Sailors Language

As sailors we use many words and terms which may sound bizarre. Have you ever wondered where they come from?

Here is just a couple, if you know of anymore please feel free to add them to the comments section on our Facebook group.

Starboard – the right hand side of the boat. On the old, old wooden ships the rudder or steering oar, was hung on the right hand side rather than being on the centre line of the boat. So when a person steered the boat they would be on the right hand side, hence Steer board (board being a derivative of old english meaning side) which then evolved to Starboard.

Port – Formally larboard. To prevent damaging the steering oar on the right hand side the boat had to moor to the land with the left side to the land. Therefore when loading or unloading the boat the left hand side would be used, hence larboard (Lar deriving from old english for the word load). Larboard and starboard were too similar in sound so in 1844 the Royal navy ordered that larboard be changed to Port.

So next time your looking for interesting sailing trivia you have at least two examples you can use now! Why don’t you find out some of your own and add them in the comments section on Facebook?