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Jackspeak Discussed On Radio 4's iPM Programme This Morning


War Hero
On iPM on Radio 4 this morning, a couple of ex-matelots were interviewed briefly about the concept of Jackspeak and tested by the interviewer to see if they recognised a few expressions which she had read about.

The programme is 15 minutes long and the interview lasts about ten minutes.

BBC - BBC Radio 4 Programmes - iPM, 12/03/2011


War Hero
I'm pretty certain that she says "A pork pie" as well.

I think that they say that they have a copy of "The Pusser's Rum Guide to Jackspeak" with them in the studio and I think that what she does is flick through the book and pick out a few words. That book is an early copy of Rick Jolly's "Jackspeak"; I have a copy of the most recent version on my bookshelf so looked up the word "growler".

Rick Jolly says:

"Growler (RM)

1 A large chunk of ice which is just awash and difficult to see.
2 A pork pie; NAAFI landmine is a variant.
3 In the Merchant Navy a growler is a towel.
4 At Dartmouth, growler is also the name given to a long and heavy length of rope that the young officers must carry, as a syndicate, from stance to stance in their leadership exercises. The name comes from the cursing and muttering that this item inspires!"


War Hero
A 'Growler' is slightly smaller than a 'Bergy Bit'. These are the officially recognised terms for bits of ice that are too small to be referred to as a small iceberg, and I don't think they are Jackspeak per se, but are terms that seafarers are more likely to recognise than landlubbers.


Lantern Swinger
I Have just listened to it and a couple of points.

Barrack stantion = old hand as I remember it was someone who had not been to sea for a long time.

I know that I was a Clankie but would the SO and father famine have discussed the menus?

Their pronunciation of Pusser is somewhat questionable.
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