Slaves of Sleep and Masters of Sleep Glossary
after house: a square or rectangular cabin built on deck near the middle of a ship, used as a place to get out of the weather.
Ahriman: the Evil Principle or Being of the ancient Persians; the Prince of Darkness.
AMA: American Medical Association.
Arabian Nights’ Entertainment, The: a famous collection of Persian, Indian and Arabian folktales told by Scheherazade to her husband, Shahryar, King of India, a different tale every night for 1,001 nights; therefore the collection is sometimes called The Thousand and One Nights. As the story goes, the king had a wife he loved more than all the world and when he found she was unfaithful, he had her put to death and resolved to take his revenge on all womankind. Night after night he marries a beautiful girl, only to order her beheaded the next morning. At last he meets Scheherazade, the beautiful and clever daughter of his vizier. Knowing that Shahryar loves a good story, she begins on the night of their wedding to spin a bewildering number of yarns which she suspends just as the climax is being reached. Devoured by curiosity to know the end of each story, Shahryar stays the hand of the executioner and after a thousand and one nights is cured of his mania.
astrolabe: an ancient instrument used widely in medieval times by navigators and astronomers to determine latitude, longitude and time of day. The device employed a disk with 360 degrees marked on its circumference. Users took readings from an indicator that pivoted around the center of the suspended device like the hand of a clock. The astrolabe was replaced by the sextant in the eighteenth century.
Baal: name used for the chief deity of Canaan (ancient region lying between the Jordan, the Dead Sea and the Mediterranean; the land promised by God to Abraham). Believed to be active in storms, Baal was known as “rider of the clouds” and “lord of heaven and earth”; he also controlled the earth’s fertility.
bad actor: a mean, ill-tempered, troublemaking or evil person.
beat to quarters: to summon the crew of a sailing man-o’-war to their stations for action against an enemy. From the use of a drum to spread the command throughout the ship.
Bedlam: popular name for the Hospital of St. Mary of Bethlehem, it became infamous for the brutal ill-treatment meted out to the mentally ill. The word Bedlam has long been used for lunatic asylums in general, and later for a scene of uproar and confusion.
bells: a system to indicate the hour by means of bells, used aboard a ship to regulate the sailor’s duty watch. Unlike civil bells, the strikes of the bell do not accord to the number of the hour. Instead, there are eight bells, one for each half-hour of a four-hour watch. Eight bells would be rung at 8:00 AM, 12:00 noon, 4:00 PM, 8:00 PM, 12:00 midnight and 4:00 AM.
binnacle: a built-in housing for a ship’s compass.
black arts: forms of magical spells that harness occult forces or evil spirits to produce unnatural effects in the world.
Black Maria: patrol wagon; an enclosed truck or van used by the police to transport prisoners.
bluff: having a broad or flat bow, like a barge.
boarding net: a stout netting formerly extended fore and aft from the gunwale to a proper height up the rigging. Its use was to prevent an enemy from jumping on board the ship.
boat boom: a heavy spar pivoted to a ship’s side and used as a mooring for small boats when the ship is at anchor.
bone in the teeth: the appearance of a boat sailing with exhilarating speed so as to create a prominent bow wave. The phrase comes from the image of a dog, merrily running with a bone in its teeth.
bone, picked up a: picked up speed, said of a ship. An expression used in speaking of a ship making considerable speed from the foam on the bow wave which looks like a bone. The phrase comes from the image of a dog, merrily running with a bone.
boom: a spar used to hold or extend the foot of a sail.
boozing ken: a beer shop or ale house.
bosun: a ship’s officer in charge of supervision and maintenance of the ship and its equipment.
bow chasers: a pair of long guns mounted forward in the bow of a sailing warship to fire directly ahead; used when chasing an enemy to shoot away her sails and rigging.
bowsprit: a spar projecting from the upper end of the bow of a sailing vessel, for holding and supporting a sail.
brace: on a square-rigged ship, a line rigged to the end of a yard (horizontal timber attached to the mast to support and spread the head of the sail), used to change the angle of a square sail to the wind.
brail: to haul up the foot of a squaresail using lines. Once brailed up, the sail could then be furled and secured to the yard.
brig: brigantine; a two-masted vessel with square sails on both masts.
broadside: 1. all the guns that can be fired from one side of a warship. 2. a simultaneous discharge of all the guns on one side of a warship.
