Page 4 of 6 FirstFirst ... 345 ... LastLast
Results 106 to 140 of 189

Thread: The demise of boat language

  1. #106
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Port Townsend WA
    Posts
    11,655

    Default Re: The demise of boat language

    Quote Originally Posted by Pitsligo View Post
    What the deuce is a "puff card"? I have never heard that before now. I can't even pick it up from context.

    Alex
    And neither have I! Such is the corruption and loss of classic boat speak!
    Bird

  2. #107
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Port Townsend WA
    Posts
    11,655

    Default Re: The demise of boat language

    [QUOTE=Chris249;5668265]Is it banal? What does it mean? Lots of other neologisms are there for the same reasons of simplicity and safety as some of the ancient terms. What makes the term "sled" fine, but "puff card" and "drive" banal? When you wrote "sled" I instantly understood what you meant, although it's not an ancient and time-honoured word. Couldn't "puff card" be just as useful and informative?

    Whilst on the subject of proper and delicate language, may I also beseech thee to foreswear the use of terms such as "jolt my gut". Peradventure I am being too bold here, but it may perhaps be said, with respect, that in polite company (and we of the yachting classes are of course to be counted amongst their number) one should not speak of the internal organs; it excites the masses, disturbs those of low moral character, offends those who are pure, and oft causes the servants to feel restive. Perhaps "it vexes me, dear reader" or "causes some grave concerns, m'lord" would be more appropriate.

    I remain, dear sir, your most humble and obedient etc[/QUOT







    Here you go! Straight from Webster.


    1. ba·nal
      [buh-nal, -nahl, beyn-l]

      ADJECTIVE
      devoid of freshness or originality; hackneyed; trite: a banal and sophomoric treatment of courage on the frontier
    2. a stupid remark or reference
    3. Sorry that "Jolted my gut" was offensive to you! In a more polite way, I suppose I should have said that that the modern corruption of traditional boat speak brings on a tinge of acute mental nausea when I hear it!

    Jay
    Last edited by Jay Greer; 09-09-2018 at 02:33 PM.

  3. #108
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    northwestern Wisconsin
    Posts
    3,525

    Default Re: The demise of boat language

    Quote Originally Posted by Sailor View Post
    And the pronunciation of the word tackle. It's pronounced "tayckle" and I've pointed that out to our chief bosn's mate on several occasions but they insist on saying tackle.
    That I have never hear before. The Oxford Living Dictionaries online gives only the tak-el pronunciation. Got a source that says otherwise?

    Yes, I realize that referencing a "living" dictionary--i.e. a descriptive vs. prescriptive listing--is probably a provocation all by itself in a thread on the "demise" of boat language--

    Tom
    You don't have to be prepared as long as you're willing to suffer the consequences.

    www.tompamperin.com

  4. #109
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Hills of Vermont, USA
    Posts
    25,141

    Default Re: The demise of boat language

    Quote Originally Posted by WI-Tom View Post
    That I have never hear before. The Oxford Living Dictionaries online gives only the tak-el pronunciation. Got a source that says otherwise?

    Yes, I realize that referencing a "living" dictionary--i.e. a descriptive vs. prescriptive listing--is probably a provocation all by itself in a thread on the "demise" of boat language--

    Tom
    I was brung up to call it Tay-kul.

    Maybe a regional thing?
    "If it ain't broke, you're not trying." - Red Green

  5. #110
    Join Date
    Apr 1999
    Location
    Hyannis, MA, USA
    Posts
    45,257

    Default Re: The demise of boat language

    Not so much regional as land or sea. Sailors are more likely to say it with a long 'a'. But my Brahman sailor grandfather always said northeaster, never nor'easter, and 'tak-el', never 'tay-kul' so that's what I do.

  6. #111
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Hills of Vermont, USA
    Posts
    25,141

    Default Re: The demise of boat language

    Quote Originally Posted by Ian McColgin View Post
    Not so much regional as land or sea. Sailors are more likely to say it with a long 'a'. But my Brahman sailor grandfather always said northeaster, never nor'easter, and 'tak-el', never 'tay-kul' so that's what I do.
    My dad said toe-mah-tow, but tay-kul - so that's what's right as far as I'm concerned. Oh wait - I say Toe-may-toe. Oh well - it's still tay-kul...
    "If it ain't broke, you're not trying." - Red Green

  7. #112
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Port Townsend WA
    Posts
    11,655

    Default Re: The demise of boat language

    I learned from an old Cape Horner, The Rigger for Lido Shipyard John Pearson that "Davits" are called "Dave-etts".
    Jay

  8. #113
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Posts
    2,304

    Default Re: The demise of boat language

    Quote Originally Posted by Jay Greer View Post

    Here you go! Straight from Webster.


