Passengers were <piped> aboard

Tony100000

Senior Member
Portuguese
Hello!

I've come across this sentence:

Passengers were piped aboard ship at the start of the cruise.

According to the dictionary, "pipe" here means "to play music on a pipe". That's why I can't undertand the passive here. Shouldn't it be "piping"?

Thank you in advance! :)
 
  • cyberpedant

    Senior Member
    English USA, Northeast, NYC
    There is a whistle called a "bosun's pipe" which used to be used to draw attention of the passengers and crew on naval ships. Don't know how common this is on commercial ships."To pipe one aboard" means to blow the pipe as a signal for boarding.
     

    ewie

    Senior Member
    English English
    I'm more inclined to the ceremonial bagpiping thing because we're talking about passengers. Your average tourist might get a bit freaked out* having a bosun's whistle blowing in his face:D

    *Can I say that in 2014?
     

    sdgraham

    Senior Member
    USA English
    Hello!

    I've come across this sentence:

    Passengers were piped aboard ship at the start of the cruise.

    According to the dictionary, "pipe" here means "to play music on a pipe". That's why I can't understand the passive here. Shouldn't it be "piping"?

    Thank you in advance! :)
    Just to reinforce the above good information, it's not the passengers who were playing pipes intransitively, as your suggestion would mean.
     

    Wordsmyth

    Senior Member
    Native language: English (BrE)
    Ah! ~ I was thinking of this kind of piping. (Image shows chap on boat playing bagpipes.)
    Well, not actually on a boat: it looks like a jetty, or a prom. Not that that changes anything.

    I've never heard of Scottish pipers piping people aboard (unless perhaps they're carrying a haggis ;)), but on the other hand I believe the naval 'piping aboard' is done only for flag officers or senior dignitaries (an admiral, a royal, ...).
    I've come across this sentence:

    Passengers were piped aboard ship at the start of the cruise. [...]
    Where did you come across it, Tony? Can you tell us the source, or give us any context or surrounding text?

    Ws:)
     
    Last edited:

    Andygc

    Senior Member
    British English
    Isn't it a bit of a pain when somebody posts a sentence, seemingly plucked from thin air? Oxford Learner's Dictionaries:
    3[transitive, intransitive]pipe (somebody)to play music on a pipe or the bagpipes, especially to welcome somebody who has arrived
    Passengers were piped aboard ship at the start of the cruise.
    It's been plagiarised by several other web sites, so it's easy to be a sentence about which one can say
    I've come across this sentence:
     

    Wordsmyth

    Senior Member
    Native language: English (BrE)
    Nicely researched, Andy.:thumbsup:

    The more I think about it, the more the bagpipes option seems likely. It's the sort of thing a commercial cruise line might do to impress its passengers (corny to my mind, but some people might find it fun). Judging by the size of most cruise-line leviathans, a bosun's pipe might go unnoticed by most boarding passengers, unless they had an army of them!

    Ws:)
     
    I hadn't dared try to post to this as the first person to respond to this query since I had zero notion of what "passengers were piped aboard ship" was supposed to mean. (Even now as I read it I envision tiny passengers being squeezed out the end of an enormous pastry bag to make decoration dollops on some huge ship-shaped confection, finishing touches of some gigantic genie chef.) :D
     

    RM1(SS)

    Senior Member
    English - US (Midwest)
    There is a whistle called a "bosun's pipe" which used to be used to draw attention of the passengers and crew on naval ships. Don't know how common this is on commercial ships."To pipe one aboard" means to blow the pipe as a signal for boarding.
    Incredibly obnoxious things, bosun's pipes. The Wikipedia article ("Boatswain's whistle") includes an audio file, but even with my computer volume turned up all the way it doesn't do it justice.
     
    < Previous | Next >
    Top