1893 text

Stemples, cross pieces which are put into a frame of woodwork to cure and strengthen a shaft.

This text comes from a footnote on a diary entry in the 1893 edition edited by Henry B. Wheatley.

7 Annotations

First Reading

Phil Gyford  •  Link

L&M disagree with the definition provided by Wheatley and instead say "The stempiece was the main vertical timber of the bow [of a ship]."

Glyn  •  Link

Stem, Stempost: A timber rising in a curve from the keel and forming the centrepiece of the bows.

Stem for stem: adverb, head on.

From a naval glossary.

in Aqua Scripto  •  Link

[Stem from the Sailors GrammarChap 2 {17C how to book}]
The Keel: The first and lowest Timber in a fhip is the Keel, to which is fafstened all the reft; this a great tree or more, hewn to the proportion of her burden, laid by a right line in the bottom of the Docks or Stocks. At one end is Skarfed into the Stem, which is a great timber wrought compaffing, and all the butt-ends of the planks forwards are fixed to it. The Stern poft is another great Timber, which is let into the Keel at the other end fomewhat sloping, ......

in Aqua Scripto  •  Link

Stempeese= Stem Piece [Post] Stern tother end Stem gives the rake to ship.

in Aqua Scripto  •  Link

From Nate on Mon 3 Apr 2006, 4:25 pm | Link
Stem piece: “Nautical The curved upright beam at the fore of a vessel into which the hull timbers are scarfed to form the prow.”

It would be the part of the ship that, on the water line, cuts into the water. It’s usually not really vertical but “raked”. It’s the most forward part of the ship, then, that’s not not used for rigging a sail such as the jib.


see Masts too.

in Aqua Scripto  •  Link

More on Stem: meaning in general, main piece derived from 'Sta' Latin to stand via the Germanic type lingos.
[ Trunk of Tree or other stalk items }
OED:- stem, n.2

OED OTeut. *stamni-z; a parallel and synonymous OTeut. formation (*stamno-z) is represented by (M)LG., (M)Du., OHG., MHG. stam (mod.G. stamm) masc., trunk or stem of a tree (so Sw. stam, Da. stamme, from German); also by OS. stamn (? masc.), ON. stamn, stafn neut., which are recorded only in the derived sense = STEM n.2 The word is
Stem n2
1. The timber at either extremity of a vessel, to which the ends of the side-planks were fastened; the ‘stem’ (in the modern sense) or the stern-post. Hence, either extremity of a vessel, the prow or the stern. Obs.

quotes using stem
1587 MARLOWE 1st Pt. Tamburl. I. ii, Christian Merchants that with Russian stems Plow vp huge furrowes in the Caspian Sea, Shall vaile to us.

1601 HOLLAND Pliny VII. lvi. I. 190 Piseus the Tyrrhene..armed the stemme and beake~head of the ship with sharpe tines and pikes of brasse.

1627 CAPT. SMITH Sea Gram. ii. 2 At the one end is skarfed into it the Stem, which is a great timber wrought compassing. Ibid. ix. 53 If her stem be too flat..fix another stem before it, and that is called a false stem, which will make her rid more way and beare a better saile.

1652 NEDHAM tr. Selden's Mare Cl. 54 As far as Nereus doth, to Ashur's Land Plow out a passage with his stemm's and oars.

1668 Lond. Gaz. No. 236/1 But the Flyboat breaking her Stemm, sunk..suddenly.

b. Phrases. from stem to stern (from post to stem): along the whole length of a ship. to give (a ship) the stem: to ram.
stem for stem: (of ships) abreast, exactly alongside each other. stem on: so as to strike with the stem. stem to stem: (of ships) with their stems facing each other.

1627 CAPT. SMITH Sea Gram. ii. 2 Pulling it from sterne to stem.
a1642 SIR W. MONSON Naval Tracts VI.

(1704) 535/1 The Ship gave Stem to a Whale that lay a sleep..; it was a Stem upon a Whale.

1644 H. MANWAYRING Seamans Dict. 102 To give a ship the Stem, that is to run right upon her with the Stem.

Second Reading

Bill  •  Link

The STEM of a Ship is that Piece of Timber which is wrought compassing from the Keel below and serves to guide the Ship's Rake.
The RAKE of a Ship is so much of her Hull as hangs over both ends of the Keel.
---An Universal English Dictionary. N. Bailey, 1724.

STEM ...
3 The prow or forepart of a ship.
---A Dictionary of the English Language. Samuel Johnson, 1856.

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