The name given to that part of the older sailing ships forward of the forecastle and around the beak which was used by the crew as their lavatory. In the US Navy it was simply known as the head, but in the Royal Navy the word was always used in the plural to indicate the weather and lee sides, seamen being expected to use the lee side so that all effluent fell clear into the sea. They were floored with gratings so that the sea could assist in washing them clean. The name is still used today for the modern flush toilets fitted aboard every ship and yacht.
Subjects: Maritime History.