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Folklore: What is a killick?

GUEST,Ooh-Aah 11 Aug 04 - 03:10 AM
Turlough 11 Aug 04 - 03:18 AM
Roger the Skiffler 11 Aug 04 - 03:35 AM
Steve Parkes 11 Aug 04 - 03:35 AM
Phot 11 Aug 04 - 03:38 AM
Steve Parkes 11 Aug 04 - 04:35 AM
George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca 11 Aug 04 - 05:05 AM
George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca 11 Aug 04 - 05:13 AM
masato sakurai 11 Aug 04 - 05:55 AM
GUEST 11 Aug 04 - 08:18 AM
EBarnacle 11 Aug 04 - 09:50 AM
Nerd 11 Aug 04 - 12:54 PM
MartinRyan 11 Aug 04 - 06:07 PM
Naemanson 11 Aug 04 - 06:29 PM
TS 11 Aug 04 - 08:31 PM
harpgirl 11 Aug 04 - 10:36 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 11 Aug 04 - 10:59 PM
GUEST,Ooh-Aah 12 Aug 04 - 01:47 AM
hesperis 12 Aug 04 - 10:17 AM
GUEST,Lindsay 12 Aug 04 - 10:35 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 17 Aug 04 - 10:33 AM
GUEST,julia 17 Aug 04 - 10:48 PM
Shanghaiceltic 18 Aug 04 - 08:48 PM
GUEST,conan the Blackburnian 19 Aug 04 - 05:10 PM
Les from Hull 19 Aug 04 - 06:54 PM
Big Al Whittle 19 Aug 04 - 07:01 PM
Shanghaiceltic 20 Aug 04 - 05:20 AM
GUEST,Terry F 24 Feb 05 - 09:44 PM
GUEST,Paranoid Android 24 Feb 05 - 09:54 PM
hesperis 25 Feb 05 - 12:54 AM
Billy Weeks 25 Feb 05 - 02:57 PM
The Walrus 26 Feb 05 - 06:12 AM
GUEST,me 25 Jun 05 - 09:37 AM
Shanghaiceltic 26 Jun 05 - 01:39 AM
Sugwash 23 Nov 09 - 09:34 AM
EBarnacle 23 Nov 09 - 11:31 AM
GUEST,Pierre Le Chapeau 23 Nov 09 - 02:52 PM
GUEST,Skivee, on a friend's comp 23 Nov 09 - 03:33 PM
kendall 23 Nov 09 - 08:04 PM
EBarnacle 23 Nov 09 - 11:39 PM
Jim Carroll 24 Nov 09 - 04:19 AM
bubblyrat 24 Nov 09 - 08:10 AM
Uncle_DaveO 24 Nov 09 - 06:56 PM
kendall 24 Nov 09 - 07:54 PM
EBarnacle 24 Nov 09 - 11:23 PM
Uncle_DaveO 25 Nov 09 - 09:28 AM
MartinRyan 25 Nov 09 - 12:02 PM
EBarnacle 25 Nov 09 - 03:47 PM
The Vulgar Boatman 25 Nov 09 - 06:12 PM
Uncle_DaveO 25 Nov 09 - 07:52 PM
bubblyrat 26 Nov 09 - 04:27 AM
Jim McLean 26 Nov 09 - 11:53 AM
GUEST,AB Murphy 26 Sep 10 - 06:22 AM
GUEST,PeterC 26 Sep 10 - 02:21 PM
Archie Macaulay 27 Sep 10 - 07:32 AM
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Subject: Folklore: What is a killick?
From: GUEST,Ooh-Aah
Date: 11 Aug 04 - 03:10 AM

Killick has long been a favourite character of mine in Patrick O'Brian's "Aubrey/Maturin" series - I was pleasantly surprised to find that a word I could never catch in Peter Bellamy's singing of 'The Gallant Frigate Amphitrite" (aka 'Rounding the Horn') is 'killick':

    When we got round the horn my boys, we had some glorious days
    And very soon our killick dropped in Valparaiso bay

Previously I had heard this as 'keel it did drop', etc. Does anyone know what a killick is?


