1 In strict definition, the after rail at the stern of a ship, but formerly the curved wooden top of the stern of a sailing warship or East Indiaman, usually carved or otherwise decorated. It is a contraction of taffarel, the original name for this adornment. In its modern meaning it is often used to indicate the deck area right at the stern of a vessel.
2 The pseudonym of a British naval captain, Henry Taprell Dorling (1883–1968), a writer of popular stories of the sea.
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