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Old 09-29-2013, 09:35 PM   #11
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okay, lets see if i got this right. port is left, starboard is right, aft is rear and stern is front!

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Old 09-29-2013, 10:21 PM   #12
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Fore is front. Stern is aft, or rear.

To take a dump, one went forward to the head of the ship, because in days if sail, the wind would carry the offensive smells forward. And this is how we got the term "head" for shipboard toilet facilities.

The term "cold enough to freeze the balls off of a brass monkey" is also a nautical term. Cannon balls made if iron were kept on a brass tray with holes or indentations to keep them from rolling around the deck. The tray was called a monkey. When temps dropped enough, the brass would contract and the holes would shrink at a rate different than the iron balls and force them out if the tray. Thus, it was cold enough to freeze the balls off the brass monkey.

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Old 09-30-2013, 02:23 AM   #13
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Love it. More!

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Old 10-04-2013, 10:44 PM   #14
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Scuttlebutt is another nautical term that comes from the drinking water barrel aboard sailing ships. A barrel was refered to as a butt, and inorder to put a tap at teh bottom of the barrel a scuttle hole was cut or drilled into the barrel for the tap. As crew members would fill their cups for drinking water, they may hang out and discuss the latest gossip while hanging around the scuttlebutt. the rumors and gossip became known as the latest scuttlebutt.

Letting the cat out of the bag- referred to punishmnet aboard the ship. Once someone got in bad enough trouble they were often flogged by the ship's master at arms at one of the masts. The tool for this was a cat o' nine tails that was kept in a canvas bag. So once someone had exceeded their bounds, and could no longer avoid punishment, they had "let the cat out of the bag" and it wasn't going back in until punishment had been rendered.

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Old 10-04-2013, 10:52 PM   #15
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Toe the line
The space between each pair of deck planks in a wooden ship was filled with a packing material called "oakum" and then sealed with a mixture of pitch and tar. The result, from afar, was a series of parallel lines a half-foot or so apart, running the length of the deck. Once a week, as a rule, usually on Sunday, a warship's crew was ordered to fall in at quarters - that is, each group of men into which the crew was divided would line up in formation in a given area of the deck. To insure a neat alignment of each row, the Sailors were directed to stand with their toes just touching a particular seam. Another use for these seams was punitive. The youngsters in a ship, be they ship's boys or student officers, might be required to stand with their toes just touching a designated seam for a length of time as punishment for some minor infraction of discipline, such as talking or fidgeting at the wrong time. A tough captain might require the miscreant to stand there, not talking to anyone, in fair weather or foul, for hours at a time. Hopefully, he would learn it was easier and more pleasant to conduct himself in the required manner rather than suffer the punishment. From these two uses of deck seams comes our cautionary word to obstreperous youngsters to "toe the line."

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Old 10-05-2013, 12:19 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SSGN_Doc View Post
Toe the line
The space between each pair of deck planks in a wooden ship was filled with a packing material called "oakum"
We still use oakum for fixing leaks. It was also used for sealing between the logs in log houses.
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Old 10-05-2013, 04:22 AM   #17
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And a Holy-Stone refers to the abrasive blocks used to scrub the teak decks of sailing ships. It's name comes from the kneeling position one had to assume to use one properly (no handles on these things). It acted like sandpaper and served to aid in the removal of bloodstains from the wood, the residue being washed to the scuppers and into the sea. The naval tradition has given us a whole volume of terms, both slang and accepted, and some have entered the general vocabulary. When I was a kid I came across my Dad's old WW-II issue Seaman's Handbook (which had several pages of these things) and I read it from cover to cover. That's how I knew to go into the Army when my time came!

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