The History of Leith

April 18, 2007

Nautical Slang from the Nineteenth Century

Cape Horn fever
An illness feigned by a seaman seeking relief from duty.

Damage his pepper box
To attempt to assassinate the master-at-arms by dropping a round shot on his head from aloft or through an open hatchway

(A) Damn-my-eyes-tar
An inexperienced seaman who tried to cover his ignorance with blustering or boisterous behavior

Dance at the gratings
To be flogged formally with a cat

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