Thank you Wikipedia for telling me the difference between Port and Starboard!
(for those of you, like me, who have no experience sailing…left side of the ship is Port, Right side is Starboard)
See you all tomorrow!
I remember because left and port have the same number of letters!
yep, that’s how I remember it too!
And drinking starboard wine just wouldn’t be right.
are they named that way because ships used to dock on their left sides, with the right aimed at the stars over the water?
No clue, but… that would make sense.
Nope, not at all. Originally, port was called larboard, but was changed to avoid confusion with starboard, especially when yelled amid the noise of battle. Turning the wrong way could be disastrous.
It must have come from somewhere though. I remember being told when you sail down the atlantic along the coast of africa ports are always on the left (the stars on the right). Since this was where the first long term sea travel happened, it would make sense.
Actually, he was right according to Wikipedia. Starboard is named so because the steering oar used to be attached to the right side (this was before you had the rudder in the center), and port is named so because of the tendency to moor on the left side to avoid crushing said oar.
Indeed, it was originally the ‘steer-board’ side. You kept it away from the dock. I don’t know where Larboard came from though.
Huzzah! Prepare for a full round of Insult Sword-fighting!
Make sure they rhyme! “You’re as repulsive as a monkey in a negligee!” (“I look that much like your fiancee?”)
How appropriate, you fight like a cow!
Not to the death, but to the pain!
I always understood that an easy way of remembering it was that sailors always drank their port with their left hand, in order to have their right hands free for their swords… assuming a predominantly right-handed sailing body, of course.
However, if I recall properly, it was something prosaic about having a steering oar or something like that.
Heh, my Dad and I have to use port and starboard when we’re driving as both of us forget which way is left or right all the time, but neither of us forget port or starboard.
Whoo-hoo! Kick some butt, Alex!
The origin of the term starboard comes from early boating practices. Before ships had rudders on their centerlines, they were steered by use of a specialized steering oar. This oar was held by an oarsman located in the stern (back) of the ship. However, like most of society, there were many more right-handed sailors than left-handed sailors. This meant that the steering oar (which had been broadened to provide better control) used to be affixed to the right side of the ship. The word starboard comes from Old English steorbord, literally meaning the side on which the ship is steered, descendant from the Old Norse words stýri meaning “rudder” (from the verb stýra, literally “being at the helm”, “having a hand in”) and borð meaning etymologically “board”, then the “side of a ship”.
And, to complete the quote,
“Port is derived from the practice of sailors mooring ships on the left side at ports in order to prevent the steering oar from being crushed.”
“stýra” and the English word “steer” are quite similar. The Swedish word “styra” means “to steer” (as in a steering wheel or with bike handles, but there are other derivatives as well).
Sometimes, the gude olde Anglo-French (that’s what modern English really is) still shows it once was akin to Germanic languages.
However, I’d venture a guess that the verb’s root is even older than that. The Russian verb for “launder” has a very similar root, so it might as well be an Indo-European one. (Disclaimer: Not a Language Historian; Known to Be Wrong. Check it with a comparativist next time you run into one.)
That dude’s beard looks like bark.
Port is a four letter word, and you always put your port (red) wine on the left.
Does that mean that white wine is placed for the right hand?
“Clearly I should not choose the wine in front of me…”
Man, if Paddington wasn’t so peacable, Alex could just have him ram the ship. Then again, Alex could cut the thing to pieces with his sword, but I guess that’d ruin all the fun.
And before “port,” left was “larboard,” but for some reason, people kept mixing up “larboard” and “starboard.” 😉
I always keep that straight with this trick. Port has the same number of letters as Left.
Nice to see that the pirates have standard pirate accents – that is to say the accent of Dorset in Southwest England, where I live. That came about when the actor Robert Newton, born in Dorset, played him in the Australian film “Long John Silver” – apparently the accent was so catching that before long the whole crew were at it.
I have relatives in the Dorset area and when I was visiting them I didn’t once hear a “Yar.” I feel cheated now.
Well, so much for the hope that the dwarves had captured and retrofitted the ship.
Yep, that was sad.
And my backup plan failed too: it was that this ship held some emissaries from the Nightmare Realm, requesting audiens (hmmm, how to spell that in English?) with the new King to let him in on the old treaties etc.
Indeed. At the same time, there’s some kids to be freed, I’m sure.
This reminds me of a joke: An elderly captain of a battleship was known to always carry a shoebox with him when he was on the bridge. Naturally, many were curious about the contents of the shoebox, but no one dared to ask.
Finally, when the captain passed away at sea, his senior officers, tormented by years of curiousity, hurriedly open the shoebox to find out what was inside.
There was only a piece of paper, scribbled upon it: “Port is left, starboard is right”.
Make the joke better…
“…And he was constantly looking inside the box as if to reassure himself of something…”
Now, I’m not a pirate, nor a sailor (more a nitpicker than either of those!) but I would have expected “Yar! What be that off to starboard?” rather than “Yar! What be that off the starboard side?”. Calling it “starboard” implies “side” so wouldn’t be stated explicitly.
This is the Department of Redundancy Department. You have been reported for attempting to try to remove necessary needed redundancy from a visual comic medium. Please stop, cease and desist this activity immediately at once. You will not be warned again. Should you not bow to our warning you will be sternly reminded that you will not be warned again. Should you persist in this activity we will keelhaul you into court to answer for your mutinous crimes and be hung from the yardarm.
This has been a friendly warning from the Department of Redundancy Department.
Mind you, the maximum punishment is that we will have you killed to death, until you don’t live any more.
(Note: The above is a joke, not a threat of any kind!)
Agreed and as a sailor and a nitpicker, this really falls flat for me.
It could be off the starboard bow, or starboard stern (i.e front/back) or just off to starboard.
And this is why I love you guys!
I learn something new every day!
So what would work best?
off to starboard sounds good to me if we’re wanting to change the wording there.
“Starboard bow” definitely has a nice “Pirates of Dark Water” feel to it (I can almost hear Mantus saying it to Bloth lol) except that you clearly show them coming from the side of the ship, so starboard it is.
“There’s Klingons on the starboard bow, starboard bow, starboard bow…”
LOL! That’s what I was thinking too!
Scrape ’em off, Jim!
Personally, I’d go for something more like this:
“Look! What thar be yar on the starbard… Storboa… Sto-arrr… What be that over thar?”
I’m a little easier to please than most.
It’d be even funnier if this guy was more like Konk than Mantus. lol!
If I were Paddington I would have come in a little lower to hide in the sun set and catch them totally by surprise.
Nah, Paddington would just cause a minor eclipse and be even MORE noticeable.
Also, one small, oft-overlooked but key bit of information, port and starboard are actually also relative to the direction of movement. ex: if you where traveling ‘backwards’ but facing forwards port and starboard are switched.
Not true Tecroogue! Just because a vessel is moving backward the bow and stern do not change places. Port and starboard are relative to the “head”, or bow, of the vessel.
The middle of a ship’s side is often called it’s beam, a reference to the deck beams running athwartships, (hows that for a word!) Judging from the illustration, one might ask “Yar!, what be that on the starboard beam?
Just do me a favor and keep writing such trenchant alnayess, OK?
hmm, and these pirates aren’t evil i bet 😛
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