Burton: Sir Richard Francis Burton (1821–1890), English explorer, translator, writer, soldier, Orientalist, ethnologist, linguist, poet, hypnotist, fencer and diplomat. He was known for his travels and explorations within Asia and Africa as well as his extraordinary knowledge of languages and cultures. According to one account, he spoke twenty-nine European, Asian and African languages. One of Burton’s best-known achievements includes traveling in disguise to Mecca and making an unabridged translation of The Book of One Thousand Nights and A Night (more commonly known as The Arabian Nights).
Cabala: Kabbalah; a body of mystical teachings of rabbinical origin, often based on an esoteric interpretation of the Hebrew Scriptures.
cabin sloop: a sailing vessel with a single mast set about one-third of the boat’s length aft of the bow with an enclosed compartment that serves as a shelter or as living quarters.
capstan: a device used on a ship that consists of an upright, rotatable cylinder around which ropes, chains or cables are wound, either by hand or machine, for hoisting anchors, lifting weights, etc.
Carib: a member of a group of American Indian peoples whose origins lie in the southern West Indies and the northern coast of South America, after whom the Caribbean Sea was named.
castle: forecastle; the upper deck of a sailing ship, forward of the foremast.
cat: cat-o’-nine-tails; a whip, usually having nine knotted lines or cords fastened to a handle, used for flogging.
catamaran: a quarrelsome person, especially a woman.
cave of San Cyprian: crypt of the church of San Cyprian, one of the first churches built in Salamanca, Spain, in the twelfth century. In the sixteenth century the church was torn down and what remains are the twenty-three steps descending into the darkness of the crypt. According to legend, Satan taught black magic here to seven students for seven years. The students’ tuition was one human soul. At the end of the seven years, the students drew lots to see which of them would settle the bill by spending the rest of his life in the cave in the service of Satan. The student who lost, using the tricks he had learned for evil, hid in a vat of waste water and made them believe he had made himself invisible. After the devil left, the student escaped from the cave. But, on leaving, he lost his shadow which could have betrayed his flight, leaving it inside the cave.
chain: chain shot; cannon shot consisting of two balls or half balls connected by a short chain, formerly used in naval artillery to destroy the masts and sails of enemy ships.
chamberlain: a high-ranking official in various royal courts.
Circe: in Greek mythology, a sorceress who detained Odysseus, a mythical Greek hero, on her island and turned his men into swine.
claw up to windward: to make way against the wind by a zigzag course under difficulties.
coaming: a raised rim or border around an opening in a ship’s deck, designed to keep out water.
conning: to guide or pilot a ship.
corbita: Roman merchant ship with square sails, steered by two side rudders connected to each other. The after-castle (a raised structure at the stern, traditionally quarters for the crew or cabins for officers) was often decorated with a large elegant swan’s or goose’s head.
counter: overhang at the stern of a ship.
coxswain: a person who is in charge of a ship’s boat and its crew, under an officer, and who steers it.
cromster: small warship used by the Dutch Republic during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, which became increasingly popular as an English trading vessel during the late sixteenth century. They were small, broad in the beam and shallow-draughted and capable of being converted into miniature warships. They carried fore-and-aft rigged sails and spritsails and their sturdy construction allowed them to carry a heavy armament.
crosstrees: a pair of horizontal rods attached to a sailing ship’s mast to spread the rigging, especially at the head of a topmast.
cutter: a ship’s boat, powered by a motor or oars and used for transporting stores or passengers.
demicannon: a large cannon of the sixteenth century, having a bore of about 6½ inches and firing a shot from 30 to 36 pounds (13–16 kg).
dhow: a long, flat sailing vessel that is lateen rigged (triangle sail set at an angle to a short mast) and found in the Indian Ocean along the east coast of Africa, the Arabian peninsula, Pakistan and India.
