Sailor Speak of the Week – Scupper

Scuppers are the small holes at the bottom of the railing.



  • Hole(s) that acts as a drain for the weather decks.


15th century Middle English from Old French, escopier, meaning to bail or empty.


Also spelled skupper. Obviously shipping lots of water over the weather deck is unwanted, hence why scuppers exist. Essentially they are analogous to the drain pipes on a building.


Angelucci, E. & Cucari, A. (1975). Ships. Milan, IT: Arnoldo Mondadori Editore.

Rogers, J.G. (1985). Origins of Sea Terms. Mystic, CT: Mystic Seaport Museum.

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