Inking up the blogosphere. And no, I don't glow in the dark. But thanks for asking.

December 11, 2009

Now You Too Can Talk Like A Sailor! (part 1)

In honor of one of the most historic and rivalled matchups (see previous post), I am posting a list of Navy and nautical slang and their meanings:
  • Adrift:  not properly stowed or tied down. 'Gear adrift' is a collective term for anything that will come loose and fly through the air with ship's movement; also, a common reason for failing a berthing inspection--gear adrift on your rack.
  • Airdale:  refers to any member of the aviation community, officer or enlisted. Often derrogitorily modified by non-aviation types with the adjective "fucking".  Root word for 'chowdale'.
  • AJ Squared Away:  The mythical sailor who always has his stuff together.
  • Angles and Dangles:  Operating a submarine at steep angles of ascent and descent, and to perform rapid turns (a submarine in a tight turn will bank in the same fashion as an aircraft).  Guaranteed way to discover 'gear adrift'.
  • Bag:  not doing your share of the work.  Lit.: leaving someone holding "the bag".  Bagging the watch, i.e.: relieving the offgoing watchstander late is a grievous error, and could earn you a label of "shitbag".
  • Balls (or four balls):  midnight, which in the 24-hr time system is 0000.
  • Balls Out:  Refers to an early design of engine governor, in which a pair of masses (balls) spun at an increasing rate as engine speed increased. Centrifugal acceleration threw the masses outward, so "balls out" refers to maximum possible engine speed.
  • Batten Down:  Make fast, secure, or shut. Originally, deck hatches did not have hinged, attached covers. Hatch covers were separate pieces which were laid over the hatch opening, then made fast with battens (pieces of timber).
  • Belay:  stop or disregard.  Commonly heard as "Belay my last".
  • Big Chicken Dinner:  A Bad Conduct Discharge.  ex.: "Punching the XO will probably get you a Court Martial and a Big Chicken Dinner."
  • Bilge Diving:  Working in the bilges of a ship, or cleaning same.
  • Binnacle:   A pedestal which supports a compass. Typically found next to or in front of the ship’s wheel.
  • Bitchbox:  Intercom or amplified circuit used to communicate between spaces of the ship.
  • Bitter End:  Properly, the free or loose end of a line. Originally, the bitter end of a mooring line was taken to the bitts (a mooring fixture) to secure it.  BTW, you never want to see the bitter end of your ship's anchor chain.
  • Blivet:  Traditionally, "Ten pounds of shit in a five-pound sack."  Also, a rubber fuel bladder.
  • Blue Shirt:  Anyone E-6 or below wearing the dungaree uniform, similar to the traditional term "Bluejacket," due to the Navy blue jacket issued with the dungaree uniform.
  • BOHICA:  Bend Over, Here It Comes Again.  ex.: "Aw, they cancelled the port visit. BOHICA!"
  • Boomer:  Ballistic missile submarine (SSBN).
  • BOSNIA:  Big Old Standard Navy Issue Ass. Refers to the size of the sterns of some (usually female) navy personnel.
  • Bosun:  The phonetic spelling of ‘boatswain.’
  • Bravo Zulu:  'well done'.  Can be spoken, or written as BZ.  ex.: "That's fastest pipe patch I've ever seen. BZ, shipmate!"  In nuke usage, the term is used sarcastically or with high levels of irony.
  • Bubblehead:  Member of the submarine community. Frequently modified by members of the surface fleet with the adjective "fucking".
  • Buddy Fucker:  Someone who will not stand up for, or defend, a friend or shipmate, or someone who screws over a shipmate.
  • Bulkhead:  Wall.
  • Bull Nuke:  Senior nuclear-trained CPO aboard a sub. Junior in authority to the COB.
  • Bumfuck Egypt:  A (fictitious) bad place to be stationed, or the figurative ends of the earth. Sometimes seen as BFE.
  • Cat:  Catapult.  Planes can be launched on a carrier from the 'bow cats' or the 'waist cats'.
  • CBR:  Chemical, Biological, and Radiological (nuclear) warfare. 
  • Channel Fever:  Anxious to get home, or reach port.
  • Check Valve:  Used to describe a person, it refers to one who does for himself, but not others. None of the goodies get past him.
  • CHENG:  Chief Engineer.
  • Chit:  A small piece of paper, often a request for or granting of permission to do something.  ex.: "You can't go on leave until you show me your chit."
  • Chop:  Change of Operational command, spoken as "inchop" (entering a command region or zone) or "outchop" (leaving a command region).
  • Cinderella Liberty:  Liberty where one must be back aboard by midnight.
  • Clear Datum:  (Submarine) To leave the area where you have been detected, or to leave the scene of the crime, especially when liquor and members of the opposite sex are involved.
  • Charlie Foxtrot:  Cluster Fuck – An evolution remarkable for its significant lack of excellence.  Mass confusion and chaos.  Also known as a 'Goat Rope'.
  • COB:  Chief Of the Boat. Senior enlisted onboard a submarine; acts as liaison between the crew and the XO.
  • CONUS:  Continental U.S.
  • Crescent Hammer:  Crescent wrench.
  • Crow:  The rate insignia of a USN Petty Officer (E-4 through E-6), so-called because of the eagle above the rate chevrons.
  • Cut of His Jib:  From the days of sail, when individual sails were made aboard the ship and a certain amount of individuality was expressed in the design of the sails. Ships were identified by the "cut of their jib."  ex.: "Hey--you there! What the hell are you doing?! I don't think I like the cut of your jib."


JihadGene said...

Great Reader KIM Jong IL on the BlitchBox..."Now hear diss! Squid Thoughts WOKS looong time!!!"

You got a great blog! I cracked up looong time at the BOSNIA as I'd never heard of it until now! The cut of your blog-jib is wonderful! I will definately be back for more after Army beats Navy!

Squid Thoughts said...

Thanks to Great Reader KIM Jong IL!

BOSNIA is one of my favorites as well, along with the Goat Rope. Seen a few of those in my day, lol.

Glad you made it over here, JG--I love your blog too. You're so funny that sometimes I ink....