Sailor Speak of the Week – Fantail


The fantail of a vessel on the right. Photo by Andy Brodie on


  • The aftermost part of the ship at the stern. Usually at the main deck.


Mid-19th century. From American English, referring to the early elliptical (fan-shaped) sterns of vessels.


Another word for the stern of a vessel. It usually refers to the aftermost part of the main deck. Not to be confused with the fantail bird.


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

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