Dianetics: from the Greek words dia, meaning “through” and nous, meaning “soul,” and is defined as “what the soul is doing to the body.” Dianetics is a methodology which can help alleviate unwanted sensations and emotions, irrational fears and psychosomatic illnesses (illnesses caused or aggravated by mental stress). It is most accurately described as what the soul is doing to the body through the mind.
djellaba: a long, loose, hooded garment with full sleeves, worn especially in Muslim countries.
dog watch: either of two two-hour watches, the first from 4:00 to 6:00 PM and the latter from 6:00 to 8:00 PM. The term comes from a shortening of “dodge watch” as it dodges the routine watch which is four hours throughout the rest of the day to allow sailors to rotate through the watches and to eat the evening meal at about the traditional time.
drawing: filling with wind, said of sails.
ease her: reduce the amount of rudder during a turn. Generally, an order given as the ship approaches the desired course.
fakir: in Arabic-speaking Muslim lands, a religious beggar or member of a religious order that originally relied solely on alms. Many are wanderers who attract attention and alms by performing such acts as lying on beds of nails; others perform menial jobs connected, for example, with burials and the cleaning of mosques.
fanned: baseball slang for a batter who strikes out on a swung third strike; to put a batter out from play. Used figuratively.
Flattie: 18` Flattie class, an eighteen-foot long sailing boat. Her racing complement is two, but she can be sailed by one or up to four people. The 18` Flattie class was designed by Ted Geary (1885–1960), naval architect and considered one of the best yacht designers in Seattle’s history. The Flattie was renamed the “Geary 18” in his honor in 1961 and continues to be a popular class with active fleets all along the Pacific coast.
fo’c’s’le: forecastle; the upper deck of a sailing ship, forward of the foremast.
fore-and-aft: running along the length of the boat. The more common position of the sail with its length running along the ship’s length as opposed to a sail such as a square sail which is mounted across the width of the vessel.
frigate: a three-masted sailing warship with two full decks, with only one gun deck. A frigate was armed with between 30 to 44 guns located on the gun deck and possibly some on the quarter-deck and forecastle, used in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.
furl: to fold or roll a sail and secure it to its main support.
galley: long, narrow vessel widely used in ancient and medieval times, propelled principally by oars but also fitted with sails. The earliest type was sometimes 150 feet (46 m) long with 50 oars. Rowers were slaves, prisoners of war or (later) convicts; they were usually chained to benches set along the sides, the center of the vessel being used for cargo. When galleys were employed in war, the sides were so designed that they could be raised to afford protection for the rowers.
ghoul: an evil spirit or demon from ancient Arabian folklore that dwells in burial grounds and deserts. It is a shape-shifting demon that can assume the guise of an animal, especially a hyena, and lures unwary travelers into the desert to slay and devour them. It also preys on young children, robs graves and eats the dead.
gig: a boat reserved for the use of the captain of a ship.
glass: weather glass; mercury barometer; device used to measure atmospheric pressure and predict changes in weather conditions. A mercury barometer consists of a glass tube, about three feet long, closed at one end, filled with mercury and inverted with the open end immersed in a reservoir of mercury. With the reservoir surface exposed to atmospheric pressure, the height of the mercury column varies with that pressure.
grape: grapeshot; a cluster of small projectiles fired together from a cannon to produce a hail of shot.
gunner’s mate: naval officer who performs upkeep and repair of cannons or artillery.
gunwale: the upper edge of the side of a boat. Originally a gunwale was a platform where guns were mounted, and was designed to accommodate the additional stresses imposed by the artillery being used.
halyards: ropes used for raising and lowering sails.
hawsepipe: an iron or steel pipe in the stem or bow of a vessel through which anchor cables pass.
helm: a wheel by which a ship is steered.
helmsman: the person who guides the ship by the management of the helm, the wheel used to steer a ship.
holystoned: scrubbed with a block of soft sandstone, usually with sand and seawater. Holystone is a soft and brittle sandstone used for scouring and whitening the wooden decks of ships. The term may have come from the fact that “holystoning the deck” was traditionally done on one’s knees, as in prayer. The stone is also sometimes called a “bible” and smaller blocks for awkward places are called “prayer books.”
