dolphin-striker love



from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A ship's spar extending perpendicularly downward from the cap of the bowsprit, and serving to support the jib-boom by means of the martingale-stays. Also called martingale.


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • From the bowsprit-head to the vessel's cutwater runs the bobstay, generally of chain, which takes the pull of the foretopmast-stay; and from the bowsprit-head there hangs the spar known as the dolphin-striker, to give the purchase for continuing the pull of the foretopgallant and foreroyal stays round to the cutwater; so that really all the staying starts from the hull, as does the backstay-staying.

    Golden Days for Boys and Girls, Vol. XIII, Nov. 28, 1891

  • Another detail in which a man-of-war differs from a merchantman is in the rigging of the bowsprit, the man-of-war generally having whiskers, and the merchantman taking the pull of the shroud direct from the forecastle along the catheads, the whiskers being the spars across the bowsprit, which take the purchase of the bowsprit shrouds as the dolphin-striker takes the purchase of the stays.

    Golden Days for Boys and Girls, Vol. XIII, Nov. 28, 1891

  • I stood up, and reaching for a grip on the dolphin-striker, swung myself on to the bobstay and thence to the cap of the bowsprit, where

    Sir John Constantine Memoirs of His Adventures At Home and Abroad and Particularly in the Island of Corsica: Beginning with the Year 1756

  • For the first few moments, after being snatched up in that fashion, Mayo hung from the dolphin-striker without motion, like a man paralyzed.

    Blow The Man Down A Romance Of The Coast - 1916

  • Under all bowsprits on schooners, to guy the headstays, thrusts downward a short spar, at right angles to the bowsprit; it is called the martingale or dolphin-striker.

    Blow The Man Down A Romance Of The Coast - 1916

  • Unnoticed he got out of the ship over the knight-heads, ran along the back rope, and seizing the dolphin-striker firmly with both hands, lowered himself into the sea without a splash.

    Within the Tides

  • At the corner of the gloomy passage a rigged jib boom with a dolphin-striker ending in an arrow-head stuck out of the night close to a cast iron lamp-post.

    Chance A Tale in Two Parts

  • I did so, but he scrambled down, tumbling and clutching, and gripped me just abaft the dolphin-striker.

    The Grain Ship

  • This spar is not inaptly called the dolphin-striker, from its appearing to dash into the waves as the ship pitches; perhaps it may have acquired its name on account of its being so capital a position from which to strike that fish.

    The Lieutenant and Commander

  • It is a raft, with a disc not much larger than a dining-table, constructed out of two small spars of a ship, -- the dolphin-striker and spritsail yard, -- with two broad planks and some narrower ones lashed crosswise, and over all two or three pieces of sail-cloth carelessly spread.

    The Ocean Waifs A Story of Adventure on Land and Sea


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  • Usages:

    "Captain Aubrey pondered, staring at the dolphin-striker." (379)

    "'How do you find your martingales answer, led single like that?'" (380)

    "The captains were back at their martingales and dolphin-strikers when a tiny shrill young gentleman... came running forward and said 'Uncle William, she wants you in the cabin.' Then recollecting himself and blushing he pulled off his hat and said 'If you please, sir, the lady in the cabin's compliments to Captain Babbington and would be glad of a word with him at his leisure.'"

    —Patrick O'Brian, The Surgeon's Mate 380

    A Sea of Words: "A short gaff under the cap of the bowsprit for securing the jibboom. Also called a martingale, which refers to the ropes that connect it to the jibboom." (176)

    February 9, 2008