Origin of Ship’s Starboard and Port

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Origin of Ship’s Starboard and Port

The origin of the word starboard dates back to the early practice of steering a ship (Teutonic sailing vessel) by means of an oar held in the water over the right side. (At that times ships had no rudders.) This side was called the steer board side which, over time, was transformed to the starboard side.

For a long time, the other side of a ship was called the larboard side, even into the 1700s. It was formed from the middle English ladebord referring to the side on which cargo was loaded. The change to lar- was due to association with the starboard. So for some time two boards were known as starboard and larboard. Similar pronunciation led to confusion and difficulty in understanding orders in bad weather. Since the larboard side was also the side of the vessel which was placed against a pier or dock during mooring in order to prevent the steering oar from being crushed, it became known as the port side.

Теги: english words | origin of port | origin of starboard | word origin | история английских слов | происхождение английских слов


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