T to Z


TAB. The arming of an archer's gauntlet or glove.

TABERIN. A species of shark greatly dreaded by the pearl-fishers of Ceylon.

TABERNACLE. A strong trunk on the deck of river barges, forming a kind of hinge to enable them to lower the mast when going under bridges. Also, used to elongate the mast of any boat by stepping it in a tabernacle.

TABLE-CLOTH. A fleecy-looking cloud which sometimes covers the "table" or flat top of Table Mountain, at the Cape of Good Hope; it is the forerunner of a south-easter, being the condensation of moisture in the sea-air as it ascends the mountain side.

TABLE-LAND. Land which is flat-topped, however it may be raised more or less above the ordinary level of the vicinity.

TABLE-MONEY. An allowance to admirals and senior officers, in addition to their pay, to meet the expenses of their official guests.

TABLES. See Astronomical Tables, and Nautical Tables.

TABLE-SHORE. A low level shore.

TABLET. See Trapezoid. Also, a flat coping stone placed at the top of the revêtement of the escarp, to protect the masonry from the weather.[672]

TABLING. A broad hem on the edges of a ship's sails, to strengthen them in that part which is sewed to the bolt-rope. Also, letting one piece of timber into another, similar to the hooking of planks, so that they cannot be pulled asunder.

TACES. See Taishes.

TACK. A rope to confine the weather lower corners of the courses and staysails when the wind crosses the ship's course obliquely. Also, the rope employed to haul out the lower outer clue of a studding-sail to the boom-end. With jibs and fore-and-aft sails, the tack confines them amidships. A ship is said to be on the tack of the side from which the wind comes: even if it be on the quarter.—To tack. To go about, to change the course from one board to another from the starboard to the port tack, or vice versâ. It is done by turning the ship's head suddenly to the wind, whereby her head-sails are thrown aback, and cause her to fall off from the wind to the other tack. The opposite to wearing.

TACK AND HALF-TACK. Working to windward, or along shore, by long and short boards, or legs, alternately.

TACKLE. A purchase formed by the connection of a fall, or rope, with two or more blocks. When a power sustains a weight by a rope over a fixed sheave, the weight and power will be equal; but if one end of the rope be fixed, and the sheave be movable with the weight, then the power will be but half the weight; but in a combination of sheaves, or pulleys, the power will be to the weight as 1 to the numbers of parts of the fall.—Ground-tackle. Anchors, cables, &c.—Tack-tackle. A small tackle used to pull down the tacks of the principal sails to their respective stations, and particularly attached to the main-sails of brigs, sloops, cutters, and schooners.

TACKLE-FALL. The part hauled upon in any tackle, simple or compound.

TACK OR SHEET. A man's saying that he will not start tack or sheet implies resolution.

TACK-PINS. The belaying pins of the fife-rail; called also Jack-pins.

TACTICS. The art of disposing and applying naval or military forces in action with the enemy, in whose presence strategy gives place to tactics.

TAFFIA. A bad spirit, made and sold at Mauritius.

TAFFRAIL, or Taffarel. The upper part of a ship's stern, a curved railing, the ends of which unite to the quarter-pieces.

TAIL. A rope spliced into the strop or round of any block, leaving a long end for making fast to rigging, spars, &c.—To tail on to a bank. To be aground abaft only.—To tail up or down a stream. When at anchor in a river, is as a ship's stern swings.

TAIL-BLOCK. A rope-stropped block, having an end of rope attached to it as a tail, by which it may be fastened to any object at pleasure.

TAIL OF A GALE. The latter part of a gale, when its violence is dying out.

TAIL ON, or Tally on. The order to clap on to a rope.[673]

TAIL-RACE. The water which leaves the paddles of a steam-boat. Also, the water-course of a mill beyond the water-wheel.

TAIL-TACKLE. A luff-tackle purchase, with a hook in the end of the single block, and a tail to the upper end of the double block. Synonymous with watch-tackle.

TAIL UP. When a whale dives perpendicularly. In this case whalers expect the fish to rise near the same spot. Also termed fluking.

TAIL-VALVE. A valve in the air-pump at the opposite side from the condenser, and connected with the latter by a pipe under the air-pump: it opens when pressed by steam entering the condenser by the blow-through valve, but the weight of the atmosphere is sufficient to keep it shut so long as there is a vacuum in the condenser.

TAINT. By admiralty law, the taint of contraband extends to all property on board belonging to the owners of detected contraband articles.

TAISHES. Armour for the thighs.

TAISTE. A northern name for the black guillemot.

TAJASO. The jerked beef supplied to ships on some parts of the coast of America.

TAKE. The draught of fishes in a single drag of the net. Also, to take, in a military sense, to take or adopt any particular formation, as to take open order, or to take ground to the right or the left.—To take an astronomical observation, so to ascertain the position of a celestial body as to learn from it the place of the ship.

TAKEL [Anglo-Saxon]. The arrows which used to be supplied to the fleet; the takill of Chaucer.

TAKEN AFT. Complained of on the quarter-deck.

TAKE-UP. The part between the smoke-box and the bottom of the funnel in a marine boiler. Also, a seaman takes up slops when he applies to the purser for articles of ready-made clothes, to be charged against his wages. Also, an officer takes up the gauntlet when he accepts a challenge, though no longer in the form of a glove.

TAKE WATER ON BOARD, To. To ship a sea.

TAKING A DEPARTURE. Determining the place of a ship by means of the bearing and distance of a known object, and assuming it as the point to be calculated from.

TAKING IN. The act of brailing up and furling sails at sea; generally used in opposition to setting. (See Furl and Shorten.) Also said of a ship when loading.

TAKING OFF. Said of tides, when decreasing from the spring-tides.

TALARO. A silver coin of Ragusa, value 3s. sterling: also of Venice, value 4s. 2d.

TALE [from Anglo-Saxon tael, number]. Taylor thus expressed it in 1630—

"Goods in and out, which daily ships doe fraight
By guesse, by tale, by measure, and by weight."
TALLANT. The upper hance, or break of the rudder abaft.[674]

TALL SHIP. A phrase among the early voyagers for square-rigged vessels having top-masts.

TALLY, To. To haul the sheets aft; as used by Falconer—

"And while the lee clue-garnet's lower'd away,
Taut aft the sheet they tally, and belay."
TALUS. The old word in fortification for slope.

TAMBOUR. A projecting kind of stockade, attached to ill-flanked walls, &c.

TAN and TANNED SAILS. Those steeped in oak-bark.

TANG, or Tangle. Fucus digitatus, and other sea-weed, which are used as manure.

TANGENT. A right line raised perpendicularly on the extremity of a radius, touching the circle without cutting it.

TANGENT-SCALE. Fitted to the breech of a gun for admeasuring its elevation; it is a sliding pillar marked with degrees and their subdivisions (according to the distance between the sights on the gun), and bears a notch or other sight on its head. With rifled guns a vernier, reading the minutes, is generally added.

TANGENT-SCREW. A screw acting tangentially to a circle, by means of which a slow motion may be given to the vernier of any instrument.

TANG-FISH. A northern name for the seal.

TANK. A piece of deep water, natural as well as artificial. Also, an iron cistern for containing fresh water—a great improvement on wooden casks for keeping water sweet.

TANKA. A covered Chinese shore-boat for conveying passengers to ships; worked by women only.

TANTARA. An old word for the noise of a drum.

TAPERED. A term applied to ropes which decrease in size towards one end, as tacks and sheets. Also termed rat-tailed.

TAPERED CLEAT. A piece of wood bolted under the beams, to support them when pillars are not used.

TAPPING A BUOY. Clearing it of the water which has entered it by leakage, and would otherwise prevent its watching.

TAP THE ADMIRAL. Opprobriously applied to those who would "drink anything;" from the tale of the drunkard who stole spirits from the cask in which a dead admiral was being conveyed to England.

TAR [Anglo-Saxon tare]. A kind of turpentine which is drained from pines and fir-trees, and is used to preserve standing rigging, canvas, &c., from the effects of weather, by rendering them water-proof. Also, a perfect sailor; one who knows his duty thoroughly. (See Jack Tar.)—Coal or gas tar. A fluid extracted from coal during the operation of making gas, &c.; chiefly used on wood and iron, in the place of paint.

TARBET, or Tarbert. Applied to low necks of land in Scotland that divide the lakes from the sea. It literally means boat-carrying, and is analogous to the Canadian "portage."[675]

TAR-BRUSH, Touch of the. A nautical term applied to those who are slightly darkened by mixed blood.

TARGET [Anglo-Saxon targe]. A leathern shield. A mark to aim at.

TARGIA. An archaic term for a vessel, since called a tartan.

TARI. A coin of Italy, value 8d. sterling.

TARIFF. List of duties payable upon exported and imported goods.

TARITA. An ancient term for a ship of burden.

TARN. A small mountain lake [probably from the Icelandic tiaurn].

TARPAULIN. Canvas well covered with tar or paint to render it water-proof. Also, the foul-weather hats and jackets of seamen; often applied to the men themselves. Properly paulin when paint is used.

TARRED WITH THE SAME BRUSH. Equivalent to "birds of a feather."

TARRING AND FEATHERING. A punishment now obsolete,—inflicted by stripping the delinquent, then smearing him with tar, covering him with flocks and feathers, and towing him ashore. It was ordered in the naval enactments of Richard I. for theft.

TARROCK. The kittiwake, Larus tridactylus, a small species of gull.

TARRY-BREEKS. A north-country name for a sailor.

TARTAN. A small coasting vessel of the Mediterranean, with one mast and a bowsprit, lateen-rigged.

TARTAR. A domineering commanding officer.—To catch a Tartar. Said of a vessel which mistakes her enemy's force, and is obliged to yield.

TASKING. Examining a vessel to see whether her timbers are sound.

TASTING TIMBER. Chipping it with an adze, and boring it with an augur, to ascertain its quality.

TATOOING. The Burmese, South Sea Islanders, and others, puncture the skin until it bleeds, and then rub in fine soot and other colouring matter. The practice has become common amongst sailors.

TATTIES. Mats hung before doors and windows in India, on which water is thrown, to cool the air inside by evaporation.

TATTOO. The evening sound of drum or trumpet, after which the roll is called, and all soldiers not on leave of absence should be in their quarters.

TAUNT. High or tall, commonly applied to very long masts.—All a taunto is a ship having all her light and long spars aloft.

TAURUS. The second sign of the zodiac, which the sun enters about the 20th of April.

TAUT [from the Anglo-Saxon tought]. Tight.

TAUT BOWLINE. A ship sailing close-hauled is "on a taut bowline."

TAUT HAND. A strict disciplinarian.

TAUT HELM, or Taut Weather-helm. A ship with a side wind is said to carry a taut weather-helm, when the water presses heavily on the lee side of the rudder; often the result of her being too much by the head.

TAUT LEECH. A sail well set on a wind, and well filled.

TEACH, To. In marine architecture, is applied to the direction which any line or curve seems to point out.[676]

TEAGLE. A northern word for a crane for lifting goods.

TEAK. Tectona grandis, a stately tree, the pride of Indian and Burmese forests, used extensively in ship-building; having the valuable property of not shrinking, and, by means of its essential oil, preserving the iron bolts driven into it from rusting.

TEAL. A small species of wild duck, Querquedula crecca.

TEAM. Ships blockading a port, being generally formed in a line, are said to be "in the team."

TEAM-BOAT. A ferry-boat worked with horses by paddle-wheel propulsion.

TEA-WAGGON. A name given to the old East India Company's ships on account of their cargo.

TEAZED OAKUM. Oakum worked out for caulking. (Tow).

TE DEUM. A hymn sung in thanksgiving for victory obtained. In many cases the causes of war are such that chanting the Te Deum is rank blasphemy.

TEE-IRON. An instrument for drawing the lower box in the barrel of a pump. T-shaped clamp, knee, or other piece of iron-work.

TEETH. A name for the guns in a ship.

TEE-TOTALLER. A very old and general amplification of totally, recently borrowed from sea diction to mark a class who wholly abstain from alcoholic drinks.

TELEGRAPH, To. To convey intelligence to a distance, through the medium of signals.

TELESCOPIC OBJECTS. All those which are not visible to the unassisted eye.

TELL OFF, To. To divide a body of men into divisions and subdivisions, preparatory to a special service.

TELL-TALE. A compass hanging face downwards from the beams in the cabin, showing the position of the vessel's head. Also, an index in front of the wheel to show the position of the tiller.

TELL-TALE SHAKE. The shake of a rope from aloft to denote that it wants letting go.

TELL THAT TO THE MARINES! A sailor's exclamation when an improbable story is related to him.

TEMOINS. See Witnesses.

TEMPEST. A word not much used by seamen. It is, however, synonymous with storm, gales, &c. (See Storms.)

TEMPORARY RANK. That owing to an acting commission, or to local circumstances, ceasing with a particular service.

TEMPORARY STARS. Those which have suddenly become visible, and after attaining considerable brightness, have as suddenly vanished: that seen by Tycho in 1572 is a notable instance.

TENAILLE. In fortification, a long low outwork traced on the inward prolongation of the faces of the bastions. It covers the curtain, and conveniently defends the interior of the ravelin and its redoubt.[677]

TENAILLON. In fortification, a low outwork of two faces meeting in a salient angle, sometimes attached to ravelins to afford nearer flanking fire.

TENCH. Tinca vulgaris, a well-known fresh-water fish.

TEND, To. To watch a vessel at anchor on the turn of a tide, and cast her by the helm, and some sail if necessary, so as to keep the cable clear of the anchor or turns out of her cables when moored.

TENDER. A small vessel duly commanded, and employed to attend a larger one, to supply her with stores, to carry intelligence or volunteers and impressed men to receiving ships, &c. An enemy's ship captured by cutters or boats fitted out as tenders by men-of-war, but without any commission or authority from the admiralty, will not insure a prize to the benefit of the ship. The condemnation will be as a droit of admiralty, on the principle that an officer does not retain his commission for the purposes of prize on board another ship; but if captured by one of her boats, and brought to the ship, she is good prize, as with slaves. Tender is also a synonym of crank; thus, a spar may be tender.

TENDING. The movement by which a ship turns or swings round when at single anchor, or moored by the head, at every change of tide or wind.

TENON. The square heel of a mast, cut for fitting into the step. Also, the end of any piece of timber which is fashioned to enter into a mortise in another piece; they are then said to be tenoned together; as, for instance, the stern-post is tenoned into the keel.

TEN-POUNDER. A name given to a bony mullet-shaped fish of the West Indies.

TENSILE STRAIN. The greatest effort to extend, stretch, or draw asunder, as in proving bars of iron, chain-cables, &c.

TENT. A canvas shelter pitched upon a pole or poles, and stayed with cords and pegs. Also, a roll of lint, or other material, used in searching a wound. Also, a small piece of iron which kept up the cock of a gun-lock.

TEREDO NAVALIS. A worm which, furnished with a peculiar augur adaptation at its head, bores into timber, forming a shell as it progresses. They attain the length of three feet or more, with a diameter of one inch or less. Even if the ship be destroyed by them, the loss is not within the policy of insurance.

TERMINAL VELOCITY of any given Body. The greatest velocity it can acquire by falling freely through the air; the limit being arrived at when the increase of the atmospheric resistance becomes equal to the increase of the force of gravity.

TERMINATOR. The line separating the illuminated from the dark portion of the moon's disc.

TERM-PIECES, or Terms. Pieces of carved work on each side of the taffrail upon the side stern-timber, and extending down as low as the foot-rail of the balcony.

TERN, or Sea-swallow. A species of sea-bird, allied to the gulls, but of[678] smaller and lighter make, and with longer and more pointed wings and tail; genus Sterna.

TERNARY SYSTEM. Three stars in close proximity, and found to be in physical connection, as, for instance, ζ Cancri.

TERRADA. An Indian boat, otherwise called tonee. A large 'longshore boat of the Gulf of Persia.

TERRAPIN (contracted by sailors into turpin and tenopen). A fresh-water tortoise, plentiful in America, and much esteemed for food.

TERREPLEIN. In fortification, the horizontal surface of the rampart in rear of the parapet.

TERRESTRIAL REFRACTION. The property of the atmosphere by which objects appear to be higher than they really are, and in certain cases producing the effect called deceptio visus, and fata morgana.

TERRITORY. The protection of neutral territory operates to the restitution of enemy's property captured within its limits. Since the introduction of fire-arms that distance has usually been recognized to be almost three English miles.

TERTIATE, To. To examine whether a piece of ordnance is truly bored and has its due proportion of metal in every part, especially at the vent, the trunnions, and the muzzle.

TESTING A CHAIN-CABLE. Trying its strength by the hydraulic machine, which strains it beyond what it is likely to undergo when in use.

TESTONE. A silver Papal coin, value 1s. 3d. A testone is also a current coin in Portugal, consisting of 100 reis.

TETE DE PONT. A work covering the farther end of a bridge from assault from the country beyond.

TEW, To. To beat hemp.

THAUGHTS (properly Athwarts). See Thwarts.

THEODOLITE. The theodolite, as used in land-surveying, levelling, &c., is well known. But the great theodolite, with its vertical circle and telescope adapted to the observation of the heavenly bodies, as used by nautical astronomers, commonly called an alt-azimuth instrument, is almost an observatory per se. By this alone, within three hours on each side of noon, the longitude, latitude, and magnetic variation of a position may be determined.

THERE! A word added in hailing any part of a ship; as, "Forecastle there!" "Mast-head there!"

THERE AWAY! A phrase accompanied by pointing on a bearing, or to an object in sight. Thereabout, in that quarter.

THERMOMETER. An instrument to measure the amount of heat by the expansion of a fluid (generally quicksilver) contained in a glass bulb, in connection with which is a hermetically closed tube, up which the fluid rises as the heat increases. This tube is graduated differently in different countries.

THERMOMETRIC SAILING. A scheme for detecting the approach to shoal water by the diminution of temperature, and found to be useful in[679] some places, such as the Agulhas and Newfoundland Banks; in the latter a difference of 20° has been observed, on quitting the Gulf Stream and gaining soundings in 100 fathoms.

THICK-AND-DRY FOR WEIGHING! To clap on nippers closely, just at starting the anchor from the ground.

THICK AND THIN BLOCK, or Fiddle-block. A block having one sheave larger than the other, sometimes used for quarter-blocks.

THICK STUFF. Sided timber, or naval planks, under one foot, and above 4 inches in thickness.

THIEVES' CAT. A cat o' nine tails having knots upon it, and only used for the punishment of theft.

THIMBLE. An iron ring with a concave outer surface to contain snugly in the cavity a rope, which is spliced about it. Its use is to defend the rope which surrounds it from being injured by another rope, or the hook or a tackle which passes through it.

THIMBLE-EYES. Are thimble-shaped apertures in iron-plates where sheaves are not required; frequently used instead of dead-eyes for the topmast-rigging, futtock-plates, and backstays in the channels.

THODS. An old northern term for sudden gusts of wind.

THOKES. Fish with broken bellies, which are prohibited to be mixed or packed with tale fish.

THOLE, Thole-pin, or Thowel [from the Anglo-Saxon thol]. Certain pins in the gunwale of a boat, instead of the rowlock-poppets, and serving to retain the oars in position when pulling; generally there is only one pin to each oar, which is retained upon the pin by a grommet, or a cleat with a hole through it, nailed on the side of the oar. The principal use is to allow the oar, in case of action, suddenly to lie fore-and-aft over the side, and take care of itself. This was superseded by the swinging thowel, or metal crutch, in 1819, and by admiralty order at Portsmouth Yard in 1830.

THORN-BACK. A well-known fish of the ray kind, Raia clavata.

THOROUGH-PUTS, or Thorough-foots, are kinks or tangles in a rope; or parts of a tackle not leading fair by reason of one of the blocks having been passed round part of the fall, and so getting a turn.

THOUGHT. An old spelling of thwart.

THRASHER, or Thresher. A species of shark with a long tail, Carcharias vulpes. Also applied to a kind of grampus, which was supposed to attack the whale by leaping out of the water and inflicting blows with its powerful tail.

THREAD [Ang.-Sax. thréd]. The middle of a river or stream.—To thread. To run a ship through narrow and intricate channels among islands.

THREE-COCKED HAT. A silly article of sea-wear now happily passing away, retained only by coachmen, lord-mayor's men, and parish beadles.

THREE-DECKERS. Ships with three full batteries.

THREE HALF-HITCHES are more than a king's yacht wants. An exclamatory remark to a green hand, meaning that two are enough.[680]

THREE SHEETS IN THE WIND. Unsteady from drink.

THREE SISTERS. Formerly the badge of office of boatswains' mates and masters-at-arms, made of three rattans bound together with waxed twine.

THREE-SQUARE. An odd word applied to staysails, or anything triangular, as was the oblong square to a parallelogram.

THRIFT. Armeria, a genus of handsome plants growing on the sea-coast.

THROAT. The widened and hollowed end of a gaff next the mast; opposed to peak, the outer end. Also, the midship portion of the floor-timbers and transoms. The contrary of breech.

THROAT-BOLTS. Eye-bolts fixed in the lower part of tops, and the jaw-ends of gaffs, for hooking the throat-halliards to.

THROAT-BRAILS. Those which are attached to the gaff for trussing up the sail close to the gaff as well as the mast. (See Brails, and Topmast-staysails.) Falconer says:—

"For he who strives the tempest to disarm,
Will never first embrail the lee yard-arm."
Brail thus applies to leech-lines, clue-lines, &c.

THROAT-HALLIARDS. Ropes or tackles applied to hoist the inner part of the gaff, and its portion of the sail, and hook on to the throat-bolts, as above.

THROAT-SEIZING. In blocks, confines the hook and thimble in the strop home to the scores. Also, in turning in rigging, the throat-seizing is passed with riding turns, through which the end is hove taut, and being turned up sharply, is well seized to the standing part of the rigging, making it a severe cross nip, which cannot render or slip.

THROT. That part of the mizen-yard close to the mast.

