One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A representative of the ship's owner on board a merchant ship, responsible for overseeing the cargo and its sale.
- ‘This was applied in the normal way to the foreign community, whose chiefs - supercargoes and ships' captains - could thus be held responsible for crimes committed by those under their authority.’
- ‘Born in the Netherlands in 1739, van Braam first went to China in 1758 as a supercargo for the Dutch East India Company.’
- ‘The origin of the museum was the East India Marine Society, which was founded in 1799 by shipmasters and supercargoes who had collectively amassed forty-three hundred objects made in China, Japan, India, Africa, and Oceania.’
- ‘Similar facilities are provided for the supercargo crew of two officers, twelve NCOs and 36 enlisted crew members.’
- ‘As the ship sails, supercargoes can find specific vehicles as needed.’
- ‘The piece consists of a conversation between a female captain and a male supercargo on a massive container vessel headed for Vancouver.’
Late 17th century: alteration of earlier supracargo, from Spanish sobrecargo, from sobre ‘over’ + cargo ‘cargo’.
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