    1. ba·nal
      [buh-nal, -nahl, beyn-l]

      ADJECTIVE
      devoid of freshness or originality; hackneyed; trite: a banal and sophomoric treatment of courage on the frontier
    2. a stupid remark or reference
    3. Sorry that "Jolted my gut" was offensive to you! In a more polite way, I suppose I should have said that that the modern corruption of traditional boat speak brings on a tinge of acute mental nausea when I hear it!

    Jay
    Sorry for the confusion. I know what banal means. I was trying to using clumsy irony and hyperbole in order to probe why slang terms like "sled" and "jolt my gut" are seen to be OK, whereas a term like "puff card" is said to be banal.

    It seems that the term came from the old board game Regatta. I'm not quite sure how it's used there, but one can imagine that in US sailboat racing it may have taken on a fairly specific term and is therefore useful and concise, like good nautical language can be.
    Has BigFella and SkyBlue on ignore.

  9. #114
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    Shubenacadie NS
    Posts
    4,242

    Default Re: The demise of boat language

    Tom, I mentioned in my post the reference. Smith's Marlinspike Sailor, House's Seamanship Techniques, the Admiralty Manual of Seamanship and our Canadian seamanship text which is taken from ADMANSEA. Now that I think about it, my sea cadet handbook from when I was a cadet also specifies pronunciation as Taykle.
    If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.
    -Henry David Thoreau-

  10. #115
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Olympia, WA, USA
    Posts
    2,123

    Default Re: The demise of boat language

    I was brung up to call it Tay-kul.

    Maybe a regional thing?
    Yep, might be a New England thing: I also learned it tay-kul, growing up in Maine.

    'Course we also called a "davit", a "davey".

    Still waiting to hear what a "puff card" is.

    Alex

  11. #116
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    northwestern Wisconsin
    Posts
    3,525

    Default Re: The demise of boat language

    Quote Originally Posted by Sailor View Post
    Tom, I mentioned in my post the reference. Smith's Marlinspike Sailor, House's Seamanship Techniques, the Admiralty Manual of Seamanship and our Canadian seamanship text which is taken from ADMANSEA. Now that I think about it, my sea cadet handbook from when I was a cadet also specifies pronunciation as Taykle.
    Thanks--I missed that. I guess I learned something. But will I say "taykle?" Probably not. Then again, I don't say "tackle" either. Not much call for it in the kind of sailing I do.

    Tom
    You don't have to be prepared as long as you're willing to suffer the consequences.

    www.tompamperin.com

  12. #117
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Hills of Vermont, USA
    Posts
    25,141

    Default Re: The demise of boat language

    Quote Originally Posted by Pitsligo View Post
    Yep, might be a New England thing: I also learned it tay-kul, growing up in Maine.

    'Course we also called a "davit", a "davey".

    Still waiting to hear what a "puff card" is.

    Alex
    The above reference to a board game makes sense to me. Same idea as taking a chance card & moving to the next railroad?
    "If it ain't broke, you're not trying." - Red Green

  13. #118
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Location
    Perth, Western Australia, Australia
    Posts
    6

    Default Re: The demise of boat language

    The Admiralty Seamanship Manual actually has a section on tackles. In the first sentence is says “tackle (pronounced tay-kle)”. On A’Cockbill it says the anchor is payed out, riding on the Blake slip ready for letting go. Nothing new about that...Falconer in 1815 indicates that A’cockbill is the anchor on the cat head ready for letting go.

    In the Australian Navy it is called a tackle, tayckle is long gone, along with much of the language of my youth at sea. It was ever thus. I have a great book from about 1887 lamenting the youth of the day and the loss of sea terms and lore of the sea. New fangled steam was killing it all.

    I have no idea what a puff card is. It sounds like some sort of thing women use to put on make up?

  14. #119
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Scotland
    Posts
    1,646

    Default Re: The demise of boat language

    All specialisms develop their own language: not necessarily in an attempt to engender exclusion, more often to promote efficient use of language and clarity.

    For the last couple of months I've been training my wife and children to sail. I'm explaining 'the stuff' using the words I was taught, so that they can become salty old seadogs, improve their Scrabble scores (like she needs it!), and tell their cam cleats from their jam cleats in moments of dire need.

    There's a downside, however: I'm a huge fan of Medieval ships, and there's big problems of language evolving over time and place, not enough physical evidence, and - often - scant written records. When's a 13th century ship a nao, nef, hulc or cog? Is it shape, method of construction, or use? It's a bloomin' minefield, I can tell you.

    Andy
    "We were schooner-rigged and rakish, with a long and lissome hull ..."

  15. #120
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    central cal
    Posts
    14,156

    Default Re: The demise of boat language

    Quote Originally Posted by AndyG View Post
    All specialisms develop their own language: not necessarily in an attempt to engender exclusion, more often to promote efficient use of language and clarity.

    For the last couple of months I've been training my wife and children to sail. I'm explaining 'the stuff' using the words I was taught, so that they can become salty old seadogs, improve their Scrabble scores (like she needs it!), and tell their cam cleats from their jam cleats in moments of dire need.

    There's a downside, however: I'm a huge fan of Medieval ships, and there's big problems of language evolving over time and place, not enough physical evidence, and - often - scant written records. When's a 13th century ship a nao, nef, hulc or cog? Is it shape, method of construction, or use? It's a bloomin' minefield, I can tell you.

    Andy
    Oldest Son is on a kick lately of 16th-18th century watercraft. He’s very into types and rigs and yah yah yah. We had words last night about whether I can really call the stupid model I’m making FOR HIM a caravel. He went on about yah yah yah for a while before I said, “Dude. I sketched this in ten minutes on graph paper and dreamed up the rest from my head!”
    After which he declared it would not be able to berth on the same shelf as the more accurate American Revolution era radeau he’s building. With my tools and supplies.

    Of course I knocked over his carefully set up diorama as I left.

    I can outrun him easily.

    Peace,
    Lucky And Happy

  16. #121
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Central Coast, Ca
    Posts
    20,743

    Default Re: The demise of boat language

    Can you outrun the mast staff?

  17. #122
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    central cal
    Posts
    14,156

    Default Re: The demise of boat language

    Quote Originally Posted by Canoeyawl View Post
    Can you outrun the mast staff?
    Wrong Son. Hehe.

    But, as long as I have about 50 meters head start, I could get away from her. She goes 10,000mph for about half mile. Trying to evade the dog by dodging and turning only reduces your chances. She is agile!

    No Dalmatian, though...

    Peace,
    High Stepping Fleet Feet

  18. #123
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Victoria BC Canada
    Posts
    245

    Default Re: The demise of boat language

    Not sure there is so much "right" and "wrong" here as "different".
    Culturally different, regionally different, socioeconomic differences, etc, etc, etc.
    All differences that add to our diversity.
    This is a good thing, as much as human nature makes others "wrong", it makes for more variation.

  19. #124
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Port Townsend WA
    Posts
    11,655

    Default Re: The demise of boat language

    The only thing that I can think of, as to the meaning of "playing a puff card", would be that all eyes are reading wind patterns on the water in order to locate a puff of favorable wind in light airs. I heard it when I was aftergaurd on a boat that had a crew of young hotshots on the foredeck several years ago.
    Jay

  20. #125
    Join Date
    Apr 1999
    Location
    Hyannis, MA, USA
    Posts
    45,257

    Default Re: The demise of boat language

    I like the ambiguity of "playing the puff card" being from a board game, perhaps meaning taking advantage of anything, or maybe really about riding a puff, whether that be a puff as in increase in an adequate wind that's smaller than a gust or puff as in a cat's paw moving across the glassy calm water.

    In '68 or '69 we had a race from Port Jefferson, down Long Island Sound to round Fishers Island, and back to Port Jeff. We had nice wind around Fishers but we were the smallest boat and inevitably DFL on uncorrected time. A bit west of Fishers we fell into a hole and anchored for an hour or so till the flood started and we could at least be drifting the right direction, spinnaker hanging limp and smoke from my pipe going straight up. I switched the sheet and guy to parachute cord in vain hope . . . And then I saw a cats paw coming up behind us. We managed to catch it and stay with it. After a couple of hours (!!) on that one cats paw we began catching and passing the others and none of the got that or any other cats paw. We rode that personal cats paw to a commanding lead, which we lost when an easterly filled in bringing the fleet to us and past. But for a few blessed hours . . .

