A-1 This was Lloyds best rating for ship Insurance. The alpha was hull condition, the numeric gear and rigging condition. Initiated in 1756, made Law under the British Marine Act of 1876, it was a world standard from 1833.
ADZE Long handled axe but has the blade at right-angles to the shaft. Used for shaping planks in shipbuilding. Anglo-Saxon word spelt adesa.
A-HULL Under bare poles, no sail, helm lashed alee in heavy weather. Not a good situation.
AGONIC LINE Line of charted points with zero magnetic compass variation. From Greek agonos meaning no angle.
ALIDADE Used for taking bearings. From Arabic al idadah meaning turn in radius.
ANNUNCIATOR A device for transmitting orders from the Bridge to docking stations for line handling. From Latin annutilatus to announce. And no its NOT the Engine order 'Telegraph'.
ANTIPODEAN DAY The day gained or lost crossing the International Date Line. It should be entered in the Logbooks as such for a legal record. From Greek hoi antipodes meaning opposite or other way.
ALPUSTRE An orament on the ships stern such as a bas-relief nameboard. Likely old French via Latin and Greek.
ASTROLABE Used prior to sextants for measuring the altitude of celestial bodies. From French, Latin and Greek astrolabeon meaning star taking.
BAGGYWRINKLE, BAGAWRINGLE, BANGAWRINGLE Padding to inhibit chafe of sails aloft. Uncertain origins most likely Nova Scotian (Scots do not waste money) so we'll call this one Canadian.
BARRATRY An illegal act or breach of trust by a ship's master. From Middle English and French barratarie meaning fraud.
BAULK A heavy piece of timber such as a deckbeam. Most likely from Old English balca meaning a ridge.
BEARDING ANGLE The angle of the line of the stem or stern structure to the keel. Middle English term berden meaning bevelling.
BECUE To fasten a line to the crown of the anchor before lowering to facilitate tripping it when ready to weigh anchor. The anchor buoy is attached to this line. Old French coue meaning a tail.
BEETLE A large mallet used by shipbuilder's and ship's carpenters. Anglo-Saxon betel meaning wooden mallet.
BENDING SHOT The first part of an anchor cable, chain or rope which is bent to the anchor. It is better to use chain. Very American to use the term 'shot', Brits usually say 'shackle'.
BILLBOARD An angled plate at the rail forward for housing the anchor. Never heard the term until I came to live in the United States.
BOLLOCKS The blocks on the topmast of a square rigged ship, through which the topmast's tyes were rove. The Brits have an alternative usage, due no doubt to the visual image, however we try to be reasonably polite here!!
BRIGHTWORK Varnished woodwork on the outside decks. It is NOT the metalwork, which is a classic modern misuse of this word.
BRISTOL FASHION From 'Shipshape and Bristol Fashion' meaning first class work as from Charles Hill & Sons Ltd. Albion Dockyard, Cumberland Road BRISTOL 1 UK. The MS " The Lady Patricia", see photo below in "All Three In" was one of the last ships built in this superb yard.