hooker: a worn-out or clumsy ship.
hophead: a narcotics addict, especially an opium addict.
hornpipe: a lively jiglike dance, performed usually by one person and traditionally a favorite of sailors. Named for the sailor’s instrument upon which the dance music was originally played.
house: any enclosed structure above the weather deck (ship’s deck that is open to the sky and exposed to the weather) of a vessel.
hull down: sufficiently far away, or below the horizon, that the hull is invisible.
hurrah’s nest: state of utmost confusion. In nineteenth century America, hurrah came into use as slang for “an uproar, a commotion,” and anything wild and lawless was described as “hurrah.” With hurrah meaning “disordered,” it made sense for something very tangled or disorderly to be described as a “hurrah’s nest,” as if the “hurrah” were a creature with bad housekeeping habits.
huzzah: to cheer and shout “huzzah,” used to express encouragement or triumph.
ifrīt: (Arabic) a powerful evil jinnī noted for its strength and cunning. According to legend, an ifrīt is an enormous winged creature of smoke, either male or female, who lives underground and frequents ruins. Ifrīts live in a society structured along ancient Arab tribal lines, complete with kings, tribes and clans. They generally marry one another, but they can also marry humans. They consider themselves superior to all races because they “came first,” and they deeply resent that humans have found magical ways to take control over them. As with the jinn, an ifrīt may be good or evil, but he is most often depicted as a wicked and ruthless being. The name ifrīt comes from the Arabic word for “rebellious” and describes their nature.
Irving, Washington: Washington Irving (1783–1859), American author, columnist, biographer and historian, best known for his works The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and Rip Van Winkle. In 1826 he accepted a position in the US embassy in Madrid. Fascinated by Spain, he wrote four works while he was there including The Legends of the Alhambra, a collection of over forty tales and essays about the Alhambra (a citadel and palace on a hill overlooking Granada, Spain). Built by Moorish kings in the thirteenth century, the Alhambra is the finest example of Moorish architecture in Spain. The name is derived from the Arabic kal’at-at al hamra which means “the red castle.” Included in this collection is The Legend of the Enchanted Soldier, a story about the existence of profound caverns in which the magic arts were taught, either by the devil in person, or some sage devoted to his service.
jib: small foremost sail; a small triangular sail in front of the main or only mast on a sailing ship or sailboat.
jibe: to change the course of a ship so that the sails shift from one side of a vessel to the other; said of the sail when the vessel is steered off the wind until the sail fills on the opposite side.
jinnī or jinn: (Arabic) jinnī singular, jinn plural; in Muslim legend, an ancient spirit created from smokeless flame. Jinn (commonly known as genies in Western forms of the word) are of various natures, some good and some bad. The evil jinn are hideously ugly, but the good are exquisitely beautiful. Normally they cannot be detected by humans, but if they choose they can take on either animal or human form and can shift their shape and often travel about as whirlwinds. They are wont to cause great confusion in human society. Jinnī is from the Arabic word for “demon” which comes from janna, meaning “to cover, hide.”
kedge: a light, small anchor used for anchoring temporarily.
Kirker: Father Athanasius Kirker (1602–1680), German-born Jesuit priest, scholar, inventor, composer, geographer, geologist, Egyptologist, historian, adventurer, philosopher, proprietor of one of the first public museums, physicist, mathematician, naturalist, astronomer, archaeologist and author of more than forty published works. Sometimes called the last Renaissance man, he was important for his prodigious activity in disseminating knowledge. In 1665 and 1678 he published two volumes of Mundus Subterraneus (The Subterranean World) which covered subjects such as alchemy, astrology and demons, among many other topics.
kris: a Malayan dagger with a wavy double-edged blade. Both a weapon and spiritual object, krisses are often considered to have an essence or presence, with some blades possessing good luck and others possessing bad. Krisses could be tested in two ways: A series of cuts on a leaf, based on blade width and other factors, could determine if a blade was good or bad. Also, if the owner slept with the blade under their pillow and had a bad dream, the blade was unlucky and had to be discarded. However, just because a blade was bad for one person didn’t mean it would be bad for another. Harmony between the owner and the kris was critical.
