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Quiz about Down to the Sea in Ships
Quiz about Down to the Sea in Ships

Down to the Sea in Ships Trivia Quiz


This is a quiz about sailors and seafaring. Let's weigh anchor and see what you know about sailors and life at sea.

A multiple-choice quiz by daver852. Estimated time: 4 mins.
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Author
daver852
Time
4 mins
Type
Multiple Choice
Quiz #
362,429
Updated
Dec 03 21
# Qns
10
Difficulty
Average
Avg Score
8 / 10
Plays
2593
Awards
Top 35% Quiz
Last 3 plays: Guest 71 (5/10), patrickk (10/10), misdiaslocos (6/10).
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Question 1 of 10
1. Most occupations have their nicknames. What might a group of sailors be called? Hint


Question 2 of 10
2. What disease is often associated with sailors who have spent an extended period at sea? Hint


Question 3 of 10
3. One specific form of dance music is believed to have originated with sailors. Which one? Hint


Question 4 of 10
4. Sailors have a lot of superstitions. It was believed to be bad luck to spot which creature while at sea? Hint


Question 5 of 10
5. Another superstition involves the date of departure. According to sailors' lore, a ship should never begin a voyage on which day of the week? Hint


Question 6 of 10
6. Sailors worked hard, but sometimes the ship would be becalmed and they had spare time on their hands. To help pass the time, they developed an art form that involved carving designs on walrus ivory or whale bone. What are these carvings called? Hint


Question 7 of 10
7. Sailors, especially in the British navy, were fond of a mixture of water or small beer and a certain kind of liquor, which was known as "grog". Which distilled spirit is associated with sailors? Hint


Question 8 of 10
8. Cats onboard ship were considered to bring bad luck. True or false?


Question 9 of 10
9. Not all sailors were men. Among pirates, especially, there were several women sailors who achieved a degree of notoriety. Who is probably the most famous woman pirate of them all? Hint


Question 10 of 10
10. What word, a synonym for gossip, originated with sailors? Hint



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Most Recent Scores
May 21 2024 : Guest 71: 5/10
May 16 2024 : patrickk: 10/10
May 01 2024 : misdiaslocos: 6/10
Apr 28 2024 : JAM6430: 10/10
Apr 16 2024 : brenda610: 7/10
Apr 03 2024 : surdoux: 10/10
Apr 02 2024 : Guest 46: 8/10
Apr 02 2024 : Guest 118: 5/10
Apr 02 2024 : Sheep_Dip: 10/10

Score Distribution

quiz
Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. Most occupations have their nicknames. What might a group of sailors be called?

Answer: Tars

Sailors have been known as "tars" for centuries. This goes back to the fact that during the age of sailing ships, the wooden hulls were made watertight by caulking them with pitch or tar, and sailors would also use a small piece of tar to hold their hair, which was often worn in a pigtail, in place. Even today a sailor may be called a tar, or a Jack Tar.
2. What disease is often associated with sailors who have spent an extended period at sea?

Answer: Scurvy

Scurvy is a disease caused by a lack of Vitamin C in the diet. It causes one's tongue to swell up, the gums to turn black and bleed, and one's teeth to become loose and fall out. It was long known that a diet of fresh fruit and vegetables could prevent or cure the disease, but in the days before refrigeration, sailors often had to subsist on a diet of nothing but hardtack and salt pork for long periods of time.

It remained a problem right up until the beginning of the 20th century; many sailors died of the disease.
3. One specific form of dance music is believed to have originated with sailors. Which one?

Answer: Hornpipe

The hornpipe is a dance that is believed to have originated on English ships in the 16th century. Originally written in 3/2 time, today most hornpipes are in 4/4 time, and danced in hard shoes. Hornpipes are often seen at Irish dance competitions; they can either be fast or slow in tempo. Fittingly, one of the most famous songs in this genre is called "The Sailor's Hornpipe".
4. Sailors have a lot of superstitions. It was believed to be bad luck to spot which creature while at sea?

