Sailor's language

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As Seemannssprache called jargon includes terms and phrases used by mainly sailors and in the shipping employed persons are used. Since these also represent a social milieu with its own culture , the seaman's language is not only a technical language but also a sociolect .

Many terms originate from the language of the coastal inhabitants, Low German . Due to the mixed ship crews with different native speakers, the German seaman's language also contains numerous loan words from other languages, such as Dutch , English and Spanish . Gustav Goedel's etymological lexicon from 1902 lost its importance after the publication of Friedrich Kluge's sailor 's language in 1908. The Kluge was updated in 2007 by Dietmar Bartz and modern vocabulary was added.

In the seaman's language, a more precise definition and differentiation of technical terms from seafaring is reflected. For the seaman it is necessary not to simply speak of a "rope", but rather to describe it more precisely according to its function and type, i.e. by " Want ", "Fall", " Dirk " or " Schot " (or more precisely by " Besanwant "," Jib sheet "etc.) to speak. Another example of a term from the seaman's language: Damaging the above ropes is called shame , ie "causing damage to the rope structure, including fraying, by rubbing against hard objects".

Since the end of commercial sailing, many expressions often only have a historical meaning in the professional environment; so using commercial shipping long ceased all expressions that are still largely completely encountered in recreational sports area (especially in connection with sailing yachts).

As with many other sociolects , seaman's language has its own sense of humor, expressed in seaman's thread and joke .

See also


  • Dietmar Bartz : Sailor's language. From ropes, Pütz and shrouds . Delius Klasing Verlag, Bielefeld 2007, ISBN 978-3-7688-1933-6 . 3rd edition under the title Tampen, Pütz and Wanten. The seaman's language. Marix-Verlag, Wiesbaden 2014, ISBN 978-3-86539-344-9
  • Wolfram Claviez: Sailor's Dictionary. 1st edition Bielefeld, Berlin 1973, ISBN 3-7688-0166-7 . 3rd edition Bielefeld 1994, ISBN 3-7688-0853-X
  • Elsevier's Dictionary of Port and Shipping. Amsterdam, London 1993, ISBN 0-444-89542-6
  • Elsevier's Nautical Dictionary . 3rd edition Amsterdam, London 1994, ISBN 0-444-89604-X
  • Gustav Goedel : Etymological dictionary of the German seaman's language . Verlag von Lipsius und Tischer, Kiel and Leipzig 1902, online in Project Gutenberg ( currently not available to users from Germany )
  • Karin Günther: Word and factual history of shipping in Central and Northern Europe from the beginnings to the late Middle Ages. Frankfurt am Main, Bern 1987, ISBN 978-3-82041-019-8
  • Henry and Renée Kahane: The Sailor's Language . In: Reallexikon der Byzantinistik . Amsterdam 1968ff., Volume 1, pp. 571-580
  • Friedrich Kluge : Sailor's language. Verbatim history handbook of German boatman expressions of older and more recent times . Verlag der Buchhandlung des Waisenhauses, Halle ad Saale 1908. 2nd edition 1911, reprint: Hain, Meisenheim 1973, ISBN 3-920307-10-0 , digitized .
  • Undine Kramer: "Sees., Segeln, Seemannssp., Seem., Schifffahrt, Schiffbau und Sport" or 'Special' lexic in the general monolingual dictionary . In: Linguistics Online . tape 3 , no. 2 , 1999, doi : 10.13092 / lo.3.1036 ( [accessed on April 13, 2020]).
  • Kurt Opitz: The technical jargon of seafaring. In: Lothar Hoffmann et al. (Ed.): Technical languages. An international handbook on technical language research and terminology science. 1st half band. De Gruyter, Berlin / New York 1998, pp. 1211-1216
  • Johann Hinrich Röding : General dictionary of the navy . Hamburg 1773–98 (= 1794/96), reprint Amsterdam 1969, digitized
  • Erika Sausverde: Sea words and substratum in Germanic, Baltic and Baltic Finno-Ugric Languages . In: Karlene Jones-Bley, Martin E. Huld: The Indo-Europeanization of Northern Europe . Washington DC 1996, ISBN 0-941694-52-6
  • Marlies Schaper, Peter Koll: board jargon. Watched the seaman's mouth. DSV-Verlag, Hamburg 1991, ISBN 3-88412-144-8
  • Joachim Schult: Sailors Lexicon . 13th edition, Bielefeld 2008

Web links

Wiktionary: Sailor's language  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations