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From the Old English scip, the generic name for seagoing vessels, as opposed to boats, though submarines are known as boats as are the different types of fishing vessels. Ships were originally personified as masculine, but by the 16th century they had become feminine. In 2002 Lloyd's of London decided that all merchant ships should be described as ‘it’, though the British Ministry of Defence has confirmed that warships shall still be defined as feminine. Up to the 1950s, yachts were often described as ‘ships’, but it is rare to hear them called this nowadays. For different types of ships see: aircraft carrier; balinger; barque; barquentine; battlecruiser; battleship; bilander; bireme; blackwall frigates; bomb ketch; brig; brigantine; bulk carrier; caravel; carrack; clipper; coaster; cog; collier; container ship; corbita; corvette; cruiser; cruise ship; destroyer; dromon; east indiaman; ferry; frigate; galizabra; galleass; galleon; galley; galliot; hermaphrodite brig; hovercraft; hydrofoil; ironclads; jackass barque; knarr; liberty ships; longship; lorcha; mercy ships; monitor; nao; ocean liners; packet; paddle steamer; pink; polacre; q-ship; replica ship; research ships; ro-ro ship; round ship; sail training; sepulchral ships; sloop; snow; surface effect ship; swath ship; tanker; tartan; trabacolo; tramp ship; treasure ship; trireme; tug; victory ships; weather ship; wing-in-surface effect ship; xebec.

Subjects: History

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