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Subject: RE: Folklore: What is a killick?
From: Turlough
Date: 11 Aug 04 - 03:18 AM

Well, I found this

T.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: What is a killick?
From: Roger the Skiffler
Date: 11 Aug 04 - 03:35 AM

From my days as a sea cadet at school in the Jurassic period I can confirm it is naval slang for an anchor, and so Leading Seamen were known as Killick from the single anchor sleeve badge. Petty Officers had crossed anchors.

RtS
(former Cadet Petty Officer, Handsworth Grammar School CCF!)


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Subject: RE: Folklore: What is a killick?
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 11 Aug 04 - 03:35 AM

Quite right, Turlough: it's a stone weight used as an anchor, sometimes held in a wooden framework, or simply tied on the end of a rope. I've always assumed that in Amphiteite's case, they would have used a proper anchor of wood and iron, and "killick" is used either ironically or informally.

BTW, the World Wide Words site is an excellent place ti look for things of that sort. There's a weekly newsletter too, if you like that kind of thing.

Steve


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Subject: RE: Folklore: What is a killick?
From: Phot
Date: 11 Aug 04 - 03:38 AM

A Killick is a small anchor, and is also a term still used in the Royal Navy as a slang description for a Leading Rating, ie, a Leading Hand, or in Fleet Air Arm parlance, a Leading Airman. This term comes from the rank badge of a Leading Rating, which is a single fouled anchor. Hope you find this useful.

Wassail!

Chris


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Subject: RE: Folklore: What is a killick?
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 11 Aug 04 - 04:35 AM

You know, I once asked a (don't know his rank) at Portsmouth why the RN's badge included a fouled anchor, and he told me it's because the Navy has always put fighting skill before seamanship. I didn't believe a wiord, but I was impressed that he came up with it so quickly and convincingly.

Steve


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Subject: RE: Folklore: What is a killick?
From: George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca
Date: 11 Aug 04 - 05:05 AM

So, in the Last Shanty, "the killick of our mess", is "The Leading Seaman of our mess"?


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Subject: RE: Folklore: What is a killick?
From: George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca
Date: 11 Aug 04 - 05:13 AM

Yep, I found the old thread. I did notice that the DT listing for the Last Shanty has the title A Sailor Ain't A Sailor.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: What is a killick?
From: masato sakurai
Date: 11 Aug 04 - 05:55 AM

An illustrated killick is here.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: What is a killick?
From: GUEST
Date: 11 Aug 04 - 08:18 AM

George, thats right

The Killick of the mess in Napoleonic times was the sailor who sat at the inboard end of a mess table. Normally a senior rating, he was usually responsible for sharing out the grub equally among the sailors at his table. Since he determined the size of your helping it was customary to ascribe great weight to his every utterance.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: What is a killick?
From: EBarnacle
Date: 11 Aug 04 - 09:50 AM

When I teach anchors and anchoring, I have the students build a killick out of available materials. Once they have done that, they become aware of how important variables like weight, fluke size and location are to the effectiveness of an anchor. They also become aware of how important it is to set the anchor properly.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: What is a killick?
From: Nerd
Date: 11 Aug 04 - 12:54 PM

So why is the character of Killick in O'Brian's books given the unlikely first name "Preserved"?


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Subject: RE: Folklore: What is a killick?
From: MartinRyan
Date: 11 Aug 04 - 06:07 PM

One of the links above suggests possible obscure Gaelic or Scots origins for the word. It overlooks a simple possibility - the word for "stone" in Irish Gaelic is "cloch", pronounced "cluck"!. I wonder...

