The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #122362   Message #2686905
Posted By: Gibb Sahib
25-Jul-09 - 01:34 PM
Thread Name: Ship Margaret Evans, songs
Subject: RE: Ship Margaret Evans, songs
As I mentioned earlier, I'm personally not much interested in etymology with respect to understanding the chantey. For purely academic interest, however, here's one more scrap to add to the pile. from a short article in American Speech vol 2:12, 1927, "More Hobo Lingo":

"Bull" as an adjective commonly means "large." In logging operations with steam donkeys the big hook on the end of the main cable is the "bull hook." This may be the explanation of "bullgine" for engine, too.