Okay so I’m going to start this little line of pirate history with some vocabulary because as Mia and Devin learn quickly words have meanings.
(There’s a good amount of twists and deception abounding in this tale, So Avast, and chart a heading that will take you into deep waters.)
Avast. Stop! Halt! Cease!
(I know we all like to amuse ourselves with how cleverly we say things but I’m not at all sure we’ve come up with an original word in the last 300 years (not technology related anyways). But that’s actually okay with me because wow could those guys chew the fat with flare.)
Chew (chewing) the fat: Sailors used to talk and complain about the poor food while eating their salt pork. Chew the fat meant to talk socially without exchanging very much information. Alternately, in the days when brine was added to barrels of meat, it had a hardening effect on the fat. It was still edible but it took considerable chewing. So, to “chew the fat” has come to mean to talk endlessly.
(So lets start with ones I always thought to be very late period. You know how those bigwigs of story telling like to get to the point)
Big Wigs. Senior officers in the English Navy were known as “bigwigs” because they wore huge wigs. Bigwig officers aboard ships were often disliked. Today it is still used to refer to the most important person in a group or undertaking and is often used in a derogatory manner.
However, the title got its start much earlier. When various diseases as well as lice made keeping natural hair very difficult wigs became the solution. People, men and women, actually were judged by their hair. Long, luxurious locks were all the rage and people wanted it. The wig makers became the most desired guild craftsmen all across Europe. And of course the BIGGER the wig, the more wealth one was assumed to have. “He’s a big wig” was an expression that he had wealth and status. (There’s much more to the history of wigs, but that’s for another day and another story)
(In The Pirate’s Daughter I have both some dis likeable characters and a few quite likeable ones. But don’t be Bamboozled by first encounters)
Bamboozle: From the 17th century, it described the Spanish custom of hoisting false flags to deceive (bamboozle) enemies. Today if one intentionally deceives someone, they are said to have bamboozled them. Isn’t it a great word?
So there’s a start… I’ll come back later and tell you about some ships because those beauties can steal a man’s heart faster than a siren. Until then read The Pirate’s Daughter (an award winning book) and His Pirate Wife and keep a look out for New stories of the high seas.