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!
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)