Origin of binnacleformerly bittacle from Portuguese bitacola from Classical Latin habitaculum, dwelling from habitare, inhabit
A case that supports and protects a ship's compass, located near the helm.
Origin of binnacleAlteration of Middle English bitakille from Old Spanish bitácula or from Old Portuguese bitácola both from Latin habitāculum habitation from habitāre to inhabit ; see ghabh- in Indo-European roots.
- All compasses are fitted with a gimbal ring to keep the bowl and card level under every circumstance of a ship's motion in a seaway, the ring being connected with the binnacle or pedestal by means of journals or knife edges.
- That when the compass is placed in the binnacle the line joining the pivot and the lubber's point be parallel to the keel of the vessel.
- The term binnacle, originally bittacle, is a corruption of the Portuguese abitacolo, to denote the housing enclosing the compass, probably originating with the Portuguese navigators.