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Word definition site

Margo 10 Apr 99 - 02:08 PM
Joe Offer 10 Apr 99 - 03:16 PM
10 Apr 99 - 03:54 PM
Joe Offer 10 Apr 99 - 05:44 PM
Bill D 10 Apr 99 - 08:04 PM
Sandy Paton 10 Apr 99 - 09:58 PM
Barry Finn 10 Apr 99 - 10:55 PM
catspaw49 11 Apr 99 - 03:38 AM
Mo 11 Apr 99 - 06:57 PM
Pete M 11 Apr 99 - 08:01 PM
catspaw49 11 Apr 99 - 09:02 PM
Pete M 12 Apr 99 - 01:22 AM
Mark Roffe 12 Apr 99 - 01:54 AM
Rick Fielding 12 Apr 99 - 02:43 AM
catspaw49 12 Apr 99 - 02:46 AM
Penny 12 Apr 99 - 10:43 AM
Tucker 12 Apr 99 - 11:10 AM
catspaw49 12 Apr 99 - 11:27 AM
Bert 12 Apr 99 - 02:24 PM
AlistairUK 12 Apr 99 - 02:37 PM
Matthew B. 12 Apr 99 - 02:40 PM
Margo 12 Apr 99 - 06:41 PM
AlistairUK 12 Apr 99 - 06:47 PM
katlaughing 12 Apr 99 - 07:36 PM
Pete M 12 Apr 99 - 08:57 PM
Mark Roffe 13 Apr 99 - 01:35 AM
Penny 13 Apr 99 - 02:57 AM
Barbara 13 Apr 99 - 12:31 PM
catspaw49 13 Apr 99 - 12:49 PM
Steve Parkes 13 Apr 99 - 12:52 PM
Bert 13 Apr 99 - 01:19 PM
Pete M 13 Apr 99 - 04:26 PM
Bert 13 Apr 99 - 05:30 PM
Pete M 13 Apr 99 - 06:08 PM
Martin _Ryan 14 Apr 99 - 03:52 PM
Bert 14 Apr 99 - 03:58 PM
LEJ 14 Apr 99 - 08:50 PM
Barbara 15 Apr 99 - 01:52 PM
Pete M 15 Apr 99 - 05:26 PM
Martin _Ryan 15 Apr 99 - 06:00 PM
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Subject: Word definition site
From: Margo
Date: 10 Apr 99 - 02:08 PM

I'm so excited about this site! Thank you to whoever listed it in the thread about coloquialisms. Here is one of my questions answered:

Subject: Re: Definitions > > > > I read your definition of jury rigged, and the mention of > > sailing ships made me wonder about the phrase "Parish rigged". > > There is a sea shanty "Leave her Johnny" in which the crew > > sings of all the hardships on the voyage but now the voyage is > > done and it's time to leave her (the ship). One line is, > > "she's poverty stricken and parish rigged". Why "parish" > > rigged. What happened to the jury rigged? Are they related? > > Not really. "Parish rigged" means that somebody is short of > clothes or that they are of the cheapest. It means that the > person looks as though they have been fitted out on the parish, > that is, through parish relief, the system of caring for the > poor before modern systems. Here's a relevant quote: > > 1962 A. G. Course Dict. Naut. Terms 145 When a seaman joins a > ship with few clothes and little working gear he is said to be > 'parish rigged' ... The term came to be used afterwards with > reference to the ships themselves, so that if they had a minimum > of sails, spares and gear to start a voyage they were said to be > 'parish rigged'. > > > Also, the same shanty says "she shipped it green and none > > went by." I have heard the reference to shipping it green in > > more than one shanty. Do you have a clue as to what they mean? > > I assume that this refers to a heavy inrush of sea water pouring > in over the sides of the ship. It means the vessel is suffering > bad weather. > > -------------------------------------------------------------------- > Michael B Quinion Thornbury, Bristol, UK > World Wide Words: >


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Subject: RE: Word definition site
From: Joe Offer
Date: 10 Apr 99 - 03:16 PM

Hey, Margarita - I looked through that long, long colloquialism thread and didn't find the URL you're talking about. What is it?
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Word definition site
From:
Date: 10 Apr 99 - 03:54 PM

I thought this was supposed to be a blues and folk music site.


