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Naval Slang Mike to Papa


Lantern Swinger

Mailey/mailies Letters from/to home usually See bluey
Make and Mend Afternoon off (usually given after a middle watch)
Make and Mend with leave or Sports Make and Mend Self explanatory. (Orig. when sailors had to make own clothes and were given afternoon off to repair them - hence make and mend)
Magic Stick The Majestic Ballroom in Guzz
Maltese breaststroke Pulling hands towards chest as if piling up money
Mankey Filthy
Marry the falls Bringing the ropes together when lowering a seaboat
Marsovin & 7 Up Lethal Maltese cocktail
Matelot Sailor
Medical stoppage Leave/tot stopped (see catch the boat up)
Messdeck dodger Messdeck sweeper or cleaner
Mick Hammock (‘sling me mick’)
Mickey Duck Cartoon film
Mickey Mouse Killick Leading Hand with no Good Conduct Badges
Middle Watch Midnight to 0400 (4am) shift (or watch)
Milestone Extra large wave periodically encountered
Mogadogshit Mogadishu (Somalia)
Mombers Mombasa, Kenya - see Black Ham
Muck on a truck Meals on wheels (usually for ships in refit)
Muff diver Rating given to oral intercourse
Mulct Stoppage of pay (disciplinary punishment)
Muscle bosun PTI, or body-builder rating
Musical fruit Baked beans or pussers peas
Muster Gather together as a group eg Duty watch muster


NAAFI rating No ambition and f*** all interest
Nap hand Unlucky, contracting both gonorrhoea & syphilis/crabs
Navy cake Homosexual sailor
Neaters Unwatered rum
Necky Got a nerve (as in more neck than a 3 badge giraffe at action stations with a make and mend chit)
Netley Naval nuthouse - now a housing development
Nettles The cords that make up a hammocks clews
Nigerian lager Guinness
Nix and flip flops Jacks bathroom attire
North-easter Rating having no money on pay day - NE: not entitled
Number One First Lieutenant or Chinese Laundryman
Number Two/Three etc Laundryman's assistants
Nutty Sweets
Nutty Bosun Someone with a sweet tooth


Oggie Cornish pasty or native of Cornwall
Old ships Old shipmate – someone previously served with
Oppo Close chum
Out of watch ‘Getting a bit’ with a lady – not one’s wife/girlfriend
Out pipes Stop smoking and get back to work
Over the wall Spell in detention quarters


P7R Medical category - Unfit for sea
PVR Premature Voluntary Release (see D by P)
Panic Bosun Someone who is excitable
Part of Ship (POS) Place of duty or compartment/workspace you are responsible for
Party Sailors steady girlfriend
Pash Girlfriend
Pea-doo Long service and good conduct medal (origin obscure - but possibly "Pay Due" because of the £20 gratuity that used to be paid on award). The LS & GC was introduced on the 24th August 1831.
Pension trap Some mishap that may prevent Jack collecting his pension after his 22
Phoo-phoo Talcum powder
Pierhead jump Draft at very short notice
Pig RN Officer (impolite)
Pipe Bosuns whistle blown, normally precedes an order
Pipe down Keep silence or "out lights" and turn in
Pi-r squared rating One who can do sums, studious (derogatory)
Pissed off Fed up
Piss flap Buttoned flap on sailors trousers
Piss poor Not very good
PJ Poxy Jock (origin - Faslane)
Plushers/plussers Rum remaining in tub after issue made - later Queens
Pongo Army personnel
Porridge guns Bagpipes
Potmess Messdeck stew
POTS Petty Officer Telegraphist
Pox doctor’s clerk Generally lucky
Punkah louvre Forced air ventilation (orig India)
Pusher Another term for girlfriend
Pusser Supply officer or someone very formal navy-style
Pussers Crabfat Ship's side grey paint
Pussers Hard Navy soap
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