THROTTLE-VALVE. A valve in the steam-pipe of an engine for preventing the escape of steam, or regulating the velocity of its passage from the boiler to the cylinder.

THROUGH ALL. Carrying canvas in heavy squalls without starting a stitch. It demands not only courage, but seamanlike judgment. Also applied to the cable, or any purchase where, by reason of its slipperiness, the purchase does not nip; she is then said to be "heaving through all." "Fresh nippers, thick and dry, for weighing," are then called for, and sand applied to overcome the slipping.

THROUGH FASTENINGS. Applied to bolts and tree-nails driven through both the timber and plank of the sides.

THROUGH-PIECES. See Graving-pieces.

THROUGH THE FLEET. A seaman's being sentenced by court-martial to be towed by a boat from every ship through the fleet, and receive alongside each a proportion of the lashes to be inflicted. But this was only awarded where the offence deserved a less punishment than death, and is now discontinued, solitary confinement or penal servitude being substituted.

THROW. A cast of the hand-lead.[681]

THROWING a Steam-engine out of Gear. Disconnecting the eccentric rod from the gab-lever.

THRUM. Any coarse woollen or hempen yarn. It is used for mops, &c., in the cabins; also for mats, which are worked on canvas with a large bolt-rope needle.—To thrum. A vessel, when leaky, is thrummed by working some heavy spare sail, as the sprit-sail, into a thrummed mat, greasing and tarring it well, passing it under the bottom, and heaving all parts tight. The pressure forces the tarred oakum into the openings, and thus, in part, arrests the ingress of water.

THRUMMED MAT. A small mat faced with rope-yarn or spun yarn, which is used in a vessel's rigging to prevent chafing.

THRUST. The effort of a screw-propeller.

THUD. The sound of a bullet on hitting the intended object.

THULE [Gaelic thuath]. An extreme object to the north.

THUMB-CLEAT. In shape resembling a thumb. They arrest the topsail-reef-earings from slipping, and are also lashed to the rigging with a hollow, cut out to act as a hook, to suspend the bight of a rope, as the truss-pendants on the lower masts.

THUNDERING. A sailor's emphatic word for anything choice, large, fine, or powerful.

THUNDER SQUALL. This is similar to the black squall, only that it is always preceded and attended by lightning and thunder, and accompanied by extremely heavy rain.

THUNNY. See Tunny.

THUS, Very well Thus, or Dyce. The order to the helmsman to keep the ship in her present direction, when sailing close-hauled. This truly sailor's motto was adopted by the Earl St. Vincent.

THWART CLAMPS or KNEES. Those which secure the after, main, and fore thwarts to the rising and gunwales, and which support the masts.

THWART-MARKS, to a Harbour. Two objects on the land, which, brought into line with each other, mark the safe course between shoals, as those on Southsea Common act for the Needles, Swashways, &c.

THWARTS (properly Athwarts). The seats or benches athwart a boat whereon the rowers sit to manage their oars.

THWART-SHIPS. Across the ship, or from one side to the other. (See Athwart.)

TIBRIC. An old name for the coal-fish.

TIBURON [Sp.] The shark.

TICKET. An official warrant of discharge, so that a heavy penalty attaches to the loss of any of the blank ones in the captain's charge. It is always used in counterparts, which are ordered to be perfect duplicates of each other.

TICKET-BOOK. A register for accounting for all tickets and certificates received and used.

TICKLING OF FISH. The same as gennelin. (See Groping.)[682]

TIDAL WAVE. The wave caused by the combined action of the sun and moon: its greatest influence is felt some time after the moon has passed the meridian of any place.

TIDE. A regular periodical current of waters, setting alternately in a flux and reflux; it is owing to the attraction of the sun and moon, but chiefly to the latter. The highest as well as most rapid, perhaps, are in the Gulf of Fundy and the river Wye; and on the contrary the lowest, as well as feeblest, are in the Mediterranean generally.—To tide, is to work up or down a river or harbour, with a fair tide in a head wind or a calm; coming to anchor when the tide turns.

TIDE or TIDAL HARBOUR. A port which can only be entered at a certain time of flood.

TIDE AND HALF-TIDE. Those roadsteads affected by several rivers or channels leading into them; as, for instance, Spithead.

TIDE-BALL. A ball hoisted to denote when the depth of water permits vessels to enter a bar-harbour, or to take the bar outside, from the known depth within.

TIDE-GATE. A place where the tide runs strong.

TIDE-GAUGE. An instrument contrived for measuring the height of the tides.

TIDE, Ebb of. The falling tide.

TIDE-POOL. A sort of basin worn in seaside rocks.

TIDE-RIP. Those short ripplings which result from eddies, or the passage of the tide over uneven bottom; also observed in the ocean where two currents meet, but not appearing to affect a ship's course.

TIDE-RODE. The situation of a vessel at anchor when she swings by the force of the tide. In opposition to wind-rode.

TIDE'S WORK. The amount of progress a ship has made during a favourable tide. Also, a period of necessary labour on a ship during the ebbing and slack water of a tide. That is when the sea has left the vessel aground between two tides, so as to enable workmen to repair defects down to a certain depth, laid bare by the receding tide.

TIDE-WAY. The mid-stream; or a passage or channel through which the tide sets, and runs strongly.

TIE-FOR-TYE. Mutual obligation and no favour; as in the case of the tie-mate, the comrade who, in the days of long hair, performed the tie for tie on the tails. (See Tye.)

TIER. A regular row of anything. Also, a range in the hold; hence the terms, ground tier, second and upper tier, &c., of casks or goods stowed there.—Cable-tier. The space in a ship where hempen cables were coiled.

TIERCE. Is specially applied to provision casks, and is the third of a pipe; but the beef-tierce contains 280 lbs., or 28 galls., whilst that of pork only contains 260 lbs., or 26 galls. Now the beef-tierce often contains 336 lbs., and the pork 300 lbs.

TIERERS. Men formerly stationed in the tiers for coiling away the cables, where strength, activity, and ability shone conspicuously.[683]

TIER-SHOT. That kind of grapeshot which is secured in tiers by parallel iron discs.

TIES. An old name for mooring bridles. Also, stops to a sail. (See Tye.)

TIGHT. Close, free from leaks. Hence a ship is said to be tight when no water leaks in; and a cask is called tight when none of the liquid leaks out. Applied to ropes or chains this word becomes taut.

TILLER. A straight-grained timber beam, or iron bar, fitted into or round the head of the rudder, by means of which the latter is moved. (See Helm.)

TILLER-HEAD. The extremity of the tiller, to which the tiller-ropes are attached.

TILLER-ROPES. The ropes which form a communication between the end of the tiller and the barrel of the wheel; they are frequently made of untarred rope, though hide is much better; and iron chains are also used. By these the tiller is worked and the vessel steered.

TILLER-SWEEP. See Sweep of the Tiller.

TILT. A small canopy extended over the stern-sheets of a boat, supported by iron or wood work, to keep off rain, as an awning is used to keep off the sun.—To tilt. To lift up a little on one side or end of anything.

TILT-BOAT. One expressly fitted like a tilt-waggon, to preserve powder or other fragile stores from the weather.

TIMBER [Anglo-Saxon]. All large pieces of wood used in ship-building, as floor-timbers, cross-pieces, futtocks, frames, and the like (all which see).

TIMBER AND ROOM, is the distance between two adjoining timbers, which always contain the breadth of two timbers, and two or three inches besides. The same as room and space, or berth and space.

TIMBER-CONVERTER. A dockyard official who has the charge of converting timber for its different purposes in ship-building.

TIMBER-HEADS. The heads of the timbers that rise above the decks, and are used for belaying hawsers, large ropes, &c. (See Kevel-heads.) These being such important parts of a ship, men of acknowledged talent in the royal navy are styled "the timber-heads of the profession."

TIMBER-HITCH, is made by taking the end of a rope round a spar, and after leading it under and over the standing part, passing two or three turns round its own part, making in fact a running but self-jamming eye.

TIMBERS. The incurvated ribs of a ship which branch outwards from the keel in a vertical direction, so as to give strength, figure, and solidity to the whole fabric. One timber is composed of several pieces. (See Frame.)—Cant or square timbers, are those which are placed obliquely on the keel towards the extremities of a ship, forming the dead solid wood of the gripe, and of the after heel.—Filling timbers. Those which are put up between the frames. One mould serves for two timbers, the fore-side of the one being supposed to unite with the after-side of the one before it, and so make only one line.—Knuckle-timbers are the foremost cant-timbers on a ship's bow: the hindmost on the quarter are termed fashion-pieces.[684]

TIMBER-TASTER. One appointed to examine and pronounce upon the fitness of timber.

TIME, Mean, or Mean Solar Time. That shown by a clock or watch when compensated for the unequal progress of the sun in the ecliptic, and which thence forms an equable measure of time.—To take time is for an assistant to note the time by a chronometer at each instant that the observer calls "stop," on effecting his astronomical observation for altitude of a heavenly body, or for contact with the sun and moon, or moon and star.

TIME-KEEPER, Time-piece, or Chronometer. An instrument adapted for measuring mean time. The result of many years of study and experiment by our best horologists. (See Longitude.)

TIMENOGUY. Formerly a rope carried taut between different parts of a vessel, to prevent the sheet or tack of a course from getting foul in working ship; specially from the fore-rigging to the anchor-stock, to prevent the fouling of the fore-sheet.

TIMONEER [derived from the French]. The helmsman. Also, one on the look-out, who directs the helmsman.

TIMONOGY. This term properly belongs to steering, and is derived from timon, the tiller, and the twiddling-lines, which worked in olden times on a gauge in front of the poop, in ships of the line, by which the position of the helm was easily read even from the forecastle.

TINDAL. A Lascar boatswain's-mate.

TINKER. A small mortar formerly used on the end of a staff, now superseded by the Coehorn. Also, a small mackerel.

TINKERMEN. Fishermen who destroyed the fry of fish on the Thames by nets, and other unlawful contrivances, till suppressed by the mayor and corporation of London.

TIN-POTTER. A galley skulker, shamming Abraham.

TIPPET. A snood for a fishing-line.

TIPPING ALL NINES, or Tipped the Nines. Foundering from press of sail.

TIPPING THE GRAMPUS. Ducking a skulker for being asleep on his watch. (See Blowing the Grampus.)

TIRE. Synonymous with tier.

TITIVATE, To; or Titivate off to the Nines. To freshen the paint-work; to put into the highest kelter.

TOAD-FISH. The Lophius piscatorius, or fishing-frog.

TOBACCO. Has been supplied for the use of the ships' companies in the royal navy from the 1st January, 1799.

TOBACCO-CHARTS. The worthless charts formerly sold by ship-chandlers.

TOD-BOAT. A broad flat Dutch fishing-boat.

TODDY. The sura or juice extracted from various kinds of palm, and often called palm-wine. A mixture of spirits, water, and sugar is also called toddy. (See Arrack.)

TOE A LINE! The order to stand in a row.[685]

TOGGLE. A strong pin of wood, sometimes used instead of a hook in fixing a tackle, or it is put through the bight or eye of a rope, bolt, or block-strop, to keep it in its place. In ships of war it is usual to fix toggles upon the running parts of the topsail-sheets, the jears, &c., when preparing for action, so that if the rope is shot away below, the toggle may stop the yard from coming down. The toggle is used in masting operations, in securing the standing part of fore and main sheets, but especially in whaling operations, cutting in, flensing, &c., a hole is cut in the blubber, the eye of the purchase strop passed through and toggled. In cold weather especially it is preferred to the hook, which at low temperatures is apt to snap suddenly, and is, moreover, heavier to handle. The term is also used for putting the bights of the sheets in the beckets. (See Becket.)

TOGGLE-BOLT. This bolt is used to confine the ensign-staff, and the like, into its place by means of a strap; it has a flat head, and a mortice through it, that receives a toggle or pin.

TOGS. A very old term for clothes.—Togged to the nines, in full dress.—Sunday togs, the best clothes.

TOISE. The French fathom, nearly approaching to ours: the proportion of the English yard to the French demi-toise being as 36 to 38·35. The toise is equal to 6·3946 English feet.

TOKE. A drink made from honey in Madagascar; very dangerous to Europeans.

TOKO FOR YAM. An expression peculiar to negroes for crying out before being hurt.

TOLEDO. An esteemed Spanish sword, so called from the place of manufacture.

TOLL. A demand, &c., at the Sound; hence the epithet of Sound dues.

TOM. A pet bow-chaser, a 9 or 12-pounder. (See Long Tom.)

TOMAHAWK. A weapon somewhat resembling a hand poleaxe, much used in boarding an enemy, as it is not only effective in combat, but useful in holding on, and in cutting away fasts and rigging when required. The name is derived from the hatchet of the North American Indians.

TOM ASTONERS. Dashing fellows; from astound or "astony," to terrify.

TOM COX'S TRAVERSE. Up one hatchway and down another: others say three turns round the long boat, and a pull at the scuttle. It means the work of an artful dodger, all jaw, and no good in him.

TOMMY COD. A very small variety of the Gadus morrhua, which mostly appears in the winter months; whence it is also called frost-fish at Halifax and in Newfoundland.

TOM NORIE. A name of the puffin, Fratercula arctica.

TOM PEPPER. A term for a liar; he having, according to nautic tradition, been kicked out of the nether regions for indulging in falsehood.

TOMPION. A circular plug of wood, used to stop the muzzle of a gun, and[686] thereby keep out the wet at sea. The tompions are carefully encircled with tallow or putty for the same purpose. Also, the stopper fitted to go between the powder and shell in a mortar. This name is often pronounced as well as written tompkin.

TOM-TOM. A small drum, made from the stem of a hollowed tree, generally of the palm-tribe, as the centre is pithy and the skin flinty. It is covered by the skin of a lizard or shark, and beaten with the fingers. It is used throughout the tropics, and produces a hollow monotonous sound. In the East Indies it is used to proclaim public notices, and to draw attention to conjurors, snake-charmers, &c.

TON, or Tun [from the Anglo-Saxon tunne]. In commerce, 20 cwt., or 2240 lbs., but in the cubical contents of a ship it is the weight of water equal to 2000 lbs., by the general standard for liquids. A tun of wine or oil contains 4 hogsheads. A ton or load of timber is a measure of 40 cubic feet in the rough, and of 50 when sawn: 42 cubic feet of articles equal one ton in shipment.

TONEE. A canoe of some burden, made of the hollowed trunk of a tree in early use on the Malabar coast. (See Terrada.)

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

TONGUE [Anglo-Saxon tunga]. The long tapered end of one piece of timber made to fay into a scarph at the end of another piece, to gain length. Also, a low salient point of land. Also, a dangerous mass of ice projecting under water from an iceberg or floe, nearly horizontally; it was on one of these shelves that the Guardian frigate struck.

TONGUE OF A BEVEL. The movable part of the instrument by which the angles or bevellings are taken.

TONNAGE. A custom or impost formerly granted to the crown for merchandise imported or exported. Also, the admeasurement of a ship, and thence to ascertain her cubical contents converted into tons. (See Burden.)

TOP. A sort of platform placed over the head of the lower mast, from which it projects like a scaffold. The principal intention of the top is to extend the topmast-shrouds, so as to form a greater angle with the mast, and thereby give it additional support. It is sustained by certain timbers bolted fore-and-aft on the bibbs or shoulders of the mast, and called the trestle-trees; athwart these are the cross-trees. In ships of war it is used as a kind of redoubt, and is fortified accordingly. It is also very convenient for containing the materials for setting the small sails, fixing and repairing the rigging, &c. The tops are named after their respective masts. This top was formerly fenced on the after-side by a rail about three feet high, between the stanchions of which a netting was usually constructed, and stowed in action with hammocks. This was covered with red baize, or canvas painted red, and called the top-armour. Top-armours were in use with the Spaniards in 1810.

TOP-ARMINGS. Hammocks stowed inside the rigging for the protection of riflemen.[687]

TOP A YARD OR BOOM, To. To raise up one end of it by hoisting on the lift, as the spanker-boom is lifted before setting the sail.

TOP-BLOCK. A large single block with an iron strop and hook, by which it is hooked into an eye-bolt under the lower cap, and is used for the top-pendant to reeve through in swaying up or lowering down the top-masts.


TOP-CASTLES. Castellated ledgings surrounding the mast-heads of our early ships, in which the pages to the officers were stationed to annoy the enemy with darts, &c.

TOP-CHAIN. A chain to sling the yards in time of battle, in case of the ropes by which they are hung being shot away.

TOPE. A small-sized Chinese junk. Also, the Galeus vulgaris, a kind of shark. Also, a small grove of trees in India.

TOP-GALLANT. In the Cotton MSS. this word appears as "top-garland."

TOPGALLANT-FORECASTLE. A short deck forward above the upper deck, mostly used as a galley, but in some merchantmen a berthing place for their crews, though generally very wet and uncomfortable for want of a few necessary fittings. Also, it facilitates working the head-sails.—In several of the iron-clad frigates, chase-guns are fitted there.

TOPGALLANT-MAST. The third mast above the deck; the uppermost before the days of royals and flying kites.

TOP-GALLANT QUARTER-BOARDS, or Top-gallant Bulwarks. See Quarter-boards.

TOPGALLANT-SAILS. The third sails above the decks: they are set above the topsail-yards, in the same manner as the top-sails above the lower yards.

TOP-HAMPER. Any unnecessary weight either on a ship's decks or about her tops and rigging. Also, applied to flying-kites and their gear. Also, to an officer overclothing himself.

TOP-LANTERN, or Top-light. A large signal-lantern placed in the after-part of a top, in ships where an admiral's flag or commodore's pendant flies.

TOP-LINING. A lining on the after-part of sails, to prevent their chafing against the top-rim. Also, a platform of thin board nailed upon the upper part of the cross-trees on a vessel's top.

TOP-MAST. The second division of a mast above the deck. (See Mast.)

TOP-MAUL. A large hammer used to start the top-mast fid, and to beat down the top, when setting up topmast-rigging.

TOP-MEN. Selected smart seamen stationed in the several tops, to attend the taking in or setting of the upper sails.


TOPPING. Pretentious; as, topping the officer; also, fine, gallant, &c.

TOPPING-LIFTS. Those lifts which support a spar, davit, &c.

TOP-RAIL. A rail supported on stanchions across the after-part of each of a ship's tops.[688]

TOP-RIDERS. See Upper Futtock-riders.

TOP RIM or BRIM. The circular sweep of the fore part of a vessel's top, and covering in the ends of the cross-trees and trestle-trees, to prevent their chafing the top-sail.

TOP-ROPE. The mast-rope employed to sway up a top-mast or topgallant-mast, in order to fix it in its place, or lower it. The top-rope is rove through a block which is hooked on one side of the cap, and passing through the sheave-hole of the mast, is brought upwards on the opposite side, and fastened to an eye-bolt in the foremost part of the cap. To the lower end of the top-mast top-rope a tackle is fixed. (See Top-tackle.) "Swaying on all top-ropes;" figuratively, "going the whole hog" in joviality or any trickery.

TOP-SAIL HAUL! or Main-topsail Haul! When the main-sail is not set, this is the order given to haul the after-yards round when the ship is nearly head to wind in tacking.

TOP-SAILS. The second sails above the decks, extending across the top-masts, by the topsail-yards above, and by the lower yards beneath, being fastened to the former by earings and robands, and to the latter by the topsail-sheets, which, passing through two great blocks or cheeks fixed on its extremities, and thence to two other blocks fixed on the inner part of the yard close by the mast, lead downwards to the deck.—Paying debts with flying top-sails, or with a flying fore-topsail, is leaving them unpaid. Vessels not having topsail-yards rigged aloft, set top-sails flying, as cutters, yachts, schooners, &c.

TOPSAIL-SCHOONER. Is full schooner-rigged, but carries a square-topsail on the fore-mast; the fore-sail not bent, but set as a square-sail. She may also carry a main-topsail, and is then termed a two-topsail schooner.

TOPSAIL-SHEET BITTS. Standing bitt-heads through which the topsail-sheets lead, and to which they are belayed.

TOP-SAWYER. The leading man in any undertaking. One who excels; inasmuch as the man of most intellect guides the saw, and No. 2 gets the sawdust in his face.

TOP-SIDE. All that part of a ship's side which is above the main-wales: that is, those strakes between the sheer-strake and upper black-strake.

TOP-SWIVEL. Once a favourite arm for ships' tops, but from the confined space and elevation rather an encumbrance than a useful addition.

TOP-TACKLE. A large tackle, or properly pendant, hooked to the lower end of the top-mast top-rope, and to the deck, in order to increase the mechanical power in lifting the top-mast in order to fid it. It is composed of two strong iron-bound double or triple blocks, the hooks of which work on a swivel.

TOP-TACKLE PENDANT. The pendant used with the above. The top-mast is swayed up by a top-rope or hawser. The pendant, which is of better material, and hawser-laid, has an eye and thimble spliced in one end, and is pointed at the other. This pendant is barely long enough to[689] lower the top-mast temporarily in bad weather, and when the top-mast is high enough for fidding, the purchase is block and block, and cannot lift it higher. (See Top-rope.)

TOP THE GLIM, To. To snuff the candle.

TOP THE OFFICER, To. To arrogate superiority.

TOP-TIMBER BREADTH. The distance between the upper part of the same timber and the middle line.

TOP-TIMBER HOLLOW. A name sometimes given to the back sweep which forms the upper part of the top-timber.

TOP-TIMBERS. The first general tier which reach the top are called long top-timbers, and those below short top-timbers.


TOR. A high rock or peak: also a tower, thus retaining the same meaning it had, as torr, with the Anglo-Saxons.

TORMENTER. The large two-pronged iron fork used by the ship's cook, to fish out the cooked meat from the copper.

TORMENTUM. A pistol; a gun; a piece of ordnance.

TORNADO. A peculiar squall, accompanied with rain and lightning, similar in suddenness to the white squall of the West Indies, and experienced off the equatorial region of the west coast of Africa between December and June. It appears first as a small black spot in the east, and barely affords time to put the ship before the wind and clue up all. The wind veers round the compass, and lasts a very short time.

