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A north of England name for a seaman, probably from the same origin as ‘Tar’ or ‘Jack Tar’, and from the Scottish word for breeches. In a sailor's song, popular in the 18th century, a girl whose mother wanted her to marry a rich husband sings:I know you'd have me wed a farmerAnd not give me my heart's delight.Mine's the lad whose tarry trousersShine to me like diamonds bright.

Subjects: Maritime History.

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