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Subject: RE: Word definition site
From: Joe Offer
Date: 10 Apr 99 - 05:44 PM

Well, yes, it IS a folk and blues site, but I kind of like to understand the idioms in lyrics of the songs I sing. I sure helps to have links to sites like the one Margarita mentioned. So, Margarita, where is it?
Is it World Wide Words?
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Word definition site
From: Bill D
Date: 10 Apr 99 - 08:04 PM

yep...Michael Quinion does "World Wide Words"..I am subscribed to his mailing list...he does a fine job!


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Subject: RE: Word definition site
From: Sandy Paton
Date: 10 Apr 99 - 09:58 PM

Margarita's original post to this thread was all about words and phrases found in songs. If that isn't an appropriate topic for this forum, what the hell is?

Many of us are interested in very old songs, in which some of the words may have been discarded from our current dictionaries. In order to sing these songs (and ballads), it helps to know the meanings of these terms. I am forced to assume that the anonymous carper above is less interested in this aspect of the forum. Okay, but don't deny the rest of us the opportunity to make use of it. If a topic doesn't meet with your approval, just skip over it and go on to one that does. Fair enough?

Sandy


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Subject: RE: Word definition site
From: Barry Finn
Date: 10 Apr 99 - 10:55 PM

Jury rigged, to fix a jury, not fixed in an ethical manner, it'll do for the moment but won't last a long time.

Parish rigged or poverty stricken, it's a poor sailor that has to rely on the hand outs of the parish church (see, "THE PARISH OF DUNKELD). Sailors didn't feel that kindly towards priests, they were known to bring bad luck with them onboard ship.
Barry


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Subject: RE: Word definition site
From: catspaw49
Date: 11 Apr 99 - 03:38 AM

Being a sailor since childhood, I have always loved the language of sail, but as one who takes many novices out, I'm also grateful to the Aussies aboard A II when they won the cup fo legitimatizing a little more easily understood lingo. "Ready about" = Tacking in 2 (lengths) and "Hard alee" = Tacking Now. Seems a bit silly, but beginners understand it more.

Of course my long time sailing buddy and I had changed to lots of weird stuff just for laughs. Nothing like sailing close in a Thistle race and cracking another crew up (or at least getting their minds "out of the race") with a call of "Ready to Cum----Hard to Head"....They're like, what did those guys say?

catspaw


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Subject: RE: Word definition site
From: Mo
Date: 11 Apr 99 - 06:57 PM

Not to mention Starboard/Port Wheel Hard-On for Wheel Hard to P/S! Women are supposed to be bad luck on ships too, but I dispute that, but then I would, wouldn't I?

I'm with Sandy - can't live without the words. I've been known to sing in phonetic Gaelic now and then - haven't a clue what I'm singing about, and often wish I did. Mo


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Subject: RE: Word definition site
From: Pete M
Date: 11 Apr 99 - 08:01 PM

I suppose some of the terms necessary on large ships do seem a bit strange on small yachts, "ready about" / "stand by to tack", and "lee oh" / "helms's a'lee" are pretty unnecessary with a crew of two in a sixteen foot racing dinghy (although we always used them) but when you're trying to communicate with the foredeck in a force eight gale, its different, especially if you've on a lee shore and you don't really want to miss stays.

Mind you, Catspaw's technique is very effective if you are climbing. There are some outcrops in Kent where top roping is the norm and my mates and I used to go there regularly. Naturally there was some competition to do harder climbs than the others and telling jokes etc to get someone to laugh and fall off at the crux was considered fair game.

By the way Margarita, I wasn't clear from your post if you were asking about the definition of green seas / shipping it green? if so it means as you suggest, taking solid water across the deck.

