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Question: What is the seafaring origin of the nautical term "son of a gun"?

Thanks for your answers. It is difficult to know the exact origin of some of the old nautical expressions and like many others, there are often several explanations. This is one of them.

The description we have is "Aboard merchant vessels, it was not uncommon for prostitutes to be kept aboard ship. In the event that one of these women of ill repute became pregnant and carried to term while aboard, the most convenient place to deliver the child was often between two of the ship's guns, which the lady would lean on for support during the delivery. Upon delivery, the child's name along with the name of the father and mother would be recorded in the ship's log. If no paternity could be established, the child would be entered as "son of a gun".

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Back in the days of sail, it was not uncommon for crewmen to have their wives/lovers come aboard. Occasionally children were the result of these nefarious liaisons. A commonplace for childbirth was between the 32 pounders on the gun deck - hence...

Back in the days of sail, it was not uncommon for crewmen to have their wives/lovers come aboard. Occasionally children were the result of these nefarious liaisons. A commonplace for childbirth was between the 32 pounders on the gun deck - hence the term.

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Children of questionable parentage born on British naval vessels. <br /><br />The gunner's mate was responsible for listing the mother and father's in the ship's records. Everyone would know who the mother was but the fathers didn't always own up...

Children of questionable parentage born on British naval vessels. <br /><br />The gunner's mate was responsible for listing the mother and father's in the ship's records. Everyone would know who the mother was but the fathers didn't always own up or were simply not there. The gunner's mate would use his name so the child was the son of the gunner.

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