The term "Jack Tar" refers to British sailors and may have more than one derivation
- tarpaulines — tarred canvas — was used on board ships to protect articles from sea spray
- sailors grew their hair and plaited it into a pigtail that was then tarred. This saved the men from getting wet hair
- if something was 'jacked' it had been boiled. Leather jacks were leather cups boiled in tar. British sailors used tarred leather cups.
- tarpaulin was windproof and waterproof so topmastmen wore tarpaulin clothing when aloft
Last modified 8 April 2002