History of Starboard and Port:
The term starboard derives from the Old English steorbord, meaning the side on which the ship is steered. Before ships had rudders on their centrelines, they were steered with a steering oar at the stern of the ship on the right hand side of the ship, because more people are right-handed. Since the steering oar was on the right side of the boat, it would tie up at the wharf on the other side. Hence the left side was called port. The Oxford English Dictionary cites port in this usage since 1543.
Formerly, larboard was often used instead of port. This is from Middle English ladebord and the term lade is related to the modern load. Larboard sounds similar to starboard and in 1844 the Royal Navy ordered that port be used instead. The United States Navy followed suit in 1846. Larboard continued to be used well into the 1850s by whalers.
An Anglo-Saxon record of a voyage by Ohthere of Hålogaland used the word “bæcbord” (“back-board”) for the left side of a ship.