Mariner and Ship Terminology

I would like to start this thread to get input from everyone on the different terms and sayings that are known in the mariner’s lingo. State the term and describe the meaning and history behind it, or ask about one you’ve heard of and are not sure about the meaning or history. I’ve always found this to be a fascinating topic and cannot recall seeing it here.

Example: [U]Cold enough to freeze the balls off a brass monkey.[/U] Reference to the contraction of brass racks in cold weather that stored cannon balls.

Thanks for playing,

[B][I]Slush Fund[/I][/B] -
A slushy slurry of fat was obtained by boiling or scraping the empty salted meat barrels. This stuff called slush was often sold ashore by
the ship’s cook for the benefit of himself or the crew. The money from the sale became known as a slush fund.

[B][I]Son of a Gun [/I][/B]-
When in port, and with the crew restricted to the ship for any extended period of time, wives and ladies of easy virtue often were allowed to live aboard along with the crew. Sometimes children were born aboard, and a convenient place for this was between guns on the gun deck. If the child’s father was unknown, they were entered in the ship’s log as son of a gun .

[B]Rummage Sale[/B]

1526, “act of arranging cargo in a ship,” aphetic of M.Fr. arrumage “arrangement of cargo,” from arrumer “to stow goods in the hold of a ship,” from a- “to” + rumer, probably from Gmc. (cf. O.N. rum “compartment in a ship,” O.H.G. rum “space,” O.E. rum, see room). Meaning “to search (the hold of a ship) thoroughly” first recorded 1628. Rummage sale (1858) originally was a sale at docks of unclaimed goods.

Via [I]The Online Etymology Dictionary[/I]

[B]Horny -[/B] During the time of the California gold rush people were flocking from the east coast to San Francisco. The fastest way to get there was by ship around Cape Horn. Fathers in San Francisco would warn their daughters not to patronize with these men who had been to sea for months knowing there was only one thing one their mind. They referred to these men as “horners”, and it eventually evolved into “horny”.

That kind of reminds me of [U]F[/U]ornicating [U]U[/U]nder the [U]C[/U]ommand of the [U]K[/U]ing.

I thought it was Fornicating Under Consent of King

In the early days of US shipping furtilizer (poo) was shipped in just normal ships. The problem though, was that once it got wet, it would start to decompose and release methane gas (bad deal). So in order to get the fertilizer out of the water in the bottom of the hold the shippers began marking the boxes of fertilizer with Ship High In Transit- SHIT

marking the boxes of fertilizer with [B]Ship High In Transit- SHIT[/B][/quote]

“Shit” is Norwegian word for dirt. :slight_smile:

“Shit” is Norwegian word for dirt. :)[/quote]


I think the word for dirt in Norwegian is “skitt.” Pretty close!

Og takk for sist!

POSH. When traveling by ship from England to India, the preferred side of the vessel was [B]P[/B]ort [B]O[/B]ut, [B]S[/B]tarboard [B]H[/B]ome.