lamped: looked at; saw.
lanthorn: lantern, as a lantern formerly had sides made of translucent sheets of horn.
lateen: a triangular sail, suspended by a long yard at an angle of 45 degree to the mast.
lee: an area sheltered from the wind.
library of Alexandria: Alexandria, city founded in northern Egypt by Alexander the Great in 322 BC. His successor established the Royal Library of Alexandria in 283 BC which included lecture areas, gardens, a zoo and over half a million documents from Assyria, Greece, Persia, Egypt, India and many other nations. Over 100 scholars worked full time researching, writing, lecturing or translating and copying documents there. In 48 BC, Julius Caesar was pursuing Pompey into Egypt and was cut off by an Egyptian fleet at Alexandria. He ordered the ships in the harbor to be set on fire. The fire destroyed the fleet as well as the part of the town where the great Library of Alexandria stood.
Long Tom: a pivot gun of great length and range, on the deck of a vessel. The cannon was mounted on a special carriage that could be swung to face the enemy on either side and could fire a 24-pound iron ball.
luffed: having brought the head of a sailing ship closer to, or directly into the wind, with sails shaking.
luffing: term used to describe the flapping of a sail in the wind. Luffing generally occurs if a sail is too far out relative to the wind in which case, it will wave like a flag and is said to be “luffing.” Luffing your sails will slow the ship’s speed as it increases drag and decreases the performance of the sails. If the sail is trimmed properly, it will not flutter at all.
lugger: a small boat used for fishing or sailing and having two or three masts, each with a four-sided sail.
lunger: a person who has a chronic lung disease, especially tuberculosis.
lycanthropy: (folklore) the magical ability of a person to assume the characteristics of a wolf.
Madagascar: an island country in the Indian Ocean off the southeast coast of Africa comprising the island of Madagascar and several small islands. It was originally peopled by Indonesian and African groups around the end of the first century BC. The French first established settlements on the island in 1642 and made it a colony in 1896. The country gained full independence as the Malagasy Republic in 1960 and was renamed Madagascar in 1975.
magazine: ship’s magazine; ammunition storage area aboard a warship. The term is taken from the Arabic word makahazin meaning “storehouse.”
mains’l: mainsail; the principal and largest sail of a sailing vessel. In square-rigged ships it is the lowest sail on the mainmast.
make fast: a term generally used for tying or securing ropes.
Malay: of or relating to Malay or its inhabitants. Malay is a general term for one of a population of persons inhabiting southeast Asia and the adjacent islands.
man-o’-war: any armed ship of a national navy, usually carrying between 20 and 120 guns.
manrope: a rope rigged as a handrail on a gangplank or ladder.
marid: according to legend, a renegade jinnī who sows discord and does evil; one who is strong enough to perform difficult tasks and carry heavy burdens. The marids are a special sort of recalcitrant jinnī and are considered particularly dangerous to man.
meet her: an order to the steersman to apply opposite rudder to check or stop a ship’s swing.
MIT: Massachusetts Institute of Technology; a private, coeducational research university located in Cambridge, Massachusetts. MIT was founded in 1861 in response to the increasing industrialization of the United States.
mizzen: the third mast from forward in a vessel having three or more masts.
Mount Kaf: (Muslim mythology) a mythical mountain at the end of the Earth which contains the palaces of the gods and is the home of giants and fairies, jinn and other mythical creatures. In a narrower sense and localized on earth, Kaf means that part of the Asiatic highlands which bounds the Muslim world in the North, especially the Caucasus and its spurs in Northern Persia. According to tales, the disk of the Earth is surrounded by the ocean except on the north where a great mountain of rock of the purest turquoise cuts off the sea. Immediately adjoining this turquoise mountain, the reflection of which causes the blue of the sky, lies the pure world stretching to the north.
necromancy: magic in general, especially that practiced by a witch or sorcerer; sorcery; witchcraft.
niggerhead: a projecting stump of dead coral, notorious as a navigation hazard.
