Rather than a marine-habiting dinosaur, “Sea” + “Thesaurus” is my attempt to explain the various ways of saying things in sailing.


Sailing learners are the first audience: I saw the need for this in the summer of 2022 while teaching students. They would frequently respond, “Oh, I thought that was called…”

I’d reply, “It is, but…”

Then I remembered that learning a language in the classroom can be quite different from how native speakers actually use the language in the street.

More experienced, but cross-cultural sailors are a second audience. Some of these differences are regional, akin to how Brits call a spanner what Americans call a wrench. For example, in the week after starting this site and the week before before starting this section, a sailor from the Pacific Northwest referred to a method of hoisting the last few feet of a halyard as “stringing the bow”, while on the Chesapeake bay, I learned to call it “sweating”. His archery (or musical?) reference is both more descriptive and poetic.


I will fill out and cross reference entries as I hear them or they come back to mind, , but I encourage some crowdsourcing. If you see an error, have a suggestion—or especially want to help at a more significant level—please contact me.

Both synonyms ( “=” ) and near-synonyms ( “≈” ) are included. Later, I will delineate the (often fine) distinctions between them.

I am also playing with the idea of adding other logical operators, e.g.

The symbol "⊆" means "is a subset of". The symbol "⊂" means "is a proper subset of".

As an etymology nerd, I will include word roots, especially when illustrative. Eventually, I’ll add photos, diagrams, and perhaps videos.

Code zero = Gennaker

= AWA (Apparent Wind Angle, sometimes follow by a number, e.g. 80, denoting number of degrees can be sailed off the wind)

screecher (usually term used on multihulls) : a reaching asymmetrical spinnaker

Come down = fall off = bow down = bearing away = pointing down = turning lower … :

increasing the angle between the bow and the wind direction.

Come to = To stop a sailing vessel, especially by turning into the wind.