Regards


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Subject: RE: Folklore: What is a killick?
From: Naemanson
Date: 11 Aug 04 - 06:29 PM

In the old days a lot of people were given names we do not use anymore. It was supposed to confer certain qualities upon the child. Thus girls may be named Hope, Charity, Honor, Mercy Chastity, etc. It isn't such a jump for boys to be named Preserved, Honor, Manly, etc. If O'Brian's Killick was a son-of-a-gun (i.e., born on a warship) then it is likely he would have been named Preserved in hopes that he would not end his days badly.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: What is a killick?
From: TS
Date: 11 Aug 04 - 08:31 PM

A Killick in modern days of Naval Vessels is simply the "old School" term for a Leading Seaman. Ranking that as mentioned above in the Roayl Navy, and ranked with 2 Chevrons (or hooks) on his shoulders in the Royal Canadian Navy...Slàinte!


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Subject: RE: Folklore: What is a killick?
From: harpgirl
Date: 11 Aug 04 - 10:36 PM

...any kind of anchor, I thought!...a piece of cement with a handle stuck in it, a crankcase, buckets off the transom (sea anchor), a cinder block with a rope tied around it...


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Subject: RE: Folklore: What is a killick?
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 11 Aug 04 - 10:59 PM

As a name for an anchor, killick (killock) in print goes back to 1630. As a name for a leading seaman, the term seems to be much more recent. OED.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: What is a killick?
From: GUEST,Ooh-Aah
Date: 12 Aug 04 - 01:47 AM

Terrific! Thank you very much everyone.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: What is a killick?
From: hesperis
Date: 12 Aug 04 - 10:17 AM

...and Trogdor smote the Killick!


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Subject: RE: Folklore: What is a killick?
From: GUEST,Lindsay
Date: 12 Aug 04 - 10:35 AM

This has puzzled me for years! I have some bootlegged tapes of the navy singer Shep Wooley, and there's a line in one of the songs:

"She went with a killick on a ?DLC
And a gang-bang on a submarine..."

now I only have to find out what a DLC is, if it is a correct term...


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Subject: RE: Folklore: What is a killick?
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 17 Aug 04 - 10:33 AM

"The Killick: A Newfoundland Story," is the title of an excellent children's book, told and beautifully illustrated by the Newfoundland artist, Geoff Butler. Tundra Books, 1995.
In part, the book is a requiem for a time past; the killick standing for the resourcefulness of the fishermen of Newfoundland.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: What is a killick?
From: GUEST,julia
Date: 17 Aug 04 - 10:48 PM

here in Maine it is indeed a makeshift anchor- the fishermen refer to killick stones


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Subject: RE: Folklore: What is a killick?
From: Shanghaiceltic
Date: 18 Aug 04 - 08:48 PM

Naval slang name for a Leading Hand. A Killick is a small anchor: the badge of a Leading Hand is an anchor. The word is said to come from the Erse word for a wooden anchor. It was introduced in the RN in 1853.

The original Petty Officers badge was a single anchor and crown but changed in 1857 to a twin fouled acnchor and crown. The rate of PO was properly regularised in 1808 but had been in use for some time before that.

The rate Chief Petty Officer was introduced in 1853, the badge being an anchour surrouned by a laurel wreath with a crown above. When the uniform of the CPO was changed in 1893 from 'square rig' to 'fore and aft' it was then worn as the cap badge.

Reel Brew mentions chevrons. These in the RN were worn by naval rating (Petty Officers and below) as a sign of long service and good conduct. One chevron, up to a maximum of three, was awarded every four years to be sewn below the on the left sleeve of the jacket.

We use to refer to these as marks of four years of undiscovered crime. If a rating was busted (reduced in rank) he could loose one or all good conduct stripes plus his rank of killick or petty officer.

I used to hear the term 'swallow the anchor' which meant your time in the RN was up and you could retire. I do not think it is commonly used these days.

The term Killick of the mess is still used today. Modern warships have different messes for differnt type of junior rate. Stockers, electrians, seamen etc. The Mess Killick is responsible for the good order of the mess and for making sure that ratings are appointed each day to clean the mess decks and make sure that all is stowed and properly secured.

Chiefs and Petty Officers have their own individual messes and have a junior rate appointed as a 'mess cook'. His job is to clean up.