Pete M


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Subject: RE: Word definition site
From: catspaw49
Date: 11 Apr 99 - 09:02 PM

It's what a crew agrees on that's important. I've done a lot of crewing in ocean racing and as long as we're all on the same page...Also Pete, I was referring to novices and learning as they go. But if you've got a novice foredeck and mast crew on a 50 footer in a force 8 and you've gotten youself that fouled with a lee shore...personally, I don't plan on being there...but I think the call would be:

"WE'RE F****D! PREPARE TO RUN AGROUND! STAND CLEAR THE SPLINTERING FIBERGLAS! FINGER BEADS IF YOU GOT 'EM!

Like you, don't sound like my idea of a good time!!!

catspaw


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Subject: RE: Word definition site
From: Pete M
Date: 12 Apr 99 - 01:22 AM

You're right of course about consensus of understabnding Catspaw, but as I do most of my sailing these days on a sail training ship we have a new crew every trip, and whilst it may be necessary to explain some of the jargon as you go, I think its safest in terms of least confusing to stick to the established terms. Besides can't have the Aussies going around thinking they got something right!

Haven't been caught that close to a lee shore yet, but once or twice we've been a bit close to the green stuff before all sail stations have been ready. On one trip the master suggested (it was "Trainee day" when the trainees have complete control of the ship) that it might be best if they steered a little bit further off shore ... we were trailing a lovely muddy wake with about 3" clerance under the keel!

Pete M


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Subject: RE: Word definition site
From: Mark Roffe
Date: 12 Apr 99 - 01:54 AM

In the vein of nautical word definitions - I'll never forget the day I learned what "heave" meant. I was a new deckhand on an oceanograpic vessel in the caribbean. We were headed from Puerto Rico to Bermuda and hit a terrible storm. A large piece of scientific equipment tack-welded to the deck broke loose and was smashing anything in its way. We managed to harness the equipment with some line. The captain, a crusty old timer from Maine, was bellowing to me through the wind and water, "Heave the line, lad!! Heave the line." Now, I'd spent most of my life in New York at this point, and had grown up thinking that "heave" meant "throw." Y'know, like "to heave the ball at someone's head." Throwing the line seemed like the last thing anyone should do at this point, but Cap kept on yelling to "Heave! The! Damned! Line!! Lad!!!" so I threw the damned thing. Whoa, the captain turned like all red and his eyes were like bugging out and he was like frothing and that's when I learned that "heave" means "pull."

Mark


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Subject: RE: Word definition site
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 12 Apr 99 - 02:43 AM

My favourite nautical admonition comes from Bob Coltman paraphrasing "Sir Patrick Spence". "Never mind your buckled shoes, you'll wet far more than your feet. And as for this letter from our king, it's a damned small winding sheet".


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Subject: RE: Word definition site
From: catspaw49
Date: 12 Apr 99 - 02:46 AM

LOL...Great story...Very visual...I can see both faces. Another of those sitcom like moments that happen to us all sometimes. If you had a problem with "Heave" I'll bet you're glad you weren't on a sailing vessel instead. Can you see youself at the helm when the old Captain orders, "Hard On to the Wind, Laddie"???????????

catspaw


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Subject: RE: Word definition site
From: Penny
Date: 12 Apr 99 - 10:43 AM

Pete M

I've been lurking about waiting for the probabilities to build up. You sailed at Dover, did you? How many Pete M's were there doing that then?

It wouldn't do to pretend I didn't know anyone by that name, just because I was a rather daft teenager, and feel a bit embarrassed by memories of giving someone a rabbit punch in Stembrook, would it?


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Subject: RE: Word definition site
From: Tucker
Date: 12 Apr 99 - 11:10 AM

I notice a lot of similarities between a seaman's language and a firefighter. I am sure it isn't accidental. Having been a professional firefighter for 25 years the words, Lad, Line, Chief, boline on a bite (bight)etc etc are familar in my late career.


