The First English Sea Dictionary

Henry Mainwaring, privateer, pirate, Royal Navy officer, linguist, and Royalist is credited with the first dictionary of sea terms in English. His dictionary, though not printed until 1644, had been circulated in manuscript in previous years. Here is a 1626 handwritten manuscript entitled  A briefe abstract, exposition, and demonstration of all termes, parts, and things belonging to a shippe and the practick of navigation. An  introduction to this work, as well as a collated version of the dictionary is found in volume 2 of Life and Works of Sir Henry Mainwaring; it is entitled THE SEAMAN’S DICTIONARY OR, AN EXPOSITION AND DEMONSTRATION OF ALL THE PARTS AND THINGS BELONGING TO A SHIP TOGETHER WITH AN EXPLANATION OF ALL THE TERMS AND PHRASES USED IN THE PRACTIQUE OF NAVIGATION. It begins on page 83.


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