Word of the Week 031920

SS Georgiana

Greetings Word of the Week fans and welcome to the March 19 edition of Clarion County's favorite word game.

It was on this date in 1863, the Confederate cruiser SS Georgiana was destroyed on her maiden voyage with a cargo of munitions, and medicines then valued over $1,000,000.

Exactly 102 year later, the wreck was discovered by teenage diver and pioneer underwater archaeologist E. Lee Spence.

The Georgiana was lost while attempting to run past the federal blockading squadron and into Charleston, S.C.

The Georgiana was sunk after a desperate chase in which she came so close to the big guns aboard the USSWissahickon that her crew even heard the orders being given on the U.S. vessel.

At any point, we wonder, did any of the sailors shout out "grimalkin!"

We'll never know for sure

Does grimalkin mean:

A: Cat. "What we need on this boat is a grimalkin to chase off some of these mice," said the captain. "Of course, as we're sinking it doesn't much matter now."

B: A curse word with no real meaning. "Grimalkin! We're aheaded to the bottom of the bay," said Capt. Yosemite Sam.

C: Cannon. "Fire the portside grimalkin," said the captain. "Those Yankees must never take this ship!"

D: A gruel made with corn and wheat. "Ye best eat your grimalkin," said the first mate. "Ye don't want to be catchin' the scurvy."

Due to the secrecy surrounding her construction, loading and sailing, there is considerable question as to whether the Georgiana was simply a merchantman or if she was intended as a privateer or blockade runner.

One contemporary report described the Georgiana as so lightly built that "she would shake from stem to stern if a gun were fired from her decks."

The correct answer to the Word of the Week challenge is "A."