  21. #126
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Victoria BC Canada
    Posts
    245

    Default Re: The demise of boat language

    Great memory Ian, thanks.

  22. #127

    Default Re: The demise of boat language

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris249 View Post
    It's not mean, nor a hazing ritual, to politely discuss etymology.
    Chris, no it's not mean to do it politely.

    But far too many people do it impolitely. They do it too make themselves look important and put the newbies in their place.

    Other people are just too picky. Complaining about using "aft of" instead of "abaft" is silly and does not change the precision of communication.

    I have some friends complaining in a facebook thread right now about "sailing IN" a certain vessel, versus "sailing ON". A pointless argument, just for the sake of argument.

    But I still don't have a clue about "playing a puff card".

    Toad

  23. #128
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    East Quogue,NY
    Posts
    15,718

    Default Re: The demise of boat language

    I have some friends complaining in a facebook thread right now about "sailing IN" a certain vessel, versus "sailing ON
    "

    Both groups are wrong: they should be using, " sailing aboard."

    Kevin
    There are two kinds of boaters: those who have run aground, and those who lie about it.

  24. #129
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    Location
    Pleasant Valley NS Canada
    Posts
    15,364

    Default Re: The demise of boat language

    I had a client call me one day to tell me that he was having difficulty fairing in the 'horn timber' on a fishing boat that I had done some design work on (not my hull design, but I helped with some propulsion modifications that the client wanted). It became clear in very short order that this was a problem that could not be fixed over the 'phone, and the client wanted me to be in his shop to explain it to him, pronto. So I jumped in my truck and drove to his shop, two provinces away. Upon my arrival, I found out that the 'horn timber' he was referring to was not the timber that extends over the propeller and supports the transom, but a temporary mold that defines the flare of the bow (a part of the boat that I did not work on). I did help him solve the problem (molds were set up on the wrong frame location) and went home. When I sent him my bill, he refused to pay, because he felt that my visit should be part of the design support that I provide for the work that I did on the propulsion system. If he had used the proper term for the part of the boat he was having trouble with, I could have solved the problem on the 'phone and saved myself an eight-hundred-mile drive and a motel bill. I lost over a thousand bucks and a client on that one. Correct terminology matters. A lot...
    Hope for the best, but plan for the worst.

  25. #130
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Location
    Cummington
    Posts
    5,394

    Default Re: The demise of boat language

    My old consultant, Gerald Smith, captain, boat builder, son of Charlton Smith, boatbuilder, old time sailor, etc., Gerald one day complained about people saying they went "on" a boat instead of the proper "in". So it goes, Kevin.

  26. #131
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Port Townsend WA
    Posts
    11,655

    Default Re: The demise of boat language

    I like correct terminology as it is specific to being correct. Lets say, the night is dark and your boat is taking on water from a sprung butt block and you need help so, while you are trying to father the leak with padding and a sail that is to be dragged under the hull you tell one of the crew to look in the port lazzerett and in the outboard after end, you will find a box that contains a very pistol and a sealed bag of star shells. Bring them to me!

    Or would you rather hear, look in the little side cubboard that is on the left back end of the cockpit and bring me the funny looking gun and the rocket loads for it?

    Here is another one for a dark night when the lookout spots an unlit tanker mooring bouy off the power plant at Huntington Beach CA and you are hitting nearly seven kts. under sail in the Tri-Island Race! Would you say, " bouy ahead port your helm!" or "come hard left now! bouy dead ahead" The ten meter "Sally" once lost her stem hitting one of those bad boys in the dark of night and barely made it back home!
    Jay
    Last edited by Jay Greer; 09-10-2018 at 05:11 PM.

