in the hold. Also, the receptacle round the coamings of hatchways.

LOCKET. The chape of a sword-scabbard.[452]

LOCK-FAST. A modified principle in the breech-loading of fire-arms.

LOCKING-IN. The alternate clues and bodies of the hammocks when hung up.

LOCK, STOCK, AND BARREL. An expression derived from fire-arms, and meaning the whole.

LOC-MEN, or Loco-men. An old term for pilots.

LOCOMOTIVE-POWER. The force of sails and wind, or steam.

LODE-MANAGE, or Lodemanship. The hire of a pilot. It also meant both pilotage and seamanship; whence Chaucer—

"His herborough, his moone, and his lodemanage,
There was none such from Hull to Cartage."
LODE-MEREGE. In the laws of Oleron, seems identical with lode-manage.

LODE-SHIP. A pilot boat, which was also employed in fishing; it is mentioned in statute 31 Edward III. c. 2.

LODESMEN. An Anglo-Saxon word for pilots.

LODE-STAR. The north star. But Spenser alludes to any star as a guide to mariners:—

"Like as a ship, whose lode-star, suddenly
Cover'd with clouds, her pilot hath dismay'd."
Shakspeare coincides with this, in comparing Hermia's eyes to lode-stars.

LODGE ARMS. The word of command to an armed party preparatory to their breaking off.

LODGEMENT. In fortification, an established footing, such as a besieger makes by throwing up hasty cover, against the fire of the defenders, on any freshly gained post.

LODGING-KNEES, or Deck-beam Knees. Those riding on the hanging or dagger-knees, and fixed horizontally in the ship's frame.

LODIA. A large trading boat of the White Sea.

LOE, or Lawe. An eminence, whether natural or artificial.

LOFTY SHIPS. Once a general name for square-rigged vessels:—

"A mackerel sky and mares' tails
Make lofty ships carry low sails."
LOG-BOARD. Two boards shutting together like a book, and divided into several columns, in which to record, through the hours of the day and night, the direction of the wind and the course of the ship, with all the material occurrences, together with the latitude by observation. From this table the officers work the ship's way, and compile their journals. The whole being written by the mate of the watch with chalk, is rubbed out every day at noon. Now a slate is more generally used.

LOG-BOOK. Mostly called the log, is a journal into which the log-board is daily transcribed, together with any other circumstance deserving notice. The intermediate divisions or watches are usually signed by the commanding officer. It is also divided into harbour-log and sea-log.

LOG-CANOE. One hollowed out of a single log. (See Canoe.)[453]

LOGGED. Entered in the log. A very serious punishment, not long disused, as a mark of disgrace, by recording the omissions of an officer. It may yet be demanded if arrest ensues.

LOGGED. When a ship is on her beam ends, or in that state in which she is unmanageable at sea. (See Water-logged.)

LOGGERHEAD, or Logger-heat. A round ball of iron attached to a long handle with a hook at the end of it. It heats tar by being made hot in the fire, and then plunged into the tar-bucket. It was also used to pound cocoa before chocolate was supplied. Also, an upright rounded piece of wood, near the stern of a whale-boat, for catching a turn of the line to. Also, a name given to a well-known turtle, Chelonia caouana, from its having a great head; it is sometimes called the whooper or whapper. (See Turtle.)

LOG-GLASS. The sand-glass used at heaving the log to obtain the rate of sailing. It is a 28 seconds glass for slow sailing, and 14 seconds for fast sailing.

