Jack Tar and the Baboon Watch

Un libro in lingua di Frank Lanier edito da Ragged Mountain Pr, 2014

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A nautical trivia book on steroids, learn why it is a Blue Monday and other expressions with a nautical past

Jack Tar and the Baboon Watch is a Ripley's Believe It or Not for the mariner—everything odd, weird, and unbelievable. Mariner and author Frank Lanier began to compile these entries when he served in the Coast Guard; they were included in the "plan of the day" published aboard the various ships Lanier was stationed on starting in the 1980s. In his book Frank explains in plain language the origin of curious nautical language and expressions.

Sample Contents

BLUE MONDAY: A reference to Monday, the day traditionally reserved for dispensing the week's accumulation of whippings amongst ship's boys found delinquent in their duties. Black Monday was another common term for the day during the 17th century.

FOURTH-CLASS LIBERTY AND THE BABOON WATCH: For a sailor, the only thing worse than enduring a miserable watch at sea was the privilege of standing one during the ship's port call. It was there the "Baboon watch" (those unfortunates so tasked) enjoyed fourth-class liberty, sampling a port's charm via the ship's telescope.

JACK TAR: A sailor. One of the most common masculine names of the English language, Jack has been a popular euphemism for the common man since early on, particularly those of the working class—it's where we get Jackhammer, Jack-in-the-box, Jack-of-all-trades, Jackass, jack-o'-lantern, Jack-be-Nimble, jumping jacks, jackknife, Jack . . . well, you get the idea. Sailors applied the name liberally to a wide variety of descriptive terms, from Jack Adams (a stubborn seaman) to Jack Whore, meaning a masculine, overgrown wench.
As for the later part, seamen have been known as Tars for centuries in reference to their use of that material to waterproof clothing and caulk hull seams. Interesting and good to know type stuff, 'cause you certainly wouldn't want anyone commenting that "you don't know Jack."

SEA LAWYER: Not one of those beloved members of the land based legal fraternity, but instead a prophet of pessimism and declarer of doom aboard ship who is forever arguing his views concerning any and everything, from how to properly complete any task (without involving any action on his part, of course) to his views on what's wrong with the fleet and what needs be done to correct it.

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