A Conversation for Hard Astarboard - a Titanic Controversy

Loading-board and steering-board

Post 1


That's fascinating. Starboard and larboard are some of those things we have always wondered about, not expecting a simple reason. Thank you for this explanation!

The OED is a tad cautious about the etymology, but it does make sense.


Forms: α. ME ladde-borde, ME ladeborde, latheborde, latebord. β. 15 larborde, lerbord, leereboord, 15–16 larbo(o)rd, 16 lubbord, 16– larboard.
Etymology: Middle English lad(d)eborde , latheborde , altered in the 16th cent. into ler- , leere- , larbord , by form-association with the contemporary ster- , -steere- , starbord . The second component is Old English bord , Old Norse borðe , ship's side (board n. 12); the origin of the first component, which appears as ladde-, lade, lathe-, late-, has not been determined.

Some would connect it with lade v., taking it to mean ‘the side on which cargo was received’, or on which deck cargo was placed.

In Old English the corresponding term was bæcbord ; this did not survive into Middle English, though its etymological equivalent still remains in all the mod. continental Germanic tongues, and was adopted into Romance (French bâbord ). The word seems to have meant ‘the side at the back of the steersman’; the rudder or steering-paddle of early Germanic ships having been worked over the right side, whence the name stéorbord ‘steering-side’

[end quote]

Loading-board and steering-board

Post 2


Hm, browser blues here; in the above post, on Chrome, the letter alpha has come out as &#945 ; (I've added a space before the semicolon in case another browser interpreted the tag correctly) and the letter beta as &#946 ;

The word borðe on the other hand has come out right for me, but in case it doesn't on your browser, it is 'bordhe' with a letter eth for the dh http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eth

Loading-board and steering-board

Post 3

Florida Sailor All is well with the world

I will willingly admit to simplifying the the etymology of the terms. My intent was only to give a basic definition, as I learned it myself, and leave further research to those so inclined. I have many reference books at hand with 20 or more pages of "Nautical Glossaries" giving only the term a sentence or two of explanation, and no history.

Glad you enjoyed

F smiley - dolphin S

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