Nubian: a native of Nubia, a desert region and ancient kingdom (2000 BC–AD 1400) in the Nile River valley of southern Egypt and northern Sudan.
Olympics: Olympic Mountains; mountain range on the Olympic Peninsula of western Washington in the US. The western slopes of the Olympics face the Pacific Ocean and are the wettest place in the forty-eight contiguous states and record an average of 142 inches (360 cm) of rainfall each year. The northeast side of the mountains is in one of the driest areas on the West Coast. The English Captain John Meares, seeing them in 1788, thought them beautiful enough for the gods to dwell there and named them “Mount Olympus” after the one in Greece and the present-day name was made official in 1864.
packet: packet ship; the generic name given to a vessel that sailed in regular service between two ports.
painter: a rope, usually at the bow, for fastening a boat to a ship, stake, etc.
peak: the upper, aft corner of a four-side sail that is extended by a gaff (a stout pole rising aft from a mast to support the head of the sail).
pelorus: a device used to take a bearing on a distant object.
pins: belaying pins; removable wooden, iron or brass pins fitted in holes in the rail of a ship, used for securing and tying the running rigging (lines used to raise, lower and trim the sails).
pipes: 1. the passages of the human respiratory system. 2. distinctive, silver, high-pitched whistles used by bosuns for passing orders or blown as a salute to certain personages. The bosun (also spelled boatswain) is the officer in charge of the ship’s rigging, anchors, cables and deck crew. The bosun’s pipe, originally termed a call, dates back to the days of sail. Men high in the rigging could hear the pipe under weather conditions that would cause the human voice to be inaudible or unintelligible.
pitch: a mixture of tar and coarse resin, used to help caulk the seams of wooden sailing vessels. It was heated, then put into a container with a very long spout. The word pitcher is said to derive from this long spouted container used to pour hot pitch.
points: 1. a point is 11.25 degrees on a compass; thus six points would be 67.5 degrees. 2. a point is 11.25 degrees on a compass; thus two points would be 22.50 degrees.
poop: poop deck; a deck that constitutes the roof of a cabin built in the aft part of the ship. The name originates from the Latin puppis, for the elevated stern deck.
port tack: sailing with the wind coming from the port side, and the sails on the starboard side.
prowler car: a nickname for a police car.
Puget Sound: deep inlet of the Pacific Ocean, in northwestern Washington State. The sound, which receives many streams from the Cascade Range, has numerous islands and is navigable for large ships. Along its shores are important ports and commercial cities, including the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard. The sound was discovered in 1792 by English Captain George Vancouver and named for his aide, Peter Puget, who explored it.
quarter: the stern part of a vessel on either side of the rudder.
quarterdeck: the rear part of the upper deck of a ship, usually reserved for officers.
quartered: sailed at an angle to the wind or waves; a sailing technique for riding over waves at a slight angle to avoid burying the bow in a standing wave.
quay: a pier or dock providing shipside access for passengers and cargo.
ratlines: small ropes fastened horizontally between the shrouds in the rigging of a sailing ship to form ladder rungs for the crew going aloft.
reach: beam reach, sailing with the wind on the beam. The beam is the breadth of the ship at the widest point or side of a ship. When the ship sails with the wind blowing directly across her, she is said to have the wind on the beam.
rete: an openwork metal plate, affixed to an astrolabe, and serving to indicate the positions of the principal fixed stars.
rig: the characteristics of a sailing vessel’s masts and type and number of sails by which the type is determined, such as a square-rigged or fore-and-aft rigged.
rigger: a shipyard worker who fits or dismantles the rigging (ropes, wires and pulleys that support the masts and control the sails) of ships.
rigging: the ropes, chains, etc., employed to support and work the masts, sails, etc., on a ship.
roads: roadstead; a place outside a harbor where a ship can lie in anchor. It is an enclosed area with an opening to the sea.
royal yard: the long crossways pole that spreads the topmost sail of a ship.
r’yals: royals; the sails next above the topgallant sails. Normally it is the fourth sail in ascending order from the deck.
sails set: sails raised in preparation to getting under way.
