One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
An assistant mate on a merchant ship.
- ‘Jack and Ash, my two best friends, now my first and second mates, helped me along the way.’
- ‘At that moment, Miguel, the second mate, interrupted us.’
- ‘Captain Austen and the second mate were on the bridge at the time of the stranding, which occurred at high tide.’
- ‘I was second mate to the captain of this ship, but he was washed off in the last storm we hit.’
- ‘This was only to be expected, and it was the mate and second mates ' jobs to motivate them with threats and promises.’
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