USI – Glossary Of Terms

The Glossary lists key historical and contemporary terms related to the transatlantic slave trade. These words are used across the website and particularly in the Themes and Use of language.

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There are currently 32 Terms in this directory beginning with the letter S.
clambering and struggling with competitors for a share, e.g. ‘The Scramble for Africa’
a period during which enslaved people newly arrived from Africa were initiated into the labour regime; new enslaved people were given marginally lesser tasks in the seasoning period as their ability to survive disease was tested
separation of people, especially in the use of public facilities, employment, education, and housing; usually with a denial of political rights for the excluded group
a system in which the serf, or labourer, was not allowed to leave the land that he or she worked on
metal hoops and chains put round the necks, wrists and ankles of (usually male) enslaved people to restrain them
pre-decimalization in 1969, one pound sterling was made up of 20 shillings, each made up of 12 (old) pence; a shilling is the equivalent of 5p today
Someone who is made to serve another; devoid of freedom and personal rights; one who is the property of another whether by capture, purchase or birth.
Slave colony
a settlement on plantations, based on the labour of enslaved Africans
Slave labour
work carried out by the enslaved for the profit of others
people who earn a living from capturing, trading and transporting enslaved people; ships engaged in transporting the enslaved
the institution that kept people as property, and submissive to work under the domination of others.
acute contagious disease caused by a virus, with fever and pustules, and with a high death rate; now eradicated world-wide
small two mast, square-rigged sailing ship, similar to a brig
Powdered tobacco especially for inhaling through the nostrils
Socialist (socialism)
A person who believes in socialism, a system based on shared or governmental ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of good
Unity (as a group) that is based on shared interests and goals
A poem of 14 lines usually rhyming by a fixed scheme
St Kitts
A Caribbean Island
Quality or status gained through growth, development or achievement
Position or rank in relation to others
Status symbol
An object or sign used to display a person’s wealth or position in society
Stereotype / stereotyping
a fixed notion of a group of people, often based on prejudices
A manager of a larger home or estate
A careful plan or method
area south of the Sahara Desert in Africa
of inferior importance or rank, secondary, subservient
the right to vote in political elections
a woman who agitated for the female right to vote
pleading or appealing for something from a point of weakness
doctor who specializes in using tools to operate on the body; also a general term for a naval doctor (since most were surgeons)
a factory or workshop employing workers employed for long hours and under poor conditions
A place where Jewish people come together to worship