Breverton's Nautical Curiosities is arranged into thematic
chapters:1) 1) The ocean environment - animals, geography, geology,
weather, coasts, islands2) 2) Ship types and parts - from the first
boat to the latest cutting-edge technology1) 3) People - heroes,
heroines, pirates, sailors, captains 2) 4) Disasters, battles,
wars3) 5) Literature - stories, myths, legends, proclamations,
acts, orders 4) 6) Nautical sayings and slang Breverton's Nautical
Curiosities is about ships, people and the sea. However, unlike
many other nautical compendiums, the focus of this book is on the
unusual, the overlooked or the downright extraordinary. Thus,
someone most of us do not know, Admiral William Brown, is given
equal coverage to Admiral Nelson. Without Admiral Brown releasing
Garibaldi, modern Italy might not exist. And without the barely
known genius John Ericsson designing the Monitor, the Confederacy
might have won the American Civil War. Readers will be stimulated
to read more about the remarkable men - explorers, admirals and
trawlermen - who have shaped our world. The sea has had a
remarkable effect upon our language. We hear the terms `steer clear
of', `hit the deck', `don't rock the boat', `to harbour a grudge'
and the like, and give little thought to them. In the pages of this
book, the reader will find the origin of 'bumpkin', a 'brace of
shakes', 'born with a silver spoon', 'booby prize', 'to take on
board', 'above board', 'bombed' (in the sense of being drunk), the
'blues', 'blind-side', 'blind drunk', 'the pot calling the kettle
black', 'reach the bitter end', 'wasters', 'ahoy', 'all at sea',
'to keep aloof', 'piss-artist', 'taken aback', 'barbecue'' and
'bamboozle'. Other colourful terms, which have passed out of common
usage, such as 'bring one's arse to anchor' (sit down), 'belly
timber' (food) and 'bog orange' (potato) are also included, as well
as important pirate haunts, technical terms, famous battles,
maritime inventors and ship speed records.
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