LOG-LINE and LOG-SHIP. A small line about 100 fathoms long, fastened to the log-ship by means of two legs, one of which passes through a hole at the corner, and is knotted on the opposite side, while the other leg is attached by a pin fixed into another hole so as to draw out when stop is called, i.e. when the glass has run out. This line, from the distance of 10, 12, or 15 fathoms of the log-ship, has certain knots or divisions, which ought to be 47 feet 4 inches from each other, though it was the common practice at sea not to have them above 42 feet. The estimate of the ship's way or distance run is done by observing the length of the line unwound whilst the glass is running; for so many knots as run out in that time, so many miles the ship sails in an hour.—To heave the log is to throw it into the water on the lee-side, well out of the wake, letting it run until it gets beyond the eddies, then a person holding the glass turns it up just as the first mark, or stray-line, goes out, from which the knots begin to be reckoned. The log is, however, at best, a precarious way of computing, and must be corrected by experience. The inventor of it is not known, and no mention is made of it till the year 1607, in an East India voyage, published by Purchas. The mode before, and even now in some colliers, and in native craft in the East Indies, is to throw a log or chip overboard at the foremost channel-plate, and to walk aft, keeping up with it until it passes the stern, thus estimating (and closely too by practice) the rate of motion. Other methods have been invented by various people, but Massey's Patent Log gives the most accurate measurement. The same principle is also applied to the deep-sea sounding-lead.

LOGWOOD. Dyewood, Hæmatoxylon campechianum. It occurs on both sides of the American coasts near the Isthmus of Darien, and is a great article of trade, varying from £5 to £10 per ton. Recent discoveries of the products of coal have reduced the price.

LOICH. A statute term, comprehending the fishes lobbe, ling, and cod.

LONDAGE. An old term for landing from a boat.[454]

LONDON WAGGON. The tender which carried the impressed men from off the tower to the receiving-ship at the Nore.

LONGÆ. Roman row-boats built to carry a large number of men.

LONG AND SHORT BOARDS. See Tack and Half-tack.

LONG BALLS. Engaging beyond the reach of carronades.

LONG BOAT. Is carvel-built, full, flat, and high, and is usually the largest boat belonging to a ship, furnished with spars and sails, and may be armed and equipped for cruizing short distances; her principal employ, however, is to bring heavy stores on board, and also to go up small rivers to fetch water, wood, &c. At sea it is stowed between the fore and main masts. Not used in the navy. (See Launch.)

LONG-BOW. A noted weapon formerly supplied to our men-of-war.

LONG CHALKS. Great strides. (See Chalks.)

LONGER. Each row of casks in the hold, athwart. Also, the fore and aft space allotted to a hammock; the longers reckoned similarly to last.

LONG-GASKETS. Those used for sea service; the opposite of harbour-gaskets (which see).

LONGIE. A name of the foolish guillemot, Uria troile, in the north.

LONGITUDE. Is an arc of the equator, or any parallel of latitude, contained between the meridian of a place and that of Greenwich, or any other first meridian. These arcs being similar, are expressed by the same number of degrees and miles, though the absolute distance on the earth's surface decreases as the latitude increases, for which see Departure. East longitude extends 180 degrees to the right, when looking north, and west longitude as many to the left of the first meridian.

LONGITUDE, Geocentric. The angular distance of a heavenly body from the first point of Aries, measured upon the ecliptic, as viewed from the earth.

LONGITUDE, Heliocentric. The angular distance of a body from the first point of Aries, measured upon the ecliptic, as viewed from the sun.

LONGITUDE BY ACCOUNT. The distance east and west, as computed from the ship's course and distance run, carried forward from the last astronomical determination.

LONGITUDE BY CHRONOMETER. Is estimated by the difference between the time at the place, and the time indicated by chronometer.

LONGITUDE BY LUNAR OBSERVATION. The longitude calculated by observing the moon's angular distance from the sun or a fixed star. It is the only check on chronometers, and very valuable in long voyages, though now much neglected, since the establishment of compulsory examination in the merchant service, which does not require lunars.

LONGITUDE OF A CELESTIAL BODY. An arc of the ecliptic, contained between the first point of Aries and a circle of longitude passing through the centre of the body.

LONGITUDINAL SECTION. In ship-building, a line which cuts the draught of a vessel lengthwise.

LONG-JAWED. The state of rope when its strands are straightened by[455] being much strained and untwisted, and from its pliability will coil both ways.

LONG-LEAVE. Permission to visit friends at a distance.

LONG-LEGGED. Said of a vessel drawing much water.—Long leggers, lean schooners. Longer than ordinary proportion to breadth. Swift.

