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Thought twice about responding to the whole net, but decided it was a
valid reference question that others might be interested in. If anyone
knows the etymology of the "poop" in "poop deck", I would be interested
in knowing. Strictly speaking, the poop deck of a ship is the raised
portion of the afterdeck of a ship. It refers to the open, exposed deck
itself. The stairway from there to the cabin below is called the
companionway. The word poop has been used with varying meanings.
Shakespeare referred to the poop deck on Cleopatra's ship. Kenneth
Grahame used the word "poop" as a nonsense sound in "Wind in the
Willows". And of course it has picked up some slang connotations in years
past. But, in the nautical sense, I have not been able to trace any
meaning etymologically. If someone knows the answer to this, please share.

Wade Weiler

On Tue, 29 Nov 1994, Sandra Haggstrom wrote:

> I have a fourth grade teacher who asked me before Thanksgiving about poop deck
>  on ships.  I thought her students were being crude so ignored the question. I
> turns out they were discussing the Mayflower and in the book "if you saide on
> the Mayflower..." they say there are no toilets on the ship.  A student notice
> on the poster of the Mayflower that there was a poop deck and he wandered why
> was called that if there were not any bathrooms.  She has some pretty obnoxiou
> students but this student was serious in his question.  Does anyone know the a
>  wer?  I told her to tell the student they used honey pots but as for the sour
> of the name poop deck I did not know.  Sandy Haggstrom  ftslh@aurora.alaska.ed

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