REPLY: The resource of this relatively delicate ax is quite interesting. That is a nautical or navy term that goes ago to the work of the old sailing ships. Let’s begin at the back of the ship.




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The upper-most rear, or the stern, was dubbed the poop deck. This is wherein the ship’s wheel was situated — in the rear of the ship, near the rudder — in stimulate to alleviate the variety of pulleys and ropes essential for steering. The poop deck to be elevated so the captain and pilot would have a clear check out over the former of the ship. In instance you space wondering, the name “poop deck” comes from the French word because that the stern, “la poupe.” i wouldn’t desire my reader to acquire the wrong idea, there!


When sailing, the wind generally comes from the rear, pour it until it is full the sails and also propelling the delivery forward. During heavy weather, the foam and spray from high waves behind the ship would leave the poop deck and also the pilot fairly wet. (And after ~ a day of steering in negative weather, the pilot to be “pooped.”)


At the prior of the ship to be the number head: a sculpted wooden figure or bust fitted on the bow the the ship. Due to the fact that the wind to be blowing from the behind to the front, the “head” (or front) that the ship to be the finest place for seafarers to relieve themselves. So, as soon as the shipmates checked out the toilet, they visited the head. (I assumption: v a sailor can have said, “I’m going to the bow.”)


While we’re on the subject of nautical jargon, let’s execute “scuttlebutt.” This to be a water barrel (or butt) that had actually been “scuttled” v a hole, so the water could be taken out for a drink. Together you can imagine, there to be a good deal that loitering roughly the scuttlebutt. It is why office “watercooler” gossip is sometimes referred to together “scuttlebutt.” A drinking fountain is still described as the scuttlebutt in the Navy, or at the very least it to be years back when I remained in the Army and stationed with some navy personnel.


Curious about something? Send your questions to Dr. Jerry D. Wilson, university of Science and Mathematics, Lander University, Greenwood, SC 29649, or e-mail jerry
curiosity-corner.net. Selected inquiries will show up in the Curiosity Corner. Because that Curiosity corner background, walk to curiosity-corner.net.



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