Coolcanals: Waterways Directory & Information Guide. Waterside Walks & Cycling, Boating & Holidays in the Waterways Outdoors



The canals have their own 'lingo' so we've listed some useful words and their meanings for you here...
AQUEDUCT: structure carrying a canal over a road, railway or river
ARM: short stretch of canal branching off from the main canal
BARGE: cargo-carrying boat which is 16ft wide or more
BEAM: width of a boat
BOW: front of a boat
BROAD CANAL: canal over 7ft 6in wide
BUTTY: unpowered boat towed by another boat with an engine
CANALIA: gifts and crafts related to canals
CRATCH: triangular structure at bow of boat
CRUISER: pleasure boat usually made of wood or fibreglass
CRUISER STERN: extended external space at rear end of a narrowboat
CUT: slang for canal
DOLLY: post for attaching mooring ropes
FENDER: external bumper, traditionally made of rope, to protect boat hull
FLIGHT: series of locks close together
GONGOOZLER: boaters' lingo describing onlookers
GUNWALES: (pronounced 'gunnels') ridge to walk on along sides of a boat
IDLE WOMEN: cheeky nickname given to the women who worked on canal boats during World War II to help the war effort. The name came from the initials 'IW' on the Inland Waterways badges they wore
IWA: Inland Waterways' Association
JUNCTION: where two or more canals meet
LEEDS & LIV: popular nickname for the Leeds & Liverpool Canal
LEGGING: lying on top of boat and using legs on walls to push boat through tunnel
LOCK: water-holding chamber with gates and paddles to lift boats up and down hills
MILEPOST: short posts informing boatmen about distances travelled
MON & BREC: popular nickname for the Monmouthshire & Brecon Canal
MONTY: popular nickname for the Montgomery Canal
NARROWBOAT: canal boats which are no wider than 7ft
NARROW CANAL: canals built for boats up to 70ft long and 7ft wide
NAVVIES: nickname for the workers or 'navigators' who dug the canals
PORT: left side of boat when facing the bow
POUND: stretch of level water between locks, whether a few feet or a few miles
ROSES & CASTLES: traditional folk art
SCUMBLE: paint technique simulating the appearance of wood grain
SILT: mud that builds up at bottom of canal
STAFFS & WORCS: popular nickname for Staffordshire & Worcestershire Canal
STAIRCASE LOCKS: series of locks close together without pounds in between
STARBOARD: right side of the boat when facing the bow
STERN: rear of a boat
TILLER: steering wheel of a boat, shaped like a pole
TOWPATH: path alongside canal built for working horses pulling boats
TUG: boat that pulls another boat
TUPPERWARE: irreverent name narrowboaters give fibreglass boats
WIDE BEAM NARROWBOAT: boat that looks like a narrowboat but is wider than 7ft 6in
WINDLASS: hand tool used to wind lock paddles up and down
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