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

 
 

Glossary

 
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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