Mudcat Café message #153599 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #16440   Message #153599
Posted By: Barry Finn
23-Dec-99 - 08:19 PM
Thread Name: Help: What is a 'forebitter'?
Subject: RE: Help: What is a 'forebitter'?
Hi Margo, remember to always tie off the bitter end of the anchor line to the bits for else you lose the anchor.
In Boston two bits is a quater (of a dollar) & four bits = fifty cents, (off topic) a saw buck is a ten dollar bill & a double saw buck, yup.
Now I hate to steal thunder from the French but by the time the word chantey/chanty/shanty/ came about(depending on who you listen to but around 1840's-1870's) the French's contruibition to shanties was slight. Whall & Hugill both lean towards the English word "chant" as a good possiblity. Whall states the earliest he found in print was 1875 (since, Doerflinger has found it in print earlier) though he states it was used during the 40's & he shipped with those from the old OLD school, those that shipped in Man O War's prior to 1815. They also lean a little towards Afro-American origins, I'd lean heavy that way. The hayday of black shanties had already past prior to the Civil War while shanties in general still had some time to go before peaking. If they then where the major influence before the Civil War (my opinion) as much as they weren't after the war I'd have to say that then they may well have been the orgins of the word too. My belief for seeing them as the major influence before the Civil War is expressed in song, log books, reports from the Commissioner of Fish & Fisheries & in a few books most notably "Black Jacks-Afrrican American Seaman in the Age of Sail" by Bolster. Some shanties of the Georgia Sea Islands go back to slavery. There's the shanty "Reily" that Lomax collected & says Reily could've been anyone & probably desended from one of the British Reily's of song, yet Frankie Quimby says Reily was a nickname (code) for a slave driver who was a pretty fair man towards them, hence, "Reily's gone & I'll go to", so maybe British Reily's from Afro Reily. Anyway food for thought or thought this was chum food. Barry