Sailor Speak of the Week – Quarterdeck



  • An area aboard a naval ship or land installation reserved for ceremonies and honors. Usually designated by the commanding officer.
  • (Formerly) a high partial deck aft from which the ship was conned, and which sheltered the afterguard’s quarters and passengers.


Probably around the 16th century.


While the quarterdeck is an actual area aboard sailing ships, nowadays it’s usually an open area aboard a ship used to welcome visitors, dignitaries, and the like. During boot camp, the quarterdeck is also an area where informal classroom “training” occurs.


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

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