TORPEDO. A cartilaginous fish allied to the rays, furnished with electrical organs, by means of which it is able to give powerful shocks. Also, a contrivance for blowing up ships of war by means of a submerged apparatus.

TORRENT. A land flood rushing from mountainous tracts, often with destructive effect. It is produced by an accumulation of water from rains or the melting of snows.

TORSE. A coarse kind of hemp, better known as cordilla in commerce.

TORSION OF CABLES. All ropes formed by twisting have a contrary turn, and a disposition to kink from torsion.

TORSK. See Tusk.

TORTS. Private wrongs either to persons or property afloat. They are cognizable by the admiralty court, according to locality.

TORTUE DE MER. A turtle. Also a French gabarre, troop, or store ship, with very high 'tween decks.

TOSHING. A cant word for stealing copper sheathing from vessels' bottoms, or from dockyard stores.

TOSS IN YOUR OARS! The order to desist rowing, and throw the oars in out of the rowlocks.

TOSS THE OARS UP! Throw them up out of the rowlocks, and raise them perpendicularly an-end; the act is intended as a compliment to a superior officer rowing by. Also, the order to a boat's crew to get the oars ready for rowing, and to salute the officer on his entering the boat.[690]

TOSS UP THE BUNT, To. In furling a sail, to make its final package at the centre of the yard when in its skin.

TOT, or Tott. A drinking-cup somewhat smaller than the regulation half-pint, by which a surplus is left in the distribution of the regular allowance of grog, and awarded to the cook of each mess, for the day, for his trouble.

TOTAL LOSS. A term in marine insurance, implying that the underwriters are to pay the amount insured without salvage.

TOTE. An abbreviation of total.—To tote. To watch, to spy, or to carry, whence the very singular fish on the southern coasts of America, which carries small pebbles on its little sharp horns for making a nest is called the stone-toter.

TOTTY-LAND. Certain heights on the side of a hill [probably derived from the Anglo-Saxon totian, to elevate].

TOUCH. In ship-building, the broadest part of a plank worked top-and-butt. Also, the angles of the stern-timbers at the counters. Also, keeping touch is fulfilling the terms of an agreement—speaking of the faith between seamen and their employers.

TOUCH-AND-GO. Said of anything within an ace of ruin; as in rounding a ship very narrowly to escape rocks, &c., or when, under sail, she rubs against the ground with her keel, without much diminution of her velocity.

TOUCH-AND-TAKE. An old proverb which Nelson applied to a ship about to encounter her opponent. A Nelsonian maxim.

TOUCH-BOX. The receptacle for lighted tinder when match-locks were used.

TOUCH-HOLE. The small aperture at the end of a musket or pistol, by which the fire of the priming was communicated to the charge. In guns, called the vent.

TOUCHING. The state of a ship's sails when they first begin to lift or shiver with their edges in the direction of the wind. It is occasioned either by a change in the wind or in the ship's course. (See Full and By.)—Luff and touch her! is the order to the helmsman to bring the vessel up, and see how near she will come to the wind, or to give facility for taking in a reef when about to lower the top-sails, or for deadening the ship's way.

TOUCHING AT. Stopping or anchoring at some intermediate port in the course of a voyage.

TOUCH OF THE TAR-BRUSH. A nautical phrase expressive of those officers who are seamen as well as quarter-deckers. Also said of a white person in whose ancestry there has been some admixture of one of the dark races.

TOUCH UP IN THE BUNT, To. To mend the sail on the yard; figuratively, to goad or remind forcibly.


TOURNIQUET. Screw-bandages used for stopping the flow of blood.[691] They are distributed about the quarters before action, and a number of men are taught to apply them. A handkerchief and toggle, or stick of any kind, is sometimes substituted.

TOUT, To. An old term for looking out, or keeping a prying watch; whence the revenue cruisers and the customs officers were called touters. The name is also given to crimps.

TOW, To. To draw or drag a ship or boat by means of a rope attached to another vessel or boat, which advances by steam-power, rowing, or sailing. The Roman method, as appears by the triumphal arch at Orange, was by a rope fastened to a pulley at the top of the mast. They also fastened a rope to the head of a boat, and led it over men's shoulders, as practised on our canals at the present day.

TOWAGE. The towing of a vessel through the water. Also, the money given for being towed. Vessels thus relieved give claim for salvage service.

TOW-BLOWEN. A term on our eastern coasts for a blown herring.

TOWEL. A word very absurdly introduced into marine law. "If a mariner," says Molloy, "shall commit a fault, and the master shall lift up the towel three times before any mariner, and he shall not submit, the master at the next place of land may discharge him." Some think that this refers to an oaken stick, but it is no doubt corrupted from the oster la touaille, or turning a delinquent out of his mess, of the laws of Oleron.

TOWING-BRIDLE. A stout chain with a hook at each end for attaching a tow-rope to; also, a large towing-hook in the bight of the chain.

TOWING-HOOK. See Towing-bridle.

TOWING OVERBOARD. Drawing anything after a ship or boat when she is sailing or rowing. As a manœuvre to deceive an enemy, and induce him to chase, it was common to tow a sail astern by a hawser, at the same time keeping the three masts in line, so as to deceive the chaser as to distance.

TOWING-PATH. The hauling-way along a canal or artificial harbour.

TOWING-POST. A substantial timber fixed through the deck of a steam-tug for making the tow-rope fast to. Also, a similar post in canal barges to keep the tow-line up clear of the path.

TOW-LINE [Anglo-Saxon toh-line]. A small hawser or warp used to move a ship from one part of a harbour or road to another by means of boats, steamers, kedges, &c.

TOWN-MAJOR. An officer in a garrison specially supervising the detail of the guards, and of other local current duties.

T-PLATES. Iron plates in the form of the letter T placed under the channels to add strength.

TRABACCOLO. An Adriatic trading craft.

TRABALEO. Ancient coasting vessels.

TRABARIÆ. Ancient canoes, made of hollowed trees, capable of carrying two or three men.

TRACE. In fortification, the horizontal disposition of the works; also, a plan of the same.[692]

TRACK-BOAT [from the Dutch treck-schuyt]. A vessel used on a canal or narrow stream.

TRACKING. Hauling any vessel or floating body along a canal or river by a rope dragged along the bank by men or horses.

TRACK OF A SHIP. The line of a ship's course through the water. (See Wake.)

TRADE. Implies the constant destination of any particular merchant vessels, as the Lisbon trade, West India trade, &c.

TRADER. A vessel employed regularly in any particular branch of commerce, whether sea-borne or coasting, British or foreign.

TRADE-ROOM. A part of the steerage of a Yankee notion-trader where light goods and samples of the cargo are kept for general business.

TRADE-WINDS. Currents of air moving from about the 30th degree of latitude towards the equator. The diurnal motion of the earth makes them incline from the eastward, so that in the northern hemisphere they are from the N.E., and in the southern hemisphere from the S.E. Their geographical position in latitude varies with the declination of the sun. In some parts of the world, as the Bay of Bengal and China Sea, the action of the sun on the neighbouring land has the power of reversing the trades; the winds are there called monsoons.


TRAIL A PIKE, To. To hold the spear end in the right hand, and the butt trailed behind the bearer.

TRAIL-BOARDS. A carved board on each side of the stem, reaching from it to the figure, or to the brackets. The carved work between the cheek-knees of the head at the heel of the figure.

TRAIN or TRAIL OF ARTILLERY. A certain number of pieces of ordnance, completely mounted and fitted with appurtenances and retinue of attendants, ready to follow in rear of an army, &c. (See Battering Guns.) Also, the hinder part of a gun-carriage.—Train also signifies a line of gunpowder or other combustible material forming a communication with any body intended to be set on fire or exploded.

TRAINING-LEVEL. A gravitating instrument for the same purpose as the training-pendulum.

TRAINING-PENDULUM. An improved pendulum to facilitate the accurate elevation and depression of guns on board ship, by means of coloured spirits or quicksilver confined in a tube.

TRAINING-SHIP for the Merchant Service. A vessel properly equipped with instructors and means to rear able-bodied lads for the merchant service.

TRAINING-SHIP for Naval Cadets. H.M.S. Britannia, commanded by a captain and complement of officers for the primary training of naval cadets. They are nominated by the first lord, examined as to ability and constitution, and entered on trial. If they pass a pretty rigid examination, they are nominated to ships; but if they fail, they are not admitted into the navy. Great interest is required for a nomination.[693]

TRAIN-TACKLE. A tackle which is during action hooked to an eye-bolt in the train of a gun-carriage, and to a ring-bolt in the deck; its use is to prevent the gun from running out of the port whilst loading, and for running it in when fired.

TRAJECTORY. An astronomical term for the orbital curve described by a planet or comet, now seldom used in that science, but generally employed for the path described by a shot or shell.

TRAMMEL. A large drag-net for the cod fishery.

TRAMONTANA. The north wind in general in the Mediterranean, but also denoting a peculiar cold and blighting wind, very hurtful in the Archipelago.

TRAN. A Norwegian word for fish-oil, adopted in our northern fisheries.

TRANKEH, or Trankies. A large boat of the Gulf of Persia.

TRANSFER. There can be no legal transfer of property captured at sea, without a legal condemnation in the admiralty court, and therefore the sale or occupancy of vessels and goods by pirates does not alter or extinguish the loser's right of property. Transfer is the legal state of a registered ship, or shares in her, to persons qualified to be owners of British ships. Also, the turning over men or companies from one ship to another.

TRANSHIPMENT OF TREASURE. Ships on a distant station receiving treasure for conveyance to some other man-of-war about to proceed to England, from another port on the same station. Both captains partake of the freight, relatively as to distance and deposit.

TRANSIRE. A custom-house document specifying the goods shipped by a coasting vessel, docketted with a sufferance for their discharge on arriving at the place of destination.

TRANSIT. The precise culmination of a heavenly body over the meridian of a place.

TRANSIT of Mercury or Venus. These planets being situated between the sun and the earth, occasionally appear to us to pass over his disc, from east to west.

TRANSIT INSTRUMENT. A telescope fitted with vertical wires, and revolving on an axis in the plane of the meridian, with which the time may be obtained by observing the passage of the stars and planets compared with their computed time.

TRANSITU. Goods of an enemy's colony surrendering between the time of sailing and capture do not change their hostile character in transitu; though the owners may have become British subjects by capitulation, upon the principle that the national character cannot be altered in transitu. (See Stoppage in Transitu.)

TRANSMISSION. The property in a merchantman, or a share therein, transmitted in consequence of the authenticated death, bankruptcy, or insolvency of any registered owner.

TRANSOM. The vane of a cross-staff, made to slide along it by means of a square socket; it may be set to any of the graduations.[694]

TRANSOM of a Gun-carriage. A cross piece of timber uniting the cheeks; generally between the trunnion-holes and the fore axle-tree.

TRANSOM-KNEES. Curved timbers, or pieces of iron, which bind and connect the ship's quarter to the transoms, being bolted to the latter, and to the after timbers. Knees which have one arm applied to either end of a transom, and the other running diagonally along, and bolted to the ship's side.

TRANSOMS. 'Thwart-ship pieces forming the buttocks of a ship, extended across the stern-post, to which they are bolted, and give her after-part the figure most suitable to the service for which she is intended.—Deck-transom. That on which all the lower deck planks are rabbeted. The first, second, third transoms, &c., are respectively below the preceding.—Helm-post transom. That which is at the head of the stern-post, and forms the upper part of the gun-room ports.—Wing-transom. The next below, and forming the lower part.

TRANSPORT. A private ship hired by government for carrying troops, stores, and munitions of war. The proportion of tonnage for troops embarked in transports is two tons per man.

TRANSPORTING. Moving a ship by means of hawsers only, from one part of a harbour to another.

TRANSPORTING-BLOCKS. Two snatch-blocks, fitted one on each side above the taffrail, to admit a hawser, when transporting a ship.

TRANSPORT OFFICE. Formerly a department under government directed by commissioners, who chartered vessels and appointed officers for conveying troops to or from this country: they were also to provide accommodation and provision for all prisoners of war, as well as to regulate their exchange by cartel, &c. Now under a naval director of transport.

TRANS-SHIP, To. To remove a cargo from one ship to another.

TRANSVERSE AXIS. The first or principal diameter of an ellipse; that which crosses it lengthwise. (See Major Axis.)

TRANSVERSE SECTION. A 'thwart-ship view of any part of a ship when cut by a plane at right angles to the keel.

TRANTER. One who carries fish for sale.

TRAP-CREEL. A basket for catching lobsters.

TRAPEZIUM. A quadrilateral figure that has only two of its four sides parallel.

TRAPEZOID, or Tablet. Has all its four sides and angles unequal, and no sides parallel.

TRAVADO, or Travat [from tornado]. A heavy squall, with sudden gusts of wind, lightning, and rain, on the coast of North America; like the African tornado, it commences with a black cloud in calm weather and a clear sky.

TRAVEL, To. For a thimble, block, &c., to run along on beams or ropes.

TRAVELLER. One or more iron thimbles with a rope spliced round them, sometimes forming a kind of tail, but more generally a species of grummet.—Traveller of boat's masts, jib-boom, &c. An iron ring fitted[695] so as to slip up and down a spar, to run in and out on a boom or gaff, for the purpose of extending or drawing in the outer corner or tack of the sail.

TRAVELLER-IRON. To a cutter's fore-sail, boom-mainsail, or spanker-boom; generally termed traveller horse. (See Horse.)

TRAVELLING-BACKSTAYS, are generally the breast-backstays, which set up with a runner purchase in the channels on the weather side; that to leeward is let go in stays. The traveller is a strong parrel-strop which passes round the mast, and through two thimbles of which the breast backstays reeve. As the yard is hoisted this slips up, but when a reef is taken in it is rode down by the feet of two men close to the tye-block, and thus supports the mast from the top-rim to the parrel.

TRAVELLING-GUYS. The jib traveller guys are seized on to the traveller, and are shortened in and set up when the jib is eased in.

TRAVELLING-MARTINGALE. A similar contrivance adapted to a martingale to support the jib-boom in that particular part where the jib-tack is fixed. (See Martingale.)

TRAVERSE. Denotes the several courses a ship makes under the changes of wind or manœuvres. It is self-evident that if she steered a course there would be no traverse. But her course being north, and the wind from the north, it is evident she could have but two courses open to her, E.N.E., or W.N.W. The reduction of the distances run on each course, corrected for variation and lee-way, constitutes the traverse table, from which the reckoning is deduced each day up to noon. From this zig-zag set of lines we have the term Tom Cox's traverse (which see). Also, in fortification, a mound, often of parapet form, raised to cover from enfilade or reverse fire. Also, to traverse a gun or mortar. To alter its direction from right to left, or vice versâ, with handspikes, tackles, &c.

TRAVERSE A YARD, To. To get it fore and aft.

TRAVERSE-BOARD. A thin circular piece of board, marked with all the points of the compass, and having eight holes bored in each, and eight small pegs hanging from the centre of the board. It is used to determine the different courses run by a ship during a watch, by sticking one peg into the point on which the ship has run each half hour. It is useful in light and variable winds.

TRAVERSE-HORSE. See Jack-stays.

TRAVERSE QUESTIONS. Cross examinations at a court-martial.

TRAVERSE SAILING. Resolving a traverse is merely a general term for the determination of a single course equivalent to a series of successive courses steered, whatever be the manner of finding the lengths of the lines forming the triangles.

TRAVERSE-TABLE. A table which gives the difference of latitude and departure corresponding to a certain course and distance, and vice versâ. It is generally calculated to every quarter of a point or degree, and up to a distance of 300 miles.

TRAVERSE-WIND. A wind which sets right in to any harbour, and prevents the departure of vessels.[696]

TRAVERSIER. A small fishing vessel on the coast of Rochelle.

TRAVERSUM. A archaic term for a ferry.

TRAWL. A strong net or bag dragged along the bottom of fishing-banks, by means of a rope, a beam, and a pair of iron trawl-heads.

TRAYERES. An archaic term for a sort of long-boat.

TREADING A SEAM, or Dancing Pedro-pee. See Pedro-a-pied.

TREAD OF A SHIP or KEEL. The length of her keel.

TREAD WATER, To. The practice in swimming by which the body is sustained upright, and the head kept above the surface.

TREBLE-BLOCK. One fitted with three sheaves or rollers.

TREBLING. Planking thrice around a whaler's bows in order the more effectually to withstand the pressure of the ice.

TREBUCHET. An engine of old to cast stones and batter walls.

TRECK-SCHUYT. A canal boat in Holland for carrying goods and passengers.

TREEING. In the Arctic regions, refraction sometimes causes the ice to resemble a huge wall, which is considered an indication of open water in that quarter.

TREE-NAILS. Long cylindrical oak or other hard wood pins, driven through the planks and timbers of a vessel to connect her various parts.

TREE-NAIL WEDGE. A cross is cut in the tree-nail end, and wedges driven in, caulked; or sometimes a wedge is driven into its inner end, and the tree-nail is thus secured.

TREES OF A SHIP. The chess-trees, the cross-trees, the rough-trees, the trestle-trees, and the waste-trees.

TRELAWNEY. A poor mess composed of barley-meal, water, and salt.

TRENCHES. The earthworks by which a besieger approaches a fortified place; generally half sunk in the ground, the other half formed by the excavated earth thrown, as a parapet, to the front.

TRENCHMAN. See Trugman.

TRENCH THE BALLAST, To. To divide the ballast in a ship's hold to get at a leak, or to trim and stow it.

TREND, To. To bend or incline, speaking of a coast; as, "The land trends to the south-west." Also, the course of a current or stream.

TREND of an Anchor. The lower end of the shank, where it thickens towards the arms, usually at one-third from the crown. In round terms, it is the same distance on the shank from the throat that the arm measures from the throat to the bill.

TRENNEL. See Tree-nails.

TREPANG. An eastern name for the Holothuria, or bêche-de-mer, frequently called the sea-slug; used as an article of food by the Chinese.

TRESTLE-TREES. Two strong bars of timber fixed horizontally fore-and-aft on each side of the lower mast-head, to support the top-mast, the lower cross-trees, and top; smaller trestle-trees are fitted on a topmast-head to support the topgallant-mast and top-mast cross-trees.[697]

TRIANGLE, or Trigon. A geometrical figure consisting of three sides and as many angles. Also, a machine formed by spars for lifting weights, water-casks, &c. Also, a stage hung round a mast, to scrape, paint, or grease it.

TRIANGULUM. One of the ancient northern constellations.

TRIATIC STAY. A rope secured at each end of the heads of the fore and main masts, with thimbles spliced in its bight to hook the stay-tackles to. This term applies also to the jumper-stay, extending in schooners from the mainmast-head to the foremast-head, clearing the end of the fore gaff.

TRIBUTARY. Any stream, large or small, which directly or indirectly joins another stream.

TRICE, To. To haul or lift up by means of a lashing or line.

TRICE UP—LIE OUT! The order to lift the studding-sail boom-ends while the top-men move out on the yards, preparatory to reefing or furling.

TRICING BATTENS. Those used for the hammocks, or tricing up the bags between the beams on the lower-deck.

TRICING-LINE. A small cord, generally passing through a block or thimble, and used to hoist up any object to render it less inconvenient; such are the tricing-lines of the yard-tackle, &c.

TRICK. The time allotted to a man on duty at the helm. The same as spell.

TRICKER. An old spelling for the trigger of a gun.

TRIE. An old word for trim.—Out of trie, crank.

TRIGGER. In ship-building, is the letting fall the paul of the cradle by which the dog-shore falls flush, and offers no further obstruction to the ship gliding down the ways into her absurdly termed "native element." Also, a small catch under the lock of fire-arms, by drawing which back, when the piece is cocked, it is discharged.

TRIGGER-FINGER. See Fore-finger.

TRIGGER-LINE. A line by which the gun is fired.

TRIG-MEAT. A western term for any kind of shell-fish picked up at low water.

TRIGON. See Triangle.

TRIGONOMETRY. The science which deals with measuring triangles, or determining their unknown sides and angles, plane or spherical.

TRIM. The set of a ship on the water, whether by the head or the stern, or on an even keel. It is by the disposition of the ballast, cargo, masts, and other weight which she carries, that a vessel is best adapted for navigation. Also, the working or finishing of any piece of timber or plank to its proper shape or form.—In trim, is neat and regular.—To trim, is to arrange the sails so that they may receive the full advantage of the wind.

TRIM of the Hold. The arrangement of the cargo, &c., by which a vessel carries sail well, and becomes under control as well as sea-worthy.

TRIMMED. Sails properly set, and yards well braced after tacking.[698]

TRIMMED SHARP. The arrangement of a ship's sails in a slant wind, so that she may keep as close as possible to the breeze.

TRIMMING A JACKET. Rope's-ending the wearer.

TRIMONIER. A corruption of timoneer, but formerly a rating on ships' books.

TRIM THE BOAT! The order to sit in the boat in such a manner as that she shall float upright. Also, to edge aft, so that her steerage becomes easier, and she does not ship heavy seas.

TRINK. An old contrivance for catching fish. (Statute 2 Hen. VI. c. 15.)

TRIP. An outward-bound passage or short voyage, particularly in the coasting trade. It also denotes a single board in plying to windward. Also, the movement by which an anchor is loosened from its bed and raised clear of the bottom, either by its cable or buoy-rope.—The anchor's a-trip, i.e. no longer holds.

TRIPLE STAR. Three stars situated in close proximity, but apparently only optically connected. (See Ternary System.)

TRIPPING. Giving a yard the necessary cant by a tripping-line. Also, the lifting an upper mast to withdraw its fid, in order that it may be lowered by means of the mast-rope.

TRIPPING-LINE. A small rope serving to unrig the lower top-gallant yard-arm of its lift and brace, when in the act of sending it down on deck. Also, the line used for tripping an upper mast.

