- the upper part of the stern of a ship.
- a rail above the stern of a ship.
Origin of taffrail
Examples from the Web for taffrail
With the idea of gaining time she walked rapidly aft to the taffrail.The Rescue
We have a ladder with hooks at the top for catching on the taffrail.The Pit Prop Syndicate
Freeman Wills Crofts
The corsair was standing by the side of Mr Tompkins, close by the taffrail.Picked up at Sea
There he lay like a log, as dumb as the man whom he had left clinging to the taffrail.Labrador Days
Wilfred Thomason Grenfell
Then he stepped to the taffrail and looked down at the gig, which had been passed astern.Turned Adrift
- a rail at the stern or above the transom of a vessel
- the upper part of the transom of a vessel, esp a sailing vessel, often ornately decorated
Word Origin and History for taffrail
1814, alteration of tafferel "upper panel on the stern of a ship (often ornamented)" (1704), earlier, "a carved panel" (1620s), from Dutch tafereel "panel for painting or carving," dissimulation from *tafeleel, diminutive of tafel "table," from the general West Germanic borrowing of Latin tabula "slab, board" (see table (n.)). The word developed in Dutch from the custom of ornamenting the high, flat stern of old sailing ships; spelling and sense altered in English by influence of rail (n.).