Sailor Speak of the Week – Ratlines

A person climbing the ratlines.

Definition

Noun

  • (AKA Ratlins, Rattlings) Small ropes or rods tied between the shrouds to form the rungs of a ladder. Used for going aloft.

Origin

15th century. From the earlier spelling, raddlelines, and the Middle English word, radelyne.

Comments

Pronounced ratlin. These are still found on square-rigged ships and some larger fore-and-aft rigged ships. The crew will climb the ratlines to go aloft to work on maintenance, conduct repairs, and a work on the sails.

References

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

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s