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Ships called "she"

Posted by ESC on May 27, 2000

In Reply to: She posted by Dylan on May 24, 2000

: origin of why boats/cars/nations are called she.

I would guess that ships and such used to be controlled by men, who wanted to name them after the women in their lives. Here's what my good friend and ex-Navy man Indiana Bob found out through research:

Why is She Called She?

"A boat is called a she because there's always a great deal of bustle around her...because there's usually a gang of men around...because she has waist and stays...because she takes a lot of paint to keep her looking good...because it's not the initial expense that breaks you, it's the upkeep...because she is all decked out...because it takes a good man to handle her right...because she shows her topside, hides her bottom and, when coming into port, always heads for the buoys."
................George Moses in Falmouth, Massachusetts

Fleet Admiral Chester Nimitz put it more succinctly in an address to the Society of Sponsors of the United States Navy: "A ship is always referred to as 'she' because it costs so much to keep one in paint and powder." ............Naval Ceremonies, Customs, and Traditions.