Jack Speak

Discussion in 'The Quarterdeck' started by Ventress, Feb 8, 2006.

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  1. Maybe the experts amongst us can enlighten us with an insight into the mother tongue of all matelots.



    A Wet

    Dog watch


    Heave ho me shivering giblet.
  2. Ventress,

    Jackspeak is probably worth working up into a separate dictionary, but with regard to your specific examples:

    Scran - food. i.e. "Are you coming to scran?", but a Scran bag is a receptical for nautical lost property. "I can't find my socks - Have you looked in the mess scran bag".

    A wet - a drink. When sailors were issued a rum ration there was a sort of sliding scale of rum currency for debts, favours etc. This started with a wet, (a small sip) and increased in varying measue through Sippers (a large sip - -typically for someone's birthday) to Sandy bottoms (the whole tot). Nowadays it's just any alcoholic drink i.e. "Anyone fancy coming ashore for a few wets?" NB a non-alcoholic drink is a goffer (n) whilst goffer (v) means to be soaked by a wave.

    Dog watch. Either a proper watch or a short period of time i.e. "He's only been in a dog watch but he's got his hook already". (He's only been in a short period of time but he's already a leading rate).

    Watches run 08.00 - 12.00 Forenoon
    12.00 - 16.00 Afternoon
    16.00 - 18.00 First dog
    18.00 - 20.00 Last dog
    20.00 - 23.59 First
    23.59 - 04.00 Middle
    04.00 - 08.00 Morning

    Buffer The Boatswain (Bosun) Senior rating in charge of seamenship evolutions.

    Heave ho me shivering giblet - I've never been further than the Isle of Wight but thought this might make me sound a bit Jack

    Do people think we should have a separate Jackspeak section on the site?
  3. I have never been able to find this one ?


    Any assiatance apreciated
  4. I assume you are looking for what our army friends call a Wah!!!
  5. Bring back some horrid thoughts there :evil:

    I used to luv last dog at sea, got all night in after that! Hated the Middle, was a basteward to get up from for watch on deck (08:00) :twisted:
  6. I quite liked the middle, you could look forward to getting back to your pit. Not like the Morning where you had an extra long day. The dogs never felt like a watch to me - by the time you were settled in you were getting releaved.
  7. Depends on who your Buffer is, shame to say mine was not soon nice towards 'females' onboard! Never stopped me though, got dragged out my pit many a time from sleeping in :evil:

    Come on, give a lass a break will you :roll:
  8. No. I am looking for the meaning . . .
  9. Why are they called 'dog watches' when they are only for 2 hours and late afternoon or early evening? That's not much of a 'dog' of a watch. In the army we also have dog stag, which although they can vary and be guard stag or radio stag, the actual 'dog stag' is usually around the early hours of the morning/very early morning. They are called that because they are a 'bitch' to stay awake on.

    Dog watch seems quite cushy in comparrison.
  10. It's usually a wind up, send someone for a spurlash, when something hits the water it goes SPURRRLAASSHHHH

  11. Plant-Pilot

    It's because they are short that they are called dog watches. We say cat nap these days but back in the 1700's when the names of the watches were fixed the term was a "dog sleep", meaning a short sleep.

    Lots of Jackspeak is very old - boatswain and coxswain are Anglo-Saxon, the Wardroom is actually the same name as Guardroom - in Norman French /French the gu and w are interchangable.

    Anyway that's the boring bit over with. Favourite Jackspeak anyone? I always thought that Brown-Hatters' Overalls was a great name for pajamas, almost worthwhile buying a pair just to use the phrase.
  12. The only bit of 'Jack Speak' that I knowingly use, and I'm not on about nautical speak or names of bits of boats or ships, is 'Splits'.

    I picked it up in Portsmouth many many moons ago, and it's got me in a lot of trouble I can tell you!
  13. S:Sultanas
  14. Ageing_Gracefully

    Ageing_Gracefully War Hero Moderator Book Reviewer

    It is all very well using jackspeak but if you are going to use it in this thread where people are looking for the meaning then your post leaves only my imagination i.e. persons of the female persuasion. :?:
  15. So where does "Snorkers" come from?
  16. As any fule no
    "Forenoon first
    That ones the worst"
  17. My favorite bit of jackspeak, though one thats difficult to use in day to day conversation, is "biffins bridge"
  18. Banjo was the one that stumped me for ages...

    in army speak its a fried egg sandwich

    in jack speak its a french bread sandwich

    the army name comes from the banjo playing action and pose one adopts when brushing the egg yolk from the front of your wooley pulley

    the matelot version comes from the shop "banjo" in torpoint who made these sandwiches

  19. from jack speak "spur-lash" wonderful excuse for pushing young *middies and *subbies overboard: 'ever seen a spur-lash, young sirs? No? Well come and have a look over here then'


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