  27. #132
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    Shubenacadie NS
    Posts
    4,242

    Default Re: The demise of boat language

    Jay, one "fothers" a sail and fires a vary pistol.
    I agree, correct terminology is important.
    If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.
    -Henry David Thoreau-

  28. #133
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    BC Coast
    Posts
    3,777

    Default Re: The demise of boat language

    In the OLDE days is was normal to give helm orders like "port your helm" for turning to starboard. I think this was because on many ships there was no visibility from the helm and so the order from the officer on watch referred to the helm action. This confusion has caused problems more than once and is almost never heard today in service. In the US I Understand it is normal to give helm orders to go left or right. Pretty much everywhere else you give helm orders to come to port or starboard. Either way there is little confusion in the real world. Of course someone can always find a way.......
    If I were trying to communicate with a complete non-sailor on a boat in a critical situation, I'd dispense with boat talk in the interests of communicating clearly

  29. #134
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Hills of Vermont, USA
    Posts
    25,141

    Default Re: The demise of boat language

    This thread needs pictures....
    "If it ain't broke, you're not trying." - Red Green

  30. #135
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Walney, near Cumbria UK
    Posts
    40,713

    Default Re: The demise of boat language

    Quote Originally Posted by Sailor View Post
    Jay, one "fothers" a sail and fires a vary pistol.
    I agree, correct terminology is important.
    I agree you fother WITH a sail, but Very pistol was correct.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

    The power of the web: Anyone can post anything on the web
    The weakness of the web: Anyone can post anything on the web.

  31. #136
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Port Townsend WA
    Posts
    11,655

    Default Re: The demise of boat language

    Quote Originally Posted by Sailor View Post
    Jay, one "fothers" a sail and fires a vary pistol.
    I agree, correct terminology is important.
    Thank you! As I have stated before, I kant spel.
    Bird
    Last edited by Jay Greer; 09-11-2018 at 03:40 PM.

  32. #137
    Join Date
    Apr 1999
    Location
    Hyannis, MA, USA
    Posts
    45,257

    Default Re: The demise of boat language

    There's an story from before the jet age, probably a DC-6: They took off from Lisbon to fly to the Azores and (if I recall correctly) the great circle starts at a heading of 290 degrees. (If wrong, just go with the story but mention it.)

    So the captain directed the copilot to dial in "two ninety" which the copilot heard as "to ninety". At some point a passenger with some navigation or geographic knowledge knew the sun was in the wrong place. It took several insistent chats with a stewardess to convince her to approach the captain tentatively . . . and you can imagine the great wake up moment.

    Proper navigational nomenclature for a course is to say all three numbers. The captain should have said, "Set it to two niner zero." Had he wanted to go east he should have said, "Zero niner zero."

    There are two claimed reasons for "niner". One is that since English is the international aviation language, German airline pilots might get confused with "nein", not a number. But nine in German is 'neun' which is close enough. The real reason has to do with what radios in those days did to voice. Believe it or not "nine" and "five" could be readily confused. But it does sound a little affected now.

  33. #138
    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    Location
    Southampton Ont. Canada
    Posts
    6,252

    Default Re: The demise of boat language

    ^^^^ Speaking of the way words sound on the radio,we have often heard what we thought was a "Pan Pan", but in fact was a boat called "SanSan", calling or being called.

    My personal irritant is people who have no problem with outhaul,downhaul,uphaul or barberhauler/inhauler,but look at me like I have nine heads when I say "haulyerd" (spelled "halyard" and pronounced "halyerd").
    I also learned to say, "Ready about. Helm down."
    Swmbo and family say,"Ready about. About." ,and it leaves me waiting,anticipating,"About what?", while they are all jumping ,shouting and throwing things.
    R
    Sleep with one eye open.

  34. #139
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    East Quogue,NY
    Posts
    15,718

    Default Re: The demise of boat language

    Again, in small, specialized communities, or among groups that will work together all the time, jargon is truly helpful. But for communicating with the once-or three-times-a-year-crew or to converse with someone outside the fold of the specialized community, common terms just work better.It's also more inclusive. Beginners don't need one more reason to bear away from boats. ( See what I did there? ) It'd be just as effective to speak Aramaic as to use nautical terms in many cases. What's the course of action then? Speak louder?

    Kevin
    There are two kinds of boaters: those who have run aground, and those who lie about it.

  35. #140
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
    Location
    Portland, OR, USA
    Posts
    38

    Default Re: The demise of boat language

    Just a dumb question, why are foot braces called stretchers in a row boat?

    And another, why is the section of oar between the oarlock and the grip called a loom?

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •