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A seabird of the gannet family which often perched on the yards of square-rigged ships in the days of sail. The name came from the ease with which it allowed itself to be caught after it had settled. ‘One of the Saylers espying a Bird fitly called a Booby, he mounted to the topmast and took her. The quality of which Bird is to sit still, not valuing danger’ (Sir T. Herbert, Travels (1634).

Subjects: Maritime History.

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