- A person’s berth and/or duty assignment. (Usually on a military ship.)
Probably earlier than the 18th century. From the Middle French word, billette, and via Middle English, bylet. Likely originally a soldier’s term.
More of a nautical and military term. Everyone aboard a warship has a billet that tells them where they’re supposed to be on the vessel.
King, D., Hattendorf, J.B, & Estes, J.W. (1997). A Sea of Words: A Lexicon and Companion for Patrick O’Brian’s Seafaring Tales (2nd Ed.). Owl Books.
Rogers, J.G. (1985). Origins of Sea Terms. Mystic Seaport.