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Comment on my nautical definition edit[edit]

A bulwark is not on a vessel's "upper deck", as that might be well above the hull.

Also, the term "upper deck" is ambiguous, as it can mean any weather deck.

Andrew8 06:52, 27 August 2007 (UTC)


the MHG(the late form is called Early New High German)-speaking world in 1600

Where is the information about Middle High German from? According to my Chambers it's derived from either Middle Dutch or Middle Low Saxon, which is much more likely cause Dutch and Hanseatic merchants had extensive contacts with England while Southern Germany had not. This is especially relevant for the nautical sense of the word. It's almost impossible that a nautical term entered English from Middle High German at that time (High Germany not having any coasts...).

And personally I think it is much more likely that the word came from Middle Low Saxon than from Middle Dutch, cause besides the forms Dutch bolwerc and Saxon bolwerk there was also a form Saxon bulwark which is still the modern form in Central Northern Low Saxon (now spelled Bullwark). Or can the differing vowels be explained by internal shifts in the English language? --Slomox 00:21, 30 April 2009 (UTC)

Here - “bulwark” in Douglas Harper, Online Etymology Dictionary, 2001–2018.. Either Middle High German or MD, præferably from Middle High German than from MD! The uſer hight Bogorm converſation 07:58, 30 April 2009 (UTC)
High Germany not having any coasts - this is not true - the German realm stretched from Dunkerque in the West to Danzig in the East and later through the orders even to Reval, not to speak of the Mediterranean coasts, in total four sea costs, see the map above. Therefore is is highly likely that a great deal of English nautical terminology originates from Middle High German or Middle Low German or Old High German. The uſer hight Bogorm converſation 08:08, 30 April 2009 (UTC)
The Holy Roman Empire touched four coasts, that's true, but the Holy Roman Empire had many languages and High German did not touch any of the coasts. At the Mediterranean Sea Italian was spoken and at the North and Baltic Sea Dutch and Low Saxon/Low German. Middle Low German _is_ Low Saxon.
The above-mentioned source says the word is first attested in 1416. That was in the best times of the Hanseatic League that dominated sea trade in the North and Baltic Sea and whose language was Low Saxon. The Empire never had a navy. --Slomox 00:32, 4 May 2009 (UTC)
The Holy Roman Empire had three literary, i. e. not for the illiterate vulgus profanum languages - Latin, Middle High German (in which wrote W. W. von der Vogelweide, Hartmann von Aue and other illustrious German writers) and Italian (Petrarca before all). The other languages were vernacular and I do not see any reason for mentioning them or referring to naivies... My supposition is that the English before Shakespeare (the first literary genius from England who wrote in English) who wanted to make themselves familiar with the pearls of the Europæan literature of that time may have read von Aue or von der Vogelweide in original and adopted some words. The uſer hight Bogorm converſation 16:45, 19 May 2009 (UTC)