con, cond

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From the Anglo-Saxon connan, to know, to be skilful, or possibly from the Latin conducere, to lead or conduct, the giving of the necessary orders to the helmsman to steer a ship in a required direction, usually in channels or in sight of land where it is not always necessary or desirable to steer by the compass.

In the USA, where it is used as a noun and is spelt conn, it means the navigational direction of the ship; ‘to take the conn’, to take over the navigational duties on the bridge of a ship. The naval conning tower also derives from the verb, being in its original meaning the armoured tower from which a warship was controlled navigationally in battle.

Subjects: Maritime History.

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