Salamanca: city of west-central Spain, west-northwest of Madrid. Conquered by Hannibal in 220 BC, it was captured by Moors in the eighth century AD and held by them until the late eleventh century. Salamanca became world famous after the foundation (1218) of its university by Alfonso IX. The university soon rivaled Bologna, Paris and Oxford and it made Arabic philosophy available to the Western world.
salt horse: the sailor’s name for salted beef.
sampan: any of various small boats of the Far East, as one propelled by a single oar over the stern and provided with a roofing of mats.
Sarracenica: of or pertaining to Saracen or its inhabitants. In the early centuries of the Roman Empire it was used as the name of an Arab tribe in the Sinai, apparently taken from the Arabic word sharqiun, meaning “easterners.” Later the Greek-speaking subjects of the Empire applied it to all Arabs. After the rise of Islam, its usage was extended to all Muslims, particularly those in Sicily and southern Italy.
scud: to run before a gale or strong wind with little or no sail set.
scupper: an opening in the side of a ship at deck level which allows water to run off.
sea artist: a ship’s navigator.
Seal of Sulayman: according to legends, a magic ring supposedly given to King Sulayman, ruler of the Kingdom of Israel (971 BC to 931 BC), which gave him power over demons. King Sulayman is portrayed in the Bible as great in wisdom, wealth and power and is the subject of many later references and legends. A story in the Arabian Nights describes a jinnī who had displeased King Sulayman and was punished by being locked in a bottle and thrown into the sea. Since the bottle was sealed with Sulayman’s seal, the jinnī was helpless to free himself, until freed many centuries later by a fisherman who discovered the bottle.
seventy-four: a type of two-decked sailing ship carrying seventy-four guns. Originally developed by the French Navy in the mid-eighteenth century, the design proved to be a good balance between firepower and sailing qualities and was adopted by the British Royal Navy as well as other navies. Crew size on such a ship was around 500 to 750 men depending on circumstances and nationality. Seventy-fours were a mainstay of the world’s fleets into the early decades of the nineteenth century.
Shaitan: (Arabic) Satan.
sheet: a line that regulates the angle at which a sail is set in relation to the wind.
shrouds: supporting ropes or wires that extend down from the top of a mast.
skys’l: skysail; the sail next above the royals in a square-rigged vessel. Normally it is the fifth sail in ascending order from the deck.
slipping cable: allowing the onboard end of the anchor cable to run out of the ship and go overboard when there is not enough time to raise the anchor. When time cannot be spared, the cable is let go (slipped), with a buoy attached to its inboard end to enable it to be located and the anchor recovered after the emergency has subsided.
smack: a sailing vessel used for fishing, usually for carrying the catch to market.
sough: a sighing, rustling or murmuring sound.
Sound: Puget Sound, deep inlet of the Pacific Ocean, in northwestern Washington State.
spars: strong poles, especially those used as masts to hold the sails on ships.
spitkit: small, ramshackle vessel; derisive term for small, unseaworthy vessel.
spoonin’ up: spooning; courting, especially in an excessively sentimental or effusive fashion. Used figuratively.
sprit: a small pole running diagonally from the foot of a mast up to the top corner of a fore-and-aft sail, to support and stretch it.
sprits’l: spritsail; sail that is extended by being mounted on a sprit.
square rig: a sailing ship having four-sided sails suspended at the middle on yards. Most of the tall ships are square rigs.
sta’b’d: starboard; the right-hand side of a vessel when facing forward.
staysail: a triangular fore-and-aft sail which is set by attaching it to a stay (a stout cable or rope used to support a mast fore and aft). Such a sail takes its name from the stay on which it is set.
steer small: to keep a vessel on course with only small movements of the steering gear.
sterncastle: raised deck serving as the ship’s command center during most actions. The pilot guides the ship from a large wheel here, while the captain looks over and directs the crew working above deck.
stern chaser: a cannon mounted on the stern of a ship for firing at a pursuing vessel.
stern sheets: the after part of a boat where the passengers sit.
stow that: slang term telling someone to be quiet; cease talking.
stuns’ls: studding sail; a light sail set at the side of a principal or square sail of a vessel to increase her speed.
