or fo'c'sle

[fohk-suh l]

Origin of fo'c's'le

respelling, reflecting syncope and loss of pre-consonantal r


[fohk-suh l, fawr-kas-uh l, -kah-suh l, fohr-]
noun Nautical.
  1. a superstructure at or immediately aft of the bow of a vessel, used as a shelter for stores, machinery, etc., or as quarters for sailors.
  2. any sailors' quarters located in the forward part of a vessel, as a deckhouse.
  3. the forward part of the weather deck of a vessel, especially that part forward of the foremast.
Also fo'c's'le, fo'c'sle.

Origin of forecastle

First recorded in 1300–50, forecastle is from the Middle English word forcastel. See fore-, castle Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for fo'c'sle



  1. a variant spelling of forecastle


fo'c's'le or fo'c'sle

  1. the part of a vessel at the bow where the crew is quartered and stores, machines, etc, may be stowed
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for fo'c'sle

see forecastle.



c.1400, earlier Anglo-French forechasteil (mid-14c.), from Middle English fore- "before" + Anglo-French castel "fortified tower," the short raised deck in the fore part of the ship used in warfare (see castle (n.)). Spelling fo'c'sle reflects sailors' pronunciation.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper