Treasure Island | Study Guide

Robert Louis Stevenson

Download a PDF to print or study offline.

Study Guide
Cite This Study Guide

How to Cite This Study Guide

quotation mark graphic
MLA

Bibliography

Course Hero. "Treasure Island Study Guide." Course Hero. 3 May 2017. Web. 22 July 2018. <https://www.coursehero.com/lit/Treasure-Island/>.

In text

(Course Hero)

APA

Bibliography

Course Hero. (2017, May 3). Treasure Island Study Guide. In Course Hero. Retrieved July 22, 2018, from https://www.coursehero.com/lit/Treasure-Island/

In text

(Course Hero, 2017)

Chicago

Bibliography

Course Hero. "Treasure Island Study Guide." May 3, 2017. Accessed July 22, 2018. https://www.coursehero.com/lit/Treasure-Island/.

Footnote

Course Hero, "Treasure Island Study Guide," May 3, 2017, accessed July 22, 2018, https://www.coursehero.com/lit/Treasure-Island/.

Treasure Island | Glossary

Share
Share

"a poor old hulk on a lee shore": old, wrecked vessel helplessly driven ashore by a wind blowing in from the sea (a lee wind)

assizes: trial sessions, judicial inquests, held periodically in England during that time.

berth: nautical term for a bunk or built-in bed on a ship; a place to sleep

boatswain: officer on a ship in charge of the crew and the equipment; uses a whistle, called "piping," to communicate different orders

boom: long, thick spar, or pole, along the foot of a triangular sail

bowsprit: spar projecting forward and over the ship's front, or bow

Bow Street runner: detective

buccaneer: raider who attacked Spanish ships and colonies in the Caribbean during the 1600s

cannikin: small can or cup

capstan: nautical term for a big winch or pulley used to raise the anchor of a ship

chine: spine or backbone

conned the ship: gave directions to the seaman steering the vessel

coxswain: sailor or petty officer who steers a ship's boat; also in charge of its crew

cutlass: short sword with a strong, slightly curved blade and protective hilt

davy: short for affidavit, or sworn statement

dead-eye: nonmoving wooden block used to attach ropes to various parts of a sailing vessel

deuce: devil

dingle: deep hollow

Dry Tortugas: group of small islands off Florida, west of Key West

duff: kind of pudding made from boiled flour and eaten with molasses

figureheads: ornamental carvings placed at the front of vessels

galley: ship's kitchen

gallipot: small pot made from glazed earthenware or metal; used to describe an inconsequential little boat

Georges: gold guinea or half-crown coin

gig: long, narrow boat built for speed

glim: candle

grog: alcoholic drink one part rum, four parts water

gully: large knife

gunwale: top edge of a small boat's hull

hold water: use the oars as a brake

"I'll have to strike": I'll have to surrender; when a ship strikes its color, it lowers its flag to signify surrender.

"in a clove hitch": securely in a fix or jam; a clove hitch is a type of knot used to fasten rope to an object

jib-boom: boom that extends the length of the bowsprit

jolly-boat: light boat carried at the stern of a sailing vessel; used for general-purpose work

keel: spinelike construction that runs along the bottom of a vessel from bow to stern

lubber: awkward or clumsy sailor

lugger: vessel used for fishing and coastal trading

main hold: cargo area below deck and accessible by the main hatch

man in the chains: man using a rope to determine the soundings, or depth, of the water

"mast-headed on them mountings": hiding far up in the mountains; a masthead is the upper part of a mast, above the rigging used to attach the sails

mizzenmast: mast aft of a ship's mainmast

oilskin: waterproof cloth made of linen, cotton, or silk and treated with linseed oil

Old Bailey (Street): location of a courthouse where crimes committed at sea were judged

opening a vein: bloodletting

painter: rope that secures a ship's boat to the ship or a dock

peach: to impeach or tell on someone

peak: highest tip of the mainmast's sail

pitch: substance made from boiling tar and used to coat, seal, and waterproof various parts of a ship

"putting him in irons": confining a man in iron leg shackles

quadrant: handheld navigational instrument

raise Cain: make a serious and loud to-do about something

revenue officers: government employees assigned to intercept smugglers along the coast

rum: alcohol made from molasses, a waste product in sugar production

"sailed before the mast": was an ordinary seaman

schooner: sailing vessel with two masts and big fore and aft sails and square topsails

scuppers: regularly placed holes in the side of a ship to release water overboard from the deck

soundings: measurement showing the water's depth

Spanish Main: north coast of South America bordering the Caribbean Sea

"stake my wig": make a very expensive bet, as wigs were a very costly item

stone: British measure of weight equaling 14 pounds

swab: mop used for cleaning the deck of a ship; also, a useless person fit only to mop a deck

the mail: passenger coach sometimes also used to carry mail illegally

the waist: section of the top deck between the two masts

tiller: part of the steering gear of a vessel; used to turn the rudder

tinder box: small box containing a piece of flint, a piece of steel, and some tinder for starting a fire

"tip us a stave": give us a song

trim the boat: rearrange the weight of items in a boat to control how the vessel floats

trump: useful resource

"turned the chest out alow and aloft": searched the chest bottom to top

watches: work periods

"went dot and carry one": became irregular

widders: widows

Yellow Jack: slang term for yellow fever, a highly infectious disease

Cite This Study Guide

information icon Have study documents to share about Treasure Island? Upload them to earn free Course Hero access!