William Falconer’s Dictionary of the Marine

One of the daunting features of reading nautical fiction is the jargon. Unlike the jargon you find in techn-thrillers like those by Tom Clancy, with jargon from the Age of Sail you have no anchors either in time or space. For non-sailors, such as myself, entire passages are quickly reduced to mumbo-jumbo. When you have a situation where the author is a non-sailor the results can be tragic.

I’ve added to my blogroll William Falconer’s Universal Dictionary of the Marine from 1780 found on the site of Australian government’s South Seas exploration site.

Falconer was a midshipman aboard the HMS Ramillies when she foundered in 1760 so you can rest assured of the accuracy of the definitions. More on Falconer can be found here.

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