Windjammer against tall shipRomancing the word.
Yesterday 600 of the world's largest sailing ships came sailing in into the harbor of Amsterdam. Numberless smaller boats and ships hailing them in. This show takes place every 5th year.
'Windjammer' is the traditional word for these giants from the past.
I looked up the English word for "windjammer". Surprise: “windjammer”, - exactly the same word.
The Dutch word has ( wrongly though) a romantic connotation. Jammeren is a Dutch verb meaning:to wail, howl, complain
; most Dutch people think it refers to the typical sound of strong winds blowing through the rigging.
But no, the word comes from the English verb "to jam"
because the sails are so large that they seem to "jam" the wind.
Part of the romance taken away
, I noticed this year that 'windjammer' is threatened to be even further stripped of it's poetry. Both written and spoken press are now preferring the word
Even though 28 dictionaries give “windjammer” against 13 giving “tall ship”, TV and printed press have the last word in this transition. Tall ships on the go.
So, fare thee well, dear windjammer word!