Sailor Speak of the Week – Taffrail

Naval Captain on the Poop Deck Taffrail, by William Heysmann Overend



  • The railing around the uppermost deck on the stern of a vessel (often on the poop or quarterdeck in earlier vessels).


17th century. Likely from the early Dutch word, tafereel, meaning panel or tablet.


Also pronounced “taffr’l.” These rails were often ornately carved or decorated.


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

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