TROACHER, or Troaker. A dealer in smuggled goods.

TROCHOID, or Cycloid. A geometrical curve, resulting from a circle being made to run along a right line, whence the French designate it roulette. But if a circle be made to roll along the circumference of another circle, it becomes an epicycloid (which see).

TROITE. An archaism for the cuttle-fish.

TROLLING. Drawing the bait along the water to imitate the swimming of a real fish; this is generally done by a long line attached to the stern of a sailing-boat. The word of old signified sauntering or idling about.

TROMBONE. A species of blunderbuss for boat service, taking its name from its unseemly trumpet mouth.

TRONA. An article of export from Tripoli and Egypt; the natron of commerce, and over munnoo of the East Indies. Sesqui-carb. of soda mixed with salt and sulphate of soda.

TROOP. A company of cavalry, commanded by a captain, generally from forty to sixty strong. Also, an assembling beat of the drum.—Trooping the guard, or the colours, are special military ceremonies connected with guard-mounting.—Troop the guard. A ceremony daily practised in large ships by the marines at morning muster.

TROOP-BOATS. Are built with great flatness of floor, with extreme breadth, carried well forward and aft, and possessing the utmost buoyancy, as well as capacity for stowage. They were carried as paddle-box boats (inverted), and thus protected the paddles as well as being ready for use.

TROOP-SHIPS. A class of vessel of excellent account, during war, in the[699] hands of government; far preferable to hired transports for the purpose of conveying soldiers, especially cavalry and their horses. They were usually, in the last French war, 50's and 64's; and with the lower-deck guns taken out, were roomy and airy.

TROPHY. Anything captured from an enemy and shown or treasured as a token of victory.


TROPICAL REVOLUTION. If the periodic time of a circuit round the sun be taken in reference to the equinoxes or tropics, it is called a tropical revolution.

TROPIC-BIRD. Phaethon æthereus, a well-known sea-bird, distinguished by two very long feathers in its tail; also termed boatswain-bird, from the tail feathers resembling a marline-spike.

TROPICS. Two imaginary lines upon the globe, or lesser circles of the sphere, parallel to the equator, and at 231⁄2° distance on each side of it; they touch the ecliptic at its greatest distances from the equator, and from the boundaries of the sun's declination, north and south.

TROUGH [from the Anglo-Saxon troh]. A small boat broad at both ends. Also, the hollow or interval between two waves, which resembles a broad and deep trench perpetually fluctuating. As the set of the sea is produced by the wind, the waves and the trough are at right angles with it; hence a ship rolls heaviest when she is in the trough of the sea.

TROUL. The action of silt being rolled along by a tide.

TROUNCE, To. To beat or punish. An old word; in Mathew's translation of the Bible, 1537, we find, "The Lord trounced Sisera."

TROUNCER. An old word for a waister.

TROUS DE LOUP. Holes dug in the form of an inverted cone, with a sharp picket or stake in each, to break the march of an enemy's column when advancing to the attack.

TROW. A clinker-built, flat-floored barge used on the Severn, &c. Also, a sort of double boat with an interval between, and closed at the ends; it is used on the Tyne for salmon-fishing, the fisherman standing across the opening, leister in hand, ready to strike the quarry which passes.

TRUCE. The exhibition of a flag of truce has been religiously respected amongst civilized nations. It is a request by signal to desist from farther warfare, until the object of the truce requested has been acceded to or rejected.

TRUCHMAN. See Trugman.

TRUCK. A Cornish word for the trough between two surfs. Also, exchange, as fish for grog, &c.

TRUCKLE. A Welsh coracle.

TRUCKS. Pieces of wood of various forms, though mostly round; they are for different purposes, as wheels on which the gun-carriages run.—Trucks of the flag-staves or at the mast-head. Circular caps on the upper mast-heads; they are generally furnished with two or more small sheaves, through which the signal halliards are rove.—Trucks of the parrels.[700] Spherical pieces of wood, termed bull's-eyes, having a hole through them, in which is inserted the rope of the parrel. (See Parrals.)—Trucks for fair leaders, are similar to bull's-eyes, but are scored to fit the shrouds to which they are seized. The ropes are thus kept from getting jammed between the yards and the rigging; they are also useful, especially at night, as guides to particular ropes.

TRUE ANOMALY. See Anomaly.

TRUE-BLUE. A metaphorical term for an honest and hearty sailor: "true to his uniform, and uniformly true."

TRUE-HORIZON. See Horizon.

TRUE TIDE. Opposed to cross-tide (which see).

TRUE WATER. The exact depth of soundings.

TRUFF. A west-country name for a trout.

TRUG. A rough basket for carrying chips of timber.

TRUGMAN. An early word for interpreter, being a corruption of dragoman; also called trench-man, but not trencher-man, as a worthy Mediterranean consul wrote it.

TRUMPETER. A petty officer and musician stationed on the poop, to sound salutes and various evolutionary orders.

TRUNCHEON. A field-marshal's baton; also a constable's.

TRUNDLE-HEAD. The lower drumhead of a capstern, when it is double, and worked on one shaft both on an upper and lower deck.

TRUNDLE-SHOT. An iron bolt 16 or 18 inches long, with sharp points, and a ball of lead just inside each head.

TRUNK. (See Rudder-trunk.) Also, a large species of turtle. Also, a place for keeping fish in. Also, an iron hoop with a bag, used to catch crabs and lobsters.—Fire-trunks. Funnels fixed in fire-ships under the shrouds, to convey the flames to the masts, rigging, and sails.

TRUNK-ENGINE. A direct-acting steam-engine, in which the end of the connecting-rod is attached to the bottom of a hollow trunk, passing steam-tight through the cylinder cover.

TRUNK-FISH. A name of the Ostracion, a fish remarkable for having its body encased in an inflexible armour of hard octagonal plates, the fins, mouth, and gill-openings passing through holes in this casing.

TRUNNION-RING. The ring round a cannon next before the trunnions, now disused.

TRUNNIONS. The arms, or two pieces of metal projecting from the opposite sides of a gun, by which it rests and swings upon its carriage, acting as an axis of elevation or depression. Also, pieces of well-seasoned wood, used in securing the ship's timbers.

TRUSS. The trusses or parrels of the lower yards serve to bind them to their masts and are bowsed taut when the yards are trimmed, in order to arrest motion and friction. But the introduction of an iron goose-neck, centering and securing the yard well free of the mast, very much supersedes the use of trusses.

TRUSS-HOOPS. Synonymous with clasp-hoops for masts or spars; they[701] are open iron hoops, so made that their ends, being let into each other, may be well fastened by means of iron wedges or forelock keys.

TRUSS-PARREL. That part of a rope-truss which goes round the yard.

TRUSS-PENDANT. That part of a rope-truss into which the truss-tackle blocks are seized.

TRUSS-PIECES. The fillings in between the frame compartments of the riders, in diagonal trussing.

TRUSS-TACKLE. A gun-tackle purchase applied to the ends of the truss-pendants, to bowse them taut home to the mast.

TRUSS UP, To. To brail up a sail suddenly; to toss up a bunt.

TRY, To, or Lie-to, in a Gale, is, by a judicious balance of canvas, to keep a ship's bow to the sea, and, with as much as she can safely show, prevent her rolling to windward in the trough of a sea. Close-hauled under all sail, a vessel gains head-way within six points of the wind; but in trying she may come up to five and fall off to seven: so that a vessel does not hold her own. If the vessel be in proper trim, or properly stowed, she will naturally keep to the wind; but custom, and deficiency of seamanlike ability, have induced the lazy habit of lashing the helm a-lee.

TRY BACK FOR A BEND, To. To pay back some of the bight of a cable, in order to have sufficient to form the bend.

TRY DOWN, To. To boil out the oil from blubber at sea in whalers.

TRYING THE RANGE. A lubberly mode of estimating the distance of an enemy's ship or fort by firing a shot at it.

TRYSAIL. A reduced sail used by small craft in lieu of their main-sail during a storm. Also, a fore-and-aft sail, set with a boom and gaff, in ships, synonymous with the spencers of brigs and schooners, and the spanker or driver of ships. (See Storm-trysail.)

TRYSAIL-MAST. A spar abaft the fore and main mast, for hoisting the trysail.

TRY-WORKS. Large copper boilers, for boiling the blubber in whalers.

TUB, Grog. A half-cask, set apart for mixing the daily allowance of spirit with water, lime-juice, and sugar, prior to its being served out to the ship's company.

TUB, Match. A conical tub used to guard the slow match in action. They were formerly about five-gallon capacity, the head being sunk about two inches, and four holes bored to insert slow matches. They are now almost disused, except to keep a light ready for signal purposes, as rockets, blue lights, &c., by night.

TUBES. See Chain-pump.

TUBES, for Guns. A kind of portable priming, for insertion into the vent,—of various patterns. (See Friction-tube, Quill-tubes, &c.)

TUBS, Topsail-halliard. Circular framed racks in which the topsail-halliards are coiled clear for running, and are prevented from fouling by being sent adrift in a gale.

TUBULAR BOILERS. Those in which the flame and hot gases, after leaving the furnaces, pass through a great number of small iron or brass[702] tubes surrounded by water, by which means these gases are made to impart some of their heat to the water before they escape; thus fuel is economized.

TUCK. The after-part of a ship, immediately under the stern or counter, where the ends of the bottom planks are collected and terminate by the tuck-rail. Thus the fir frigates of 1812-14 had flat, square transoms similar to boats, or heart-shaped. Hence our square-tucked frigates, brigs, &c.

TUG. A vessel for towing in and out of harbours and the like. (See Steam-tug.)

TUG, To [from the Anglo-Saxon teogan, to pull]. It now signifies to hang on the oars, and get but little or nothing ahead.

TUGG. A heavy sort of wain or cart, on which the ship-timber for naval arsenals was formerly conveyed from Sussex.

TUMBLE IN. See Tumbling Home.

TUMBLER. One of the numerous names for the porpoise, Phocœna communis. Also, a contrivance to avoid the necessity of having copper nailed on the mast to prevent a gaff from chafing it.

TUMBLE UP! A requisition of the boatswain's mates, &c., to quicken the hands after being piped up. The cry is well understood, though so contrary to the known tendency of gravitation.

TUMBLING HOME. The opposite of wall-sided, or flaring out. That part of a ship's side which curves inwardly above the extreme breadth. In all old sea-books this narrowing of a ship from the extreme breadth upwards is called housing in. (See Upper-works.)

TUMBLING SEA. The increased rolling before a gale.

TUMBRIL. A covered cart for conveying ammunition and pioneers' tools.

TUM-TUM. A West India dish, consisting of boiled plantain beat into a paste and fried.

TUNGULA. A small boat in the Moluccas and Borneo.

TUNNY. A well-known large fish of the family Scombridæ. It forms an important branch of Mediterranean commerce.

TURBONADA. A roaring squall, or short hurricane, of frequent occurrence in the Pacific Ocean [a mimo-phonetic term adopted from the Spaniards].

TURBOT. The Pleuronectes maximus, a flat fish in the highest esteem with all ichthyophagi.

TURKEY-GRAIN. A name for maize.

TURK'S HEAD. An ornamental knot, so called from resembling a turban, used on side-ropes, &c.; it is worked with a piece of small line by following the lead till it is formed with three parts to each cross.

TURN, To Take or Catch a. To pass a rope once or twice round a cleat, pin, kevel, or any other thing, to keep it fast.

TURN AHEAD! A self-explanatory order to the engineer, in regulating the movement of a steamer.

TURN A TURTLE, To. To take the animal by seizing a flipper, and[703] throwing him on his back, which renders him quite helpless. Also applied to a vessel capsizing; or throwing a person suddenly out of his hammock.

TURN IN, To. To go to bed.—To turn out. To get up.

TURN IN A DEAD-EYE or HEART, To. To seize the end of a shroud or stay, &c., securely round it.

TURNING IN RIGGING. The end of a vessel's shrouds carried round the dead-eyes, laid back and secured by seizings.

TURNING-ROOM. Space in a narrow channel for a ship to work in.

TURN IN THE HAWSE. Two crosses in a cable.

TURN OF THE TIDE. The change from ebb to flood, or the contrary.

TURN OUT THE GUARD! The order for the marines of the guard to fall in, on the quarter-deck, in order to receive a superior officer on board.

TURN OVER MEN, To. To discharge them out of one ship into another.

TURN THE GLASS. The order in throwing the log when the stray line is payed out.

TURN THE HANDS UP, To. To summon the entire crew on deck.

TURN TO WINDWARD, To. To gain on the wind by alternate tacking. It is when a ship endeavours to make progress against the wind by a compound course inclined to the place of her destination; otherwise called plying or beating to windward.

TURNPIKE-SAILORS. Rascals who go about dressed as sailors pretending that they have been shipwrecked, and soliciting charity.

TURPIS CAUSA. An unsustainable suit for wages, on the part of a British pilot, for navigating a foreign ship to an enemy's port.

TURRET-SHIP. A vessel, more or less armoured, fitted with one or more heavily plated revolving turrets, each carrying one or more guns of the heaviest class, which look out above the deck; the whole worked by steam-power. It represents the present improvement on the inventions of the cupola-ship, shield-ship, and monitor.

TURTLE. The well-known marine reptile described by early navigators as "reasonable toothsom meate." The horny covering of the shell of some species furnishes the substance commonly known as tortoise-shell.

TURTLE-CRAWL. A shallow lagoon, wherein turtles are kept.

TURTLE-PEG. A socketed pointed iron on a staff; it is slightly barbed, and is a special tool for sticking turtle.

TUSK. The Brosmius vulgaris, a savoury fish taken in the northern seas, about the size of the ling, but with a broader tail.

'TWEEN or 'TWIXT DECKS. The one under the gun deck, where sailors usually mess.

TWICE-LAID. Rope made from a selection of the best yarns of old rope. Also, a sea-dish made of the salt-fish left from yesterday's dinner, and beaten up with potatoes or yams.

TWIDDLING-LINE. A piece of small rope ornamentally fitted and used for steadying the steering-wheel when required: no longer used.[704]

TWIG, To. To pull upon a bowline. Also, in familiar phrase, to understand or observe.

TWIG-AIT. A river islet where osiers grow.

TWINE. A kind of strong thread used in sail-making; it is of two kinds: extra, for sewing the seams; and ordinary, for the bolt-ropes. (See Whipping-twine.) Irish twine or thumb-line, like nettles, is worked by the fingers from fine yarns drawn from bolt-rope.

TWIN-SCREW. A steamer fitted with two propellers and independent engines, to enable her to turn rapidly on her own axis. The twin-screw principle is not new, but latterly it has been so perfected that speed in turning is no longer a matter of doubt.

TWO-BLOCKS. The same as chock-a-block (which see).

TWO-HANDED FELLOWS. Those who are both seamen and soldiers, or artificers; as the marines and, specially, marine artillerymen.

TWO-HANDED SAW. A very useful instrument in ship-carpentry; it is much longer than the hand-saw, and requires two men to use it.

TWO-MONTHLY BOOK. A book kept by the captain's clerk, to be forwarded every two months, when possible, in order to prevent frauds; and in the event of a ship being lost, to have the accounts to the nearest period.

TWO MONTHS' ADVANCE. See Advance Money.

TWO-PENCES. A deduction from each man, per mensem, formerly assigned to the surgeon for wages.

TWO-TOPSAIL-SCHOONER. See Topsail-schooner.

TWY. A meteor squall on the coasts of Wiltshire, Hampshire, &c.

TYE. A runner of thick rope or chain, which forms part of the purchase used for hoisting the top-sail and top-gallant yards.

TYE-BLOCK. The block on the yard through which the tye is rove, and passes on to be secured at the mast-head. The block secured to the lower end of the tye is the fly-block.

TYMOOM. A Chinese river craft.

TYNDARIDES. The ancient name of the meteor called corpo santo.

TYPHOON, Ty-fong, or Tai-phon. The Chinese word for a great wind, applied to hurricanes or cyclones. They are revolving storms of immense force, occurring most frequently in those parts of the world which are subject to monsoons, and take place at those seasons when the monsoons are changing. They seem to be eddies formed by the meeting of opposing currents of air—for instance, the westerly winds near the equator and the easterly winds of higher latitudes—which accounts for the important fact that these storms revolve in opposite directions in the two hemispheres—in the southern with, in the northern against, the hands of a watch; but the circular tendency in both supports the name of cyclone.


UGLY. A term applied to a threatening heavy atmosphere, also to a head-sea. Also, to an ugly craft, as a mischievous foe, or a pirate.

ULCUS. An old term for the hulk of a ship of burden (leg. Ethelred).

ULIGINOUS CHANNELS. Those connecting the branches of rivers, by cuts through the soil.

ULLAGE. The remainder in a cask or package which has leaked or been partially used.—Ullaged is used for damaged, short of contents.

ULTIMATUM. The final conditions upon which any proposition or treaty with an enemy can be ratified.

ULTRA MARE. Beyond seas—a naval law term.

ULTRA VIRES. Beyond the power of might or right to interfere.

ULTRA-ZODIACAL. Beyond the limits of the zodiac; applied to those asteroids that revolve outside the ancient zodiac.

UMBRA. The dark shadow of the moon, earth, or any other planet.

UMBRELLA-WARPING. A contrivance similar to an umbrella, by which ships in a calm can be warped ahead.

UNATTACHED. In military phraseology, an officer not belonging to any one company or regiment, or on half-pay.

UNBEND, To. To cast off or untie; to remove the sails from their yards and stays; to cast loose the cables from their anchors, or to untie one rope from another.

UNBITT, To. To remove the turns of a cable from off the bitts. (See Bitts.)

UNCLAIMED, as Derelict. Vessels found at sea without a human being, or a domestic animal, on board are good prizes, if not claimed within 366 days. If so claimed, full salvage, or half her value, is assigned to the salvors.

UNDECAGON. A geometrical figure of eleven equal sides and angles.

UNDER BARE POLES. The condition of a ship under no canvas, or when the wind is too violent to allow of any sail being set on her.

UNDER-BEVELLING. The alteration made inside a square in hewing timber, as opposed to standing bevelling.

UNDER-BRIGHT. A meteorological term for the strong light which sometimes appears below clouds near the horizon.

UNDER CANVAS. Synonymous with under sail.

UNDER-CURRENT. A stream which sets beneath the surface-water of the sea whilst that is either in a quiescent state or moving in a contrary direction. Swift rivers may run out at top whilst the flood-tide runs in below.

UNDER DECK. The floor of a cabin, or 'tween decks.

UNDER FOOT. Under the ship's bottom; said of an anchor which is dropped while she has head-way. An anchor is often dropped under foot[706] when calm prevails and the drift would be towards danger.—To drop an anchor under foot, is to let it go and veer a little of the riding cable when the coming home, or parting of the one by which she is riding, is feared.

UNDER LEVEL. See Bevelling.

UNDER-MANNED. When a ship has an insufficient complement, or is short-handed.

UNDER-MASTED. When the masts are either too small or too short, so that a ship cannot spread the sail necessary to give her proper speed.

UNDER METAL. The condition of a gun when the muzzle is depressed, and the metal, i.e. the breech, raised; the proper position when not in use, to prevent moisture collecting in the chamber.

UNDER-RUN A HAWSER or WARP, To. To haul a boat along underneath it, in order to clear it, if any part happens to be foul. To under-run a tackle, is to separate the several parts of which it is composed, and range them in order, so that the general effort may not be interrupted when it is put in motion by the parts crossing, or by thorough-foots.

UNDER SAIL. The state of a ship when she is in motion from the action of wind on her sails.

UNDER-SET. Wherever the wind impels the surface-water directly upon the shore of a bay, the water below restores equilibrium by taking a direction contrary to the wind. The resaca, or under-set, is particularly dangerous on those beaches where heavy surf prevails.

UNDER-SHORE, To. To support or raise a thing by putting a spar or prop under it, as a ship is shored up in dock.

UNDER-SKINKER. Assistant to the purser's steward.

UNDER THE LEE. Sheltered from the wind by some intervening object, as a ship under the lee of the land.

UNDER THE SEA. A ship lying-to in a heavy gale, and making bad weather of it.

UNDER THE WIND. So situated to leeward of something as not to feel the wind.

UNDER-TOW. An under current especially noticed at the mouths of great rivers, or where tide and half-tides prevail, completely hampering the sails even with a good breeze. (See Under-current.)

UNDER WAY. A ship beginning to move under her canvas after her anchor is started. Some have written this under weigh, but improperly. A ship is under weigh when she has weighed her anchor: she may be with or without canvas, or hove-to. As soon as she gathers way she is under way. This a moot point with old seamen.

UNDERWRITERS. The parties who take upon themselves the risk of insurance, and so called from subscribing their names at the foot of the policy. They are legally presumed to be acquainted with every custom of the trade whereon they enter a policy.

UNICORN. The old name for the howitzer, as improved from the licorn, borrowed from the Turks during the last century by the Russians, and from the latter by Europe generally.[707]

UNICORN-FISH, or Sea-unicorn. A name for the narwhal (which see).

UNIFORM. The dress prescribed by regulation for officers and men of the army, navy, marines, &c.

UNION. The national flag of Great Britain, on shore or afloat. It is a composition of the crosses of St. George of England, St. Andrew of Scotland, and St. Patrick of Ireland, the last having been brought in in 1801. It was formerly inscribed, "For the Protestant Religion and for the Liberty of England." It is in the upper canton of all British ensigns. At the main it is the proper flag of an admiral of the fleet; and was thus flown by Lord Howe at the battle of June 1, 1794.

UNION DOWN. When a ship hoists her ensign upside down it is a signal of distress or of mourning.

UNION-JACK. The union flag used separately; in the merchant service it must have a broad white border.

UNLIMBER, To. With a gun on a travelling-carriage, to release it from the limber, by lifting the trail off the pintle and placing it on the ground, thus bringing it to the position for action.

UNLIVERY. Expenses of unlivery and appraisement are a charge in the first instance against the captors of a prize, to be afterwards apportioned by them ratably against the cargo.

