Where does the term “fife rail” come from and What does fife rail mean?

A mariner’s term, “fife rail” now indicating a rail round the mainmast of a sailing vessel with holes into which belaying pins may be inserted.

Originally, however, according to Admiral W. H. Smyth’s The Sailor’s Word-Book (1867), it formed “the upper fence of the bulwarks on each side of the quarter-deck and poop in men-of-war.”

By repute, the fifer had his seat on this “upper fence” while the anchor was being hoisted.

where does the term fife rail come from and what does fife rail mean
About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist for zippyfacts.com. Born in New York, she loves interesting random facts from all over the world.