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Dutchman

Lady's hole

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So I'm looking at plans of a 3rd rate ship of 74 guns- Nelson era and have run across a room I'm not familiar with. Just above the keelson, forward of the rudder is a small room called a lady's hole. it fills the angled void between the rudder deadwood and the next room forward, which in this case is a bread room. So essentially there is no floor and a hatch is showing to enter from the gun room floor above it. Any ideas what its use is?

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I confess that I assumed this thread would be about a completely different topic, and I am a bit disappointed, honestly.

Although in all seriousness, I bet the name has very little to do with the function of the room. I imagine that it got that name because it is hard to get into and you risk explosion in your efforts. Sailors will be sailorsl. Today's "cut splice" used to have one more letter, after all.

Edited by Matty Bottles

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well i said it wasn't what ya think....... how are ya mate- long time no see1

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well i said it wasn't what ya think....... how are ya mate- long time no see1

It's good to be back, frankly. Family circumstances permitting, I look forward to being more active in pyracy - one event a year is hardly ideal.

Looks like good old Merriam-Webster has the answer:

"a place in an old-time man-of-war for keeping gunner's small stores"

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/lady's%20hole

Too bad they don't show etymology.

Edited by Matty Bottles

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Too bad they don't show etymology.

Aye. It would be nice to learn when it first fell into use. Here's another that sounds nautical, but might not be, and I can't find an early enough reference for it.

Lady's Ladder - Rattlins set too close.

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i've heard of and seen the ladys ladder, but have no idea when it came to be. ratlins were way too close on the shrouds. when i went aloft i ended up skipping every other set but it was nice getting onto the yards with them set like that

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Here's a book that indicates the author read it in a description dated 1712. Actually, that first book is sort of an interesting read all the way around...

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wow, the "sea phrases" section, is a little gold mine!

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I have seen in diagram this compartment with access from Capt.s day cabin in just the area described by Dutch of the younger less likely to scare children variety. It was explained that. in the event of being overtaken by pirates, this compartment would be used to hide both women and other valuables. I will try to locate the book that I have this reference in.

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i found it in sharps trafalger and thats exactly what it was used for when not being used my the master at arms for small gun tools

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thanks for the book refference Mission.....thanks for sharing

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No prob. I always share my sources. I don't believe in hoarding info that is publicly available just so I can create the pretense of being an expert.

In fact, if you want to find out how to get period resources that are not yet available online, I have a whole webpage explaining how to do it:

Finding and Obtaining Period Docs

It says it's for surgical references (my particular interest), but it applies to anything. There are a lot (and I mean tens or hundreds of thousands) of period books on all sorts of topics available out there.

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For some reason Mission's link won't work for me, so I can't check and see if this is the same reference, but FWIW, the OED gives the following as the earliest example of 'lady's hole' in the sense of a gunner's store:

1711 W. Sutherland Ship-builders Assistant 43 . A Lady's Hole, or Place for the Gunner's small Stores, which Stores are looked after by one they call a Lady.

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