topsail schooner
Schooner Schoon"er, n. [See the Note below. Cf. {Shun}.] (Naut.) Originally, a small, sharp-built vessel, with two masts and fore-and-aft rig. Sometimes it carried square topsails on one or both masts and was called a {topsail schooner}. About 1840, longer vessels with three masts, fore-and-aft rigged, came into use, and since that time vessels with four masts and even with six masts, so rigged, are built. Schooners with more than two masts are designated three-masted schooners, four-masted schooners, etc. See Illustration in Appendix. [1913 Webster]

Note: The first schooner ever constructed is said to have been built in Gloucester, Massachusetts, about the year 1713, by a Captain Andrew Robinson, and to have received its name from the following trivial circumstance: When the vessel went off the stocks into the water, a bystander cried out,``O, how she scoons!'' Robinson replied, `` A scooner let her be;'' and, from that time, vessels thus masted and rigged have gone by this name. The word scoon is popularly used in some parts of New England to denote the act of making stones skip along the surface of water. The Scottish scon means the same thing. Both words are probably allied to the Icel. skunda, skynda, to make haste, hurry, AS. scunian to avoid, shun, Prov. E. scun. In the New England records, the word appears to have been originally written scooner. Babson, in his ``History of Gloucester,'' gives the following extract from a letter written in that place Sept. 25, 1721, by Dr. Moses Prince, brother of the Rev. Thomas Prince, the annalist of New England: ``This gentleman (Captain Robinson) was first contriver of schooners, and built the first of that sort about eight years since.'' [1913 Webster]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Topsail schooner — Topsail Top sail , n. (Naut.) In a square rigged vessel, the sail next above the lowermost sail on a mast. This sail is the one most frequently reefed or furled in working the ship. In a fore and aft rigged vessel, the sail set upon and above the …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • topsail schooner — noun : a two masted schooner having square rigged topsails on the foremast and rarely on the mainmast * * * a sailing vessel fore and aft rigged on all of two or more masts with square sails above the foresail, and often with a square sail before …   Useful english dictionary

  • topsail schooner — a sailing vessel fore and aft rigged on all of two or more masts with square sails above the foresail, and often with a square sail before the foresail. Cf. main topsail schooner. [1865 70] * * * …   Universalium

  • topsail schooner — /tɒpseɪl ˈskunə/ (say topsayl skoohnuh) noun a two masted schooner carrying square rigged topsails on the foremast …   Australian English dictionary

  • main topsail schooner — noun : a schooner carrying a square fore topsail and topgallant sail …   Useful english dictionary

  • main-topsail schooner — Naut. a two masted or three masted schooner having square topsails on the foremast and mainmast: a jackass brig or jackass bark. * * * …   Universalium

  • main-topsail schooner — Naut. a two masted or three masted schooner having square topsails on the foremast and mainmast: a jackass brig or jackass bark …   Useful english dictionary

  • Topsail — Top sail , n. (Naut.) In a square rigged vessel, the sail next above the lowermost sail on a mast. This sail is the one most frequently reefed or furled in working the ship. In a fore and aft rigged vessel, the sail set upon and above the gaff.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Schooner — Schoon er, n. [See the Note below. Cf. {Shun}.] (Naut.) Originally, a small, sharp built vessel, with two masts and fore and aft rig. Sometimes it carried square topsails on one or both masts and was called a {topsail schooner}. About 1840,… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Schooner — 1) Bowsprit2) Jib, followed by fore staysail3) (Fore) gaff topsail4) Foresail5) Main gaff topsail6) Mainsail7) End of boom] A schooner (pronEng|ˈskuːnɚ) is a type of sailing vessel characterized by the use of fore and aft sails on two or more… …   Wikipedia

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