New Hampshire Slanguage: Bulkhead

Would a “bulkhead,” by any other name creak as sweet? I say nay! 

In other parts of the county this object is called an angled cellar door, outside cellar door, ground level door, basement entry, or exterior entryway. A couple of fairly recently additions include calling it a Bilco or a Clam, named after their manufacturers.

In New Hampshire, it is called a bulkhead (sometimes spelled bulk-head). It is not a great wonder with our state's seafaring past, that we would adopt this term. To sailors a bulkhead is an upright wall within the hull of a ship, which often creates a watertight compartment.

Nowadays to create a bulkhead for a home,  a steel frame is lowered onto pre-cast cellar stairs. The door and latching hardware are attached, providing secure and weather right basement access.

So, to all of you who call this item anything except bulkhead…. I say, if it's good enough for Bob Vila, then it's good enough for me.

Janice

*Additional Reading*

-Wikipedia: Bulkhead

2004 Outside Cellar Door Project (Flikr Slideshow)

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