Sailor Speak of the Week – Orlop


The orlop deck can be seen at the bottom (highlighted in blue). (Image from


  • The lowest full-length deck of early sailing ships.


15th century. From the Dutch word, overlope, meaning overlap, and then from Middle English.


The orlop deck can be a partial deck on smaller vessels and the term is still used on some modern merchant ships. The original Dutch meaning appears to come from this definition.


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.

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