steerage (n.) Look up steerage at Dictionary.com
c.1400, "steering apparatus of a ship;" mid-15c., "action of steering," from steer (v.) + -age. Meaning "part of a ship in front of the chief cabin" is from 1610s; originally in the rear of the ship where the steering apparatus was, it retained the name after the introduction of the deck wheel in early 18c.; hence meaning "section of a ship with the cheapest accommodations," first recorded 1804, later found in the front part of a ship.