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Subject: RE: Word definition site
From: catspaw49
Date: 12 Apr 99 - 11:27 AM

Perhaps because the Irish heritage is strong both in sailing and firefighting...also both deal with ropes and knots, importance of communicating in tough situations, etc. Also, specifically re: sailboats and sailing, there is usually good camaraderie and everyone must absolutely trust the other to do his job right...and both firefighting and sailing are 98% boredom and 2% sheer terror.

catspaw


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Subject: RE: Word definition site
From: Bert
Date: 12 Apr 99 - 02:24 PM

When I was a kid, Dad worked in London Docks and he taught us quite a few knots, including 'bowline on the bight'. We used to call it 'bowline on the bike' just to hear him correct us.
Never had to use one though.

Whenever I buy any rope nowadays, I can't resist cutting it up into lashings with an eye splice in one end and a dog's cock in the other.

Bert.


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Subject: RE: Word definition site
From: AlistairUK
Date: 12 Apr 99 - 02:37 PM

I always said sailors were weird. Liked the story though Mark...if he had told me to heave it would have been in big chunks with undigested carrot.


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Subject: RE: Word definition site
From: Matthew B.
Date: 12 Apr 99 - 02:40 PM

Hey Margarita,

From the song Rollickin' Randy Dandy O


Heave a pawl, you parish rigged bums
Way, hey, roll and go
Take your hands from your pockets and don't suck your thumbs
To me, Rollickin' Randy Dandy O

- Matt


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Subject: RE: Word definition site
From: Margo
Date: 12 Apr 99 - 06:41 PM

Joe Offer: Yes, it is World Wide Words.

Catspaw: I don't know what you're supposed to do with the command "Hard on to the wind", but if someone yelled that at me I'd probably look about and ask "where?".

There is a madrigal about unrequited love of which the first line is "Hard by a fountain, Damon sat complaining". As you might imagine, there were titters aplenty in the choir. (should I have said giggles?)

Matt: thanks for the line from the song. It's always good to see an expression used several ways.

Margie


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Subject: RE: Word definition site
From: AlistairUK
Date: 12 Apr 99 - 06:47 PM

Margarita and wind I shoulda guessed.


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Subject: RE: Word definition site
From: katlaughing
Date: 12 Apr 99 - 07:36 PM

Lashings? Eye splice? Dog's cock? I was a Girl Scout and can tie a great square knot, but what the heck are those?

This is word defintion, right? You nautical sorts might go back and enlighten us landlubbers, just a wee bit!***BIG GRIN*** It does entertain, though, in that it sounds fairly salty! There....I've coined my own nautical term!

BTW, here in the Rockies, we call people who aren't used to driving in the mountains, those who hug the inside of the road, farthest for the precipice, "flatlanders".

katlaughing


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Subject: RE: Word definition site
From: Pete M
Date: 12 Apr 99 - 08:57 PM

Well Kat, you could use a lashing with an eye splice at one end and a dog's cock at the other for a gasket. Alternatively you could make a square lashing with it, but then it only needs to be whipped. (grin)

Penny, now you have got me scratching my head. Perhaps my memory, or embarassment level, is worse than yours, but that doesn't ring any bells so far.

Pete M


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Subject: RE: Word definition site
From: Mark Roffe
Date: 13 Apr 99 - 01:35 AM

Catspaw, If the captain ordered "Hard On to the Wind, Laddie," I'd assume we were about to get blown offshore.


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Subject: RE: Word definition site
From: Penny
Date: 13 Apr 99 - 02:57 AM

Oh good, because then I don't have to say why I gave the guy a rabbit punch! Which wouldn't embarrass me!


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Subject: RE: Word definition site
From: Barbara
Date: 13 Apr 99 - 12:31 PM

I assume that what Alistair is being coy about is a loop on one end of the line and a thickened bit on the other; both braided into the line with the aid of a marlin spike (a pointy tool used to separate the strands) They are made by unbraiding the line (rope to you lubbers) and then reweaving it using aformentioned spike. 'Whipping' is wrapping the end of the rope with thin cord to keep it from fraying or unraveling.
Sailing is soooo much more fun to talk about if you DON'T know what the words mean: Boomvang; luffing; in irons; close/beam/broad reach; running free; wing on wing.
Here's some tips for beginners: "Hard-alee" means "duck your head"; "Jibe ho!" means "duck fast and stay down", if someone hand you the jib halyard and asks you to pull the pin, DON'T, whatever you do, let go of the main part, unless you want to learn to climb the mast.
Blessings
Barbara, who never thought she'd find a use for all this arcane sailing terminology.


