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or top-hamper

[top-ham-per] /ˈtɒpˌhæm pər/
noun, Nautical
the light upper sails and their gear and spars, sometimes used to refer to all spars and gear above the deck.
any unnecessary weight, either aloft or about the upper decks.
Origin of tophamper
1785-95; top1 + hamper1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for top-hamper
Historical Examples
  • All the same, if you cut out this top-hamper the story of The Veiled Woman on its personal side is distinctly a good one.

  • Above it the top-hamper of the brig loomed indistinct and high.

    The Rescue Joseph Conrad
  • "I ain't making any rash promises," stated Captain Downs, walking to the rail and taking a squint at the top-hamper.

    Blow The Man Down Holman Day
  • There was scarcely sea enough to tremble the top-hamper of the unsuspecting man-of-war.

    A Little Traitor to the South Cyrus Townsend Brady
  • By lessening her top-hamper and getting new stanchions for her perilous voyage, she performed it without accident.

  • Every spar, rope, and stay was strained, and some of the “top-hamper” came crashing down.

    Dracula Bram Stoker
  • All her top-hamper had been taken down by Spike, and nothing remained but the plainest and most readily-managed gear.

    Jack Tier or The Florida Reef James Fenimore Cooper
  • All the top-hamper even of such beauty as Michel Angelo conceived does not alter this my impression.

    From a Terrace in Prague Lieut.-Col. B. Granville Baker
  • I can see nothing but her top-hamper, but I think she is a schooner bound for New York.

    The First Capture Harry Castlemon
  • And you, doctor, I want you to mix me a stiff powder for the damnedest headache that ever tangled my top-hamper.

    Cursed George Allan England
Word Origin and History for top-hamper

1791, originally the upper masts, sails, and rigging of a sailing ship, later extended to modern vessels, from top (n.1) + hamper (n.) in the nautical sense of "things necessary but often in the way."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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