LONG OYSTER. A name of the sea cray-fish.

LONG-SERVICE. A cable properly served to prevent chafing under particular use.

'LONGSHORE. A word used rather contemptuously for alongshore; land usage.—'Longshore fellows, landsmen pretenders.—'Longshore owners, those merchants who become notorious for sending their ships to sea scantily provided with stores and provisions.

LONG-SHOT. A distant range. It is also used to express a long way; a far-fetched explanation; something incredible.

LONG STERN-TIMBERS. See Stern-timbers.

LONG STROKE. The order to a boat's crew to stretch out and hang on her.

LONG-TACKLES. Those overhauled down for hoisting up top-sails to be bent. Long-tackle blocks have two sheaves of different sizes placed one above the other, as in fiddle-blocks.

LONG-TAILS. A sobriquet for the Chinese.

LONG TIMBERS, or Long Top-timbers. Synonymous with double futtocks. Timbers in the cant-bodies, reaching from the dead-wood to the head of the second futtock, and forming a floor.

LONG TOGS. Landsman's clothes.

LONG TOM, or Long Tom Turks. Pieces of lengthy ordnance for chasers, &c.

LONG VOYAGE. One in which the Atlantic Ocean is crossed.


LOO, or Loe. A little round hill or heap of stones.—Under the loo, is shelter from the wind; to leeward.

LOOF. The after part of a ship's bow, before the chess-tree, or that where the planks begin to be incurvated as they approach the stem. Hence, the guns which lie here are called loof-pieces.

LOOF. Usually pronounced and spelled luff (which see).

LOOK, To. The bearing or direction, as, she looks up, is approaching her course.—A plank looks fore and aft, means, is placed in that direction.

LOOK-OUT. Watchful attention; there is always a look-out kept from the forecastle, foretopsail-yard, or above, to watch for any dangerous object lying near a ship's track, for any strange sail heaving in sight, &c.; the officer of the watch accordingly calls frequently from the quarter-deck to the mast-head-man appointed for this service, "Look out afore there."

LOOK OUT FOR SQUALLS. Beware; cautionary.

LOOM. The handle of an oar. Also, the track of a fish.

LOOM, To. An indistinct enlarged appearance of any distant object in light fogs, as the coast, ships, &c.; "that land looms high," "that ship looms large." The effect of refraction.[456]

LOOM-GALE. An easy gale of wind, in which a ship can carry her whole top-sails a-trip.

LOON, or Lunde. The great northern diver, Colymbus glacialis. A bird about the size of a goose, which frequents the northern seas, where "as straight as a loon's leg," is a common comparison.

LOOP. A bight or bend. The winding of a river.

LOOP-HOLES. Small openings made in the walls of a castle, or a fortification, for musketry to fire through. Also, certain apertures formed in the bulk-heads, hatches, and other parts of a merchant-ship, through which small arms might be fired on an enemy who boarded her, and for close fight. They were formerly called meurtrières, and were introduced in British slave-vessels.

LOOPS of a Gun-carriage. The iron eye-bolts to which the tackles are hooked.

LOOSE, To. To unfurl or cast loose any sail, in order to its being set, or dried after rain.

LOOSE A ROPE, To. To cast it off, or let it go.

LOOSE FALL. The losing of a whale after an apparently good opportunity for striking it.

LOOSE ICE. A number of pieces near each other, but through which the ship can make her way.

LOOSERS. Men appointed to loose the sails.

LOOSING FOR SEA. Weighing the anchor.

LOOT. Plunder, or pillage; a term adopted from China.

LOOVERED BATTENS. The battens that inclose the upper part of the well. (See Loover-ways.)

LOOVER-WAYS. Battens or boards placed at a certain angle, so as to admit air, but not wet; a kind of Venetian-blind.

LOP AND TOP. The top and branches of a felled tree.

LOP-SIDED. Uneven; one side larger than the other.

LORCHA. A swift Chinese sailing vessel carrying guns.

LORD OF MISRULE. See Master of Misrule.


