One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
The lowest rank of merchant seaman, below able-bodied seaman.
- ‘He had been serving for three years as an ordinary seaman on an English sailing ship and spoke English perfectly.’
- ‘It was said that an ordinary seaman on the Admiral's flagship publicly disagreed with this conclusion and was promptly hanged from the yardarm for his insubordination.’
- ‘There is some attempt to suggest the difference between officers of rank, who wear hats, and ordinary seamen, who do not.’
- ‘Crew from the admiral down to ordinary seamen had no enmity towards their opposite numbers.’
- ‘He was promoted to an able, then demoted back to an ordinary seaman for again fighting with a petty officer.’
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