UNMANAGEABLE. When a vessel refuses to answer her helm, has lost her rudder, or is crippled in masts or sails.

UNMOORED. Having one anchor weighed; lying at single anchor.

UNREEVING. The act of withdrawing a rope from any block, thimble, dead-eye, &c., through which it had formerly passed. (See Reeve.)

UNRIG, To. To dismantle a ship of her standing and running rigging.—To unrig the capstan is to take out the bars.

UNROOMAGED. An antiquated sea term, which, from its application by Sir W. Raleigh, in his account of Sir R. Granville's action, may mean "out of trim."

UNROVE HIS LIFE-LINE. Departed this life.

UNSERVICEABLE TICKET. This is made out in the same manner, and requires the same notations, as a sick-ticket (which see), only that no inventory of clothes and other effects is necessary.

UNSHIP, To. The opposite of to ship. To remove any piece of timber from its situation in which it is generally used, as "unship the oars," lay them in the boat from the rowlocks; "unship the capstan bars," &c.

UNWHOLESOME SHIP. One that will neither hull, try, nor ride, without labouring heavily in a sea. Also applied to a sugar ship diverted from her former trade, and not properly cleansed, even before taking in a cargo of timber.

UP ALONG. Sailing from the mouth of the channel upwards.

UP ANCHOR. Pipe to weigh; every man to his station.

UP AND DOWN. The situation of the cable when it has been hove in sufficiently to bring the ship directly over the anchor. (See Right up and down.)[708]

UP-AND-DOWN TACKLE. A purchase used in bowsing down the eyes of the lower rigging over the mast-heads; lifting objects from the hold; getting anchors over the side, &c.

UP BOATS! The order to hoist the boats to the stern and quarter davits.

UP COURSES! The order to haul them up by the clue-garnets, &c.

UPHAND-SLEDGE. A large sledge-hammer used in blacksmith's work, and lifted with both hands, in contradistinction to the short stroke by the master smith.

UPHROE. See Uvrou.

UPMAKING. Pieces of plank or timber piled on each other as filling-up in building, more especially those placed between the bilge-ways and ship's bottom preparatory to launching.

UPPER COUNTER. The counter between the wing transom and the rail. (See Counter.)

UPPER DECK. The highest of those decks which are continued throughout the whole length of a ship without falls or interruptions, as the quarter-deck, waist, and forecastle of frigates, &c.

UPPER FINISHING. See Finishings.

UPPER MASTS. The top-mast, topgallant-mast, and royal-mast; any spars above these are termed poles. (See Pole-masts.)

UPPER STRAKE or WASH of Boats. A strake thicker than those of the bottom, wrought round the gunwales, and lined within the poppets.

UPPER or TOP-RIDER FUTTOCKS. These timbers stand nearly the same as breadth-riders, and very much strengthen the top-side.

UPPER TRANSIT. The passage of a circumpolar star over the meridian above the pole; the opposite of the lower transit.

UPPER-WORKS. That part of a ship which rises from the water's surface when she is properly trimmed for a voyage.

UP SCREW! The order in steamers to lift the screw on making sail.

UP WITH THE HELM. Put it a-weather; that is, over to the windward side, or (whichever way the tiller is shipped) so as to carry the rudder to leeward of the stern-post.

URANOGRAPHY. The delineation of constellations, nebulæ, &c., on celestial charts or globes.

URANOSCOPUS. See Sky-gazer.

URANUS. A superior planet discovered by the elder Herschel in 1781; it has four known satellites, but possibly six, according to the impression of the discoverer.

URCA. An armed Spanish fly-boat.

URSA MAJOR. One of the ancient northern constellations.

URSA MINOR. An ancient northern constellation, in which the north polar star is situated.

USAGES. Besides the general laws of merchants, there are certain commercial and seafaring usages which prevail in particular countries with the force of law. Underwriters are bound by usages; and they are legal precedents, binding in courts-martial.[709]

USHANT TEAM. The sobriquet given to that portion of the Channel fleet which blockaded Brest.

UTLAGHE. An outlaw; whence by corruption laggers, people transported by sentence of law.

UVROU. The circular piece of wood, with holes in it, by which the legs of a crow-foot are extended for suspending an awning.


VACUUM. A space utterly empty, even of air or vapour.

VADMEL. Coarse woollen manufacture of the Orkneys. (See Wadmarel.)

VAIL, To. An old word signifying to lower, to bend in token of submission; as, "Vail their top-gallants." Thus in the old play George a-Green, "Let me alone, my lord; I'll make them vail their plumes."

VAKKA. A large canoe of the Friendly Islands, with an out-rigger.

VALE, or Dale (which see). Also, gunwale.—To vale, was an old term for "dropping down," as in a river.

VALUATION. In cases of restitution after property has been sold, and account of sales cannot be obtained, it may be taken at the invoice price, and 10 per cent profit; but this mode of estimating it does not include freight, even though the ship and cargo belong to the same person.

VALUED POLICY. Is where a value has been set upon the ships or goods insured, and this value inserted in the policy in nature of liquidated damages, to save the necessity of proving it, in case of a total loss.

VALVES. See under their respective particular names.

VAMBRACE. Armour for the front of the arm.

VAN [formerly vant, contracted from avant]. That part of a fleet, army, or body of men, which is advanced in the first line or front.—Vanguard. The advanced division.

VANE. A piece of buntin extended on a wooden stock, which turns upon a spindle at the mast-head; it shows the direction of the wind.—A distinguishing vane, denotes the division of a fleet to which a ship of the line belongs, according to the mast on which it is borne.—Dog-vane. A small light vane, formed of thin slips of cork, stuck round with feathers, and strung upon a piece of twine. It is usually fastened to the top of a half-pike, and placed on the weather side of the quarter-deck, in order to show the helmsman the direction of the wind.

VANES. The sights of cross-staffs, fore-staffs, quadrants, &c., are pieces of brass standing perpendicularly to the plane of the instrument; the one[710] opposite to the fore horizon-glass is the foresight-vane, the other the backsight-vane.

VANE-SPINDLE. The pivot on which the mast-head-vane turns; it should never be made of metal, lest it attract lightning, unless the masts be fitted with Sir W. Snow Harris's conductors.

VANFOSSE. A wet ditch at the outer foot of the glacis.

VANG. A rope leading from the end of the gaff to the rail, one on each side, so that the two form guys attached to the outer ends of the gaffs to steady them, and when the sails are not set keep them amidships.

VANGEE. A contrivance for working the pumps of a vessel by means of a barrel and crank-breaks.

VAPOUR, or Smoke. In polar parlance, a peculiar but natural result of the conversion of water into ice, which is too often supposed to indicate open water.

VARIABLES. Those parts of the sea where a steady wind is not expected.

VARIABLE STARS. Those which are found to exhibit periodical fluctuations of brightness; of which Algol and Mira Ceti are notable examples.

VARIATION. A term applied to the deviation of the magnetic needle or compass, from the true north point towards either east or west; called also the declination. The variation of the needle is properly defined as the angle which a magnetic needle suspended at liberty makes with the meridian line on a horizontal plane; or an arc of the horizon, comprehended between the true and the magnetic meridian. (See Annual Variation.)

VARIATION CHART. The well-known chart produced by Halley, whereon a number of curved lines show the variation of the compass in the places they pass through. The admiralty variation chart has been brought to great perfection.

VARIATION OF THE MOON. An inequality in the movement of our satellite, amounting at certain times to 37′ in longitude: it was the first lunar inequality explained by Newton on the principles of gravitation.

VARIATION OF THE VARIATION. Is the change in the declination of the needle observed at different times in the same place.

VEDETTE. One or two cavalry soldiers stationed on the look-out.

VEER, To. To let out, to pay out, to turn or change. Also, to veer or wear, in contradistinction from tacking. In tacking it is a necessary condition that the ship be brought up to the wind as close-hauled, and put round against the wind on the opposite tack. But in veering or wearing, especially when strong gales render it dangerous, unseamanlike, or impossible, the head of the vessel is put away from the wind, and turned round 20 points of the compass instead of 12, and, without strain or danger, is brought to the wind on the opposite tack. Many deep-thinking seamen, and Lords St. Vincent, Exmouth, and Sir E. Owen,[711] issued orders to wear instead of tacking, when not inconvenient, deeming the accidents and wear and tear of tacking, detrimental to the sails, spars, and rigging.

VEER A BUOY IN A SHIP'S WAKE, To. To slack out a rope to which a buoy has been attached, and let it go astern, for the purpose of bringing up a boat, or picking up a man who may have fallen overboard.

VEER AND HAUL, To. To gently tauten and then slacken a rope three times before giving a heavy pull, the object being to concentrate the force of several men. The wind is said to veer and haul when it alters its direction; thus it is said, to veer aft, and haul forward.

VEER AWAY THE CABLE, To. To slack and let it run out.

VEERING CABLE, The. That cable which is veered out in unmooring, and not unspliced or unshackled in clearing hawse.

VEGA. α Lyræ. The bright lucida of the old northern constellation Lyra.

VEIN. The clear water between the openings of floes of ice. The same as ice-lane. Also, a very limited current of wind—a cat's-paw.

VELOCITY. In naval architecture, designing for velocity is giving that form to a ship's body by which she will pass through the water in the quickest space of time.

VELOCITY OF TIDE or CURRENT, depends on several circumstances. First, the tide varies with the state of the moon, running strongest at the springs, and the force of the ebb is much increased by rains, land freshes, &c. The currents also vary, especially when wind and tide combine to accelerate their action.

VENDAVAL [Sp. south wind, tiempo di vendavales]. A stormy time on the coast of Mexico, in the autumn, with violent thunder, lightning, and rain.

VENDUE MASTER. A commercial and marine auctioneer.

VENE-SEANDES. The old commercial term for Venetian sequins.

VENT. In artillery, the small aperture near the breech by which the fire of the priming is communicated to the charge.

VENT-BIT. A peculiar augur or screw gimlet used for clearing the vent of a gun when obstructed.

VENT-FIELD of a Gun. The raised tablet in the metal near the breech in which the vent is bored.

VENTILATOR. The name of various machines contrived to expel the foul air from the store-rooms and hold, and introduce fresh in its stead.

VENT-PIECE. The movable fitment which closes the breech and contains the vent in Armstrong breech-loading guns.

VENT-PLUG. A fid or stopple made of leather or oakum fitting in the vent of a piece to stop it against weather, &c.

VENTRAL FIN. The posterior pair of fins under the body of fishes, corresponding to the hind legs of terrestrial quadrupeds.

VENUS. One of the inferior planets, and the second in order of distance from the sun. (See Transit of Venus.)

VERIFICATION OF SHIP'S PAPERS. In this necessary process it[712] is declared that papers of themselves prove nothing, and require to be supported by the oaths of persons in a situation to give them validity.

VERITAS. A register of shipping established in Paris, on the principle of Lloyd's List.

VERNAL EQUINOX. The point where the sun crosses the equator, going north. It is opposite the place of the autumnal equinox. (See Equinoxes.)

VERNIER, or Nonius. A graduated scale for the measurement of minute divisions, especially on the arcs of astronomical instruments, sextants, &c. The thousandth part of a degree can be taken by the naked eye; the ten thousandth by a microscope.

VERSED SINE. In geometry, is the part of the radius intercepted between the arc and its sine.

VERTEX. The zenith, the point overhead; the apex of a conical mountain.

VERTICAL ANGLES. Opposite angles made by two lines cutting or crossing each other, and are always equal. (See Angle of the Vertical.)

VERTICAL CIRCLES. Great circles of the sphere intercepting each other in the zenith and nadir, and cutting the horizon at right angles.

VERTICAL FIRE. In artillery, that directed upward at such an angle as that it will fall vertically, or nearly so, to its destination. It includes all elevations above 30°, though the most usual is 45°. It is very effective with shells; but with small balls, as proposed by Carnot and others, who have ill reckoned the retardation by the atmosphere, it is insignificant.

VERTICAL FORCE. The centre of displacement is also that of the centre of vertical force that the water exerts to support the immersed vessel. Also, the dip of the magnetic needle, measured by vibrations of the dipping needle over certain arcs, and referable to some fixed position, as Greenwich, where corresponding observations with the same needle have been previously, as well as subsequently, made.

VERTICAL PLAN. See Orthographic Projection.

VERTICITY. The tendency of the loadstone to point towards the magnetic north and south.

VESSEL. A general name for all the different sorts of ships, boats, &c., navigated on the ocean or on rivers and canals.

VETAYLE. An archaism for victuals.

VIA LACTEA. That well-known irregular luminous band, stretching across the sky from horizon to horizon: it consists of myriads of small stars, and has passed under the names of Milky Way, Galaxy, Jacob's Ladder, Watling-strete, &c.

VICE-ADMIRAL. The rank in the fleet next to that of an admiral; he carries his flag at the fore.

VICE-ADMIRALTY COURTS. Branches of the High Court of Admiralty, instituted for carrying on the like duties in several of our colonies, prize-courts, &c. (See Admiralty, High Court of.)

VICE-CONSUL. An officer appointed in sea-ports to aid the consul in[713] affairs relating to merchant vessels. If there be a resident consul, the vice-consul is appointed and paid by him. Vice-consuls wait on commanders, consuls on captains, captains on consuls-general—the naval authority providing boats.

VICE-NAIL. A screw.

VICTUALLER. A vessel which carries provisions. In the early age of the navy, each man-of-war had a victualler especially attached to her; as, in Henry VIII.'s reign, we find the Nicholas Draper, of 140 tons and 40 men, was victualler to the Trinity Sovereign; the Barbara of Greenwich to the Gabriel Royal, and so on.

VICTUALLING-BILL. A custom-house document, warranting the shipment of such bonded stores as the master of an outward-bound merchantman may require for his intended voyage.

VICTUALLING-BOOK. A counterpart of the ship's open list, which is kept by the purser, to enable him to make the necessary entries in it.

VICTUALLING-YARDS for the Royal Navy. Large magazines where provisions and similar stores are deposited, conveniently contiguous to the royal dockyards. The establishments in England and Ireland are at Deptford, Gosport, Plymouth, and Cork; and abroad at Malta, Gibraltar, Cape of Good Hope, Jamaica, Halifax, Trincomalee, and Hongkong.

VIDETTE. See Vedette.

VI ET ARMIS. With force of arms.

VIGIA [Sp. look-out]. A hydrographical warning on a chart to denote that the pinnacle of a rock, or a shoal, may exist thereabout.

VINTINER [from vigintinarius]. An officer in our early fleet who commanded a company of twenty men.

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

VIOL or VOYOL BLOCK. A large single-sheaved block through which the messenger passed when the anchor was weighed by the fore or jeer capstan; its block was usually lashed to the main-mast. This voyol-purchase was afterwards improved thus: the voyol-block was securely lashed to the cable at the manger-board, the jeer-fall rove through it, and brought to the jeer-capstan, and the standing part belayed to the bitts; thus a direct runner purchase instead of a dead nip was obtained. It was only used when other means failed, and, after the introduction of Phillipps' patent capstan, was disused.

VIOLENCE. The question in tort, as to the amount of liability incurred by the owners for outrages and irregularities committed by the master.

VIRE. The arrow shot from a cross-bow; also called a quarril.

VIRGILIÆ. A denomination of the Pleiades.

VIRGO. The sixth sign of the zodiac, which the sun enters about the 21st August. Spica, α Virginis, is a star of the first magnitude.

VIS INERTIÆ. That physical property in all bodies by which they resist a power that endeavours to put them in motion, or to change any motion they are possessed of; it is in proportion to their weight.[714]

VIS INSITA. The innate force of matter; another name for vis inertiæ. It is that by which a vessel "keeps her way."

VISITATION AND SEARCH. The law of nations gives to every belligerent cruiser the right of visitation and search of all merchant ships; wherefore, resistance to such search amounts to a forfeiture of neutrality.

VISNE. A neighbouring place; a term often used in law in actions of marine replevin.

VIS VIVA. The whole effective force or power of acting which resides in a given moving body.

VITRY. A light and durable canvas.

VITTORY. A fine canvas, of which the waist-cloths were formerly made.

VIVANDIERE. A kind of female sutler. In the French army they are attached to regiments, which they accompany, sometimes even into the skirts of action.

VIVIER. A French fishing-boat, the same as the well-boats of the English coasts, in having a well amidships in which to keep the fish alive until arrival in port.

VIZY, or Vize. An old name for the muzzle-sight on a musket.

VOCABULARY. The system of naval signals based on Sir Home Popham's improvements.

VOES. Arms or inlets of the sea, or sounds, in the Shetland and Orkney Isles. Also applied to creeks and bays.

VOGOVANS. From voguer and avant, chief rowers in the galleys.

VOLANT. A piece of steel on a helmet, presenting an acute angle to the front.

VOLCANO. A burning mountain or vent for subterranean fire; also applied to one which vomits only mud and water.

VOLLEY. The simultaneous discharge of a number of fire-arms.

VOLLIGUE. A small boat used on the shores of Asia Minor.

VOLUME. The contents of the globe of a planet, usually given in its proportion to that of the earth; or any named mass, solid, fluid, or vaporous.

VOLUNTARY CHARGE. A document delivered with the purser's accounts respecting provisions.

VOLUNTARY STRANDING. The beaching or running a vessel purposely aground to escape greater danger; this act is treated as particular average loss, and not a damage to be made good by general contribution.

VOLUNTEER. One who freely offers himself for a particular service. Formerly, in the army, a gentleman who, without any certain post or employment, served in the hope of earning preferment, or from patriotism. Latterly, also a civilian who has enrolled himself in a corps of volunteers, for organization and training for the defence of the country.

VOLUNTEERING from a Merchantman into the Navy. Any seaman can leave his ship for the purpose of forthwith entering into the royal navy; and thus leaving his ship does not render him liable to any forfeiture whatever.

VOLUTE. See Scroll-head.[715]

VOLVELLE. The contrivance of revolving graduated circles, for making calculations, in old scientific works.

VORTEX. A whirlwind, or sudden, rapid, or violent motion of air or water in gyres or circles.

VOUCHER. A written document or proof, upon which any account or public charge is established.

VOYAGE. A journey by sea. It usually includes the outward and homeward trips, which are called passages.

VOYOL. See Viol.

VRACH. Sea-weed used as a manure in the Channel Islands. Also, a Manx term for the mackerel.

VULFE. A rapid whirlpool or race on the coast of Norway.


WABBLE, To [from the Teutonic wabelen]. To reel confusedly, as waves on a windy day in a tide-way. It is a well-known term among mechanics to express the irregular motion of engines or turning-lathes when loose in their bearings, or otherwise out of order. A badly stitched seam in a sail is wabbled. It is also applied to the undulation of the compass-card when the motion of the vessel is considerable and irregular.

WAD. A kind of plug, closely fitting the bore of a gun, which is rammed home over the shot to confine it to its place, and sometimes also between the shot and the cartridge: generally made of coiled junk, otherwise a rope grommet, &c.

WADE, To. An Anglo-Saxon word, meaning to pass through water without swimming. In the north, the sun was said to wade when covered by a dense atmosphere.

WAD-HOOK. An iron tool shaped like a double cork-screw on the end of a long staff, for withdrawing wads or charges from guns; called also a worm.

WADMAREL. A hairy, coarse, dark-coloured stuff of the north, once in great demand for making pea-jackets, pilot-coats, and the like.

WAFT [said to be from the Anglo-Saxon weft], more correctly written wheft. It is any flag or ensign, stopped together at the head and middle portions, slightly rolled up lengthwise, and hoisted at different positions at the after-part of a ship. Thus, at the ensign-staff, it signifies that a man has fallen overboard; if no ensign-staff exists, then half-way up the peak. At the peak, it signifies a wish to speak; at the mast-head, recalls boats; or as the commander-in-chief or particular captain may direct.[716]

WAFTORS. Certain officers formerly appointed to guard our coast fisheries. Also, swords blunted to exercise with.

WAGER POLICY. An engagement upon interest or no interest; the performance of the voyage in a reasonable time and manner, and not the bare existence of the ship or cargo, is the object of insurance.

WAGES or PAY of the Royal Navy is settled by act of parliament. In the merchant service seamen are paid by the month, and receive their wages at the end of the voyage.

WAGES REMITTED FROM ABROAD. When a ship on a foreign station has been commissioned twelve calendar months, every petty officer, seaman, and marine serving on board, may remit the half of the pay due to them to a wife, father, mother, grandfather, grandmother, brother, or sister.

WAGGON. A place amidships, on the upper deck of guard-ships, assigned for the supernumeraries' hammocks.

WAGGONER. A name applied to an atlas of charts, from a work of this nature published at Leyden in 1583, by Jans Waghenaer.

WAIF. Goods found and not claimed; derelict. Also used for waft.

WAIST. That portion of the main deck of a ship of war, contained between the fore and main hatchways, or between the half-deck and galley.

WAIST-ANCHOR. An additional or spare anchor stowed before the chess-tree. (See Spare Anchor.)

WAIST-BOARDS. The berthing made to fit into a vessel's gangway on either side.

WAIST-CLOTHS. The painted canvas coverings of the hammocks which are stowed in the waist-nettings.

WAISTERS. Green hands, or worn seamen, in former times stationed in the waist in working the ship, as they had little else of duty but hoisting and swabbing the decks.

WAIST-NETTINGS. The hammock-nettings between the quarter-deck and forecastle.

WAIST-RAIL. The channel-rail or moulding of the ship's side.

WAIST-TREE. Another name for rough-tree (which see).

WAIVE, To. To give up the right to demand a court-martial, or to enforce forfeitures, by allowing people who have deserted, &c., to return to their duties.

WAIVING. The action of dispensing with salutes—by signal, by motion of the hand to guards, &c., and to vessels, which may be, in accordance with old custom, passing under the lee to be hailed and examined.

WAIVING AMAIN. A salutation of defiance, as by brandishing weapons, &c.

