Where does the term “jolly boat” come from and What does jolly boat mean in Danish?

Chances are that the members of the crew handling a “jolly boat” rarely were, if ever, rollicking or gayhearted.

It is, or was, a work-boat, one used formerly around sailing vessels, chiefly in harbors, in carrying out errands in small duties about the ship.

It was, in fact, a yawl of small size, the source of the name being the Danish jolle, “yawl.”

Another of the numerous instances of English mispronunciation of alien words.