What with one thing and another, I never reported on LH-related goodies I got for Xmas. On the hat front, my sister-in-law gave me a much-needed beret. I got a couple of novels I’ve been wanting to read, Doctorow’s The March and Philip Roth’s The Plot Against America, as well as the magnificent Sailor’s Word-Book by Admiral W.H. Smyth (originally published in 1867). A few entries from pages 36-37 will give an idea of the range of items:
AMICABLE NUMBERS are such as are mutually equal to the sum of each other’s aliquot parts.
AMLAGH. A Manx or Gaelic term denoting to manure with sea-weed.
AMNESTY. An act of oblivion, by which, in a professional view, pardon is granted to those who have rebelled or deserted their colours; also to deserters who return to their ships.
AMOK. A term signifying slaughter, but denoting the practice of the Malays, when infuriated to madness with bang (a preparation from a species of hemp), of sallying into the streets, or decks, to murder any whom they may chance to meet, until they are either slain or fall from exhaustion… As in the case of mad dogs, certain death awaited them, for if not killed in being taken, torture and impalement followed.
AMPOTIS. The recess or ebb of the tide.
AMRELL. An archaic orthography for admiral.
AMUSETTE. A kind of gun on a stock, like that of a musket, but mounted as a swivel, carrying a ball from half a pound to two pounds weight.
AMY. A foreigner serving on board, subject to some prince in friendship with us.
Should be a great help in reading Patrick O’Brian.