Enhance your nautical vocabulary at the Caird Library!

Half marathon notice

Visitor notice: On Sunday 4 March Cutty Sark and the museum car park will be closed for the Vitality Big Half Marathon. All other museums will be open as normal and DLR and rail links will be running. Find out about road closures

If you haven’t visited the Caird Library recently, you may not yet have spotted the addition to the staircase leading up to the Library from the Sammy Ofer Wing ground floor.  A mixture of nautical words and phrases have been painted on our walls.  Some, like “bow”, “galley” and “harpoon” are well known, but others slightly more obscure!

Caird Library Staircase Caird Library Staircase

Amongst my favourites, which I must admit that I had to look up, are Baggywrinkle (rope yarns wound around parts of a ship’s rigging to prevent chafing) and Hash-my-gandy (a meal comprising of a mix of porpoise and shark meat baked and eaten by sailors for a change of diet c.1877), although I think I preferred when I didn’t know what that one was…

The words and phrases have been selected from a number of maritime dictionaries and word books available in the Caird Library, including a recently re-bound six volume nautical dictionary from the Society for Nautical Research which is kept behind the Enquiry Desk (Item ID: PBC3602/1-6).  Whether you know your “gudgeon” from your “galleon” or if this leaves you all at sea, pop into the Library to discover more.

Gareth (Library Manager)