Caboose (ship's galley)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
A caboose stove from an 1891 advertisement.

Caboose (also camboose, coboose, cubboos derived from the Dutch kombuis) is a term used for a small ship's kitchen, i.e. galley, located on an open deck. At one time a caboose related to a smaller kitchen aboard a merchantman, while aboard a warship it was called a galley.[1]

William Falconer's 1780 A Universal Dictionary of the Marine describes a caboose thus: "a sort of box or house to cover the chimney of some merchant-ships. It somewhat resembles a sentry-box, and generally stands against the barricade on the fore part of the quarter-deck". Sometimes the caboose was portable.

Prior to the introduction of the caboose the furnaces for cooking were, aboard three-deckers, placed on the middle deck, and aboard two-decked ships in the forecastle.

In Canada a caboose was formerly used to describe a galley on a timber raft.[2]

The term was sometimes also applied to the cast-iron stove used for cooking on deck[1][3] or in galleys during the early 19th century, as well as an outdoor oven or fireplace.[4]


  1. ^ a b A Naval Encyclopaedia: comprising a dictionary of nautical words and phrases; biographical notices, and records of naval officers; special articles on naval art and science, written expressly for this work by officers and others of recognized authority in the branches treated by them. Together with descriptions of the principal naval stations and seaports of the world. Lewis R. Hammersly & Co, Philadelphia, 1881.
  2. ^ Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, HarperCollins Publishers, 2003
  3. ^ Webster's Third Unabridged Dictionary
  4. ^ The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition, Houghton Mifflin Company.