Wednesday, September 05, 2007

William Dampier, a pirate of exquisite mind

Today according to Australian Eastern Standard Time when this item was posted
1651 William Dampier (d. 1715) was christened in St Michael’s Church, East Coker, in South Somerset, England (his date of birth is unknown).

He was an explorer, sea captain, and scientific observer, and known as a buccaneer – although he used the word himself, some dispute this ...

Dampier was more than an influential writer, he enriched the English language to an extraordinary degree and is cited more than a thousand times in the Oxford English Dictionary.

According to Diana Preston and Michael Preston, A Pirate of Exquisite Mind: Explorer, Naturalist, and Buccaneer: The Life of William Dampier, among the many words and expressions William Dampier introduced into the English language: avocado; barbecue; breadfruit; caress (verb); cashew; chopsticks; excursion (trip); kumquat; Nor'wester (wind); posse; rambling; sea-breeze; sea-lion; serrated; settlement; snapper; soy sauce; stilts (house supports); subsistence (farming); sub-species (pre-Charles Darwin); swampy; thunder-cloud; to make snug (as a phrase) tortilla ...

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