- Engineering term (female)
I don’t know if it’s the same for heavy machinery but boats were traditionally named after the captain/owners wife or significant other due to the dangers involved. If you were sailing any sort of distance, possibly to a warzone, engaging the enemy and then back again the odds were not stacked in your favour. It was an attachment to home and they all believed very strongly in forming a bond with the ship. It also served to stave off bad luck and is generally a symbol of affection.
Having said that many captains actually named their boat after their mother, not their wife. Earlier than this, English boats were always named after goddesses in the belief that they would be protected by said goddesses spirit.
The Mary Rose for example, built for Henry the 8th – her name comes from Henry’s sister, Mary combined with the red rose of the house of tudor.
I believe the tradition of ships always having a female name stopped when all warships gained the prefix of HMS. The key part there being that they were ALL tributes to her majesty, and therefore they need not be given female names. I.e. HMS Victory.
It’s ironic really because women were never allowed on any sort of ship until superstitions changed. In history they were considered to be the source of bad luck when on board a ship although this was possibly just a rouse started by the Navy to stop men sneaking women on board which inevitably lead to cases of rape, fights between men, mutiny etc.Posted 5 years ago
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