On RN submarines messes are common, i.e the ratings all mess together as do the Chief's and PO's. Not enough spaces for lots of different mess decks.

Mess in navy slang can mean living or eating depending on context. Not sure where the term originates though.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: What is a killick?
From: GUEST,conan the Blackburnian
Date: 19 Aug 04 - 05:10 PM

A DLC is in fact a DLG & stands for Destroyer Light Guided


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Subject: RE: Folklore: What is a killick?
From: Les from Hull
Date: 19 Aug 04 - 06:54 PM

DLG is Destroyer Leader Guided, like the old County Class. Guided meant guided missile, but it's not needed now 'cos they all have them.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: What is a killick?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 19 Aug 04 - 07:01 PM

perhaps it was rhyming slang for a complete anchor


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Subject: RE: Folklore: What is a killick?
From: Shanghaiceltic
Date: 20 Aug 04 - 05:20 AM

Nah, that should be sea gull rhying slang 'Wot an oil tanker'!!!!


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Subject: RE: Folklore: What is a killick?
From: GUEST,Terry F
Date: 24 Feb 05 - 09:44 PM

"Killick" is the name of a Nova Scotia group from the Shelburne area who have just released their first cd. If you are around Amherst on March 5, or Shelburne on March 12 you can catch one of their "Gala" cd release parties. contact patpiper@ns.sympatico.ca or terryedward@hotmail.com for details or a sound sample.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: What is a killick?
From: GUEST,Paranoid Android
Date: 24 Feb 05 - 09:54 PM

Bush and Blair: These two anchors.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: What is a killick?
From: hesperis
Date: 25 Feb 05 - 12:54 AM

Actually, Trogdor smote the Kerrick, not the Killick! Sorry about that.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: What is a killick?
From: Billy Weeks
Date: 25 Feb 05 - 02:57 PM

The sailor who told me in the 1940s that a killick was a leading hand, also gave me one verse of a song, sung to 'The Girl I Left Behind Me':

Oh I don't give a fuck for Donald Duck
Or the killick of the working party;
You can suck my knob for a couple of bob
And me name is Mike M'Harty

('Bob' = one shilling in old coinage = one twentieth of a pound sterling)


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Subject: RE: Folklore: What is a killick?
From: The Walrus
Date: 26 Feb 05 - 06:12 AM

Just an aside:-

In the Great War, the Navy provided the 63rd (Naval) Division on the Western Front. For these 'Sailors in Khaki', the Leading Seaman rated as Sergeant and wore the appropriate badge of rank (At one point, Fouled Anchor on one sleeve and three stripes on the other).

Walrus


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Subject: RE: Folklore: What is a killick?
From: GUEST,me
Date: 25 Jun 05 - 09:37 AM

I am a Killick - My name is Heidi Killick

:)


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Subject: RE: Folklore: What is a killick?
From: Shanghaiceltic
Date: 26 Jun 05 - 01:39 AM

In the RN the three stripes below the Leading Hands or the Petty Officers Badge were good conduct stripes. One awarded for each time you got through four years of good behaviour (from the age of 16)up to a max of three. Sometimes referred to as the 4 years of undetected crime award.

These could be taken away if an AB, LH or a PO was on a charge. Loss of one good conduct strip for a serious but not absolutely bad charge up to three and being busted to the rate below for very serious charges.

Some ratings or petty officers were very proud to be a 'three badgeman'and not be raised further in their rate/rank. A sign of seniority on their particular messdeck.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: What is a killick?
From: Sugwash
Date: 23 Nov 09 - 09:34 AM

It's a smallish anchor more usually used in ship's boats than the ship itself where the main anchor is termed the bower or best bower.. I've often wondered at its use in the song. Coincidentally, a Killick is also a term used for a Leading Hand in the Royal Navy.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: What is a killick?
From: EBarnacle
Date: 23 Nov 09 - 11:31 AM

ShanghaiCeltic, in the USN, those are called hashmarks and are simple bars in shape.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: What is a killick?
From: GUEST,Pierre Le Chapeau
Date: 23 Nov 09 - 02:52 PM

When I started my Career at the War Musume in London I worked on board HMS BELFAST which lies at Anchor at London Bridge(Pool of London. Our supervisiors were called Leading Hands and killick was the Naval term for A lEADING HAND.
I was employed under the title of Yeoman.

