In the world of navigation, it is common to hear sailors refer to ships as “she.” This linguistic peculiarity has aroused the curiosity of many, generating questions about its origin and meaning. Although there is no definitive answer, there are several theories that attempt to explain this tradition rooted in maritime culture.
One of the most accepted theories is that the use of the feminine gender to refer to ships is due to the symbolic relationship between vessels and goddesses in mythology. In many ancient cultures, ships were considered living beings and were attributed a protective spirit. By assigning them a feminine gender, a connection with fertility and protection goddesses was established, who were considered guardians of sailors on their journeys.
Another theory suggests that the use of the feminine gender for ships is due to the way sailors refer to them in technical language. In navigation, terms such as “bow” and “stern” are used to refer to the front and rear of the vessel, respectively. These terms have a feminine gender in Spanish, which could have influenced the way ships are generally named.
Furthermore, the fact that ships are considered as “she” may also be related to the idea that they require constant care and attention, much like a woman. Sailors must ensure the maintenance and safety of the vessel, which implies a special bond between them and the ship.
Why aren’t other genders used to refer to ships?
The use of the feminine gender for ships is a tradition rooted in maritime culture and has been maintained over the years. There is no specific reason for not using other genders, but the use of the feminine gender has become common and accepted in the field of navigation.
Is this tradition used in all languages?
No, the use of the feminine gender for ships is more common in languages such as Spanish and French. In other languages, such as English, there is no specific convention for assigning a gender to vessels.
In conclusion, the use of the feminine gender to refer to ships is a tradition rooted in maritime culture. Although there is no definitive answer about its origin, theories related to mythological symbolism and technical language are the most accepted ones. This linguistic peculiarity adds a touch of charm and mystery to the world of navigation, keeping alive a tradition that endures over the years.