Sailor Speak of the Week – Wake

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Definition

Noun

  • The track of waves left behind by a moving vessel.

Origin

Probably earlier than the 17th century. From Old Saxon, wakon, and the Old Norse, waken, referring to the space made in the ice by a ship.

Comments

Another term in common usage. The appearance of a wake depends on a variety of factors, such as the shape of the vessel’s haul, method of propulsion, and the state of the sea.

References

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

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