The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #9242   Message #174667
Posted By: Amos
07-Feb-00 - 05:36 PM
Thread Name: sea shanties
Subject: RE: sea shanties
On singing chanties while sitting in shanties:

Although the two words are presently spelled the same in some lexicons, Webster's seems to think they are different words.

The word for a shack is attributed to the French word chantier, a lumber camp, from a Latin root cantherius meaning a rafter or a trellis. Hence, a crude dwelling of the kind thrown up in lumber camps.

The word for a seaman's working song derives from the French word for singing, chanter.

Webster's dates the former to 1820 and the latter to 1856, but I think the singing root must go back further than that.