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back to article Reg hack cops a licking from the bosun's cat

Reg readers are wonderful. Here's a mail exchange with a reader picking us up on our use of the expression "Casts anchor" in a supercomputer article. Phil the Reg reader: 'Casts' anchor? Could provide a reference for that expression, please? Moi: It's mundane I fear Philip. Since the supercomputer was described as a ship, and …

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Happy

Boatanchor

Is also the term used in the electronics/amateur radio community to describe tube (valve) equipment, particularly old communications receivers and transmitters which typically weighed in the neighborhood of 100 lbs.

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Anonymous Coward

Websters! Haha

There's your mistake, right there.

Websters is a dictionary of YANKLISH, not English.

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Ahh...

I'm glad our lingo is finally being recognized.

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Bronze badge

There seems to be a lot of mariner type terms on the go no?

'net

web

trawl

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Pint

You missed one!

You're pursuing this topic right to the bitter end!

(look it up).

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Boffin

cast on, cast off

English wrings every meaning it can from some words, to wit (from The Concise OED):

cast, v.t. & i. (cast). Throw (poet, or archaic exc. in spec, uses, as : c. dice ; c. a vote, give or deposit it ; c. lots ; c. ashore ; c. net, hook, fly ; casting-net, one thrown & at once drawn in ; c. the lead l , in sounding ; c. anchor ; c. in one's teeth, reproach him with, that ; c. an eye, glance, look ; c. a spell on, bewitch ; c. light, a shadow, on; c. blame, one's cares, upon ; c. into prison) ; overthrow in a lawsuit ; throw off, get rid of, lose, (c. not a clout till May be out ; c. aside, give up using, abandon ; horse casts shoe ; snake, deer, c. slough, horns ; cow, tree, c. calf, fruit, drop prematurely; c. soldier, policeman, horse, dismiss, reject ; c. loose, de- tach, detach oneself) ; reckon, calculate, (c. accounts, do sums ; c. a column of figures &c, add up ; c. a horoscope or nativity) ; arrange (c. facts into such a shape ; c. actors for parts, parts to actors) ; form, found, (molten metal) into some shape, (figure &c.) of metal, whence

ca'stING i(2) n. ; c. about, go this way & that in search, devise means, (for, to do, how); c. away, reject, (pass., of ship) be wrecked ; c. back, revert ; c. down, depress ; c. in one's lot with, share fortunes of; c. off, abandon, (Knitting) close loops & make selvedge ; c. up, calculate, [f. ON kasta perh. cogn. w. L gerere gest- ; it displaced OE weorpan, & has been displaced in ordinary literal use by throw]

cast 2 , n. Throw of missile &c, distance so attained, (archaic) ; throw, number thrown, at dice, whence chance or try; throw of net, sounding-lead, or fishing-line (also in fishing the fly with hook & gut; & good, bad, &c. place for casting) ; casual lift in cart &c. ; un- digested food thrown up by hawk, owl, &c. ; calculation, adding of columns in account; set of actors taking the parts in play, or the distribution among them ; form into which any work is thrown ; model made by running molten metal or pressing soft material into mould (also the negative mould itself) ; twist, inclination, (c. in eye, slight squint) ; tinge- shade, of colour; type, quality, (esp. c. Oj features, c. of mind), [f. prec]

p.s.

a'nehor 1 (-k-), n. Heavy iron, composed of long shank, with ring at one end to which cable is fastened, and at other end two barbed arms, used for mooring ship to bottom of water ; sheet, bower, hedge, -a., (largest, middle, smallest size) ; (fig.) source of confidence ; **cast, weigh, a., let down, take up, a. ;** at a., anchored ; come to (an) a., anchor; a.-plate, heavy piece of timber or metal serving as point of support for cables of suspension-bridge &c. ; a.-watch, watch set while ship lies at anchor. [OE ancor f. L ancora (not anch-) perh. cogn. w. or adop- tion of Gk agkura (st. agk- hook)]

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Joke

Cast on, knit 1, Purl 1, Cast off

Sounds like knitting to me

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Anonymous Coward

Makes no bloody difference

Whether it's dropped or cast, as soon as some East European sees it hanging loose they'll nick it and sell it for scrap quicker than a scouser can de-wheel a Mercedes.</DMMode>

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FAIL

Ye Heathens!!

Read your Bible!

http://bible.cc/acts/27-30.htm

And as the shipmen were about to flee out of the ship, when they had let down the boat into the sea, under colour as though they would have cast anchors out of the foreship,

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Alert

In the middle of the night. I go wallowing in the deep.

Wearing a couple of boat anchors. Though the waves are so steep.

Shipmen got in the non ship type floatation device and pretended to be taking the spare anchor out to some unspecified location to unspecifically help the ship ride the waves better in some way. Just like any man jack of them would do in such circumstances.