LORD WARDEN of the Cinque Ports. A magistrate who has the jurisdiction of the ports or havens so called. Generally held by one high in office, or an old minister.

LORICA. A defensive coat-armour made of leather; when iron plates were applied, it became a jack.

LORN. A northern name for the crested cormorant, Phalacrocorax cristatus.

LORRELL. An old term for a lubberly fellow.

LOSE WAY, To. When a ship slackens her progress in the water.

LOSING the Number of the Mess. Dead, drowned, or killed. (See Number.)

LOSING GROUND. Dropping to leeward while working; the driftage.

LOSS. Total loss is the insurance recovered under peril, according to the[457] invoice price of the goods when embarked, together with the premium of insurance. Partial loss upon either ship or goods, is that proportion of the prime cost which is equal to the diminution in value occasioned by the damage. (See Insurance.)

LOSSAN. A Manx or Erse term for the luminosity of the sea.

LOST. The state of being foundered or cast away; said of a ship when she has either sunk, or been beat to pieces by the violence of the sea.

LOST DAY. The day which is lost in circumnavigating the globe to the westward, by making each day a little more than twenty-four hours long. (See Gained Day.)

LOST HER WAY. When the buoy is streamed, and all is ready for dropping the anchor.

LOST! LOST! When a whale flukes, dives, or takes tail up to "running," and the boats have no chance in chasing.

LOST OR NOT LOST. A phrase originally inserted in English policies of insurance, in cases where a loss was already apprehended. It is now continued by usage, and is held not to make the contract a wager, nor more hazardous.

LOT. The abbreviation of allotment, or allowance to wife or mother. (See Allotment.)

LOTMAN. An old term for pirate.

LOUGH. See Loch.

LOUND. Calm, out of wind.

LOW. An old term for a small hill or eminence.

LOW AND ALOFT. Sail from deck to truck: "every stitch on her."

LOWE. A flame, blaze. The torch used in the north by fish-poachers.

LOWER, To. The atmosphere to become cloudy. Also, to ease down gradually, expressed of some weighty body suspended by tackles or ropes, which, being slackened, suffer the said body to descend as slowly, or expeditiously, as occasion requires.

LOWER-BREADTH-SWEEP. The second on the builder's draught, representing the lower height of breadth, on which line is set off the main half-breadth of the ship at its corresponding timber.

LOWER COUNTER. The counter between the upper counter and the rail under the lights.

LOWER-DECKERS. The heaviest armament, usually on the lower deck.

LOWER-FINISHING. See Finishings.

LOWER HANDSOMELY, Lower Cheerly. Are opposed to each other; the former being the order to lower gradually, and the latter to lower expeditiously.

LOWER-HEIGHT. See Main-breadth.

LOWER-HOLD. The space for cargo in a merchant-vessel, fitted with 'tween-decks.

LOWER-HOLD-BEAMS. The lowest range of beams in a merchantman.

LOWER-HOPE. A well-known reach in the Thames where ships wait for the turn of the tide.[458]

LOWER-LIFTS. The lifts of the fore, main, and crossjack-yards.


LOWER TRANSIT. The opposite to the upper transit of a circumpolar star: the passage sub polo.

LOW LATITUDES. Those regions far removed from the poles of the earth towards the equator, 10° south or north of it.

LOW SAILS. The courses and close-reefed top-sails.

LOW WATER. The lowest point to which the tide ebbs. (See Tide.) Also, used figuratively for being in distress, without money.

LOXODROMIC. The line of a ship's way when sailing oblique to the meridian.

LOXODRONIUS. The traverse table.

LOZENGE. The diamond-cut figure. (See Rhombus.)

LUBBER, or Lubbart. An awkward unseamanlike fellow; from a northern word implying a clownish dolt. A boatswain defined them as "fellows fitted with teeth longer than their hair," alluding to their appetites.

LUBBER-LAND. A kind of El Dorado in sea-story, or country of pleasure without work, all sharing alike.

LUBBER'S HOLE. The vacant space between the head of a lower-mast and the edge of the top, so termed from timid climbers preferring that as an easier way for getting into the top than trusting themselves to the futtock-shrouds. The term has been used for any cowardly evasion of duty.

