It can be hard to stay current with military slang, so OMK created a list of terms/slang that are new or established, but still used, found below. This was called Impressment and was done by Press Gangs.Scuttlebutt - A butt was a barrel. From the Anglo-Saxon "bat" that stood for a small ship or vessel. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Today the expression is used to talk about someone who’s drunk, and doesn’t have control of themselves. Keeled over (upside down) was a sailor’s term for death.Fall foul of/foul up - Foul is an often used nautical term generally meaning entangled or impeded. Similarly, a short, stubby 32-pounder carronade’s lethality faded fast beyond 400 yards. Recruit Training Command Center in the Great Lakes, General Charles “CQ” Brown confirmed as America’s first black service chief, Statements from military leaders on race issues, civil unrest, How the P-51 Mustang almost became the A-10, MiG-28: ‘Top Gun’s’ fictional Cold War killer, Navy Birthday Celebrates 244 Years of Service, The Sailor’s Creed and Other Essentials for New Navy Recruits. Holy Mackerel: Though markets weren’t normally open on Sundays in 17th century England, fishmongers were allowed to sell mackerel on the day of rest because it spoils quickly. That way they’ll know exactly what you’re talking about once you start exchanging letters while you’re in boot camp! When it's "aweigh," it's no longer holding the ship in place, but even if the ship isn't moving, it's considered to be underway to its destination. the Naval Below, we’ve included a list of 73 words to help you get started: Below — beneath (“lay below” means to go downstairs, for example), Billet — location where a sailor is assigned, Bridge — room from which a ship is commanded, CJCS — Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staffs, CMDCM — command master chief petty officer, CO — commanding officer; AKA “Captain” of the ship, Colors — the national ensign; the ceremony to lower and raise the ensign, DEERS — Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System, General quarters (GQ) — full readiness for battle, IC — interior communications or internal communications, Jetty — structure built out from shorelines to change water currents, Log — book in which data or events that happened during watch are recorded, Main deck — uppermost complete deck (in aircraft carriers, this is the hangar bay), MARCENT — U.S. Marine Forces Central Command, Master-at-Arms — ship police force member, Pollywog — one who has never crossed over the equator, Quarterdeck — deck area designated by the CO as the place to host official events, Shellback — person who has crossed the equator, Shift colors — change arrangement of colors after getting underway, Sick bay — area aboard ship that serves as a hospital or medical clinic, Wake — Trail left by watercraft moving through water, Watch — usually a 4-hour period into which a day is divided; a particular duty, XO — executive officer; second person in command. Has come to mean an unpredictable or uncontrolled person who is likely to cause unintentional damage.Mainstay - A stay that extends from the maintop to the foot of the foremast of a sailing ship. A sailor who drank too much grog was “groggy”.Groundswell - A sudden rise of water along the shore. Scuttlebutt: Now a slang term for gossip, this term is thought to have referred to the drinking ladle on boats. ‘The devil to pay and no pitch hot’. Freeze the balls off a brass monkey: Commonly used nowadays to convey that it’s very cold. The term has come to mean false courage induced by drink, or the drink itself.Edging forward - This phrase describes inch-by-inch progress and was first used in the 17th century, typically in nautical contexts and referring to slow advance by means of repeated small tacking movements.Even keel - A vessel that floats upright without list is said to be on an even keel and this term has come to mean calm and steady. Oleson, Chaplain Corps, USN(retired) and a 19 year Coast Guard CWO4 Hard to imagine that many ship’s masters enjoyed routinely losing an anchor or two, so it is probably more likely referring to the practice of securing the sails of a square-rigged ship with rope yarns that could easily be cut away when a quick departure was necessary.Cut of one’s jib - warships many times had their foresails or jib sails cut thinly so that they could maintain point and not be blown off course. ‘Hard up in a clinch and no knife to cut the seizing’, the term from which hard up derives, was a sailor’s way of saying he had been overtaken by misfortune and saw no way of getting clear of it. has graciously permitted Jack's Joint to republish this glossary of The list was kept at the binnacle. Your email address will not be published. Flotsam is any part of the wreckage of a ship or her cargo that is lost by accident and found floating on the surface of the water. What excites you most about basic training? Anchor’s aweigh, fantail, aloft, port(larboard), starboard, high lining, RADAR, SONAR, abeam, abaft, screws, lee helm, bulkhead, overhead, and scuttle. The task of ‘paying the devil’ (caulking the longest seam) by squatting in the bilges was one of the worst and most difficult jobs onboard. The slang is genuinely funny, once you get someone to explain to you what all those words mean. So you want to serve in the