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 True Tars?? 
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Post True Tars??
In a description of my ancestory ship it was fitted with 16 nine pounders, swivels and 100 true tars.
Anyone have any knowledge of True Tars??

Sheila


Tue May 15, 2007 10:41 pm
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Post Re: True Tars??
Sheila wrote:
In a description of my ancestory ship it was fitted with 16 nine pounders, swivels and 100 true tars.
Anyone have any knowledge of True Tars??

"Tar" is another term for sailor. I believe that your ship was crewed by 100 sailors. I surmise that "true tars" refers to "experienced sailors." I have also heard this term used for those sailors who cross the equator, thus a sign of being experienced.

I surmise from your posting in this thread that you believed that the term might have referred to a weapon of some type. The writer got a little poetic didn't he? :D

Don


Tue May 15, 2007 11:41 pm
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Post Re: True Tars??
timoneer wrote:
[I have also heard this term used for those sailors who cross the equator, thus a sign of being experienced.


I apologize if this has already been posted, but I'm pretty new here.

Crossing the equator results in a sailor transforming from a polywog (or 'wog) to a shellback. If a sailor crosses the equator at the International Date Line, they become a "Golden Shellback." At the equator and prime meridian, they become a Royal Diamond Shellback.


Wed May 16, 2007 2:00 am
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Many thanks for that information thats helped an awful lot. Yes the further back you go the more flowery the writing :roll: especially with all the lack of punctuation. I was totally confused but it now makes perfect sense.

Thanks again
Sheila


Wed May 16, 2007 8:50 am
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Post Re: True Tars??
Actium Blue wrote:
Crossing the equator results in a sailor transforming from a polywog (or 'wog) to a shellback. If a sailor crosses the equator at the International Date Line, they become a "Golden Shellback." At the equator and prime *, they become a Royal Diamond Shellback.
Thanks, I had never read those terms before in any Age of Sail books. Are they contemporary to the AoS or are they modern terms?

Don


Wed May 16, 2007 11:50 am
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Don,
I think it's within the past 150 years. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, it can mean "a sailor, esp. a hardened or experienced one". According to the dictionary, its first use can be found in 1853.

The ceremony itself is at least two centuries old. One account is in A Call to the Sea when the USS FRANKLIN is heading toward Pacific Station. Surprisingly, the ceremony hasn't changed all that much. I crossed the line a couple of years ago. It's much tamer now because of hazing rules, but the components are still there.


Wed May 16, 2007 6:45 pm
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Post Re: True Tars??
Actium Blue wrote:
Crossing the equator results in a sailor transforming from a polywog (or 'wog) to a shellback. If a sailor crosses the equator at the International Date Line, they become a "Golden Shellback." At the equator and prime *, they become a Royal Diamond Shellback.

I guess I should have been more specific. I already know that the term "tar" and the "crossing the line" ceremony" are AoS. There are numerous references to the ceremony here in this forum, in fact. The use of "tar" is in many books.

I was trying to ask if the terms "polywog," "shellback," "golden shellback," and "diamond shellback" are AoS terms, specifically Nelson era or before, or are they more modern terms?

Don


Wed May 16, 2007 7:51 pm
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And don't forget Blue Nose.

Ron W.
Golden Shellback x3
Blue Nose

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Fri May 18, 2007 5:40 am
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bushman32 wrote:
And don't forget Blue Nose.

Ron W.
Golden Shellback x3
Blue Nose


I'm from New England, and to me a Blue Nose is a Nova Scotian. Is that what you mean?

-clash

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Fri May 18, 2007 7:50 pm
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Incidentally, the "shellback" family of terms are rarely used outside the U.S.

The crossing the line ceremonies can also vary from naiton to nation, and depending on period. Also, they don't just occur when crossing the equator, Henry Teonge's diary, for example, describes ceremonies performed when crossing the Straits of Gibraltar.

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Fri May 18, 2007 9:08 pm
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Clash,
Sorry for the misunderstanding on Blue Nose. In my case it is a sailor that has crossed the Artic Circle.
Ron W.

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Sat May 19, 2007 9:04 pm
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Whoops, I meant Arctic Circle.
Ron W.

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Sat May 19, 2007 9:06 pm
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Foxe wrote:
Incidentally, the "shellback" family of terms are rarely used outside the U.S.

Were they used in Britain, especially during the AoS?

Don


Sat May 19, 2007 9:17 pm
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bushman32 wrote:
Clash,
Sorry for the misunderstanding on Blue Nose. In my case it is a sailor that has crossed the Artic Circle.
Ron W.


Thanks, bushman. I'd never heard the term before as you apply it before.

-clash

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Sun May 20, 2007 6:30 pm
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clash wrote:
bushman32 wrote:
And don't forget Blue Nose.

Ron W.
Golden Shellback x3
Blue Nose


I'm from New England, and to me a Blue Nose is a Nova Scotian. Is that what you mean?

-clash


Blue Nose is a Nova Scotian term, and of course is the name of the famous fishing schooner which adorns Canada's dime.

Cheers


Mon May 21, 2007 3:53 am
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