Old Naval Words and Sayings

Discussion in 'History' started by Jamie, Dec 10, 2006.

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  1. Might interest some of you but might not.
    There is a lot of words and descriptions and customs and things our NEW NAVY personnel may not know about.

    EG..What is the Truck on a ship
    Where would you find the Orlop (especially on Wooden Ships)
    What do we really mean when we say "It's cold enough to freeze the Balls on a Brass Monkey" and "There's no room to swing a cat in here" etc etc.

    There are dozens more..hundreds even !!!!..(the ancient Mariner)

  2. cannon balls were stored on a "brass monkey" when it got cold it shrunk & the cannon balls fell off. hence freezing the balls off a brass monkey

    no roon to swing a cat - no room to swing a cat o nine tails
  3. Orlop is a bastardization of the Dutch "overloop" which means covering. So, it's a cover over a hold but can be used as "The lowest deck" 'cos under the orlop is, technically, the lowest deck.

    How cool are the T.A.S. Apes today then??

  4. Also .... A truck is a cap on top of Flagstaff or mast.

    Jeeze ..... We Ganges Boys are on fire today eh??


    Bring 'em on!!
  5. First person to tell me why I was issued an "A.T.B" in '69 wins a bag of majic beans from my shop!!

  6. "Chock-a-block ...... Come on girls .....
  7. Cos you were first in the queue and had a happy face?
  8. Cannon balls stored on a brass monkey.............

    Yer 'avin a larf, incha?
  9. You Ganges lads are GO_OOOOOOD O..Full marks to you all.

    Anyone know what a"Scotsman" is on a ship (and I don't mean a pissed up Haggis waffler coming back on board from a Run Ashore..sorry..stagger ashore...lo

    Not being a dabtoe I don't know about the Block and Tackle business..but I've heard of a "Toggle and Two"......

    Do the latest ships still have ringbolts lying about....on deck !!!!! :)
  10. IIRC from chippies course, the scotsman is on the focsle, unless you are talking about the ice making machie of course.
  11. Clanky..

    Aye lad correct.....In basic training we were told the Scotsman was thick re-inforced guides for the anchor chains..called appropriately the 'scotsman' because it was "Thick" and could withstand some rough batterings....how bloody true...
  12. I was taught that a Scotsman or Scotchman was any protective covering to take the wear and thus protect the basic structure. The case mentioned above being an example, but it could be a temporary protection or something fixed over the part intended to be protected. The protection would be capable of being removed and replaced when wear took place.

    Not because we were 'thick' but because we were canny and realised spending a little to protect the basic structure was a good investment rather than allowing the basic structure to be damaged and thus costing much more for repair.
  13. Sometimes called Air Travel Bag / Air Transport Bag (light brown/khaki colour - depended on how many times you were made to scrub it at Shotley) - could be used in place of the old mini kitbag for overseas draft travelling by air perhaps ?

    Or better still, getting your ciggies and dhobeying out at weekend leave - if you managed to dodge the modplods at the main gate of course !
  14. ATKB!! Air travel kit bag was green and slimmer than a pussers kit bag. Designed by Poosair with Jack in mind.
  15. sgtpepperband

    sgtpepperband War Hero Moderator Book Reviewer

    You are correct in that a 'brass monkey' was a metal plate on which cnnon shot were stored in a pyramid formation, but it was used on shore by Army and Navy Artillery units; if you tried to use it on board the motion of the ocean would cause them to roll away! Cannon shot on board was stored adjancent to the guns individually on rope quoits.

    [HMS Victory tour guide c. 1989]
  16. Peter

    I prefer Jamie's version

    As for the brass monkey, the theory or story is that in a heavy frost the brass monkey (plate) and the iron cannon balls would contract at a different rate then assisted by the icy frost the pyramid on occasions would collapse. How true that is is debatable.

  17. The one I acquired was white canvas with a tie end and no way of locking the blasted thing, not that I ever actually used it as the only time I flew to a ship (by Crabair) I had to take my normal kitbag with me plus gasmask had to be worn (over the shoulder I hasten to add :p !!) and in uniform !
    I might still have the thing somewhere - any offers for a piece of history ?
  18. No majic beans for you guys .......

    Close mind. A.T.B. stands for Admiralty/Travelling/Bag ...

    9 outta 10 guys ... must do better ....

    So, How about "Blow the Gaff""?????

  19. Come on, give us civvy ignorant sods a clue: what's an ATB: did it hurt? Was it nice? Did it taste good? Or was it to stifle your sobs as you cried yourself to sleep every night beneath the stars (well OK, the V-roof)?


    Postscript: I can see from the above posts that it was to stifle your sobs every night and allow your pissed off messmates to get a decent night's sleep! So you presumably wore it over your head? :lol:

    PPS: Apologies if you did cry yourself to sleep Moo! I'd have done just the same mate.

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