Next came leading Yeoman (Killick)
Then came Chief Yeoman. Hms Belfast is still honoured in flying the Ensign despite she has been decomisssioned. We still do the Colurs at sun up and Sun down.
Hope this helps Pierre.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: What is a killick?
From: GUEST,Skivee, on a friend's comp
Date: 23 Nov 09 - 03:33 PM

FWIW The Newfoundland town that protagonist Quoyle returns to in E. Annie Proulx's "Shipping News" is called Killick Claw


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Subject: RE: Folklore: What is a killick?
From: kendall
Date: 23 Nov 09 - 08:04 PM

I believe the original Killick was made from four pieces of a small tree lashed together to form hooks with a stone in the middle.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: What is a killick?
From: EBarnacle
Date: 23 Nov 09 - 11:39 PM

Kendall, you may be right. When I do the demo, though, I use three roots tortured to do the job. I seems to work.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: What is a killick?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 24 Nov 09 - 04:19 AM

From 'The Sailor' Word-book' by Admiral W H Smyth (circa 1867), probably the most comprehensive dictionary of sea terms I have ever come across.
Killock - small anchor. Flue of anchor (See Kellagh)-
Kellagh - The Earse term for a wooden anchor with a stone in it, but in later times is applied to any grapnel or small anchor.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Folklore: What is a killick?
From: bubblyrat
Date: 24 Nov 09 - 08:10 AM

The "stripes" referred to above are known as "Good Conduct Badges " (not stripes !) and are awarded,every 4 years, from age 18, NOT 16 ! They tended,therefore,to give one's age away somewhat ie,after I was awarded my second one,everbody knew that I was over 26 ! Eventually, one becomes " Three Badges Gold, Too Fucking Old " !! Of course,Chief Petty Officers don't wear them,which is a bit of an incentive to "get on" , I suppose. Each Good Conduct Badge was reputed to be worth 5 days in cells ie if you were really naughty and were awarded ( punishments in the Royal Navy are always "Awarded" !!) up to 5 days in a cell, you could forfeit a GCB instead. Naturally, (and thankfully) I never had to put the theory to the test !
             Roger "Bomber" Mills ( VG-SAT all the way !)


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Subject: RE: Folklore: What is a killick?
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 24 Nov 09 - 06:56 PM

I'm puzzled by another expression in Desolation Island and also in Fortune of War, and maybe in other of this author's books.

It comes up when there has been an action at sea, and the expression is, "He lost the number of his mess." Note, "the number", not "a number", which I would understand to mean that some indeterminate number of his messmates were killed in the action.

But "lost the number of his mess?   And not just in one sentence, in one book, but the same phraseology several times in the course of just two books?

Can someone enlighten me?

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: Folklore: What is a killick?
From: kendall
Date: 24 Nov 09 - 07:54 PM

All but him?


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Subject: RE: Folklore: What is a killick?
From: EBarnacle
Date: 24 Nov 09 - 11:23 PM

The number of his mess would be the mess table he was assigned to. If he was dead, he could no longer sit down to eat with his mates.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: What is a killick?
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 25 Nov 09 - 09:28 AM

EBarnacle, that won't work, I think. This is aboard an 1812 sailing ship, and the context generally refers to the wardroom mess, with all officers below the Captain and above midshipman. One mess table.

And the context shows that "he" (lost the number of his mess) did survive.

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: Folklore: What is a killick?
From: MartinRyan
Date: 25 Nov 09 - 12:02 PM

Kellagh - The Earse term for a wooden anchor with a stone in it, but in later times is applied to any grapnel or small anchor.


Assume Earse is intended to be Erse i.e. Irish Gaelic. "kellagh", with a hard gh sounds rather like the Irish word "cloch" i.e. a stone or rock.

