Dutch linguistic influence on naval terms

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Historically, many Dutch military terms have been influential and adopted as loanwords by many other languages all over the world. Although most of these words are connected to naval activities, some (such as "forlorn hope") relate to land warfare.

Some Dutch naval terms adopted by the various languages include:

From Dutch "boei", from Latin boia (shackle)
Language Variant
Danish Bøje
English Buoy
French Bouée
German Boje
Italian Boa
Norwegian Bøye (buoy)
Polish Boja
Slovak Bója
Swedish Boj (Buoy), Boja (Shackle)
From Dutch "kielhalen " meaning to drag along the keel
Language Variant
English Keelhauling
Finnish Kölihaalaus (likely borrowed from Swedish form)
German Kielholen
Norwegian Kjølhaling
Slovak Kýl
Swedish Kölhalning
From Dutch "dek " meaning "covering"
Language Variant
English Deck
German Deck
Norwegian Dekk
Swedish Däck

Other words (in English) include:

  • Drill, from the verb drillen, to train/instruct
  • Freebooter (Pirate), from vrijbuiter.
  • Yacht, from jacht meaning hunt
  • Pump, from pomp.
  • Sloop, from sloep.
  • Skipper, from schipper meaning someone who ships.
  • Keel, from kiel
  • Maelstrom, from maalstroom meaning "strong current" (borrowed via a Nordic language)
  • Forlorn hope, from verloren hoop "lost hope".
  • Cruiser, from the verb to cruise from Dutch doorkruisen meaning to sail across or go through.
  • Brandy, from Dutch brandewijn, distilled wine.

And many more.

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