[TUHS] Boats (was: Slashes)

John Cowan cowan at mercury.ccil.org
Mon Jul 11 21:21:23 AEST 2016

Steffen Nurpmeso scripsit:

>  |Well, in Scandinavian the port side is called "babord", which comes from 
>  |bare board, since that was the "clean" side, which you could dock on. 
> For that the German word is "Backbord" -- and wether that is clean
> depends: it seems to originate in "bak", related to "Backe", 

Quite so, from Low German backbort or Dutch bakboord (seafaring terms
in Standard German mostly come from Low German).  The OE form is
bæcbord and the ON form is bakborði.  All of these words have have
everything to do with back and nothing to do with bare.  Whether they
refer to the helmsman's back or the back of the ship itself (that is,
the side away from the water when docked) is not clear.  The French word,
obviously borrowed from Norse (probably by way of Normand) is bâbord.
As I mentioned before, this was replaced by laddebord in Middle English.

By the way, I misspelled stéorbord in my previous post by leaving
off the accent.

John Cowan          http://www.ccil.org/~cowan        cowan at ccil.org
Police in many lands are now complaining that local arrestees are insisting
on having their Miranda rights read to them, just like perps in American TV
cop shows.  When it's explained to them that they are in a different country,
where those rights do not exist, they become outraged.  --Neal Stephenson

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