Say What?


  • Adrift:  Loose from moorings and out of control (applied to anything lost, out of hand, or left lying about
  • Aft-End:  Near or toward the stern of the vessel
  • All Hands:  The entire ship’s company, both officer and enlisted
  • Allotment:  An amount of money a member has coming out of his or her regular pay
  • ASVAB:  Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery; Test administered by the military to determine qualification for enlistment in the armed forces
  • Aye-Aye:  Reply to an order or command meaning “I understand and will comply.”
  • Barracks:  Building where Sailors live
  • Below:  Downstairs
  • Brightwork:  Brass or shiny metal kept polished rather than painted
  • Bunk or Rack:  Bed
  • Bulkhead:  A wall within the hull of a ship, vehicle, or container
  • Buoy:  An anchored float used as an aid to navigation or to mark the location of an object
  • Carry On:  An order to resume work or duties
  • Cast Off:  To throw off; to let go; to unfurl
  • Chain Locker:  Compartment in which anchor chain is stowed
  • Chit, Chit Book:  Coupon on receipt book
  • Chow Hall (Mess Deck):  Place to eat
  • Colors:  Raising or lowering of a national flag, Ceremonies held at 0800 and sunset for hoisting and hauling down the national ensign
  • Deep Six:  To dispose of my throwing over the side
  • DEP:  Delayed Entry Program; Program that allows recruits to join the Navy but postpone reporting for duty for up to a year
  • Ensign:  National flag; commissioned officer between the rank of Chief Warrant Officer and Lieutenant Junior Grade
  • Fast:  Snugly secured
  • Fathom:  A unit of length (equal to 6 feet) used for measuring the depth of water
  • Flag Officer:  Any commissioned officer in paygrade O-7 or above
  • Galley:  Kitchen
  • Gangway:  An opening in a bulwark or lifeline that provides access to a brow or accommodation ladder; an order meaning to clear the way
  • Gear Locker:  Storage room
  • Geedunk:  Candy, gum or cafeteria
  • General Quarters:  Battle stations
  • Liberty:  Permission to leave the base (usually for not more than 48 hours)
  • Lifeline:  Lines erected around the weatherdecks of a ship to prevent personnel from falling or being washed over the side
  • MEPS:  Military Entrance Processing Station; Station where recruits take the ASVAB, physical exam, select a rating and take the Oath of Enlistment
  • Overhead:  Ceiling
  • Passageway:  Hallway
  • Quarters:  Assembling of all hands for muster, instruction, and inspection
  • Rating:  A job specialty title
  • Reveille:  Wake up, start a new day
  • Scullery:  Place to wash dishes
  • Scuttlebutt:  Drinking fountain; a rumor
  • Secure:  Lock, put away or stop work
  • Sickbay:  Hospital or Medical clinic
  • Swab:  Mop
  • Taps:  Time to sleep, end of day
  • Tattoo:  Five minutes before taps
  • Topside:  Upstairs
  • Turn To:  Begin work
  • Working Aloft:  Working above the highest deck; generally performing maintenance on the ship’s mast

One thought on “Say What?

  1. Pingback: Whiskey Tango Foxtrot | Gina left the mall


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