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21 April 2018

S Is For "Soga" {Line} | A To Z Challenge


As part of my ongoing efforts to learn Spanish, I'm highlighting a Spanish word each day as part of the Blogging from A to Z Challenge. I'm also sharing the random thoughts that pop into my head when I try to pronounce them.

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Today's Spanish word is >>soga<< (line). And now for some random thoughts:

1 - What a "normal" person might call a rope, a sailor calls a "line." There's a saying that the only rope on a boat is the one attached to the ship's bell.

2 - Sailors like to speak in a secret language, which can sometimes be confusing to landlubbers. I call it Nauticalese.

3 - I'm not very good at throwing or catching lines. More often than not, they end up in the water.



Are you good at throwing things? What's your favorite word that starts with "S"?

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23 comments:

  1. Once in a while i am lukcy in making a throw or a catch. You are right about Nauticalese, and i wonder how it developed. Did the early sailors want to take in a code their passengers could not grasp? Were these words easier to use or say or remember or hear above the roar of the wind or waves? Probably we will never know, but it is fun to think about.

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    1. I'm not sure the origins, but it is fascinating. I guess every specialty, profession, sport etc. develops its own lingo.

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  2. I can't hit a waste basket from two feet away. Ha! And it would probably be me who ended up in the water. Happy Sailing, and Writing, and Blogging, my dear.

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    1. That's one of my big fears - falling into the water accidentally.

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  3. I've been the fleet captain more than once. I can toss a line right where you want the line. Yes they are lines, not ropes.

    Have a fabulous weekend, Ellen. ♥

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  4. Coincidentally, talking of Spanish words that start with the letter S -- we are in New Mexico sitting in a laundromat in the town of Socorro. All the towns have Spanish word names out here. Yesterday we passed through Quemado which means burnt. Kinda a funny name for a town. So now, of course, when I see a new town name I look it up in Spanish Dictionary. Socorro means help, like I need Socorro throwing lines 'cause I'm terrible at it.

    Greg still likes to use a little Naticalese when talking about the van, like I think the van is tilting a little to Port. But I only know port from starboard if I am standing at the back of the van looking forward and can imagine a big old wheel in my hands.

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    1. Quemado - what an interesting name for a town. I wonder if it burned down at some point? I'm going to try to remember "socorro" - I think I'll end up needed that one.

      I love that you use Nauticalese in the van :-)

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  5. Bell rope, yes. Also a man-rope (heavy line with knots tied at even intervals and secured overhead, so you can climb it), and bucket rope (attached to a bucket so you can toss it in to bring wash water aboard). These I learned aboard the Schooner we worked last summer. There were a couple others I've forgotten...

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    1. I've never heard of a man-rope. We used to haul water up in a bucket on our first boat to wash dishes with (rinsed off sparingly with fresh water afterward).

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  6. I remember reading a book to my children in the 1980s called something like "How many Ropes on a Boat" but can't find it on Google. Turned out there was one but I can't remember what it was. It may have been the bucket rope as Sionna said.

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    1. That's really neat that there's a kids book about that. Love it!

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  7. nauticalese - great word - lines and ropes - a fine distinction. happy sailing
    a to z - https://faeriembassy.wordpress.com/

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    1. I wonder how the distinction developed - it is curious.

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  8. You may be learning Spanish but you are fluent in Nauticalese!

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    1. It's almost as hard to learn Nauticalese as Spanish :-)

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  9. I'm not good at catching anything so don't imagine I'd be good at catching a line. .... hmmm ... would that mean my boat would drift out to sea or something? Bet you're good at tying lines though

    my favorite S word (today anyways) is Serendipity

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    1. Oh, I wish I was good at tying lines. Sadly, I'm not :-(

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  10. I'd be useless at tossing a line and probably even worse at catching one. Maybe I should steer clear of boats. Favourite S word right now? Sleep.

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  11. Do you use 'line' when writing about them too - in a nautical story? Would that confuse landlubber readers or educate them? Same with Sheets.

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    1. That's a very good point, Roland. I really had to think about how much sailing terminology to use in my book as most readers won't know a lot of the terms. It was very tricky.

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  12. Yes, but don't confuse LINES with lines that have a FUNCTION... such as the Sheets, Halyards, Guys, Topping lifts, and so on...

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