Thursday, December 12, 2013

A Floundering Ship

Some time ago I heard someone speaking of a ship floundering off shore. A neighbor assured us that the ship might be foundering...but it certainly wasn't floundering. By "floundering" Ocracokers generally mean going out into the shallow waters of Pamlico Sound (either in a skiff, or wading) carrying a spear (with one or more prongs) and a light, looking to gig flounder fish in their beds on the sandy bottom.

To flounder also means to thrash about or to struggle. So a ship (especially if it were disabled in a storm) might actually be floundering off shore. If the situation deteriorated, the ship might also founder (sink).

I encounter these two words (flounder & founder) occasionally in my reading, and I always have to stop and remind myself of the difference. To flounder is to thrash or struggle; to founder is to sink. A ship can do either!


Looking for holiday gifts? Village Craftsmen's on-line catalog is filled with quality American made hand crafts. Click on the photo below to visit our page of Stewart's Stoneware.


We suggest you place your orders as early as possible. Unfortunately, because of the closing of the Herbert C. Bonner bridge we are unable to offer expedited shipping this season.

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is a 1921 letter written by a former slave, Harrison Williams, to Ocracoke native, Martha Ann Howard Wahab. You can read it here:

1 comment:

  1. Vickie P.6:32 AM

    Founder is another name for laminitis in a horse or cow.