The day before I bought Poop Deck I woke up in the morning and was lazily scrolling Facebook when I came across an ad for a cute little boat in Shilshole. I almost sent it to Eric, but decided not to since I wasn’t officially in the market to buy a boat yet. I was still saving and dreaming.
About 5 minutes later Eric sent it to me and said, “I think I should go take a look at this one.” I said something like, “that’s fine, but I am not buying a boat yet.” Famous last words.
He went and saw her and gave me rave reviews. She needed work, but most of it was cosmetic. Her bones were good and the owner needed to sell ASAP at a good price. “And Jenn, here’s the kicker: the boats name is Poop Deck.”
Now I had to see her. I had always dreamed of buying a keelboat and naming her Unicorn Farts. This was because: 1. I could put a farting unicorn on her side and 2. Because I wanted people to have to say Unicorn Farts, Unicorn Farts, Unicorn Farts each time I was hailed on the VHF. Poop Deck seemed kismet and meant to be.
The next morning, accompanied by my male entourage Andrew and Eric, I went to see her and I walked away with my first keel boat. Holy shit!
My twelve year old boy sense of humor dictated that not only would I keep the name but I would embrace it to the max. I would still have a unicorn farting rainbows down the side, and get to have poop emojis (the best emoji there is) anywhere I wanted. Eric came up with the best dad joke yet: we are the shit!
Maritime language is full of strange terms and double entendres. It’s a landmine of never ending jokes and inappropriate opportunities to say “that’s what she said.” Here are a some favorite examples:
“Blow the guy”
“Give that line a tug”
“On the hard”
“The boat abreast of us”
“Get the tail end”
“I need the head”
“You need to scrub your bottom”
“Grab the wench”
“Ease it out”
“The after berth”
“Ride her hard and put her away wet”
“Off the hook”
“Blow me down”
And maybe the worst of them all….
Some people know that Poop Deck is actually a nautical term and some don’t. Technically a Poop Deck is the aftermost and highest deck of a ship, especially in a sailing ship where it typically forms the roof of a cabin in the stern. My favorite 17th century schooners that look like classic pirate ships have beautiful poop decks with captains cabins usually below. Poop comes from Old French pupe or Latin puppis, meaning stern. So, it is the highest part of the ass of a ship. It is also where the captain stood to call the shots.
I think Poop Deck has become a litmus test of who I can really get along with or not. Some people are not amused at all, some have even said it’s just immature and gross. Some people think it’s immature and gross but are still amused. Some people, who I really appreciate, know their sailing history and think it’s cool.
Regardless of people’s opinions I can’t get enough of Poopsie, as we endearingly call her. I fly my pink Resist flag, have my farting unicorn and have my poop emojis displayed with pride. I especially love it when I call into ports with her name and hear the reactions. My favorite being a tone of disbelief in Deer Harbor: “can you spell that for me?”
(Photo of me the day I bought Poopsie in November 2017)
5 thoughts on “Origins of Poop Deck”
Just a small typo correction, if I may…
The French word you are referring to is “poupe”, not “pupe”. And indeed, it means the stern. It is not very much in use, but I would not consider it “old French”; it is still in contemporary dictionaries.
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And thanks for reading the blog Laurent!