WAKE. The transient, generally smooth, track impressed on the surface-water by a ship's progress. Its bearing is usually observed by the compass to discover the angle of lee-way. A ship is said to be in the wake of another, when she follows her upon the same track. Two distant objects observed at sea are termed in the wake of each other, when the view of the[717] farthest off is intercepted by the one that is nearer. (See Crossing a Ship's Wake.)

WALE-REARED. Synonymous with wall-sided.

WALES. The thickest strakes of wrought stuff in a vessel. Strong planks extending all along the outward timbers on a ship's side, a little above her water-line; they are synonymous with bends (which see). The channel-wale is below the lower-deck ports, and the main-wale between the top of those ports and the sills of the upper-deck ports.

WALK AWAY! The order to step out briskly with a tackle fall, as in hoisting boats.

WALK BACK! A method in cases where a purchase must not be lowered by a round turn, as "Walk back the capstan;" the men controlling it by the bars and walking back as demanded.

WALKER'S KNOT. See Matthew Walker.

WALKING A PLANK. An obsolete method of destroying people in mutiny and piracy, under a plea of avoiding the penalty of murder. The victim is compelled to walk, pinioned and blindfolded, along a plank projecting over the ship's side, which, canting when overbalanced, heaves him into the sea. Also, for detecting whether a man is drunk, he is made to walk along a quarter-deck plank.

WALKING AWAY WITH THE ANCHOR. Said of a ship which is dragging, or shouldering, her anchor; or when, from fouling the stock or upper fluke, she trips the anchor out of the ground.

WALKING SPEAKING-TRUMPET. A midshipman repeating quarter-deck orders.

WALK SPANISH, To. To quit duty without leave; to desert.

WALK THE QUARTER-DECK, To. A phrase signifying to take the rank of an officer.

WALK THE WEATHER GANGWAY NETTING. A night punishment in a man-of-war for those of the watch who have missed their muster.

WALL. A bank of earth to restrain the current and overflowing of water. (See Sea-bank.)

WALL-KNOT, or Wale-knot. A particular sort of large knot raised upon the end of a rope, by untwisting the strands, and passing them among each other.

WALL-PIECE. A very heavy powerful musket, for use in fortified places.

WALL-SIDED. The sides of a ship continuing nearly perpendicular down to the surface of the water, like a wall. It is the mean between tumbling home and flaring out.

WALRUS [Dan. hval-ros]. The Trichecus rosmarus, a large amphibious marine animal, allied to the seals, found in the Arctic regions. Its upper canines are developed into large descending tusks, of considerable value as ivory. It is also called morse, sea-horse, and sea-cow. This animal furnished Cook, as well as our latest Arctic voyagers, with[718] Arctic beef. The skin is of the utmost importance to the Esquimaux, as well as to the Russians of Siberia, &c.

WALT. An old word, synonymous with crank; or tottering, like a sprung spar.

WANE. In timber, an imperfection implying a want of squareness at one or more of its corners; under this deficiency it is termed wane-wood.

WANE-CLOUD. See Cirro-stratus.

WANGAN. A boat, in Maine, for carrying provisions.

WANY. Said of timber when spoiled by wet.

WAPP, or WHAP. A name formerly given to any short pendant and thimble, through which running-rigging was led. Also, a rope wherewith rigging was set taut with wall-knots, one end being fast to the shroud, and the other brought to the laniard. But any shroud-stopper is a wapp.

WAR. A contest between princes or states, which, not being determinable otherwise, is referred to the decision of the sword. It may exist without a declaration on either side, and is either civil, defensive, or offensive.

WAR-CAPERER. A privateer.

WARDEN. See Lord Warden.

WARD-ROOM. The commissioned officers' mess-cabin, on the main-deck in ships of the line.

WARD-ROOM OFFICERS. Those who mess in the ward-room, namely: the commander, lieutenants, master, chaplain, surgeon, paymaster, marine-officers, and assistant-surgeons.

WARE, To. See Veer.

WAREHOUSING SYSTEM. The use of bonding places under charge of officers of the customs, in which goods may be deposited, without any duty upon them being exacted, until they be cleared for home use, or for exportation.

WAR ESTABLISHMENT. Increased force of men and means.

WARM-SIDED. Mounting heavy metal, whether a ship or a fort.

WARNER. A sentinel formerly posted on the heights near sea-ports to give notice of the approach of vessels. Also, beacons, posts, buoys, lights, &c., warning vessels of danger by day as well as by night.

WARNING-SIGNAL. Hoisted to warn vessels not to pass a bar. Also, to warrant higher pay to watermen plying between Portsmouth and Spithead, &c., according to severity of weather.

WARP. A rope or light hawser, employed occasionally to transport a ship from one place to another in a port, road, or river. Also, an east-coast term for four herrings. Also, land between the sea-banks and the sea.—Warp of lower rigging. A term used in the rigging-loft, as, before cutting out a gang of rigging, it is warped. Also, to form the warp of spun-yarn in making sword-mats for the rigging-gripes, slings, &c.—To warp. To move a vessel from one place to another by warps, which are attached to buoys, to other ships, to anchors, or to certain fixed objects on shore. Also, to flood the lands near rivers in Yorkshire.[719]

WARPING AND FRAMING THE TIMBERS. Putting in the beam-knees, coamings, &c., and dividing the spaces between the beams for fitting the carlines.

WARPING-BLOCK. A block made of ash or elm, used in rope-making for warping off yarn.

WARRANT. A writ of authority, inferior to a commission; in former days it was the name given to the deed conferring power on those officers appointed by the navy board, while those granted by the admiralty were styled commissions. Also, a document, under proper authority, for the assembling of a court-martial, punishment, execution, &c. Also, a tabulated regulation for cutting standing and running rigging, as well as for supply of general stores, as warranted by the admiralty.—Brown-paper warrants. Those given by a captain, and which he can cancel.

WARRANT-OFFICER. Generally one holding his situation from particular boards, or persons authorized by the sovereign to grant it. In the royal navy it was an officer holding a warrant from the navy board, as the master, surgeon, purser, boatswain, gunner, carpenter, &c. In the year 1831, when the commissioners of the navy, or navy board, were abolished, all these powers reverted to the admiralty, but the commissions and warrants remain in effect the same.

WARRANTY. The contract of marine insurance, expressing a certain condition on the part of the insured, upon which the contract is to take effect; it is always a part of the written policy, and must appear on the face of it. In this it differs from representation (which see).

WARREN-HEAD. A northern term for a dam across a river.

WAR-SCOT. A contribution for the supply of arms and armour, in the time of the Saxons.

WAR-SHIP. Any ship equipped for offence and defence; whereas man-of-war generally signifies a vessel belonging to the royal navy.

WARTAKE. An archaic term for a rope-fast, or spring. In that early sea-song (temp. Henry VI.) which is in the library of Trinity College, Cambridge, the skipper of the ship carrying a cargo of "pylgryms" exclaims, "Hale in the wartake!"

WARTH. An old word signifying a ford. Also, a flat meadow close to a stream.

WASH. An accumulation of silt in estuaries. Also, a surface covered by floods. Also, a shallow inlet or gulf: the east-country term for the sea-shore. Also, the blade of an oar. Also, a wooden measure of two-thirds of a bushel, by which small shell-fish are sold at Billingsgate, equal to ten strikes of oysters.—Wash, or a-wash. Even with the water's edge.

WASH-BOARD, or WASH-STRAKE. A movable upper strake which is attached by stud-pins on the gunwales of boats to keep out the spray. Wash-boards are also fitted on the sills of the lower-deck ports for the same purpose.

WASH-BOARDS. A term for the white facings of the old naval uniform.[720]

WASHERMAN. A station formerly for an old or otherwise not very useful person on board a man-of-war.

WASHERS. Leather, copper, lead, or iron rings interposed at the end of spindles, before a forelock or linch-pin, to prevent friction, or galling the wood, as of a gun-truck. Also used in pump-gear.

WASHING-PLACE. In 1865, baths and suitable washing-places were fitted for personal use in the ships of the royal navy. Both hot and cold water are supplied. Shades of Drake, Frobisher, and Raleigh, think of that!

WASHING THE HAND. A common hint on leaving a ship disliked.


WATCH. The division of the ship's company into two parties, one called the starboard, and the other the larboard or port watch, alluding to the situation of their hammocks when hung up; these two watches are, however, separated into two others, a first and second part of each, making four in all. The crew can also be divided into three watches. The officers are divided into three watches, in order to lighten their duty; but it is to be borne in mind that the watch may sleep when their services are not demanded, whereas it is a crime, liable to death, for an officer to sleep on his watch. In a ship of war the watch is generally commanded by a lieutenant, and in merchant ships by one of the mates. The word is also applied to the time during which the watch remains on deck, usually four hours, with the exception of the dog-watches.—Anchor-watch. A quarter watch kept on deck while the ship rides at single anchor, or remains temporarily in port.—Dog-watches. The two reliefs which take place between 4 and 8 o'clock p.m., each of which continues only two hours, the intention being to change the turn of the night-watch every twenty-four hours.—First watch. From 8 p.m. till midnight.—Middle-watch. From midnight till 4 a.m.—Morning-watch. From 4 to 8 a.m.—Watch is also a word used in throwing the deep-sea lead, when each man, on letting go the last turn of line in his hand, calls to the next abaft him, "Watch, there, watch!" A buoy is said to watch when it floats on the surface of the water.

WATCH AND WATCH. The arrangement of the crew in two watches.

WATCH-BILL. The pocket "watch and station bill," which each officer is expected to produce if required, and instantly muster the watch, or the men stationed to any specific duty.

WATCHET. A light blue, or sky-coloured cloth worn formerly by English sailors, especially by the boats' crews of men-of-war.

WATCH-GLASSES. The half-hour glasses employed to measure the periods of the watch, so that the several stations therein may be regularly kept and relieved, as at the helm, pump, look-out, &c. (See Glass.)

WATCHING A SMOOTH. Looking for a temporary subsidence of the waves of a head-sea, previous to easing down the helm, in tacking ship.[721]

WATCH-SETTING. In the army, retreat, or the time for mounting the night-guards.

WATCH-TACKLE. A small luff purchase with a short fall, the double block having a tail to it, and the single one a hook. Used for various purposes about the decks, by which the watch can perform a duty without demanding additional men.

WATER, To. To fill the casks or tanks; to complete water.

WATERAGE. The charge for using shore-boats.

WATER-BAILIFF. An officer in sea-port towns for the searching of vessels.

WATER-BALLAST. Water when used to stiffen a ship, whether carried in casks, tanks, bags, or otherwise. The iron screw-colliers of the present day have immense tanks constructed in their floors, on the upper part of which the coals rest; when they are discharged, the tanks are allowed to fill with water, which acts as ballast for the return voyage, and is pumped out by the engine as the coals are taken in.

WATER-BARK. A small decked vessel or tank, used by the Dutch for carrying fresh water.

WATER-BATTERY. One nearly on a level with the water—à fleur d'eau; a position of much power when vessels cannot get close to it.

WATER-BEWITCHED. Bad tea, geo-graffy, 5-water grog, and the like greatly diluted drinks.

WATER-BORNE. When a ship just floats clear of the ground. Also, goods carried by sea, or on a river.

WATER-CROW. The lesser cormorant, or shag.

WATER-DOG. See Water-gall.

WATER-FLEAS. The groups of crustaceous organisms classed as Entomostraca.

WATER-GAGE. A sea wall or bank. Also, an instrument to measure the depth of inundations.

WATER-GALL. A name of the wind-gall (which see). Shakspeare, in the Rape of Lucrece, uses the term thus:—

"And round about her tear-distained eye
Blue circles stream'd, like rainbows in the sky.
These water-galls in her dim element
Foretell new storms to those already spent."
WATER-GAVEL. A rent paid for fishing in some river, or other benefit derived therefrom.

WATER-GUARD. Custom-house officers employed to prevent fraud on the revenue in vessels arriving at, or departing from, a port.

WATER HIS HOLE. A saying used when the cable is up and down, to encourage the men to heave heartily, and raise the shank of the anchor so that the water may get down by the shank, and relieve the anchor of the superincumbent mud.

WATER-HORSE. Cod-fish stacked up in a pile to drain, under the process of cure.[722]

WATER-LAID ROPE. The same as cablet; it coils against the sun, or to the left hand.

WATER-LINE. In former ships of war, a fine white painted line or bend, representing the deep line of flotation, on the coppered edge.—Load water-line. That which the surface of the water describes on a ship when she is loaded or ready for sea.

WATER-LINE MODEL. The same as key-model (which see).

WATER-LOGGED. The state of a ship full of water, having such a buoyant cargo that she does not sink. In this dangerous and unmanageable situation there is no resource for the crew except to free her by the pumps, or to abandon her by taking to the boats; for the centre of gravity being no longer fixed, the ship entirely loses her stability, and is almost totally deprived of the use of her sails, which may only operate to accelerate her destruction by over-setting her, or pressing her head under water. Timber-laden vessels, water-logged, frequently float for a very long period.

WATER-PADS. Fellows who rob ships and vessels in harbours and rivers.

WATER-PLOUGH. A machine formerly used for taking mud and silt out of docks and rivers.

WATER-SAIL. A save-all, or small sail, set occasionally under the lower studding-sail or driver-boom, in a fair wind and smooth sea.

WATER-SCAPE. A culvert, aqueduct, or passage for water.

WATER-SHED. A term introduced into geography to denote the dividing ridges in a hilly country. In geology, it implies that the water is shed thence naturally, by the inclination, to the valley base. As regards nautical men in search of water, it is therefore expedient to look for the depressed side of the strata.

WATER-SHOT, or Quarter-shot. When a ship is moored, neither across the tide, nor right up and down, but quartering between both.

WATER-SHUT. An old name for a flood-gate.

WATER-SKY. In Arctic seas, a dark and dull leaden appearance of the atmosphere, the reflected blue of the sea indicating clear water in that direction, and forming a strong contrast to the pale blink over land or ice.

WATER-SNAKES. A group of snakes (Hydrophis), whose habitat is the sea. Some of them are finely coloured, and generally very like land-snakes, except that their tails are broader, so as to scull or propel them through the water.

WATER-SPACE. The intervening part between the flues of a steamer's boiler.

WATER-SPOUT. A large mass of water collected in a vertical column, and moving rapidly along the surface of the sea. As contact with one has been supposed dangerous, it has been suggested to fire cannon at them, to break the continuity by aërial concussion. In this phenomenon, heat and electricity seem to take an active part, but their cause is not fully explained, and any facts respecting them by observers favourably placed[723] will help towards further researches into their nature. (See Whirlwind.)

WATER-STANG. A spar or pole fixed across a stream.

WATER-STEAD. An old name for the bed of a river.

WATER-STOUP. A northern name for the common periwinkle.

WATER-TAKING. A pond, the water of which is potable.


WATER-TIGHT. Well caulked, and so compact as to prevent the admission of water. The reverse of leaky.

WATER-WAYS. Certain deck-planks which are wrought next to the timbers; they serve to connect the sides of a ship to her decks, and form a channel to carry off any water by means of scuppers.

WATER-WAR. A name for the bore or hygre of the Severn.

WATER-WITCH. A name of the dipper.

WATER-WRAITH. Supposed water-spirits, prognosticating evil, in the Shetland Islands.

WATH. A passage or ford through a river.

WATTLES. A kind of hair or small bristles near the mouth and nostrils of certain fish. Also, hurdles made by weaving twigs together.

WAVE [from the Anglo-Saxon wæg]. A volume of water rising in surges above the general level, and elevated in proportion to the wind.

WAVESON. Such goods as after shipwreck appear floating on the waves. (See Flotsam.)

WAVING. Signals made by arm or otherwise to a vessel to come near or keep off.

WAY. Is sometimes the same as the ship's rake or run, forward or backward, but is most commonly understood of her sailing. Way is often used for wake. Thus when she begins her motion she is said to be under way; and when that motion increases, to have fresh-way through the water. Hence, also, she is said to have head-way or stern-way, to gather way or to lose way, &c. (See Wind's-way.)—Gangway, means a clear space to pass. The gangway is the side space between the forecastle and quarter-deck.

'WAY ALOFT! or 'Way up! The command when the crew are required aloft to loose, reef, furl sails, or man yards, &c.

WAY-GATE. The tail-race of a mill.

WAYS. Balks laid down for rolling weights along.—Launching-ways. Two parallel platforms of solid timber, one on each side of the keel of a vessel while building, and on which her cradle slides on launching.

WEAL. A wicker basket used for catching eels.

WEAR. See Weir.—To wear. (See Veer.)

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

WEATHER [from the Anglo-Saxon wæder, the temperature of the air]. The state of the atmosphere with regard to the degree of wind, to heat and cold, or to dryness and moisture, but particularly to the first. It is a word also applied to everything lying to windward of a particular situation,[724] hence a ship is said to have the weather-gage of another when further to windward. Thus also, when a ship under sail presents either of her sides to the wind, it is then called the weather-side, and all the rigging situated thereon is distinguished by the same epithet. It is the opposite of lee. To weather anything is to go to windward of it. The land to windward, is a weather shore.

WEATHER-ANCHOR. That lying to windward, by which a ship rides when moored.

WEATHER-BEAM. A direction at right angles with the keel, on the weather side of the ship.

WEATHER-BITT. Is that which holds the weather-cable when the ship is moored.

WEATHER-BOARD. That side of the ship which is to windward.

WEATHER-BOARDS. Pieces of plank placed in the ports of a ship when laid up in ordinary; they are in an inclined position, so as to turn off the rain without preventing the circulation of air.

WEATHER-BORNE. Pressed by wind and sea.

WEATHER-BOUND. Detained by foul winds; our forefathers used the term wæder fæst.

WEATHER-BREEDERS. Certain appearances in the heavens which indicate a gale, as wind-galls, fog-dogs, &c.

WEATHER-CLOTHS. Coverings of painted canvas or tarpaulin, used to preserve the hammocks when stowed, from injury by weather.

WEATHER-COIL. When a ship has her head brought about, so as to lie that way which her stern did before, as by the veering of the wind; or the motion of the helm, the sails remaining trimmed.

WEATHER-COILING. A ship resuming her course after being taken aback; rounding off by a stern-board, and coming up to it again.

WEATHER-EYE. "Keep your weather-eye open," be on your guard; look out for squalls.

WEATHER-GAGE. A vessel has the weather-gage of another when she is to windward of her. Metaphorically, to get the weather-gage of a person, is to get the better of him.


"A weather-gall at morn,
Fine weather all gone."
(See Wind-gall.)

WEATHER-GLASS. A familiar term for the barometer.

WEATHER-GLEAM. A peculiar clear sky near the horizon, with great refraction.

WEATHER-GO. The end of a rainbow, as seen in the morning in showery weather.

WEATHER-HEAD. The secondary rainbow.

WEATHER-HELM. A ship is said to carry a weather-helm when she is inclined to gripe, or come too near the wind, and therefore requires the helm to be kept constantly a little to windward.[725]

WEATHER-LURCH. A heavy roll to windward.

WEATHERLY. Said of a well-trimmed ship with a clean bottom, when she holds a good wind, and presents such lateral resistance to the water, that she makes but little lee-way while sailing close-hauled.

WEATHER ONE'S DIFFICULTIES, To. A colloquial phrase meaning to contend with and surmount troubles.

WEATHER-ROLLS. Those inclinations, so inviting to coming waves, which a ship makes to windward in a heavy sea; the sudden rolls which she makes to leeward being termed lee-lurches.

WEATHER-ROPES. An early term for those which were tarred.

WEATHER-SHEETS. Those fast to the weather-clues of the sails.—"Haul over the weather-sheets forward," applies to the jib when a vessel has got too close to the wind and refuses to answer her helm.

WEATHER-SHORE. The shore which lies to windward of a ship.

WEATHER-SIDE. That side of a ship on which the wind blows; it is the promenade for superior officers. (See also its synonym Windward.)

WEATHER THE CAPE, To. To become experienced; as it implies sailing round Cape Horn, or the Cape of Good Hope.

WEATHER-TIDE. The reverse of lee-tide. That which, running contrary to the direction of the wind, by setting against a ship's lee-side while under sail, forces her up to windward.

WEATHER-WARNING. The telegraphic cautionary warning given by hoisting the storm-drum on receiving the forecast.

WEATHER-WHEEL. The position of the man who steers a large ship, from his standing on the weather-side of the wheel.

WEAVER. One of the popular names of the fish Trachinus vipera.

WEDGE [from the Anglo-Saxon wege]. A simple but effective mechanical force; a triangular solid on which a ship rests previous to launching. Many of the wedges used in the building and repairing of vessels are called sett-wedges.

WEDGE-FIDS. For top and top-gallant masts; in two parts, lifting by shores and sett-wedges. (See Setting-up.)

WEDGE-SHAPED GULF. One which is wide at its entrance, and gradually narrows towards its termination, as that of California.

WEDGING UP. Gaining security by driving wedges.

WEED, To. To clear the rigging of stops, rope-yarns, and pieces of oakum.

WEEKLY ACCOUNT. A correct return of the whole complement made every week when in harbour to the senior officer. Also, a sobriquet for the white patch on a midshipman's collar.

WEEL. A kind of trap-basket, or snare, to catch fish, made of twigs and baited; contrived similarly to a mouse-trap, so that fish have a ready admittance, but cannot get out again.

WEEPING. The oozing of water in small quantities through the seams of a ship.

WEEVIL [from the Anglo-Saxon wefl]. Curculio, a coleopterous insect which perforates and destroys biscuit, wood, [726]&c.

WEFT. See Waft.

WEIGH, To [from the Anglo-Saxon woeg]. To move or carry. Applied to heaving up the anchor of a ship about to sail, but also to the raising any great weight, as a sunken ship, &c.

WEIGHAGE. The charge made for weighing goods at a dock.

WEIGH-SHAFT. In the marine-engine, the same as wiper-shaft.

WEIGHT-NAILS. Somewhat similar to deck-nails, but not so fine, and with square heads; for fastening cleats and the like.

WEIGHT OF METAL. The weight of iron which the whole of the guns are capable of projecting at one round from both sides when single-shotted. (See Broadside Weight.)

WEIR. An old word for sea-weed. Also, a fishing inclosure; and again, a dam, or strong erection across a river, to divert its course.

WELD, To. To join pieces of iron or other metal by placing in contact the parts heated almost to fusion, and hammering them into one mass.

WELKIN [from, the Anglo-Saxon, weal can]. The visible firmament.

"One cheer more to make the welkin ring."
WELL [from the Anglo-Saxon wyll]. A bulk-headed inclosure in the middle of a ship's hold, defending the pumps from the bottom up to the lower deck from damage, by preventing the entrance of ballast or other obstructions, which would choke the boxes or valves in a short time, and render the pumps useless. By means of this inclosure the artificers may likewise more readily descend into the hold, to examine or repair the pumps, as occasion requires.

WELL, or Trunk of a Fishing-vessel. A strong compartment in the middle of the hold, open to the deck, but lined with lead on every side, and having the bottom perforated with small holes through the floor, so that the water may pass in freely, and thus preserve the fish alive which are put into it. Lobster-boats are thus fitted.

WELL-CABINS. Those in brigs and small vessels, which have no after-windows or thorough draught.

WELL-END. See Pump-foot.

WELL FARE YE, MY LADS! An exclamation of approbation to the men at a hard heave or haul.

WELL FOUND. Fully equipped.

WELL-GROWN. A term implying that the grain of the wood follows the shape required, as in knee-timber and the like.

WELL OFF, To. A mode of shutting off a leak by surrounding it by timbers screwed home through the lining to the timbers, and carrying up this trunk, like a log-hut, above the water-line.

WELL-ROOM of a Boat. The place in the bottom where the water lies, between the ceiling and the platform of the stern-sheets, from whence it is baled into the sea.

WELL THERE, BELAY! Synonymous with that will do.

WELSHMAN'S BREECHES. See Dutchman's Breeches.[727]

WEND A COURSE, To. To sail steadily on a given direction.

WENDING. Bringing the ship's head to an opposite course. Turning as a ship does to the tide.

WENTLE. An old term signifying to roll over.

WENTLE-TRAP. The Scalaria pretiosa, a very elegant univalve shell, much valued by collectors.

WEST-COUNTRY PARSON. A fish, the hake (Gadus merluccius), is so called, from a black streak on its back, and from its abundance along our western coast.

WESTER, or Waster. A kind of trident used for striking salmon in the north.

WESTING. This term in navigation means the distance made by course or traverses to the westward; or the sun after crossing the meridian.

WESTWARD [Anglo-Saxon weste-wearde].—Westward-hoe. To the west! It was one of the cries of the Thames watermen.

WEST WIND. This and its collateral, the S.W., prevail nearly three-fourths of the year in the British seas, and though boisterous at times, are very genial on the whole.

WET. The owners and master of a ship are liable for all damage by wet. (See Stowage.)

WET-BULB THERMOMETER. One of which the bulb is kept moist by the capillary attraction of cotton fibres from an attached reservoir.

WET-DOCK. A term used for float (which see), and also dock.

WETHERS. The flukes or hands of a harpoon.

WETTING A COMMISSION. Giving an entertainment to shipmates on receiving promotion.

WHALE. A general term for various marine animals of the order Cetacea, including the most colossal of all animated beings. From their general form and mode of life they are frequently confounded with fish, from which, however, they differ essentially in their organization, as they are warm-blooded, ascend to the surface to breathe air, produce their young alive, and suckle them, as do the land mammalia. The cetacea are divided into two sections:—1. Those having horny plates, called baleen, or "whalebone," growing from the palate instead of teeth, and including the right whales and rorquals, or finners and hump-backs (see these terms). 2. Those having true teeth and no whalebone. To this group belong the sperm-whale, and the various forms of bottle-noses, black-fish, grampuses, narwhals, dolphins, porpoises, &c. To the larger species of many of these the term "whale" is often applied.

WHALE-BIRD. A beautiful little bird seen hovering in flocks over the Southern Ocean, in search of the small crustaceans which constitute their food.

WHALE-BOAT. A boat varying from 26 to 56 feet in length, and from 4 to 10 feet beam, sharp at both ends, and admirably adapted to the intended purpose, combining swiftness of motion, buoyancy, and stability.

WHALE-CALF. The young whale.[728]

WHALE-FISHERIES. The places at which the capture of whales, or "whale-fishery," is carried on. The principal are the coasts of Greenland and Davis Straits, for the northern right whale; Bermuda, for hump-backs; the Cape of Good Hope and the Australian seas, for the southern right whale; the North Pacific, for the Japanese right whale; and various places in the intertropical and southern seas, for the sperm-whale. But the constant persecution to which these animals are subjected causes a frequent change in their habitats. They have been nearly exterminated, or rendered so scarce as not to be worth following, in many districts where they formerly most abounded, and in order to make the trade remunerative, new grounds have to be continually sought. Maury's "whale charts" give much valuable information on this subject.

WHALER. A name for a vessel employed in the whale-fisheries.

WHALE'S FOOD. The name given in the North Sea to the Clio borealis, a well-known mollusk, on which whales feed.

WHANGERS, or Cod-whangers. Fish-curers of Newfoundland. An old term for a large sword.

WHAPPER. The largest of the turtle kind, attaining 7 or 8 cwts., off Ascension. [The name is supposed to be derived from guapa, Sp., grand or fine.] (See Loggerhead.)

WHARF, or Quay. An erection of wood or stone raised on the shore of a road or harbour for the convenience of loading or discharging vessels by cranes or other means. A wharf is of course built stronger or slighter in proportion to the effort of the tide or sea which it is intended to resist, and the size of vessels using it.—Wharf, in hydrography, is a scar, a rocky or gravelly concretion, or frequently a sand-bank, as Mad Wharf in Lancashire, where the tides throw up dangerous ripples and overfalls.

WHARFAGE DUES. The dues for landing or shipping goods at a wharf; customs charges in particular. Thus for goods not liable to duty, and forcibly taken for examination, wharfage charges are demanded even from a ship of war!

WHARFINGER. He who owns or keeps a wharf and takes account of all the articles landed thereon or removed from it, for which he receives a certain fee.

WHARF-STEAD. A ford in a river.

WHAT CHEER, HO? Equivalent among seamen to, How fare ye?

WHAT SHIP IS THAT? A question often put when a jaw-breaking word has been intrusively uttered by savants.

WHAT WATER HAVE YOU? The question to the man sounding, as to the depth of water which the lead-line gives.

WHAUP. The larger curlew, Numenius arquatus.

WHEAT. An excellent article for sea-diet; boiled with a proportion of molasses, it makes a most nutritious breakfast. As it stows well, and would even yield nearly the same weight in bread, it should be made an article of allowance.

WHEEL. A general name for the helm, by which the tiller and rudder[729] are worked in steering the ship; it has a barrel, round which the tiller-ropes or chains wind, and a wheel with spokes to assist in moving it.

WHEEL AND AXLE. A well-known mechanical power, to which belong all turning or wheel machines, as cranes, capstans, windlasses, cranks, &c.

WHEEL-HOUSE. A small round-house erected in some ships over the steering-wheel for the shelter of the helmsman.

WHEEL-LOCK. A small machine attached to the old musket for producing sparks of fire.

WHEEL-ROPES. Ropes rove through a block on each side of the deck, and led round the barrel of the steering-wheel. Chains are also used for this purpose.

WHEELS. See Trucks.

WHEFT. More commonly written waft (which see). Although wheft is given in the official signal-book, bibliophilists ignore the term.

WHELK. A well-known shell-fish, Buccinum undatum.

WHELPS. The brackets or projecting parts which rise out of the barrel or main body of the capstan, like buttresses, to enlarge the sweep, so that a greater portion of the cable, or whatever rope encircles the barrel, may be wound about it at one turn without adding much to the weight of the capstan. The whelps reach downwards from the lower part of the drumhead to the deck. The pieces of wood bolted on the main-piece of a windlass, or on a winch, for firm holding, and to prevent chafing, are also called whelps.

WHERE AWAY? In what bearing? a question to the man at the mast-head to designate in what direction a strange sail lies.

WHERRY. A name descended from the Roman horia, the oare of our early writers. It is now given to a sharp, light, and shallow boat used in rivers and harbours for passengers. The wherries allowed to ply about London are either scullers worked by one man with two sculls, or by two men, each pulling an oar. Also, a decked vessel used in fishing in different parts of Great Britain and Ireland: numbers of them were notorious smugglers.

WHETHER OR NO, TOM COLLINS. A phrase equivalent to, "Whether you will or not, such is my determination, not to be gainsaid."

WHICH WAY DOES THE WIND LIE? What is the matter?

WHIFF. The Rhombus cardina, a passable fish of the pleuronect genus. Also, a slight fitful breeze or transient puff of wind.

WHIFFING. Catching mackerel with a hook and line from a boat going pretty fast through the water.

WHIFFLERS. The old term for fifers, preceding the body of archers who cleared the way, but more recently applied to very trifling fellows. Smollett named Captain Whiffle in contempt.

WHIMBREL. The smaller species of curlew, Numenius phæopus.

WHIMSEY. A small crane for hoisting goods to the upper stories of warehouses.[730]

WHINYARD. A sort of hanger, serving both as a weapon and a knife. An archaism for a cutlass. See the Gentleman in the Cobler of Canterburie, 1590:—

"His cloake grew large and sid,
And a faire winniard by his side."
WHIP. A single rope rove through a single block to hoist in light articles. Where greater and steadier power is demanded, a block is added, and the standing part is made fast near the upper block. Thus it becomes a double whip.—To whip. To hoist by a whip. Also, to tie twine, whipping fashion, round the end of a rope to prevent its untwisting.

WHIP, or Whip-staff. A strong staff fastened into the helm for the steersman to move the rudder thereby.

WHIP-JACK. An old term, equivalent to fresh-water sailor, or a sham-shipwrecked tar. (See Turnpike-sailors.)

WHIPPERS. Men who deliver the cargoes of colliers in the river Thames into lighters.

WHIPPING-TWINE. Used to whip the ends of ropes.

WHIP-RAY. A ray with a long tail ending in a very fine point. It is armed with a dangerous serrated spine, jagged like a harpoon. Called also sting-ray and stingaree.

WHIP-SAW. The largest of that class of useful instruments, being that generally used at the saw-pit.

WHIP UPON WHIP. A sort of easy purchase, much used in colliers. It consists of one whip applied to the falls of another.

WHIRL, or Rope-winch. Small hooks fastened into cylindrical pieces of wood which communicate by a leather strap with a spoke-wheel, whereby three of them are set in motion at once. Used for spinning yarn for ropes. Now more commonly made of iron.

WHIRLER, or Troughton's Top. An ingenious instrument invented by Troughton, and intended to serve as an artificial horizon at sea; but it was found that its centrifugal force was incapable of counteracting the ordinary motion of a ship.

WHIRLPOOL. An eddy or vortex where the waters are continually rushing round. In rivers they are very common, from various accidents, and are usually of little consequence. In the sea they are more dangerous, as the classical Charybdis, and the celebrated Maelstrom and Saltenstrom, both on the coast of Norway.

WHIRLWIND. A revolving current of wind of small diameter that rises suddenly, but is soon spent.

WHISKERS. Two booms, half-yards, or iron spars projecting on each side before the cat-heads; they are for spreading the guys of the jib-boom, instead of having a spritsail-yard across. In many vessels the sprit-sail (then termed spread-yard) is lashed across the forecastle so as to rest before the cat-heads on the gunwale, and the guys rove through holes bored in it, and set up in the fore-channels.

WHISTLE. From the Ang.-Sax. wistl. (See Call.)[731]

WHISTLE FOR THE WIND, To. A superstitious practice among old seamen, who are equally scrupulous to avoid whistling during a heavy gale.—To wet one's whistle. To take a drink. Thus Chaucer tells us that the miller of Trumpington's lady had

"Hir joly whistle wel ywette."
WHISTLING PSALMS TO THE TAFFRAIL. Expending advice to no purpose.

WHITE BAIT or BITE. The Clupea alba, a well-known fish caught in the Thames, but strictly a sea-fish, erroneously held to be mere fry till 1828, when Yarrell raised it to the rank of a perfect fish.

WHITE BOOT-TOP. A painted white line carried fore and aft on the hammock-netting base. It gives a longer appearance to a ship.

WHITE CAPS. Waves with breaking crests, specially between the east end of Jamaica and Kingston; but obtaining generally when the sea-breeze, coming fresh over the waves, and travelling faster, turns their tops: termed also white-horses.

WHITE FEATHER. The figurative symbol of cowardice: a white feather in a cock's tail being considered a proof of cross-breeding.

WHITE-FISH. A fish of the salmon family, found in the lakes of North America; also a name of the hard-head (which see). It is a general name for ling, cod, tusk, haddock, halibut, and the like, and for roach, dace, &c., from the use of their scales to form artificial pearls. Also applied to the beluga or white whale (Beluga leucas), a cetacean found in the Arctic seas and the Gulf of St. Lawrence. It is from 12 to 15 feet long.

WHITE-HERRING. A pickled herring in the north, but in other parts a fresh herring is so called.

WHITE-HORSE. A name of the Raia fullonica. (See also White Caps.)

WHITE-LAPPELLE. A sobriquet for a lieutenant, in allusion to his former uniform. (See Lappelle.)

WHITE-ROPE. Rope which has not been tarred. Manilla, coir, and some other ropes, do not require tarring.

WHITE SQUALL. A tropical wind said to give no warning; it sweeps the surface with spoon-drift.

WHITE-TAPE. A term amongst smugglers for hollands or gin.

WHITE-WATER. That which is seen over extensive sandy patches, where, owing to the limpidity and shallowness of the sea, the light of the sky is reflected.

WHITING. The name given in Cumberland to the Salmo albus, or white salmon. Also the Gadus merlangus, both split or dried.

WHITTLE [from the Anglo-Saxon hwytel]. A knife; also used for a sword, but contemptuously.—To whittle. To cut sticks.

WHITWORTH GUN. A piece rifled by having a twisted hexagonal bore, and throwing a more elongated shot with a sharper twist than the Armstrong gun, with results experimentally more beautiful, but not yet so practically useful.[732]

WHO COMES THERE? The night challenge of a sentry on his post.

WHOLE-MOULDING. The old method of forming the principal part of a vessel. Boats are now the only vessels in which this method is practised.

WHOLESOME SHIP. One that will try, hull, and ride well, without heavy labouring in the sea.

WHOODINGS. Those ends of planks which are let into the rabbets of the stem, the stern-posts, &c. (See Rabbet and Hood-ends.)

WHO SAYS AMEN? Who will clap on with a will?

WHO SHALL HAVE THIS? An impartial sea method of distributing the shares of short commons. One person turns his back on the portions, and names some one, when he is asked, "Who shall have this?"

WICH. A port, as Harwich, Greenwich, &c.

WICK [Anglo-Saxon wyc]. A creek, bay, or village, by the side of a river.

WICKET. A small door in the gate of a fortress, for use by foot-passengers when the gate is closed.

WIDDERSHINS. A northern term signifying a motion contrary to the course of the sun. The Orkney fishermen consider themselves in imminent danger at sea, if, by accident, their vessel is turned against the sun.

WIDE-GAB. A name of the Lophius piscatorius, toad-fish, or fishing-frog.

WIDOWS' MEN. Imaginary sailors, formerly borne on the books as A.B.'s for wages in every ship in commission; they ceased with the consolidated pay at the close of the war. The institution was dated 24 Geo. II. to meet widows' pensions; the amount of pay and provisions for two men in each hundred was paid over by the paymaster-general of the navy to the widows' fund.

WILD. A ship's motion when she steers badly, or is badly steered. A wild roadstead implies one that is exposed to the wind and sea.

WILDFIRE. A pyrotechnical preparation burning with great fierceness, whether under water or not; it is analogous to the ancient Greek fire, and is composed mainly of sulphur, naphtha, and pitch.

WILD-WIND. An old term for whirlwind.

WILL, With a. With all zeal and energy.

WILL. A term on our northern shores for a sea-gull.

WILLICK. A northern name for the Fratercula arctica, or puffin.

WILLIE-POURIT. A northern name for the seal.

WILLIWAW. A sort of whirlwind, occurring in Tierra del Fuego.

WILLOCK. A name for the guillemot, Uria troile.

WIMBLE. The borer of a carpenter's centre-bit.

WINCH [from the Anglo-Saxon wince]. A purchase formed by a shaft whose extremities rest in two channels placed horizontally or perpendicularly, and furnished with cranks, or clicks, and pauls. It is employed as a purchase by which a rope or tackle-fall may be more powerfully applied than when used singly. A small one with a fly-wheel is used for making ropes and spun-yarn. Also, a support to the windlass ends. Also, the name of long iron handles by which the chain-pumps are worked. Also,[733] a small cylindrical machine attached to masts or bitts in vessels, for the purpose of hoisting anything out of the hold, warping, &c.

WINCH-BITTS. The supports near their ends.

WIND [precisely the Anglo-Saxon word]. A stream or current of air which may be felt. The horizon being divided into 32 points (see Compass), the wind which blows from any of them has an assignable name.

WINDAGE. The vacant space left between a shot and the bore of the piece to which it belongs, generally expressed by the difference of their diameters; it is for facility of loading, but the smaller it is the better will be the performance of the gun.

WIND AND WATER LINE. That part of a ship lying at the surface of the water which is alternately wet and dry by the motion of the waves.

WIND A SHIP or BOAT, To. To change her position by bringing her stern round to the place where the head was. (See Wending.)

WIND AWAY, To. To steer through narrow channels.

WIND-BANDS. Long clouds supposed to indicate bad weather.

WIND-BOUND. Detained at an anchorage by contrary winds.

WIND-FALL. A violent gust of wind rushing from coast-ranges and mountains to the sea. Also, some piece of good luck, a turtle, fish, vegetables, or a prize.

WIND-GAGE. See Anemometer.

WIND-GALL. A luminous halo on the edge of a distant cloud, where there is rain, usually seen in the wind's eye, and looked upon as a sure precursor of stormy weather. Also, an atmospheric effect of prismatic colours, said likewise to indicate bad weather if seen to leeward.

WINDING A CALL. The act of blowing or piping on a boatswain's whistle, to communicate the necessary orders. (See Call.)

WINDING-TACKLE. A tackle formed of one fixed triple three-sheaved block, and one double or triple movable block. It is principally used to hoist any weighty materials, as the cannon, into or out of a ship.

WINDING-TACKLE PENDANT. A strong rope made fast to the lower mast-head, and forming the support of the winding-tackle.

WIND IN THE TEETH. Dead against a ship.

WINDLASS [from the Ang.-Sax. windles]. A machine erected in the fore-part of a ship which serves to ride by, as well as heave in the cable. It is composed of the carrick-heads or windlass-heads, which are secured to all the deck-beams beneath, and backed by long sleeper knees on deck. The main-piece is whelped like the capstan, and suspended at its ends by powerful spindles falling into metal bearings in the carrick or windlass heads. Amidships it is supported by chocks, where it is also furnished with a course of windlass-pawls, four taking at separate angles on a main ratchet, and bearing on one quadrant of the circumference. The cables have three turns round this main-piece (one cable on each side): holes are cut for the windlass-bars in each eighth of the squared sides. The windlass may be said also to be supported or reinforced by the pawl-bitts, two powerful bitt-heads at the centre.—Spanish windlass. A machine formed[734] of a handspike and a small lever, usually a tree-nail, or a tree-nail and a marline-spike, to set up the top-gallant rigging, heave in seizings, or for any other short steady purchase.

WINDLASS-BITTS. See Carrick-bitts.

WINDLASS-CHOCKS. Those pieces of oak or elm fastened inside the bows of small craft, to support the ends of the windlass.

WINDLASS-ENDS. Two pieces which continue the windlass outside the bitt-heads.

WINDLASS-LINING. Pieces of hard wood fitted round the main-piece of a windlass to prevent chafing, and also to enable the cable to hold on more firmly.

WINDLESTRAY. A sort of bent or seaside grass.

WINDLIPPER. The first effects of a breeze of wind on smooth water, before waves are raised.

WIND-RODE. A ship is wind-rode when the wind overcomes an opposite tidal force, and she rides head to wind.

WINDS. Local or peculiar.—Trade-winds occur within and beyond the tropical parallels. They are pretty regular in the North Atlantic, as far as 5° N., where calms may be expected, or the south-east trade may reach across, depending on the season; but when near land they yield to the land and sea breezes. Thus at 10° N. the land-breeze will be at E. from 11 p.m. until 6 a.m., then calm intervenes up to 10 a.m., when the sea-breeze sets in, probably W., and blows home fresh. Yet at 20 miles off shore the trade-wind may blow pretty strong from N.E. or E.N.E.—The harmattan is a sudden dry wind blowing off the coast of Africa, so charged with almost impalpable dust that the sun is obscured. It sucks up all moisture, cracks furniture and earthenware, and prostrates animal nature. The rigging of vessels becomes a dirty brown, and the dust adhering to the blacking cannot be removed.—The tornado lasts for a short time, but is of great force during its continuance.—The northers in the Gulf of Mexico, or off the Heads of Virginia, are not only very heavy gales, but are attended with severe cold. On a December day, off Galveston, the temperature in a calm was at sunset 86°. The norther came on about midnight, and at 8 a.m. the temperature had fallen to 12°, and icicles were hanging from the eaves of the houses. The Tiempo di Vendavales, or southers of Western America, is an opposite, blowing heavily home to the coast. The taifung of China, or typhoon of the Indian seas, is indeed precisely similar to the hurricane of the West Indies.

WIND-SAIL. A funnel of canvas employed to ventilate a ship by conveying a stream of fresh air down to the lower decks. It is suspended by a whip through the hatchways, and kept open by means of hoops; the upper part is also open on one side, and guyed to the wind. Ships of war in hot climates have generally three or four of these wind-sails.

WIND-TAUT. A vessel at anchor, heeling over to the force of the wind.

WIND-TIGHT. A cask or vessel to contain water is said to be wind-tight and water-tight.[735]

WINDWARD. The weather-side; that on which the wind blows; the opposite of leeward (which see). Old sailors exhort their neophytes to throw nothing over the weather-side except ashes or hot water: a hint not mistakable.

WINDWARD SAILING, or Turning to Windward. That mode of navigating a ship in which she endeavours to gain a position situated in the direction whence the wind is blowing. In this case progress is made by frequent tacking, and trimming sail as near as possible to the wind.

WINDWARD SET. The reverse of leeward set.

WINDWARD TIDE. See Weather-tide.

WINE OF HEIGHT. A former perquisite of seamen on getting safely through a particular navigation.

WING. The projecting part of a steamer's deck before and abaft each of the paddle-boxes, bounded by the wing-wale.

WING-AND-WING. A ship coming before the wind with studding-sails on both sides; also said of fore-and-aft vessels, when they are going with the wind right aft, the fore-sail boomed out on one side, and the main-sail on the other.

WINGERS. Small casks stowed close to the side in a ship's hold, where the large casks would cause too great a rising in that part of the tier.

WINGS. Those parts of the hold and orlop-deck which are nearest to the sides. This term is particularly used in the stowage of the several materials contained in the hold, and between the cable-tiers and the ship's sides. In ships of war they are usually kept clear, that the carpenter and his crew may have access round the ship to stop shot-holes in time of action. Also, the skirts or extremities of a fleet, when ranged in a line abreast, or when forming two sides of a triangle. It is usual to extend the wings of a fleet in the daytime, in order to discover any enemy that may fall in their track; they are, however, generally summoned by signal to form close order before night. In military parlance, the right and left divisions of a force, whether these leave a centre division between them or not.—Wing-transom. The uppermost transom in the stern-frame, to which the heels of the counter-timbers are let on and bolted.

WING UP BALLAST, To. To carry the dead weight from the bottom as high as consistent with the stability of a ship, in order to ease her quick motion in rolling.

WING-WALE. A thick plank extending from the extremity of a steamer's paddle-beam to her side; it is also designated the sponson-rim.

WINNOLD-WEATHER. An eastern-county term for stormy March weather.

WINTER-FISH. This term generally alludes to cured cod and ling.

WINTER-QUARTERS. The towns or posts occupied during the winter by troops who quit the campaign for the season. Also, the harbour to which a blockading fleet retires in wintry gales. In Arctic parlance, the spot where ships are to remain housed during the winter months—from the 1st October to the 1st July or August.[736]

WINTER-SOLSTICE. See Capricornus.

WIPER. A cogged contrivance in machinery by which a rotatory motion is converted into a reciprocating motion.

WIPER-SHAFT. An application to the valve equipoise of a marine-engine: their journals or bearings lie in bushes, which are fixed upon the frame of the engine.

WIRE-MICROMETER. An instrument necessary for delicate astronomical measurements. It contains vertical and horizontal wires, or spider-lines, acting in front of a comb or scale for distances, and on a graduated circle on the screw-head for positions.

WIRE-ROPE. Rigging made of iron wire galvanized, and laid up like common cordage.

WISBUY LAWS. A maritime code which, though framed at a town in the now obscure island of Gothland, in the Baltic, was submissively adopted by Europe.

WISHES [from the British usk, water]. Low lands liable to be overflowed.

WISHY-WASHY. Any beverage too weak. Over-watered spirits.

"His food the land-crab, lizard, or the frog;
His drink a wish-wash of six-water grog."
WITH. An iron instrument fitted to the end of a boom or mast, with a ring to it, through which another boom or mast is rigged out and secured. Also, in mechanics, the elastic withe handles of cold chisels, set-tools, &c., which prevent a jar to the assistant's wrist.

WITH A WILL. Pull all together.

WITHERSHINS. See Widdershins.

WITHEYS. Any low places near rivers where willows grow.

WITHIN-BOARD. Inside a ship.

WITHOUT. Outside, as, studding-sail without studding-sail; or, without board, outside a ship.

WITH THE SUN. Ropes coiled from the left hand towards the right; but where the sun passes the meridian north of the observer, it is of course the reverse.

WITNESSES, or Temoins, are certain piles of earth left in digging docks, or other foundations, to judge how many cubic feet of earth have been removed.

WITTEE-WITTEE. The ingeniously-constructed fish-hook of the Pacific islanders, made of mother-of-pearl, with hair tufts, serving at once both as hook and bait.

WOARE. An old term for sea-weed. Also, the shore margin or beach.

WOBBLE, To. In mechanics, to sway or roll from side to side. (See Wabble.)

WOLD. An extensive plain, covered with grass and herbs, but bare of trees.

WOLF. A kind of fishing-net.

WOLF-FISH. Anarhichas lupus, also called cat-fish. A fish of the northern seas, from 2 to 3 feet long, with formidable teeth, with which it crushes the shells of the crustaceans and mollusks on which it feeds.[737]

WOLYING. The old way of spelling woolding.

WONDER-CHONE. An old term, mentioned by Blount as a contrivance for catching fish.

WONGS. A term on our east coast, synonymous with low lands or wishes (which see).

WOOD, To. A gun is said to wood when it takes the port-sills or port-sides, or the trucks the water-ways.—To wood. When wooding-parties are sent out to cut or procure wood for a ship.

WOOD AND WOOD. When two pieces of timber are so let into each other as to join close. Also, when a tree-nail is driven through, its point being even with the inside surface.

WOODEN BUOYS. Buoyant constructions of wood of various shapes, with a ring-bolt at each end, to which vessels can make fast for a time. (See Dolphin.)

WOOD-ENDS. See Hood-ends.

WOODEN WALLS. A term signifying the fleet, and though thought to be peculiarly English, was used by the Delphic oracle, when applied to by the Athenians on the Persian invasion: "Defend yourselves by wooden walls."

WOODEN-WINGS. The lee-boards, for keeping barges to windward.

WOOD-LOCKS of the Rudder. Pieces of timber sheathed with copper, in coppered ships, placed in the throating or scores of the stern-post, to prevent the rudder from rising or unshipping.

WOOD-MULLS. Large thick hose worn by the men in coasters and fishing-boats.

WOOD-SHEATHING. All plank applied to strengthen a vessel. (See Double.)

WOOF. A northern name of the gray gurnard.

WOOLDERS. Bandages. The bolt of a Spanish windlass is called a woolder.

WOOLDING. The act of winding a piece of rope about a mast or yard, to support it where it is fished, or when it is composed of several pieces. Also, the rope employed in this service.

WOOL-PACKS. In meteorology, light clouds in a blue sky.

WORD. The watch-word; the parole and countersign, which, being issued to the authorized persons at guard-mounting, become a test whereby spies or strangers are detected.

WORK, To. Said of a ship when she strains in a tempestuous sea, so as to loosen her joints.

WORK ABACK. This is said of a steam-engine if reversed, to propel the vessel astern.

WORK A SHIP, To. To adapt the sails to the force and direction of the wind.

WORK DOUBLE-TIDES, To. Implying that the work of three days is done in two, or at least two tides' work in twenty-four hours.

WORKING A DAY'S WORK. Reducing the dead-reckoning and meridian altitudes to noon of each day.[738]

WORKING A LUNAR. Reducing the observations of the sun and moon, or moon and stars, in order to find the longitude. Also, a phrase used when a man sleeps during a conversation.

WORKING AN OBSERVATION. Reducing the altitudes or distances of heavenly bodies by calculation.

WORKING PARTIES. Gangs of hands employed on special duties out of the ship or dockyard.

WORKING TO WINDWARD. Sailing against the wind by alternate tacks. (See Beating.)

WORKING UP. The keeping men at work on needless matters, beyond the usual hours, for punishment.

WORKS. All fortificational constructions, whether permanent, field, or makeshifts of the moment; from the most solid bastion to the rudest rifle-pit.

WORK UP JUNK, To. To draw yarns from old cables, &c., and therewith to make foxes, points, gaskets, sinnet, or spun-yarn.

WORM. An iron tool shaped like a double cork-screw on the end of a long staff, for withdrawing charges, ignited remains of cartridges, &c., from fire-arms. Called also a wad-hook in artillery. (See also Teredo Navalis.)—To worm. The act of passing a rope spirally between the lays of a cable; a smaller rope is wormed with spun-yarn. Worming is generally resorted to as a preparative for serving. (See Link Worming.)

WORM-EATEN, or Wormed. The state of a plank or of a ship's bottom when perforated by a particular kind of boring mollusk, Teredo navalis, which abounds in the tropics.

WORMS. Timber is preserved against worms by several coats of common whale-oil, or by the patents of Payne, Sir W. Burnett, Kyan, and others.

WRACK. The English name for the fucus; the sea-weed used for the manufacture of kelp, and in some places artificially grown for that purpose.

WRACK-RIDER. A species of brandling faintly barred on both sides.

WRAIN-BOLT. A ring-bolt with two or more forelock-holes in it, occasionally to belay or make fast towards the middle. It is used, with the wrain-staff in the ring, for setting-to the planks.

WRAIN-STAFF. A stout billet of tough wood, tapered at its ends, so as to go into the ring of the wrain-bolt, to make the necessary setts for bringing-to the planks or thick stuff to the timber.

WRASSE. The Crenilabrus tinca, a sea-fish, sometimes called old-wife.

WRECK. The destruction of a ship by stress of weather, rocks, &c.; also the ruins of the ship after such accidents; also the goods and fragments which drive on shore after a ship is stranded. It is said that the term is derived from the sea-weed called wrack, denoting all that the sea washes on shore as it does this weed. A ship cast on shore is no wreck, in law, when any domestic animal has escaped with life in her. The custody of the cargo or goods belongs to the deputy of the vice-admiral, and they are restored to the proprietors without any fees or salvage, but what the labour of those who saved them may reasonably deserve.[739]

WRECKAGE. Spars, rigging, or goods floating about after a wreck.

WRECKERS. A name which includes both meritorious salvors of ships in distress, and the felonious brutes who merely hasten to wrecks for plunder. One of our British colonies deemed it so entirely a legal procedure to make a wreck of or cripple a vessel on the reef, that a naval officer was threatened with legal proceedings by a lawyer whom he prevented from carrying out his practice afloat.

WRECK-FREE. Is to be exempt from the forfeiture of shipwrecked goods and vessels: a privilege which Edward I. granted by charter to the barons of the Cinque Ports.

WRIGHT'S SAILING. Synonymous with Mercator's sailing.

WRING A MAST, To. To bend, cripple, or strain it out of its natural position by setting the shrouds up too taut. The phrase, to wring, is also applied to a capstan when by an undue strain the component parts of the wood become deranged, and are thereby disunited. The head of a mast is frequently wrung by bracing up the lower yards beyond the dictates of sound judgment.

WRONG, To. To out-sail a vessel by becalming her sails is said to wrong her.

WRONG WAY. When the ship casts in the opposite direction to that desired. Also, a ship swinging in a tide's way, out of the direction which would keep her hawse clear.

WRUNG-HEADS. An old term for that part of a ship near the floor-heads and second futtock-heels, which, when she lies aground, bears the greatest strain.


XEBEC, or Zebec. A small three-masted vessel of the Mediterranean, distinguished from all other European vessels by the great projection of her bow and overhanging of her stern. Being generally equipped as a corsair, the xebec was constructed with a narrow floor, for speed, and of great breadth, to enable her to carry a great press of sail. On the Barbary coast the xebec rig was deemed to vary from the felucca, which in hull is the same, by having the fore-mast square-rigged.

XERAFEEM. A Malabar coin of the value of 1s. 4d. sterling.

XEROONITZ. A Russian coin of two roubles, or 9s. sterling.

XERO-POTAMO. A term common on the coasts of Greece for fiumare, or torrents, which are dry at certain seasons.

XUGIA. The second bank of rowers in an ancient trireme.

XYLOSTROMA. Oak-leather, a peculiar fungus found within growing oaks.


YACHT. A vessel of state or pleasure: the former is usually employed to convey great personages. One of the designs of a yacht being accommodation, they are usually fitted up with great comfort; their propulsion is by sails or steam. Small yachts, rigged as sloops, were formerly used by the commissioners of the navy; they were originally royal yachts, and one at Chatham was renowned as the yacht of Queen Elizabeth, the same plate being in use in her up to a very late date. Private pleasure-boats, when sufficiently large for a sea voyage, are also termed yachts. (See Royal Yacht.)

YACHT CLUB, ROYAL. An institution embodied by a number of noblemen and gentlemen about the year 1820, to which certain privileges are attached. It was originally established at Cowes, but several ports, as well as the Thames, have their special clubs, and similar privileges.

YAM. The tubers of the Dioscorea sativa, and others; a valuable vegetable on long voyages. D. aculeata frequently produces tubers 3 feet long, and weighing 30 lbs. Also, the West India word for food; "Toko for yam," the negro's punishment—blows but no food.

YANKEE. An appellation often erroneously given to North Americans in general, whereas it is strictly applicable to those of the New England states only; it is not used complimentarily in the back settlements.

YARD. A measure of length, consisting of 3 feet.

YARD [Anglo-Saxon gyrde]. A long cylindrical timber suspended upon the mast of a vessel to spread a sail. They are termed square, lateen, or lug: the first are suspended across the masts at right angles, and the two latter obliquely. The square yards taper from the middle, which is called the slings, towards the extremities, which are termed the yard-arms; and the distance between is divided by the artificers into quarters, called the first, second, third quarters, and yard-arms. The middle quarters are formed into eight sides, and each of the end parts is figured like the frustum of a cone: on the alternate sides of the octagon, in large spars, oak battens are brought on and hooped, so as to strengthen, and yet not greatly increase, the weight.—To brace the yards. To traverse them about the masts, so as to form greater or lesser angles with the ship's length. (See Brace.)—To square the yards. (See Square.)

YARD-ARM. That part of a yard outside the quarter, which is on either side of the mast beyond the battens, when it lies athwart the ship. It generally means the extremity of the yard, and it is fitted with sheave-holes for reeving sheets through.

YARD-ARM AND YARD-ARM. The situation of two ships lying[741] alongside one another, so near that their yard-arms nearly touch each other, or even cross. The term implies close action and no mistake.

YARD-ARM CLEATS. Wooden wedges fixed on the yards at those points where they support the lifts and braces, and where the head-earings are secured. The reef-cleats on the topsail-yards are beyond the lifts and braces.

YARD-ARM PIECE. An octagonal piece of timber supplied to replace a yard-arm if shot away. It is one-third the length of the main-yard.

YARD-ROPE. Is only used for temporary purposes; the most usual application of the term is that by which a yard is hoisted for crossing, or sent down. Also, rove for execution. The yard-rope of the lighter yards is the halliards, which, when the yard is crossed, is made into tie and halliards by a peculiar mode of toggling on the halliard purchase, as in the order, "Toggle the halliards!"

YARDS. See Dockyards.

YARDS APEEK. When they are topped, so as to resemble St. Andrew's cross; it is done as a token of mourning, or for convenience when vessels lie alongside of each other, as in the docks.

YARD-TACKLES. Tackles attached to the fore and main yards of a ship, whereby, with the assistance of the stay-tackles, the boats and other weights are hoisted in and out. Yard-tackles are sometimes hooked to a pendant, which is secured to the top-mast head, and hauled out to the yard-arm by means of a small tackle, until the yard-tackle plumbs the spot where it is wished to work.

YARE [Ang.-Sax. for dexterous or quick]. It was formerly a favourite nautical phrase, as "Be yare at the helm;" and is used by Shakspeare's boatswain in the Tempest.

YAREMLEK. A silver Turkish coin of 20 paras, or 9d. sterling.

YARMOUTH CAPON. A red herring; a bloater.

YARMOUTH HERRING-BOAT. A clincher-built vessel with lug-sails, similar to the drift or mackerel boats.

YARN. One of the threads of which ropes are composed. A number of these are twisted together to form a strand, in proportion to the size of the proposed rope. Three strands are then twisted into one another, which completes the process of ordinary rope-making; but cables, hawsers, and other ground tackling, are composed of three strands, each of which is formed of three lesser ones. (See Cable, Hawser, &c.)—A tough yarn. A long story, or tale, hard to be believed.

YARN-SPINNING. A figurative expression for telling a story.

YATAGHAN. A crooked sabre used in the Levant. Also, the knife-swords of India.

YAUGH. An archaic term for a little bark, pinnace, or yacht.

YAW. The quick movement by which a ship deviates from the direct line of her course towards the right or left, from unsteady steering.

YAWL. A man-of-war's boat, resembling the pinnace, but rather smaller; it is carvel-built, and generally rowed with twelve oars. The yawl in the[742] Customs Act is a carvel-built vessel of the cutter class, but having a jigger or mizen lug, the boom-mainsail being curtailed, so that its boom traverses clear of the mizen-mast: used also by yachts. Also, a small fishing-vessel.

YAW-SIGHTED. A nautical term for those who squint.

YAW-YAW. A nickname for the seamen of the shores of the Baltic.

YEAR. The duration of the earth's revolution round the sun, or of the apparent revolution of the sun in the ecliptic.

YELL. An old sea-term to express a rolling motion.

YELLOW ADMIRAL. A retired post-captain, who, not having served his time in that rank, is not entitled to his promotion to the active flag.

YELLOW-BELLY. A name given to a person born in the fens along our eastern shores: also occasionally to half-castes, &c.

YELLOW FEVER. A cant term for drunkenness at Greenwich Hospital; the sailors when punished wearing a parti-coloured coat, in which yellow predominates.

YELLOW-FLAG. The signal of quarantine.

YELLOWING. The passing over of captains at a flag promotion.

YELLOW-TAIL. A well-known tropical fish, often in company with whip-rays; it is about 4 feet long, with a great head, large eyes, and many fins. Leiostomas.

YEO-HEAVE-YEOING. The chant or noise made at the windlass and purchase-falls in a merchantman, to cheer and lighten labour, but not permitted in a man-of-war.

YEOMAN. An experienced hand placed in charge of a store-room, who should be able to keep the accounts of supply and expenditure.

YESTY [from the Anglo-Saxon gist]. A foaming breaking sea. Shakspeare in Macbeth gives great power to this state of the waters:—

"Though the yesty waves
Confound, and swallow navigation up."
YOKE. A transverse board or metal bar, a substitute for the tiller, which crosses the head of a boat's rudder, and having two lines extending from its opposite extremities to the stern-sheets of the boat, whereby she is steered.

YOKE-LINES. The ropes by which the boat's steerage is managed.

YOUNG. A word often used for uninitiated.—Young gentlemen, a general designation for midshipmen, whatever their age.


YOUNG ICE. Nearly the same as bay-ice, except that it is only applied to ice very recently formed, or of the present season.

YOUNGSTER, or Younker [an old term; from the Anglo-Saxon junker]. A volunteer of the first-class, and a general epithet for a stripling in the service.

YOUNG WIND. The commencement of the land or sea breeze.

YOU, SIR! The irritating mode in which some officers address the seamen. The late Lord Collingwood never permitted it.[743]

YOW-YOW. A smaller kind of Chinese sampan.

Y'S of an Instrument. The Y-shaped bearings for the telescope axis, on the precision of which the value of an astronomical observation much depends: similar to the bearings of steam-engines, &c.


ZAFAR. A coil of Spanish rope.

ZAMBO. A term on the Spanish Main for a race produced by the union of the negro and the Indian; it literally means bow-legged.

ZEAL. A quality essentially requisite in forming the character of an efficient officer, since it comprehends ardour for the service, prompt obedience to orders, cheerful disposition, and a studious application to professional science.

ZECCHINO [from zecca, a mint]. A gold coin of Italy; average value, 9s. 6d.

ZECHIN. A Turkish coin. (See Sequin.)

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

ZENITH-DISTANCE. The angular distance of any celestial object from the zenith at the time of observation. In navigation the meridional zenith-distance of a heavenly body is much used for finding the latitude.

ZEPHYR. The west wind, but generally considered to apply to any light pleasant breeze.

ZERO. The cypher or nought at the beginning of a graduated arc.

ZETETIC. The analytic method of investigating a mathematical problem.

ZIG-ZAG. The winding trench of approach of a besieger, directed by short turns alternately right and left of the defences of the place, to avoid being enfiladed by them. Called also a boyau.

ZIG-ZAG COURSE. Working to windward by very short tacks or angular turning boards.

ZODIAC. A broad zone or belt of the heavens, the middle of which is the ecliptic, extending 9° on either side of it. It is divided into twelve signs, each measuring 30° along the ecliptic.

ZODIACAL LIGHT. A pyramidal cone of light, apparently emanating from the rising and setting sun, commonly seen in the tropics; in higher latitudes most visible about the time of the equinoxes.

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

ZONE. See Belt.

ZONE OF DECLINATION. A belt of the heavens included between certain parallels of declination.[744]

ZONES, in Geography, are longitudinal belts into which the surface of the earth is divided, according to their various relation to the sun's apparent motion. They are—the torrid or equatorial zone, bounded by the two tropics (which see), to every part of which, at some time or other, the sun is vertical; the frigid zones, from the poles to the polar circles, to every part of which in succession, periodically, the sun is at mid-day below the horizon; and the temperate zones, intermediate between the two former, to all of which the sun rises every day in the year.

ZOOPHYTE. A term compounded of two Greek words, signifying animal-plant, vaguely applied to various low forms of animal organizations, as the sea-anemones and coral animals, which present a certain superficial resemblance to plants.

ZOPISSA. Tar or pitch scraped off the bottoms of old ships, and thought to be astringent and good for ulcers. Also, a highly preservative varnish in use by the ancients for ships' bottoms, sarcophagi, &c.

ZUHN. A species of Indian rush, from which an inferior kind of cordage and canvas is made.

ZUMBRA. A Spanish skiff or yawl.