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From: Alastair Reynolds <areynold@estsa2.estec.esa.nl>
Subject: Re: (whorl) just the mervrow thing
Date: Wed, 19 Apr 2000 09:23:53 +0200 (MET DST)

> um, I seem to recall a reference somewhere (erudite
> ones, help) of Dutch seamen taking "sea wives" for
> their extended journeys of exploration and trade,
> ports and tropical isles not always being convenient. 
> So the term "mervrow(frow, etc.) came into use as a
> not-particularly pejorative term.  After all, these
> weren't just casual fling type relationships, and they
> served more than one vital function, deserving of
> respect in their own right, plus of course the usual
> status of captain's lady.  If anyone can back me up,
> i'd be most grateful, but i feel pretty sure of this. 
>  Tottergrass

Fascinating - and given the general permeation of Dutch
culture by things maritime, more than believable. 


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