Online Encyclopedia

SLOOP

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V25, Page 244 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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SLOOP, a type of small sailing-vessels which have one mast rigged " fore and aft," carrying a mainsail, gaff-topsail, jib and fore staysail. There is little in rig to distinguish a sloop from a " cutter," and the terms are used indiscriminately; sometimes a distinction is drawn by a sloop having a fixed and a cutter a running bowsprit. In the sailing and early steam days of naval warfare, a " sloop " was a small corvette, ship-rigged, with all the guns mounted on the upper deck. Like so many nautical terms the word was borrowed from the Dutch, viz. sloep, boat. This is generally taken to be an adaptation of the Fr. chaloupe, Span. and Port. chalupa, cf. Ital. scialuppa, Eng. "shallop," a light boat. These probably represent some native word borrowed by Spanish or Portuguese sailors in the East or American Indies. Other etymologists distinguish the Dutch and French words and refer sloep to the common Teutonic root, meaning to glide, to creep, seen in " slip," Ger. schleifen, schleefen, &c.
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