Sealing Terms

  • Downhome Magazine
  • Posted: Nov 30, -0001 12:00 AM
ballroom: a humorous name for a crew's quarters on a sealing vessel.

bay seal also harbour seal: the common seal [Phoca Vitulina], a non-migrating seal found in coastal waters. These vary in colour from black, brown, grey or tan, with darker patches. The pattern is unique to the individual. They have a relatively large head with a short body and flippers. Males measure 1.4-1.9 m (4.6 ft-6.2 ft) in length, and weigh 55-170 kg (121-375 lbs), while females are 1.2-1.7 m (3.9-5.6 lbs) long and weigh 45-105 kg (100-230 lbs).

beater: a young harp seal just out of the whitecoat stage. 2. a wayward woman.

bedlamer also bellamer, beddamer, bedlemer, bedlimer: a two-year-old harp seal. 2. a teenage boy. Possibly from the old English word, "bedlamer," meaning, "one who creates bedlam, havoc or chaos." Also possibly from the French, "bte de la mer," which means, "beast of the sea."

berth: a space on a sealing vessel as a sealer. big ice: a large field of tightly-packed ice.

berth free: a berth allowed a sealer without a fee.

bill: a promissory note showing the earnings of a member of a sealing crew or fishing crew at the end of a voyage after deductions. "I'm going to the ice to make a bill, and all the crew will join me." 2. the narrow tip of a headland.

blow hole also seal hole: a breathing hole in the ice made by seals.

dog: a male animal. "I was scared to death when I saw the size of that old dog hood." 2. to follow in secret. "We saw John and Mary holding hands and walking in the lane last night so we dogged them." 3. to follow another sealing vessel thought to have knowledge of the main herd of seals. 4. an iron hook used to haul seal pelts aboard a vessel.

fit: to supply a fisherman or vessel with supplies and gear for fishing or sealing.

flipper: the front limb and shoulder of a seal. "We're having flippers for dinner today."

harp: the Greenland seal, a seal found in abundance around the coast of Newfoundland and Labrador in the late winter and early spring. [Phoca groenlandica]

hood: the hooded seal [Cystophora cristata]. Named for the cap-like bulge on its forehead and nose.

jowler: an experienced and competent sealing skipper. "Captain Abraham Kean was one of the best jowlers ever born in Newfound-land."

master watch also master of watch: the person in charge of one of the groups of men who hunt seals on the ice from a sealing vessel.

prime seal: a seal with good fur and having a large quantity of fat.

ranger: a seal in its third year.

rough ice: Arctic ice pans, as opposed to the ice that is frozen in local harbours, etc.

saddle-dog also saddler: a mature male harp seal [Phoca groenlandica].

sculping knife: a heavy knife with a broad, thin, rounded blade, about six inches long, used to remove the pelt and blubber from a seal.

sculp also scalp: the skin of a seal with the blubber attached. 2. to remove the skin and blubber of a seal.

scutter: the rear flipper of a seal.

seal finger also seal hand: an infection of the finger or hand, causing inflammation and swelling, from handling seal carcasses.

sealing also swiling: the hunting and taking of seals.

sealing capstan: a winch used to haul seal nets ashore.

sealing captain: the master of a sealing vessel.

sealing plane: an aircraft used to spot seals on the ice floes.

sealing vessel: a vessel adapted or used to prosecute the seal fishery.

seal killer: a sealing captain who is continually successful.

seal net: a net with the proper size of mesh (sometimes attached to other nets of the same mesh) used to trap seals.

seal oil: the oil obtained from rendering seal fat, which was exported and used locally to fuel lamps. Also used for medicinal purposes.

seal pan: an ice pan containing a quantity of seal pelts.

seal pass: the route often used by seals migrating near the shore.

seal shot: a lead shot of a size large enough to kill seals.

sealskin: the pelt of a seal with the blubber removed, used for export as well as for making clothing, footwear and snowshoes.

sealskin mogs: moccasins made of sealskin.

skin boot: a knee-length boot made of sealskin.

whelp: the act of a seal giving birth. 2. a new-born seal.

whelping bag: the placenta of a seal.



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