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  • "'The service's notion of morality is an odd one and I should be puzzled to define it, in some cases. Yet I think almost every sailor knows just about where to draw the line between culpable and capabarre and traditional friendly accommodation...'"

    --Patrick O'Brian, The Letter of Marque, 53

    February 27, 2008

  • "'You know the expression capabarre, I dare say?'

    'Certainly. I am no new-fledged canvas-climber, I believe. It is the topmost summit, the ultimate pinnacle of some towering mast.'

    'No doubt. But we commonly use it for that tendency in the bosuns of King's ships to steal all marine stores not immovably screwed down.'"

    --P. O'Brian, The Wine-Dark Sea, 229

    Also capperbar and other spellings. A Sea of Words: A term in use in the early 19th century for the misappropriation of government supplies. (130)

    March 16, 2008