Tuesday, October 04, 2011

That Sounded Familiar

When I read the name of Perry’s ranch I thought the term sounded familiar in a nautical sense, but I had to look it up. In fact it has no fewer than three such uses, all of which are pretty much as unpleasant as the Texas usage.

The first is something along the line of a bollard, a post used for tying a ship to a pier. It was originally applied to a worn out cannon which was buried muzzle down. Another is a coral head which can rip the bottom out of a boat, and the third is a term used for a small capstan or winch.

I think it is probably the third application in which I at one time heard it used. We had several winches and capstans on board, big and small, and I spent a while on the forward line handling party.

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