Navy? On land, the term means to complain, complain, complain.Groggy - In 1740, British Admiral Vernon (whose nickname was “Old Grogram” for the cloak of grogram which he wore) ordered that the sailors’ daily ration of rum be diluted with water. Naval petty officers occasionally need a break from all the work of telling the regular enlisted men what to do. Carpenters, sailmakers, cooks, etc. To put the helm hard over is to put it as far as it will go in that direction. Land-side it still means a person with experience and skill. For the first time, I heard the nautical phrase terms, i.e., a vocabulary for the boat or terms used when sailing. I could remember myself bursting into a long-term of laughter whenever he mentioned the word “poop deck” or when he described the toilet of the boat as the head. This was called overhauling.Overreach - If a ship holds a tack course too long, it has overreached its turning point and the distance it must travel to reach its next tack point is increased.Overwhelm - Old English for capsize or founder.Pipe down - A boatswain’s call denoting the completion of an all hands evolution, and that you can go below. If you’ve ever been on a ship, you’ve probably noticed that the bottom portion of a watertight door’s frame sticks up from the floor. It was sometimes a handy weapon for quarrelling crewmen.Chock-a-block - A block and tackle is a pulley system used on sailing ships to hoist the sails. Above board - Anything on or above the open deck. Hard and fast describes a vessel firmly aground and unable to make progress and has come ashore to mean rigid. Three sheets to the wind: This expression refers to not having control of a boat because the sheets or lines connected to sails had been let go or lost. The essence is neither to boast nor impress your friends but helps to stay safe on water especially during an emergency when you might have to take sets of instructions using these terminologies. Once you get a copy of The Bluejacket’s Manual at boot camp, you’ll also find an updated dictionary with military terms to refresh your memory. Without a doubt, learning to talk like a sailor is like learning a new language. I’m saddened that the following terms were omitted. Read on to learn about the nautical meanings and fascinating history behind these and many other slang words and terms in our modern day language! terms. 31. The head is slang for the bathroom. But with a little practice, you’ll have it down in no time. It is a well designed, easy to navigate site and I plan on On shore, it means big and clumsy.In the offing - This phrase is quite simple to understand once you know that ‘the offing’ is the part of the sea that can be seen from land, excluding those parts that are near the shore. Captains often cut small holes or “scuttles” in it to reduce the chatter and wasted time at the water barrel, encouraging the sailors to drink fast before the water ran out. I can still remember going on a boat trip with a friend who was a sailor and a boat expert. Upon delivery, the goods were checked against the bill to see if all was in order. The rest of the sailors might be stuck watching television. I had almost lost my interest in sailing until my friend walked over and had to put me out of my misery. Boatswain. Becoming a sailor means learning a lot of new habits, skills, and lessons. If something is open and in plain view, it is above board.All at sea - This dates to the time when accurate navigational aids weren’t available. But with a little practice, you’ll have it down in no time. If a ship does not have enough “leeway” it is in danger of being driven onto the shore.Listless - When a ship was listless, she was sitting still and upright in the water, with no wind to make her lean over (list) and drive ahead.Long haul - Operation on ship requiring the hauling of a lot of line. It is lucky for us, in our endeavours to distinguish truth from falsehood, that activities at sea have been scrupulously recorded over the centuries, in insurance records, newspaper accounts and, not least, in ships’ log books. A 24-pounder long gun, for instance, was considered to have a maximum effective range of 1200 yards, even though, under the right conditions, a ball might travel some 3000 yards. That meaning originated at least as early as the 14th century and is recorded in several Old English texts. The term hot pursuit derives from this ‘principle’.Hulk/hulking - A large and unwieldy ship of simple construction and dubious seaworthiness. Captains often cut small holes or “scuttles” in it to reduce the chatter and wasted time at the water barrel, encouraging the sailors to drink fast before the water ran out. Second rates carried 90 to 98 guns; Third Rates, 64 to 89 guns; Fourth Rates, 50 to 60 guns. Currently, a thing upon which something is based or depends.No room to swing a cat - The entire ship’s company was required to witness flogging at close hand. If so, they fit the bill.Flotsam and jetsam - These are legal terms in maritime law. The term has come to mean a difficult, seemingly impossible task. It is thought that American sailors changed this term to ‘hand over fist’, and the term now means to advance or accumulate rapidly.Hard and fast - A ship that was hard and fast was simply one that was firmly beached on land.
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