Sailor Speak of the Week – Orlop

Definition

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

Noun

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

Origin

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

Comments

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.

References

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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