Scottish gaelic has "clach".

As I mentioned earlier in this thread, this seems a more plausible derivation than many of the others to be found on line. Not that plausibility is a reliable pilot in etymology!

Regards


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Subject: RE: Folklore: What is a killick?
From: EBarnacle
Date: 25 Nov 09 - 03:47 PM

The mess tables were stowed in the overhead between the deck beams. They were lowered into place for meal times. The "cook" would head for the cookshack with a bagged "duff" to be boiled [I believe it was once a week]. Each bag would have a numbered tag on it corresponding to the mess table. In addition, the person assigned as "cook" would be the one assigned to bring the mess kid from the galley to the table. Numerous descriptions of the process exist. I believe that O'Brian also includes a similar description.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: What is a killick?
From: The Vulgar Boatman
Date: 25 Nov 09 - 06:12 PM

Dave O - nevertheless, in current usage in the Andrew, to lose the number of his mess refers specifically to being killed in action - q.v. "Jackspeak" by Surgeon Captain Rick Jolly RN Ret'd. Similar expressions include "His number got hoisted..."


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Subject: RE: Folklore: What is a killick?
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 25 Nov 09 - 07:52 PM

Okay, I'll bow to your superior wisdom or reference.

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: Folklore: What is a killick?
From: bubblyrat
Date: 26 Nov 09 - 04:27 AM

He was probably in the same mess as the Medical Assistants,or Sick Berth Attendants as they were called when I joined (1964). One of these would have been a DSA,or Dental Surgery Attendant,whose job it was to give injections of anaesthetic to dental patients,and known colloquially as "The Number".Of course ,the loss of such a person would have painful consequences for future dental attendees,thus it was no joke to "Lose the Number" of your mess.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: What is a killick?
From: Jim McLean
Date: 26 Nov 09 - 11:53 AM

In the Concise Scots Dictionary 'Killick' is defined as the 'mouth' of a pickaxe, a leading seaman in the Navy, the anchor badge on his sleeve being likened to a pickaxe. It also says that the word is a variant of gellock which in turn comes from gavelock, a crowbar or lever. 'You takes your pick ..'


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Subject: RE: Folklore: What is a killick?
From: GUEST,AB Murphy
Date: 26 Sep 10 - 06:22 AM

In my mess, on the destroyer Athabascan (Tribal class, Canadian navy) our killick was always a "master" seaman. From the posts above, the Royal Navy bequeaths this "hat" to a leading seaman. A leading seaman is one rank below a master seaman (in the RCN). An LS has two chevrons while a MS sports a maple leaf (odd...) above his or her two chevrons. The Killick is the master of the particular junior NCO's mess...ie Stoker's mess (which included the helicopter Junior NCOs, the shiprights or hull techs and the electricians as well as the engineers or nore correctly "mechanics" at the junior level.

Each mess has its own killick. The petty officers and above messed together in the "goat" locker. Not a very nice term considering its origins, but traditions are traditions. The "goats" also had a junior NCO to clean up and organise their "locker"...usually called the "cook".

The killick in the RCN is the first real "unreasonably powerful" person junior NCO's have to deal with. The killicks don't usually resort to official lines of discipline to "correct" a junior NCO. Somewhat like the Bosun of the old sailing days. The knotted rope end comes in various forms nowadays.

Hope that helps some. Very interesting thread this.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: What is a killick?
From: GUEST,PeterC
Date: 26 Sep 10 - 02:21 PM

According to Wikipedia there is no UK equivalent to a Master Seaman (NATO rank code OR-5). Army and RN go straight from OR-4 (corporal / leading seaman) to OR-6 (sergeant / petty officer).


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Subject: RE: Folklore: What is a killick?
From: Archie Macaulay
Date: 27 Sep 10 - 07:32 AM

As I was one once, I can tell you that it is a Royal Navy term for a Leading Rate(or Hand)of whatever branch e.g. seaman, marine engineering etc.

The term comes from the killick anchor that the leading hand wears on his left upper arm.

Archie


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