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"British English" speakers: What do you call a boat propelled by sails?

What is the *British* English term for a boat propelled by sails?

  • Sailboat

  • Sailing Boat

  • British English speakers use both terms equally

  • Some other option you want to be here but isn't


Results are only viewable after voting.

prv

Well-known member
Joined
29 Nov 2009
Messages
36,379
Location
Southampton
It's perfectly valid and obviously we understand it. I am merely suggesting that *use* of it by a British person sounds weird and when used by a journalist in a British newspaper screams "I know nothing about what I'm writing about and my single source is american".

I'm essentially asserting that "sailboat" is an americanism which is entering British English via youtube and wanting to see if others concur.
I'd agree with all of that.

Obviously of the particular choices in the poll I went with "sailing boat", but like others I'd tend to instead use "yacht" in context on the water or talking to fellow sailors. To me that means specifically "sailing boat with a cabin". "Sailing boat" would also cover dinghies and open keelboats.

With non-sailors "yacht" is slightly problematic, because for most of them the term now seems to mean "large, luxurious, and specifically extremely expensive motor vessel". Instead I tend to just say "boat", and if they exhibit any further curiosity I show them a photo on my phone.

Pete
 

Babylon

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Joined
7 Jan 2008
Messages
3,916
Location
Solent
"Hi, how are you?" [mind your own business]
"Have a nice day" [you, personally, don't give a damn]
"Can I get a Latte Macchiato with skinny milk? [the polite construction is "May I please have..." or "Please can I have..."]
"Can I get a single-shot Americano?" [tempting...!]
 
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laika

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Joined
6 Apr 2011
Messages
6,205
Location
Limbo
I'm essentially asserting that "sailboat" is an americanism which is entering British English via youtube and wanting to see if others concur.
Yes yes lots of people like the word "yacht" but the poll is really about the use of the term "sailboat". Having this poll public does allow me to note that 50% of the current votes for "sailboat" come from forumites based in Canada.
 

jordanbasset

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Joined
31 Dec 2007
Messages
29,930
Location
UK, sometimes Greece and Spain
Yes yes lots of people like the word "yacht" but the poll is really about the use of the term "sailboat". Having this poll public does allow me to note that 50% of the current votes for "sailboat" come from forumites based in Canada.
Also I suspect some UK based forumites picked sailing boat as the second best option as yacht or sailing yacht was not included
 

mjcoon

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Joined
18 Jun 2011
Messages
3,063
Location
Berkshire, UK
I don't mind 'sailboat'. We don't say 'motoring cycle'.
But 'Frypan' is Just Wrong.
I suppose there might be a subtle distinction I've not thought of before: autonomy. Frying or sailing can carry on without the human (at least for a while!). Whereas motorcycle is descriptive of the device; motoring cycle would be accurate only if it did it on its own...

(I'm not going to defend "motoring car", though!)
 

Stemar

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Joined
12 Sep 2001
Messages
13,703
Location
Home - Southampton, Boat - Gosport
Depends on the situation. Most of the time "the boat". "Bloody old tub" when she's misbehaving or costing me money. Just once, "yacht". Milady used to tutor French and one rather snobby mother said "We went to St Tropez for the weekend, what did you do?" "Oh, we sailed to Cowes on my husband's yacht". End of oneupwomwnship.
 

Quandary

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Joined
20 Mar 2008
Messages
7,289
Location
Argyll
We call ours the boat when talking to sailors or a yacht if in conversation with landlubbers, I do not like 'sailboat' but even worse is when we are collectively addressed as 'boaters'.
 

scruff

Active member
Joined
2 Mar 2007
Messages
897
Location
Over here
Sometimes just "boat" (can't have my boss thinking I'm paid too much!) but mostly "Yacht". As for "Sailboat" - nope, never. A horrible Americanism however fully appreciate language is constantly evolving...
 

JumbleDuck

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Joined
8 Aug 2013
Messages
21,754
Location
SW Scotland
Sailing yacht
Why not yacht?
Yacht or dinghy, depending on size.
Yacht (or dinghy, keelboat, gaffer etc as appropriate).
Yacht or dutch equivalent is a boat for pleasure.
I don't have a copy of Peter Heaton's "Sailing" to hand, but as I recall his definition of "yacht" was "a boat, when being described to someone who will never see it". It sounds insufferably pretentious to me, and I never, ever describe my boat as a yacht.

Mind you "motor yacht" is even worse and should only be used by people channeling Terry-Thomas playing a cad.
 
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