Understanding the terminology - seamen's vernacular - Ships Nostalgia
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Understanding the terminology - seamen's vernacular

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  #1  
Old 24th September 2017, 12:58
Pam Turner Pam Turner is offline
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Understanding the terminology - seamen's vernacular

I have found the social history learned through reading the posts of so many members in other threads, particularly shipping lines, on this forum really fascinating. However, as just the relative and with nothing more to go on than Dad's seamen's record book, I would find it really useful if there was some kind of glossary to hand (perhaps there is, and if so please direct me towards it) Some of the terms I have come across I have had kindly explained to me by other members, others I have googled or worked out by their context, or by reading more posts. Some I am still a little unsure of are as follows:-

'paid off'
RUN
Home Trade
dog watches
'Copra' ships
Shorthands/abbs used for various ratings
unestablished seafarer/established seafarer
off articles/off contract
standing by

There are, and will be others, of course... not good at keeping a running tally whilst reading posts.
Thought that as just a lay person, others doing family research will have the same issues...
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  #2  
Old 24th September 2017, 13:46
tiachapman tiachapman is offline  
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  #3  
Old 24th September 2017, 13:47
tiachapman tiachapman is offline  
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v n c
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  #4  
Old 24th September 2017, 14:32
tsell tsell is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pam Turner View Post
I have found the social history learned through reading the posts of so many members in other threads, particularly shipping lines, on this forum really fascinating. However, as just the relative and with nothing more to go on than Dad's seamen's record book, I would find it really useful if there was some kind of glossary to hand (perhaps there is, and if so please direct me towards it) Some of the terms I have come across I have had kindly explained to me by other members, others I have googled or worked out by their context, or by reading more posts. Some I am still a little unsure of are as follows:-

'paid off'
RUN
Home Trade
dog watches
'Copra' ships
Shorthands/abbs used for various ratings
unestablished seafarer/established seafarer
off articles/off contract
standing by

There are, and will be others, of course... not good at keeping a running tally whilst reading posts.
Thought that as just a lay person, others doing family research will have the same issues...
Hi Pam, if you click on 'Search Forums' (on right above your heading) and enter 'Nautical Terms', scroll through the pages and you'll find a number of threads from about page 12. There may also be the odd one on earlier pages.

Cheers

Taff
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  #5  
Old 24th September 2017, 14:35
Dave McGouldrick Dave McGouldrick is offline
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'Going ashore gear'.
A phrase I still use when telling the missus I'm getting changed for going out.
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  #6  
Old 24th September 2017, 15:27
tom roberts tom roberts is offline  
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How many of us had The Channels.?
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  #7  
Old 24th September 2017, 15:40
Barrie Youde Barrie Youde is offline  
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#1

Pam,

Paid off = termination of contract, with accounts settled.

RUN = distance travelled

Home Trade = Trade between UK ports and ports between the River Elbe and Brest, Brittany.

Dog-watches = 1600 to 1800 and 1800 to 2000 daily (Don't ask why! Some suggest - inaccurately -that the ship's dog might be left on watch at those times.)

Copra ships = Ships carrying a cargo of copra - dried coconut.

Shorthands/shorthanded = too few crew

standing by = In attendance and awaiting instructions to do something (often used when awaiting instructions for entering and leaving port)

Hope this might help.
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  #8  
Old 24th September 2017, 15:56
Dave McGouldrick Dave McGouldrick is offline
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"Dog-watches = 1600 to 1800 and 1800 to 2000 daily (Don't ask why! Some suggest - inaccurately -that the ship's dog might be left on watch at those times.)"

Patrick O'Brian made a pun that the Dog Watch is so called because it is shorter and thus 'curtailed'
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  #9  
Old 24th September 2017, 18:14
Laurie Ridyard Laurie Ridyard is offline  
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Sh** , shave shampoo , shower and shove off ashore- going ashore.


Nowadays it's Sh** , shave shampoo , shower and shove off shopping ( at least on Wednesdays )

Laurie.
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  #10  
Old 24th September 2017, 18:19
John Dryden John Dryden is offline  
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https://www.shipsnostalgia.com/guides...Nautical_Terms
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  #11  
Old 24th September 2017, 18:20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tom roberts View Post
How many of us had The Channels.?
And the 10 channel money, or whatever the amount
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  #12  
Old 24th September 2017, 19:20
John Cassels John Cassels is offline  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tom roberts View Post
How many of us had The Channels.?
Every time Tom , it was a weird feeling especially after an eight month trip away.
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  #13  
Old 25th September 2017, 00:58
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Standing by - Also "standing by" a new build i.e. making sure it conforms to plans.