LUBBER'S POINT. A black vertical line or mark in the compass-bowl in the direction of the ship's head, by which the angle between the magnetic meridian and the ship's line of course is shown.

LUBRICATOR. The oil or similar material applied to the bearings of machinery to obviate friction. Also, special preparations of the same included in cartridges for rifled fire-arms, to prevent the fouling from the burnt powder adhering to the interior of the bore.

LUCE. The old word for a full-grown pike or jack, immortalized by Shakspeare.

LUCIDA. The bright star or α of each constellation.

LUCKEN. An unsplit haddock half-dry.

LUCKY MINIE'S LINES. The long stems of the sea-plant Chorda filum.

LUCKY-PROACH. A northern term for father-lasher, Cottus scorpius.

LUFF, or Loofe. The order to the helmsman, so as to bring the ship's head up more to windward. Sometimes called springing a luff. Also, the air or wind. Also, an old familiar term for lieutenant. Also, the fullest or roundest part of a ship's bows. Also, the weather-leech of a sail.

LUFF AND LIE. A very old sea-term for hugging the wind closely.

LUFF AND TOUCH HER! Try how near the wind she will come. (See Touching.)

LUFF INTO A HARBOUR, To. To sail into it, shooting head to wind,[459] gradually. A ship is accordingly said to spring her luff when she yields to the effort of the helm, by sailing nearer to the wind, or coming to, and does not shake the wind out of her sails until, by shortening all, she reaches her anchorage.

LUFF ROUND, or Luff A-lee. The extreme of the movement, by which it is intended to throw the ship's head up suddenly into the wind, in order to go about, or to lessen her way to avoid danger.

LUFF-TACKLE. A purchase composed of a double and single block, the standing end of the rope being fast to the single block, and the fall coming from the double. This name is given to any large tackle not destined for any particular place, but to be variously used as occasion may require. It is larger than the jigger-tackle, but smaller than the fore and main yard-tackles or the stay-tackles. (See Luff upon Luff.)

LUFF UPON LUFF. One luff-tackle applied to the fall of another, to afford an increase of purchase.

LUG. The Arenicola piscatorum, a sand-worm much used for bait. Also, of old, the term for a perch or rod used in land-measuring, containing 161⁄2 feet, and which may have originated the word log.

LUGAR [Sp.] A name for watering-places on the Spanish coast.

LUG-BOAT. The fine Deal boats which brave the severest weather; they are rigged as luggers, and dip the yards in tacking. They really constitute a large description of life-boat.

LUGGER. A small vessel with quadrilateral or four-cornered cut sails, set fore-and-aft, and may have two or three masts. French coasters usually rig thus, and are called chasse marées; but with us it is confined to fishing craft and ships' boats; some carry top-sails. During the war of 1810 to 1814 French luggers, as well as Guernsey privateers, were as large as 300 tons, and carried 18 guns. One captured inside the Needles in 1814, carried a mizen-topsail. The Long Bet of Plymouth, a well-known smuggler, long defied the Channel gropers, but was taken in 1816.

LUGS. The ears of a bomb-shell, to which the hooks are applied in lifting it.

LUG-SAIL. A sail used in boats and small vessels. It is in form like a gaff-sail, but depends entirely on the rope of the luff for its stability. The yard is two-thirds of the breadth at foot, and is slung at one-fourth from the luff. On the mast is an iron hoop or traveller, to which it is hoisted. The tack may be to windward, or at the heel of the mast amidships. It is powerful, but has the inconvenience of requiring to be lowered and shifted on the mast at every tack, unless the tack be secured amidships. Much used in the barca-longa, navigated by the Spaniards.

LULL. The brief interval of moderate weather between the gusts of wind in a gale. Also, an abatement in the violence of surf.

LULL-BAG. A wide canvas hose in whalers for conducting blubber into the casks, as it is "made off."

