Aqueduct: a structure
that carries a canal across another body of water. Basin: a wider, deeper section
of the canal, where boats can be moored and cargo loaded or unloaded.
heelpath: the side opposite the towpath.
Canawl (canawler): pronounciation
of canal; (those who worked on it.) Dutch or Irish derivation.
a big, clumsy, flat-bottomed boat used by early settlers. Not a Packet: a sleek
Fog-gang: workers who cleaned out the canal as an
Foofoos: immigrant workers; foreigners.
a tankard of ale; rhymes with Prog: food.
Hoggee: a mule driver who
was paid pitifully low wages.
Hoodledasher: a hook-up of two or more
empty boats tied to a full-cargo boat, pulled by one team of mules.
a boy given the task of doling out half-gills of whiskey to each workman 16 times
"Low bridge": The warning cry to hit the deck because
the canal boat was about to pass under a bridge. Bridges were built low to save
Mule: the sterile offspring of a male donkey and a female
horse; sometimes called a long-eared robin by canawlers or a hayburner .
a boat grounded due to insufficient water level, frequently from a leak or
Prism: the traditional shape of the canal ditch with a
narrow bottom and angled sides.
Rhino: ready money, cash; a person
with a great deal of ready money was rhino fat.
Runners & scalpers:
Agents, often young boys, hired to secure passengers or cargo.
macaroni: a sportily attired canal boat captain.
workmen who traveled back and forth between Albany and Buffalo.
from "Low Bridge! Folklore and the Erie Canal" by Lionel Wyld. Syracuse
University Press, 1962
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