A Conversation for Hard Astarboard - a Titanic Controversy
Nitpick: no "steering board"
Isaac Rabinovitch Started conversation Apr 15, 2012
No, there was never such a thing as a "steering board". This is amateur etymology.
"Board" has a lot of different meanings, but it's never been a synonym for "scull" or "oar". In this context, it means the side of a ship. In Old English stéorbord was the side of the vessel where the steering apparatus was. Source: OED, entries on "starboard" and "board".
This etymology should be obvious to anybody familiar with other nautical words such as "larboard", "overboard", "aboard", "weatherboard," "to board", none of which involve manipulating a stick.
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