Working by - On leave, shore work, working on a ship.

Rgds.
Dave
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  #14  
Old 25th September 2017, 01:01
trotterdotpom trotterdotpom is offline  
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This section was started by former Moderator, Benjidog, who jumped ship a couple of years ago to start a rival site. Since then it doesn't seem to be possible to add new terms.

John T
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  #15  
Old 25th September 2017, 01:03
trotterdotpom trotterdotpom is offline  
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Originally Posted by Dave McGouldrick View Post
'Going ashore gear'.
A phrase I still use when telling the missus I'm getting changed for going out.
"Back Scuttle"

A phrase that sends my wife rushing for the rolling pin.

John T
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  #16  
Old 25th September 2017, 01:22
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Ring Bolt, John!!!
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  #17  
Old 25th September 2017, 01:35
trotterdotpom trotterdotpom is offline  
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Ring Bolt, John!!!
A downstairs perk, Makko! I used the term not so long ago and it seemed that quite a few folk didn't understand it.

John T
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  #18  
Old 25th September 2017, 15:00
tom roberts tom roberts is offline  
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Short arm inspection ? First one I had to endure was in New Orleans,ignorant immigration bods even asked was I a commie hell I wasn't even old enough to vote being only 16 yrs old.
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  #19  
Old 25th September 2017, 16:29
E.Martin E.Martin is offline  
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Ring Bolt,a new one on me,few more words we use to use.
Smoke O,Tweendecks,Bowsing Line,Guest Warp," 2 in the water Mr Mate,Round Turn,Bow line,Piss Baller,Jumbo,Gooseneck,,Monkey Island,truck,Fore Castle,Centre Castle,After Castle,Jumbo Fleet,Crutch,Farmer,Monkeys Fist,Cowl,
Gunnel,Bailer,Self righting lines,Lizard,Painter,Hawse Pipe,Spurling Pipe,Gypsy,Keel,Holy Stone,Heaving Line Knot,Cross Trees,Iron Mike,Binnacle,Fish Plate,Duck Billed,Head and Heel Blocks,Runner,Bilges,Turks Head,Sugi,and many more.
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  #20  
Old 25th September 2017, 17:22
tom roberts tom roberts is offline  
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Cunard yank,blimpmerchant,for the uneducated a peeping tom ,tom pepper,a fibber,the Rosie or gashbucet,headworker in other words a lazy bastard,the chocolate rivet,and if you don't know what that is then it's your turn in the barrel,and what more famous character is Dr Ross if you had to visit him then you either had a full house or close to it which leads on to sandy mc nabs a shave and blue unction.Sorry if I am lowering the tone off this thread but it's all seafaring jargon and if you wish to complain I shall use the services of a mess deck lawyer to defend myself.
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  #21  
Old 25th September 2017, 17:46
TonyAllen TonyAllen is offline  
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lasarete.on bluies used the the china crew to bring stuff back from Hong Kong for their eating houses in liver pool
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  #22  
Old 25th September 2017, 18:07
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Did we miss the Fog locker. Porthole pudding,Golden Rivet. Brothel Creepers.
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  #23  
Old 25th September 2017, 20:31
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Whammy, over the wall, flotation test. "How's the job?" - "Going up and down and round and round!".
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  #24  
Old 25th September 2017, 20:43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Barrie Youde View Post
#1

Pam,

Paid off = termination of contract, with accounts settled.

RUN = distance travelled

Home Trade = Trade between UK ports and ports between the River Elbe and Brest, Brittany.

Dog-watches = 1600 to 1800 and 1800 to 2000 daily (Don't ask why! Some suggest - inaccurately -that the ship's dog might be left on watch at those times.)

Copra ships = Ships carrying a cargo of copra - dried coconut.

Shorthands/shorthanded = too few crew

standing by = In attendance and awaiting instructions to do something (often used when awaiting instructions for entering and leaving port)

Hope this might help.
Barrie, in this context I think RUN could be referring to a run job, in which crew were hired to take a ship from A to B and then leave it and be transported back to their home port.
Pat
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  #25  
Old 25th September 2017, 20:50
Barrie Youde Barrie Youde is offline  
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#24

Hi, Pat,

I agree. Everything depends upon the context in which any of the expressions are used.

To run could also mean to sail with the wind from astern.

No doubt there are other meanings, too.

ps. I never did know the difference between an established rating and an unestablished rating. Presumably this meant proof of at least some sea-time and/or other qualifications. If so, what were the relevant requirements?

Last edited by Barrie Youde; 25th September 2017 at 20:57..
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