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Subject: RE: Word definition site
From: catspaw49
Date: 13 Apr 99 - 12:49 PM

Been there ain'tdha Barb? That's why I'm so big on taking novices out and teaching some basic terms, but on a pleasant day and having the time to say BOTH.....

"Prepare to tack, loose the starboard jib sheet"
and
"We're gonna' turn to the left, pull THAT rope outa' THAT thing there and HOLD ON TO IT til I tell you to let it go."

With time everybody learns, but beginners have enough problems without trying to remember terms they have just learned. Go out on light wind days and it gets easier on everyone's nerves.

catspaw


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Subject: RE: Word definition site
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 13 Apr 99 - 12:52 PM

The moon used to be called the "parish lantern" once. But, on the knotting tack, I've once heard the cut splice - an eye in the middle of a rope - called, pardon my French, the c*nt splice. Was this willful misspelling, or is it the corrcet unbowdlerised name? I know there's something called the c*ntline in Dana's glossary.

Steve

Oh, if you've been following the Doctor's Lament thread, don't think I've got this on the brain!


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Subject: RE: Word definition site
From: Bert
Date: 13 Apr 99 - 01:19 PM

A lashing is a piece of rope about six feet long. Often used in the construction industry for tying or 'lashing' scaffold poles together.
An 'eye splice' is a small loop spliced into the end of a rope. You most often use it for tying a sheet bend.
A 'dog's cock' is often called an 'end splice' by landlubbers. It is simply the rope spliced back on itself to stop it unravelling. To tie it, you start off with a crown end knot, and just keep going for three full tucks.

Whipping is becoming less common with all that plastic rope around. You just melt the end in a flame. Ah, progress!

Another nautical word which is almost always Bowdlerised is a 'prick' of tobacco (sailors used to braid their chewing tobacco leaves into a short stubby length). Whenever you meet the term in polite society it is 'perique' tobacco. As if the French spelling would hide the meaning.

Bert.


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Subject: RE: Word definition site
From: Pete M
Date: 13 Apr 99 - 04:26 PM

Thanks Blessings Barbara, you only missed out gasket, this isn't anything to do with stopping leaks in pipe joints, they are the lines used to hold the furled sail against the yard, they can be just a straight line and made off with a reef knot, but we use a line as described by Bert, draw the free end through the eye splice and make off with a slippery hitch, harder for the trainees to get wrong!

Oh and Brarbara, you can in theory splice braided line, but I've never seen it done. Normal line is laid.

An old salt I knew used to describe a back splice as "Looks like a bullock's prick and about as useful." refering to the problem that a back splice will jam in a block. On the subject of splices, the ability to do a long splice used to be a test for rating as AB, same old salt told me of a lad who reckoned he was an AB and when given two lengths of line to demonstrate his ability came back with a short splice two feet long.

Pete M


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Subject: RE: Word definition site
From: Bert
Date: 13 Apr 99 - 05:30 PM

Pete,
The only braided line I've spliced is that piddly cheap stuff from the hardware store. You have to use a 'fid' and you just poke the end through the line and then back down inside itself. Works OK for around the house but I wouldn't trust that method for anything serious.

Used to know a guy who spliced wire rope. Now HE was a craftsman.

Bert.


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Subject: RE: Word definition site
From: Pete M
Date: 13 Apr 99 - 06:08 PM

Mind you, you also have to be careful about the type and size of ship you're on, for example, Barbara's advice about the jib halyard, is the opposite of what I would teach, ie "Flake the halyard and when I yell, take the remaining turns off the pin, and whatever you do DON"T try and hold onto it!" It's the difference between a jib weighing several pounds and one weighing over a hundredweight. (The simple answer Barbara to the problem you postualted is to make sure the bitter end is made fast to the pin rail/cleat.) Often the most dangerous people we have on board are those who sail small yachts but have no conception of the weight and force involved in large and heavy sails.

OK back to nautical terminology that's been absorbed into standard English.

By and large = on the whole = OK in all respects, comes from helming directions eg "Full and By" = slightly off the wind so that all sails are drawing fully, "By the wind" = Hard on the wind with the luff just quivering "Steer large" = basically what we would now call a broad reach. Hence the expression originally meant OK at all points of sailing.

Pete M


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Subject: RE: Word definition site
From: Martin _Ryan
Date: 14 Apr 99 - 03:52 PM

Bert

Sure about prick? Sounds to me as though it might come from periwig/peruke - a wig.

Regards


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Subject: RE: Word definition site
From: Bert
Date: 14 Apr 99 - 03:58 PM

Martin,

Not 100 percent certain. It's what my Dad told me when he was working in the docks. Could be folklore - but it SOUNDS good you must admit.

Any sailors out there who can confirm one way or t'other?

Bert.


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Subject: RE: Word definition site
From: LEJ
Date: 14 Apr 99 - 08:50 PM

When I was 3 and twenty I sailed out of Ft Lauderdale on a Morgan 22 sloop with 2 equally rowdy friends, Bob and Dirty Ed.We planned to be in the Bahamas for a month, and therefore brought along 8 cases of beer. On the second day we finished up the beer about 5 in the afternoon. While standing on the gunwale taking a piss and gripping the main sheet in one hand and his unit in the other, Ed lost his footing and fell onto the tiller, snapping it in half. This is some indication of what kind of sailors we were.

I remember one day, temperature about 90, not a cloud in the sky and the ocean flat as a pond, and not a breath of wind. Ed was standing at the tiller and cursing at the top of his lungs " Godd**n flat f*c*ing ocean! Gimmee some motherf*c*ing wind!!" And Bob says"nice language,Ed. Why don't you try saying a nice prayer to God instead."

"God?!" shouts Dirty Ed. "Hell, I'm God!! Send me some wind!! I command it!!"

Next morning we get hit with a squall with 6 foot seas and blasting wind and rain so hard you can't open your eyes to look windward. Bob turns to Ed and says" Here's that wind you ordered, God!"


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Subject: RE: Word definition site
From: Barbara
Date: 15 Apr 99 - 01:52 PM

Yep, we're talking about different sized vessels alright. Do you sail on the tall ships, Pete?
Bet you never have to worry about pitch-pull(or is it pole?). I survived that once, but (pause for gasps from listeners....) it was with a scale model and a remote.
catspaw, check this out -- it's right down your alley. An Ohio (!) sea shanty.
http://www.mudcat.org/@displaysong.cfm?SongID=6024
(Or THE CAPTAIN'S SHANTY in the database)
I'm gonna have to learn how to do clickable links!
Blessings,
Barbara


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Subject: RE: Word definition site
From: Pete M
Date: 15 Apr 99 - 05:26 PM

Hi Barbara, yes I crew on the Spirit of New Zealand, 250 ton (GRT) Barquentine. I don't think we worry too much about pitch poling, but she did snap off her topmast once when she ran into the back of a rather large wave in a storm (I wasn't on board at the time).

By te way I suppose I should have defined "Bitter end" above or I'll have Kat after me again, stropping her claws on my jeans.

Bitter end = the ultimate / final bit, derives from the end of the line/warp/hawser made fast to the bitts, to stop it disappearing over the side.

Pete M


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Subject: RE: Word definition site
From: Martin _Ryan
Date: 15 Apr 99 - 06:00 PM

After 25 years of sailing racing dinghies and small cruisers, I'm hoping to sail (probably on a Norwegian barque) from Greenock to Lerwick during this year's Tall Ships Race. I'm not sure that "looking forward to it" is quyite the phrase I'm looking for - but I reckon I'm entitled to one moment of madness before its too late!

Regards


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