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  • "I ased off the catfalls an 'shank painter iver since the mornin'; an ', sure, the blissid anchor is a-cockbill, all riddy to lit go whin ye gives the worrud."

    Afloat at Last A Sailor Boy's Log of his Life at Sea William Heysham Overend 1874

  • By Eight Bells, we could make out the derelict clearly from the deck; and, shortly after breakfast when we had closed her within half-a-mile, we could see that somehow or other she had got terribly knocked about, her bulwarks having been carried away, as well as most of her spars and rigging, only the stump of her mainmast being left still standing, with the yard, which had parted at the slings, hanging down all a-cockbill.

    Crown and Anchor Under the Pen'ant John B. [Illustrator] Greene

  • "Well, then, I'll get the port cable bent and the anchor a-cockbill ready for lettin 'go before touchin' the canvas.

    A Middy in Command A Tale of the Slave Squadron Harry Collingwood 1886


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  • I've seen this word elsewhere without a hyphen, but in this usage, it has one:

    "'Mr Pullings,' he asked in the silence, 'Is the anchor a-cockbill?'

    "'Yes, sir: with a spring from right aft.'

    "'Then let it be lowered inch by inch to the hawsehole: then we can let it go without a splash...'"

    —Patrick O'Brian, The Letter of Marque, 190

    February 29, 2008