Answer: Mermaid

Mermaids were believe to warn of (or even cause) impending disasters to ships.
There is a famous song called "The Mermaid", which tells the story of a sea captain who spies a mermaid. Part of it goes: "This fishy mermaid has warned me of our doom, we shall sink to the bottom of the sea".
5. Another superstition involves the date of departure. According to sailors' lore, a ship should never begin a voyage on which day of the week?

Answer: Friday

It's believed that this superstition comes from the fact that Jesus Christ was crucified on a Friday. It is an almost universal belief among sailors that a voyage should never begin on a Friday.
6. Sailors worked hard, but sometimes the ship would be becalmed and they had spare time on their hands. To help pass the time, they developed an art form that involved carving designs on walrus ivory or whale bone. What are these carvings called?

Answer: Scrimshaw

The art of scrimshaw began on whaling ships during the middle of the 18th century. The origin of the term "scrimshaw" is obscure, but it may be related to the legend of an English woman named Jane Scrimshaw who is said to have lived to the age of 127.

Her name became synonymous with any endeavor that took a long time. Early pieces of scrimshaw often depicted nautical scenes, including ships, whales and the sailors themselves. Early pieces of scrimshaw can be quite valuable; a single carved whale's tooth sold for more than $300,000 in 2005.

The other choices are types of knots used by sailors.
7. Sailors, especially in the British navy, were fond of a mixture of water or small beer and a certain kind of liquor, which was known as "grog". Which distilled spirit is associated with sailors?

Answer: Rum

In the early days of the British navy, sailors were issued a daily ration of brandy. After the conquest of Jamaica in 1655, the brandy was replaced by rum. In 1740, Vice Admiral Edward Vernon began mixing the rum with water or beer to prevent sailors from hoarding their rum ration and becoming drunk on duty.

The new concoction was called "grog", possibly because Admiral Vernon wore a cloak made of grogram cloth. The American Navy discontinued its daily ration of grog in 1862, but the British navy continued to issue enlisted men a grog ration until July 31, 1970.
8. Cats onboard ship were considered to bring bad luck. True or false?

Answer: False

In days of old, almost every ship would have a cat onboard. Cats helped to control the rodent population that would otherwise eat the foodstuffs stored on the ships. Some ship's cats became famous, such as "Unsinkable Sam", a cat that survived three ships' sinkings in WWII.
9. Not all sailors were men. Among pirates, especially, there were several women sailors who achieved a degree of notoriety. Who is probably the most famous woman pirate of them all?

Answer: Anne Bonny

Anne Bonny (or Bonney) was born in Ireland sometime around the year 1700. Not much is known of her early life; she appears to have married a man named James Bonny while very young. Around the age of 18, she moved to the Bahamas, and met a pirate named Jack "Calico Jack" Rackham. She divorced Bonny and married Rackham. They stole a ship called the "Revenge," and recruited a crew which included another famous woman pirate, Mary Read. In 1720, they were attacked by a government ship that was attempting to crack down on piracy. There are conflicting accounts of what happened, but all agree that Bonny and Read fought bravely against capture, while "Calico Jack" remained below decks during the battle. The "Revenge" was taken, and Rackham was later hanged; Bonny said of him "If he had fought like a Man, he need not have been hang'd like a Dog".

Bonny and Read both "pleaded their bellies" i.e., claimed to be pregnant, to avoid hanging. Read died in prison, but Anne Bonny's fate remains unknown. Some accounts say she was rescued by her father, and moved to Charleston, South Carolina, where she married a local man, had 10 children, and died in 1782.
10. What word, a synonym for gossip, originated with sailors?

Answer: Scuttlebutt

The scuttlebutt was a large keg of freshwater located on the deck of the ship, where sailors could get a drink of water. Just like the modern water cooler, the scuttlebutt was a place where sailors would gather to exchange stories, news and rumors. Eventually, "scuttlebutt" became another word for gossip.
Source: Author daver852

This quiz was reviewed by FunTrivia editor stedman before going online.
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