Study Help Full Glossary for The Secret Sharer""


a bark of the dead floating in slowly under the very gate of Erebus a boat leading departed souls to Erebus, the dark place under the earth where the dead pass before entering Hades, according to Greek mythology.

beyond my ken beyond my range of knowledge.

Binnacle the upright, cylindrical stand holding a ship's compass, usually located near the helm.

bo's'n phonetic spelling of "boatswain," a ship's warrant officer or petty officer in charge of the deck crew, the rigging, anchors, boats, and so on.

Bullock a young bull.

Cain in the Bible, the oldest son of Adam and Eve; he killed his brother Abel.

Cambodge Cambodian.

campstool a lightweight, folding stool.

Cardiff seaport in Southeast Wales, on the Bristol Channel; capital of Wales and county seat of South Glamorgan.

Cochin-China historic region and former French colony in Southeast Indochina; the southern part of Vietnam.

Conway boy sailor who trained on the British battleship Conway.

Cuddy the cook's galley on a small ship.

foreyards the lowest yards on the foremast (the mast nearest the bow, or front, of a ship), from which the foresail is set. (A "yard" is a selnder rod or spar, tapering toward the ends and fastened at right angles across a mast to support a sail.)

gimbals a pair of rings pivoted on axes at right angles to each other so that one is free to swing within the other; a ship's compass, pelorus, and so on, will remain horizontal at all times when suspended in gimbals.

Gulf of Siam "Siam" is the old name of Thailand; the Gulf of Siam is the arm of the South China Sea, between the Malay and Indochinese peninsulas.

Halter hangman's noose.

Java Head the westernmost point of Java, a large island of Indonesia, southeast of Sumatra.

Koh-ring the prefix "Koh" connotes an island; the island of Koh-ring is Conrad's creation.

mainyard the lowest yard on the mainmast (the principal mast of a vessel),from which the mainsail is set. (A "yard" is a slender rod or spar, tapering toward the ends and fastened at right angles across a mast to support a sail.)

Malay Archipelago large group of islands between Southeast Asia and Australia, including Indonesia, the Philippines, and sometimes New Guinea.

Mizzen the mast that is third from the bow of a ship with three or more masts. (The "bow" is the front part of a ship.)

Norfolk county of East England, on the North Sea.

the poop on sailing ships, a raised deck at the stern, sometimes forming the roof of a cabin.

Ratlines any of the small, relatively thin pieces of tarred rope that join the shrouds of a ship and serve as the steps of a ladder for climbing the rigging. "Shrouds" are sets of ropes or wires stretched from a ship's side to a masthead to offset lateral strain on the mast.

"She's round" the ship has passed around the land and is clear of danger.

Square the yards by lifts and braces nautical command meaning, "Sail directly before the wind." "Yards" are slender rods or spars, tapering toward the ends and fastened at right angles across a mast to support a sail; "braces" are ropes passed through blocks at the ends of yards, used to swing the yard about from the deck.

Sunda Straits straits running between a group of islands in the Malay Archipelago, consisting of two smaller groups; Greater Sunda Islands (Sumatra, Java, Borneo, Sulawesi, and small nearby islands) and Lesser Sunda Islands (Bali and islands stretching east through Timor).

taffrail the rail around the stern of a ship. (The "stern" is the back end of a ship.)

that unplayful cub the second mate; a "cub" is an inexperienced, awkward youth.

What does the Bible say? 'Driven from the face of the earth.' in the story of Cain and Abel, Cain complains he will be "driven from the face of the earth" for the murder of his brother.

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