Many novice sailors, confusing the words ´binnacle´ and barnacle, have wondered what their illnesses had to do with crusty growths found on the hull of a ship. Their confusion is understandable. Binnacle is defined as the stand or housing for the ship´s compass located on the bridge. The term binnacle list, in lieu of sick list, originated years ago when ship corpsmen used to place a list of sick on the binnacle. After long practice, it came to be called the binnacle list.
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