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As a current seagoing Naval-type, all I can say is "love it" - especially the re-use of the term warmer than jan-dockies starboard oggie pocket...classic.

Keep it up El Reg! :)

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Facepalm

is this a lolca(s)t?

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Happy

Never mind all that. What's really important is that we have our snowy banner (unlike last year)

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Then the bowsprit got mixed with the rudder sometimes.

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Trollface

While it's pronounced "bosun", spelling is "boatswain".

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Anonymous Coward

have they discovered the Higgs Boatswain yet?

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Paris Hilton

Or the Higgins boat boatswain

Paris, who is nothing like the Titanic (they know how many people went down on the Titanic)

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Some folks will argue about the most arcane shit, I swear. I want my 3 minutes back I wasted reading that. I suppose the minute I lost posting about it is on me though.

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Anonymous Coward

tl

dr

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It's all nonsense anyway.

They didn't cast anchors.

Too brittle.

Wrought Iron was far more suitable..

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No cock-billing please

<quote>"Possibly our sub editors, who produced the casting anchor idea, had the idea that casting anchor was something mariners did before setting sail..."</quote>

'Casting' is a different term than 'to cast anchor'.

'Casting' is turning the ship into the desired direction before weighing (raising) anchor. Necessary to avoid sailing off into the land or another ship.

'To cast anchor' is a term no longer needed by the RN, unless the cuts become too much and HMS Victory returns to active service.

It refers to one method of laying out an anchor, as per "Seamanship in the Age of Sail" by John H. Harland:

"Laying out an Anchor

"Terminology: A small "kedge anchor" and hawser were user to 'warp' the ship, in certain circumstances. 'Kedge' derives from Middle English caggen, 'to draw, or fasten'; both the French term ancre a jet, and Dutch werpanker, have the connotation 'throw-anchor', and presumably are related to the small craft practice of throwing a grapnel out ahead, and hauling up to it. English 'warp', for that matter, also has the basic meaning of 'to throw', although in this particular sense, it probably came into English from Dutch werfen. The same basic thought underlies the traditional phrase 'to cast anchor', which is synonymous with 'to anchor'."

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Holmes

Casting the anchor

Let's go back to when men first started sailing.

Back then, anchors were rocks with lines wrapped around them to hold the boat in place. They later evolved to rocks with a hole in it for making sure the rope didn't slip.

These were carried on deck, and when you went to use them you threw them over the side. You would want to throw (or cast) them over the side so as to not have the rock hit the side of the ship and damage it. Hence, casing anchor.

The first fluked anchor stopped the rocks and were hung over the side at the cathead.

Fun looking that up.

Enjoy, my British cousins

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Anonymous Coward

"When men first started sailing"...

The English language did not exist, therefore the correct nautical term to describe the action of lobbing roped boulders over the side was not the modern English, "cast anchor".

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Silver badge

Cast away

When I was sailing (dinghies and yachts), we used casting the anchor - good, that was in the 70s and 80s, when I were a nipper.

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Totes Hilare!

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Paris Hilton

Last Year I got Bored

Because The Reg took a holiday. This year, it seems that things have improved, and I can still have my daily dose!

To alternate the complements with the brickbats: You /have/ sub-editors?

Delighted to know, though that nautical usage is safe in the hands of an ex-sailor editor, but let me remind him of one thing: It may be that comparatively few Brits sail for a living, but very many do as a hobby, pastime, or even lifetime if lucky enough. And they do actually 'sail' (wind, sails, all that). And, if you think that grammar nazzis are bad, just try suggesting to a British sailor that he might "ship his oars," when they are already in place in the rollocks and he is rowing happily.

There are two kinds of sea-based sayings in your language: the real and the fake. The real, eg, "being taken aback," are not even understood, despite common usage. The fake, like "any port in a storm..." Well, the last thing any sane sailor wants to do is to enter an unknown port in bad weather.

Paris. The face that launched ...Oh, never mind...

Happy New Year :)

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You cast off line when leaving the dock

.. which is probably where the confusion arises.

Of cause, casting off your anchor line would generally be a bad thing to do. Saw it done earlier this year when we were anchored watching the AC45 racing off Drake's Island off that Jannerville. Some idiotic posh womann helming a 50' Bavaria tried to park up too close between our two rafted boats and and another yacht (flying an RNLI banner). She managed to foul the other yachts anchor line with her anchor and then get her line under their boat while having to be pushed off the long bowsprit on my friends old gaffer fishing smack. The other yacht got out their bolt croppers and threatened to cut the anchor line, which convinced the idiot boat to put a buoy on the end of their anchor and CAST IT OFF. Not so.mething to do in a hurry

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Anonymous Coward

Anchors are heavy. Casting them is therefore difficult. As you generally want them to go in a downward direction, it is also pointless, as gravity will do the work for you. Personally, with next to no nautical experience, I can honestly say I've not heard the phrase, "casts anchor" before now.

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