I was reading Voltaire's Candide the other day, and I came across this sentence about a terrible storm at sea, during which Candide's companion Jacques was washed overboard: "[Candide] tried to throw himself after [Jacques] into the sea; he was prevented by the philosopher Pangloss, who proved to him that the Lisbon roads had been expressly created for the Anabaptist to be drowned in them."
And I wondered how many folks who do not live near the sea know what "roads" means. Roads, or roadstead, is a partly sheltered body of water near the shore where ships may safely ride at anchor.
The nearby coastal area of Virginia, Hampton Roads, is a reference to this same nautical term. According to the newspaper, The Virginian-Pilot, "[m]ost sources say the name Hampton Roads originated with the Third Earl
of Southampton, Henry Wriothesley, a wealthy English nobleman from the
southern port city of Southampton, England. (And a close friend of
William Shakespeare.)...[And] roads comes from the centuries-old nautical terms 'road' and 'roadstead....'"
This month's Ocracoke Newsletter is a photo gallery of past July 4th parade photos. You can read
it here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news062113.htm.