Old Naval Words and Sayings

Stripey_G said:
The Mainbrace was the great chunk of rope that was attached to the main yard of sailing ships (the brace). between main and fore mast. To Splice this rope was no mean task and the sailors that did it had an extra ration of rum for their efforts. The term "splicing the mainbrace" today means to celebrate an occasion by issues of a tot of rum. (Way back when they issued tot in the Navy, "Splicing" meant you got TWO tots of rum!! Lovely!!)

Which meant of course that Stokers, Greenies, Tiffies, Supply and Secretarial, Waffoos etc. never got an extra TOT cos only Dabtoes could splice.

Nutty
 

Stripey_G

War Hero
And that was true Nutty..but as you know when the Queen dropped a sprog or some other glorious occasion, those of the "G" all got an extra tot whether Stokers,Greenies.Tiffs etc etc.....(Prayed for the occasions!)
 

chockhead819

War Hero
We were well pissed off down the Falklands when the fisheads did a RAS one wet cold night they got splicers & we worked 8 hr shifts on the flight deck in the freezing cold (-30 with wind chill being the coldest) & got laughed at by sandy woodward!
No wonder we hate the codgobs.
 

Deckhead_Inspector

Lantern Swinger
"Pigs Ear" was a small urinal on an open bridge for the use ow the OOW.
"Can of Worms" was a cannister of nail shot.
"Green Rub" The stain on white duck trousers left after handling a wet mooring line or anchor cable. Went on to describe any other unpleasant job. Now totaly corrupted into the sporting term,"Rub of the Green."
"Straight Laced" RN as opposed to RNR or RNVR.

All gone on to general civvy use ashore.
 

Schiller

Midshipman
How about "putting something through the hoop"? Derives from the 18" metal hoop a properly lashed hammock should be able to pass through.

"Chokka" from "chock-a-block".

"The devil to pay". The devil was the outboard seam of the deck planking, next to the ship's side. To "pay" a seam was to fill it with caulking and pitch. The full phrase is "The devil to pay and no pitch hot".

Incidentally, sorry to disappoint some of you, but the derivation of "Brass monkey" is rubbish. I've never found any reference to a "monkey", brass or otherwise - I'd be interested to hear if anyone else has. Besides that, the amount of contraction of a brass holder (co-efficient of expansion 0.00019) would be so tiny, even with, say, a 30 degree fall of temperature, as to make little difference to the stability of the balls. Add to that the fact that , while brass can be machined to fairly fine accuracies, cannon balls were much more crudely produced, and varied considerably in diameter and sphericity. To build a pyramid of them sufficiently precarious to tumble off with a fall of temperature would seem to be a fairly fruitless exercise.
 
Schiller said:
How about "putting something through the hoop"? Derives from the 18" metal hoop a properly lashed hammock should be able to pass through.

"Chokka" from "chock-a-block".

"The devil to pay". The devil was the outboard seam of the deck planking, next to the ship's side. To "pay" a seam was to fill it with caulking and pitch. The full phrase is "The devil to pay and no pitch hot".

Incidentally, sorry to disappoint some of you, but the derivation of "Brass monkey" is rubbish. I've never found any reference to a "monkey", brass or otherwise - I'd be interested to hear if anyone else has. Besides that, the amount of contraction of a brass holder (co-efficient of expansion 0.00019) would be so tiny, even with, say, a 30 degree fall of temperature, as to make little difference to the stability of the balls. Add to that the fact that , while brass can be machined to fairly fine accuracies, cannon balls were much more crudely produced, and varied considerably in diameter and sphericity. To build a pyramid of them sufficiently precarious to tumble off with a fall of temperature would seem to be a fairly fruitless exercise.

Always a smart arse to spoil a good dit. Most of us know that it only a dit but very few civvies do and it makes sense to them.

Nutty
 

hammockhead

Lantern Swinger
Stripey_G said:
The Mainbrace was the great chunk of rope that was attached to the main yard of sailing ships (the brace). between main and fore mast. To Splice this rope was no mean task and the sailors that did it had an extra ration of rum for their efforts. The term "splicing the mainbrace" today means to celebrate an occasion by issues of a tot of rum. (Way back when they issued tot in the Navy, "Splicing" meant you got TWO tots of rum!! Lovely!!)

Braces are attached to the end of each square yardarm and run aft; they are used to brace the yards round depending on the relative direction of the wind. The mainbraces are attached to either end of the mainyard and run down to the side of the ship where they can be adjusted. There are similar braces for the main-topyard, main-topgallantyard, main-royalyard, foreyard, fore-topyard, fore-topgallantyard, etc.

BRNC used to hire one of the STA's tall ships for one-week journeys; they were very good fun.
 

Deckhead_Inspector

Lantern Swinger
My favorite old naval word is the old name of the "Cut Splice" before the "n" was removed from between the "u" and the "t". If you don't believe get hold of an old copy of BR 67 (pre 1968 I think.)
 
Other phrases:

one.. two... six!!

green rub

tiddly

captain of the heads

shave off!

chicken on a raft

rum rat

loafing

adrift

squared up

fore and aft

pusser

dustmen

josser

pusser's itch

jaunty

number nines
 

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