Wondrous Words #127

Thanks for stopping by to check on my new words. Wondrous Words Wednesday is a weekly meme sponsored by Kathy at Bermuda Onion’s Weblog.

Last week I read Heart of a Samurai by Margi Preus. (My view here.) There were quite a few new-to-me words, all of them old nautical terms. Because I was “reading” via the audiobook, that posed a challenge. I like to give you the sentence in which the unknown word appears and then the definition. So, with my apologies, I can only give you the words and the definition.

1.  trypots/tryworks: A try pot is a large pot used to remove and render the oil from blubber obtained from whales. In the 18th- and 19th-century New England whaling industry, the use of try-works (two large try pots in a brick furnace) on whaling ships allowed them to stay at sea longer and boil out their oil.

2.  trice up: to haul lines, blocks, or tackle out of the way and secure them while performing another task with sails or yards.

3.  taffrail: the rail around the stern of ship.

4.  plum duff: A plum “duff” or dough is an early version of plum pudding. Plum duff was eaten by the poor and, in Heart of a Samurai, by the sailors. It was made with flour, lard, water, molasses, and raisins (“plums”). The picture above is a much fancier version, often called Christmas Pudding.

5.  forecastle: sailors’ living quarters at the head of the ship. A windowless space, it was typically dark, dank, and smelly.

How is it going with your reading? Have you found new words this week?

*Photo credit: Wikipdia

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10 Responses to Wondrous Words #127

  1. Lots of good “t” words today! I like trypots. It sounds like it it could be a dinosaur. If you get a chance, my words are here.

  2. The killer about forecastle is that it’s pronounced like FOCK-sil. There are so many sailing words that don’t look anything like they are pronounced – hate that! :–)

  3. Barbara says:

    Well, now you’re ready to go a-sailing on the high seas. 😀

  4. Annie says:

    Your words are very interesting ! Poor whales ! To finish in a trypot looks to be sad ! Poor sailors too : bad places and bad cakes for them !

  5. Those are all new words to me too. I can’t imagine using those trypots on a ship. It gives me shivers just thinking about it.

  6. I’ve actually heard of the fo’castle but none of the others. I understand how frustrating it would be “reading” that way, because I’m thinking you might be walking or driving or somethiong as you listen and it would even be hard to make a note. And I am even frustrated now when I read a library book and have to stop to make a note to look up a new word later (or more likely just guess like I’ve done forever). The instant lookup feature is something I love about the Kindle.

  7. kaye says:

    Thanks for including the pics, that’s always a nice bonus.

  8. Tea says:

    Like the photo of the plum duff. Those pots are really huge. Wonder if trypots are mentioned in Moby Dick. I guess those pots would have to be really huge for whale blubber.

  9. Louise says:

    I’m certainly glad that we don’t have much use for the word trypot any more, and that it’s slipping into being archaic. Plum duff sounds interesting, and that was probably one of the better, tastier things they got to eat. I do understand your difficult with listening to audiobooks. I’m listening to one in the car at the moment that I am planning to blog, it’s really difficult to remember which section different parts are in.

  10. 2012 Euros says:

    George Frost Kennan: “One sometimes feels a guest of one’s time and not a member of its household.”

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