...Bound over the main with the muses as they translate nautical terms into English, keep
time with ship's bells, and bone up on all sorts of sailing miscellany, from
superstition to fact and from the time of the trireme to today's nuclear
aircraft carriers and submarines. If you're reading or writing about sailing and the
sailor's life, you'll be especially glad you did.
about this feature
The USS Constitution at Sea
West into the Afternoon Sun
Sailors & Sailing is a collection of
resources about nautical topics. The different
resources that belong to Sailors & Sailing are all intended to assist
Electricka's visitors to find their sea legs when they're reading. Each helps landlubbers or
others unfamiliar with watery subjects to navigate their way safely through
the mysterious and sometimes dangerous shoals of seafaring.
If you are among those who like to read or write about sailors and
sailing, the sun is now ashinin' and the fair winds are a-blowin'. Why? Because
you're one of those who will benefit most from this feature. Others who will
benefit are those in search of nautical information generally: people whose business
touches on the sea or sailing directly or tangentially and those who run
into watery subjects from time to time for no reason in particular or just
Below you will find descriptions of the nautical resources that comprise
Sailors & Sailing. Each resource is designed to
convey information in the most appropriate way for the topic at hand and the type of
inquiry being made. The visitor should bear this in mind when selecting a resource
nautical terms—Talk like a sailor
Here, the muses present scores of nautical terms dating from ancient
times to the modern era. The table is a joint effort by the Muse Of Language
Arts (for writers) and The Muse Of Literature (for readers).
Terms are organized in the form of a searchable and sortable table which
automatically finds all the definitions that satisfy search text that you
supply. These automatic features help you locate root words and words
related to root words. Other automatic features enable complex searches that
can be especially helpful when you're looking for terms which express common
ideas or similar word formats. The table also provides offers automatic
facilities for printing, sorting results, etc.
Each row of this table provides a nautical definition for a term (used by
seamen) as well as a general definition for the term (used by the public at
large), when multiple usages exist. Comments are added for the nautical
definition and for the general definition, as appropriate.
The user is encouraged to make cross-comparisons between a nautical usage
and a general usage for a given term. Such comparisons can reveal a lot
about how nautical parlance has influenced general parlance and vice versa.
Some of these comparisons are interesting, illuminating, amusing, or
- See the table of nautical terms published by The Muse Of Language Arts
and The Muse Of Literature:
Tell Time like a sailor
Sailors keep time by tracking bell rings. This way of tellling time is
often incorporated into both fictional and non-fictional books about the sea
and into other kinds of nautical writings.
Authors of fictional accounts of the sea normally write for the general
reader; they don't expect him to understand
exactly what "bell time" it is when they write about characters
who stand watch at the taff rail at four bells or plot mutiny in the
forecastle at six bells.
|The Cutty Sark
Such authors know that bell-time amounts to
double-talk for most of their audience but they but
they use nautical jargon anyway because it adds to the local color
Are you a landlubber when it comes to bell time? No more!
Just visit the page on telling nautical time by bells
and the mystery ends forever.
sailors & Sailing—future additions
Electricka invites you to return to this feature from time to time to
look for additions; keep an eye out for quizzes, sea chanteys and other
nautical music, music, books, movies, myths, and other topics based on
Convert this page.