Monthly Archives: January 2006

sailor’s word book

Sailor's Word Book

you’d think a sailor’s dictionary would be full of naughty words. but not this one. i love discovering the culture and history of words: where they came from, where they’re going and how they were used on the decks of ships in times past.

here are some of my favourites:

tempest

a word not much used by seamen. it is, however synonymous with storms, gales, &c.

ascii

the inhabitants of the torrid zone, who twice a year, being under a vertical sun, have no shadow.

artist

a name formerly applied to those mariners who were expert navigators.

navigation

the art of conducting vessels on the sea, not only by the peculiar knowledge of seamanship in all its intricate details, but also by such a knowledge of the higher branches of nautical astronomy as enables the commander to hit his port, after a long succession of bad weather, and an absence of three or four months from all land. any man without science may navigate the entire canals of great britain, but may be unable to pass from plymouth to guernsey.

Sample page 1

Sample page 2

if you’d like a copy for yourself – click here