Definitions

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Etymologies

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Examples

  • Where is the little hunchback's journal, whose wit was the dog-vane of fashionable opinion, once pointing towards freedom as the prevailing wind seemed to blow, now veered round to obey the poisoned breath of

    The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 13, No. 78, April, 1864

  • You watch the smoke from every farmhouse and cottage within your ken, and still, after curling high up into the pure, rarefied atmosphere, it floats hopelessly away to the southward and corroborates the odious dog-vane that you fondly imagined might have got stuck in its northerly direction.

    Kate Coventry An Autobiography

  • The calm still continued as the day advanced; -- indeed, I could not perceive a breath of air by our dog-vane, which veered from side to side as the schooner rolled slowly on the lazy swell.

    Captain Canot or, Twenty Years of an African Slaver

  • It was on a cloudless day, when scarcely a breath of air puffed out the sails, and the dog-vane drooped lazily, as if desponding at having nothing to do, that Hubert was looking listlessly over the stern, marking how the wide expanse of the sea was heaving and swelling like a vast carpet of silk upraised and then drawn down again by some giant hand.

    Frank Oldfield Lost and Found

  • "I'll make life merry for ye, if ye come into this yard ag'in, you whiffle-headed dog-vane, you!" the Cap'n squalled after him.

    The Skipper and the Skipped Being the Shore Log of Cap'n Aaron Sproul

  • Jorrocks to me as we stood side by side together on the poop, watching the skipper, whose eyes were as intently riveted on the dog-vane at the main truck above.

    On Board the Esmeralda Martin Leigh's Log - A Sea Story

  • Soon that peculiar odor, sometimes to a great distance given forth by the living sperm whale, was palpable to all the watch; nor was any mariner surprised when, after inspecting the compass, and then the dog-vane, and then ascertaining the precise bearing of the odor as nearly as possible,

    Moby Dick, or, the whale

  • Soon that peculiar odor, sometimes to a great distance given forth by the living sperm whale, was palpable to all the watch; nor was any mariner surprised when, after inspecting the compass, and then the dog-vane, and then ascertaining the precise bearing of the odor as nearly as possible, Ahab rapidly ordered the ship's course to be slightly altered, and the sail to be shortened.

    Moby-Dick, or, The Whale

  • For the fool's judgment is a dog-vane that turns with a breath, and the cheat watches the clouds and sets his weathercock by them, -- so that one shall often see by their pointing which way the winds of heaven are blowing, when the slow-wheeling arrows and feathers of what we call the Temples of Wisdom are turning to all points of the compass.

    Complete Project Gutenberg Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. Works

  • The men came rapidly tumbling up from below, some looking round astonished at hearing the order, seeing that the dog-vane was still hanging up and down the rigging.

    The Heir of Kilfinnan A Tale of the Shore and Ocean

Comments

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  • I just had to look up this one, c_b. Here's what I found on William Falconer's Dictionary of the Marine:

    "Dog-VANE, (panon, Fr.) a small light vane, formed of a piece of packthread about two feet in length, upon which are fixed five or six thin slices of cork stuck full of light feathers. It is usually fastened to the top of a staff two yards high, which is placed on the top of the ship's side on the quarter-deck, in order to shew the direction of the wind to the helmsman, particularly in a dark night, or when the wind is extremely feeble."

    February 24, 2008

  • "And there she steadied, racing through the sea and flinging a bow-wave so high to leeward that the sun sent back a double rainbow. Discreet cheering started forward and spread aft: everybody on the quarterdeck was grinning.

    "'Watch your dog-vane,' said Jack to the helmsman. 'If you once let her be brought by the lee, you will never see Portsmouth Point again.'"
    --Patrick O'Brian, The Far Side of the World, 354

    February 23, 2008