LUMBER. Logs as they arrive at the mills. Also, timber of any size, sawed or split for use. Also, things stowed without order.[460]

LUMBERER. One who cuts timber (generally in gangs) in the forests of North America during the winter, and, on the melting of the snow, navigates it, first by stream-driving the separate logs down the spring torrents, then in bays or small rafts down the wider streams, and finally in rafts of thousands of square yards of surface down the navigable rivers, to the mills or to the port of shipment.

LUMIERE CENDREE. A term adopted from the French to signify the ash-coloured faint illumination of the dark part of the moon's surface about the time of new moon, caused by sunlight reflected from the earth.

LUMP. A stout heavy lighter used in our dockyards for carrying anchors, chains, or heavy stores to or from vessels. Also, the trivial name of the baggety, an ugly fish, likewise called the sea-owl, Cyclopterus lumpus. Also, undertaking any work by the lump or whole.—By the lump, a sudden fall out of the slings or out of a top; altogether.

LUMPERS. So named from labouring at lump or task work. Labourers employed to load and unload a merchant ship when in harbour. In the north the term is applied to those who furnish ballast to ships.

LUMP SUM. A full payment of arrears, and not by periodical instalments of money.

LUNAR. The brief epithet for the method of finding the longitude by the moon and sun or moon and stars. (See Working a Lunar.)

LUNAR DAY. The interval between a departure and return of the moon to the meridian.

LUNAR DISTANCES. An important element in finding the longitude at sea, by what is termed nautical astronomy. It is effected by measuring the apparent distance of the moon from the sun, planet, or certain bright stars, and comparing it with that given in the nautical almanac, for every third hour of Greenwich time.

LUNAR INEQUALITY. See Variation of the Moon.

LUNAR OBSERVATIONS. The method of observing the apparent distances between given celestial objects, and then clearing the angles from the effects of parallax and refraction.

LUNAR TABLES. The tabulated logarithmic aid for correcting the apparent distance, and facilitating the reduction of the observations.

LUNATION. The period in which the moon goes through every variety of phase; that is, one synodical revolution.

LUNETTE. In fortification, a work composed of two faces meeting in a salient angle, from the inner extremities of which two short flanks run towards the rear, leaving an open gorge; it is generally applied only in connection with other works. Prize-masters will recollect that lunette is also the French name for a spy-glass or telescope.

LUNGE [a corruption of allonge]. A pass or thrust with a sword; a shove with a boarding-pike.

LUNI-SOLAR. A chronological term; it is the moon's cycle multiplied into that of the sun.

LUNI-SOLAR PRECESSION. See Precession.[461]

LUNT. A match-cord to fire great guns—a match for a linstock.

LUNTRA. See Felucca.

LURCA. An old term for a small Mediterranean coaster.

LURCH. A heavy roll, weather or lee, as occasioned by a sea suddenly striking or receding from the weather-bilge of the vessel.—To be left in the lurch is to be left behind in a case where others make their escape.

LUSH. Intoxicating fluids of any kind. Also, a northern term for splashing in water.

LUSORIÆ. Ancient vessels of observation or pleasure.

LUST. An archaism of list. (See List.)

LUTE-STERN. Synonymous with pink-stern.

LUTINGS. The dough stoppages to the seams of the coppers, &c., when distilling sea water.

LYING. The situation of a whale when favourable for sticking—the "lie" usually occurs after feeding.

LYING ALONG. See Laying Along.

LYING ON HIS OARS. Taking a rest; at ease.

LYING-TO. See Lie-to.

LYM. From the Celtic leim, a port; as Lyme and Lymington.

LYMPHAD. The heraldic term for an old-fashioned ship or galley.

LYNCH-LAW. A word recently imported into our parlance from America, signifying illegal and revengeful execution at the wish of a tumultuous mob.

LYRA. One of the ancient northern constellations. Also, a name of the gray gurnard, or crooner (which see).

LYRIE. The name in the Firth of Forth for the Cottus cataphractus, or armed bull-head.

LYTER. The old orthography for lighter (which see).

LYTHE. A name for the pollack, Gadus pollachius. Also, the coal-fish in its fourth year.