Sulayman: King Sulayman, ruler of the kingdom of Israel (971 BC to 931 BC). He is portrayed in the Bible as great in wisdom, wealth and power. According to legends, Sulayman’s realm extended over angels, demons and spirits as well as the inhabitants of Earth.
tack: direction a ship goes in relation to the position of the sails. Also, to change the course of a ship.
taff, from stem to: through the whole ship; from the stem of the ship to the taffrail at the stern.
taffrail: a rail above the stern of a ship.
talisman: an object marked with magic signs and believed to confer on its bearer supernatural powers or protection. Talisman comes from the Greek word talein which means “to initiate into the mysteries.”
t’g’l’nt: topgallant sail; square-rigged sail or sails immediately above the topsail or topsails.
Thebes: an ancient city of Upper Egypt on the Nile River in present-day central Egypt. It flourished from the mid-22nd to the 18th century BC as a royal residence and a religious center for the worship of the Egyptian deity, Amen. Its archaeological remains include many splendid temples and the tomb of Tutankhamen in the nearby Valley of the Kings.
Time: a weekly American newsmagazine.
topmen: sailors who work on the sails. From the top which is a platform usually located at the juncture of the lower mast and the topmast for the sailor to stand upon while handling the sails.
topping lift: a line or wire rope used to support the yards or booms when a boat is anchored or moored.
trade winds: any of the nearly constant easterly winds that dominate most of the tropics and subtropics throughout the world, blowing mainly from the northeast in the Northern Hemisphere, and from the southeast in the Southern Hemisphere.
trick: a period or turn of duty, as at the helm of a ship.
trim: to adjust (the sails or yards) with reference to the direction of the wind and the course of the ship.
trip: to tilt or tip up; of the floors of a ship, to be strained or twisted out of their horizontal position.
truck: a piece of wood fixed at the top of a mast, usually having holes through which ropes can be passed to raise or lower the sails.
tumblehome: the inward curve of a ship’s sides near the deckline, from tumble meaning “to slope inward.” Tumblehome on a boat makes it easier to row as the oarsman doesn’t have to reach as far, but too much tumblehome can make a boat easily capsize.
Tunisian: of or relating to Tunisia or its inhabitants. Tunisia, officially the Tunisian Republic, is a country situated on the Mediterranean coast of North Africa. It is the northernmost African country and the smallest of the nations situated along the Atlas Mountain Range. Around 40 percent of the country is composed of the Sahara Desert, with much of the remainder consisting of particularly fertile soil. Tunisia played an important role in ancient times, first with the famous Phoenician city of Carthage, and later, as the Africa Province, which became known as the bread basket of the Roman Empire.
under weigh: in motion; underway.
van: the advanced part of a fleet.
Veda: any of the oldest and most authoritative Hindu sacred texts, composed in Sanskrit. Veda in Sanskrit means “knowledge.”
waist: the central part of a ship.
wallow: (of a ship) to roll from side to side; to sail with a rolling motion; to roll helplessly in the trough of the waves.
water sail: small sail set low down below another sail and reaching nearly to the water.
weather gauge: the position of a ship to the windward of another. From this position, a ship’s guns could fire at the enemy hull. Nautical slang, to possess an advantage.
weigh anchor: take up the anchor when ready to sail.
windward: facing the wind or on the side facing the wind.
wore ship: to cause a ship to turn away from the wind in order to change direction. The action is called “to wear ship” because all the rigging turns and rubs during the maneuver, causing the gear to wear.
writ of habeas corpus: Latin “(we command) that you have the body.” Prisoners often seek release by filing a petition for a writ of habeas corpus which is a judicial mandate to a prison official ordering that an inmate be brought to the court so it can be determined whether or not that person is imprisoned lawfully and whether or not he should be released from custody.
yard: a long rod, mounted crosswise on a mast and tapering toward the ends, that supports and spreads a sail.
Yoga: a school of Hindu philosophy advocating and prescribing a course of physical and mental disciplines for attaining liberation from the material world and union of the self with the Supreme Being or ultimate principle.