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Marine Terms

The Academy

adrift loose from towline or moorings; scattered about; not in proper stowage
as you were cancel previous command
aye, aye, sir! i have received, understood and will obey
aft at, in, or toward the stern (rear)
all hands all members of a command
ashore any place outside of a naval or marine corps reservation
batten the hatch make it tight or secure, as against a storm
belay cancel previous command
boot recruit
bow the front portion of a ship
breakout take out of stock or storage; to prepare for use
brig a place of confinement; a prison
bulkhead wall
captains mast office hours, time for discipline, complaints
carry on continue
cathole field head usually dug 1 foot wide and 1 foot deep
chop-chop very quickly
chow food
chow hound one who much enjoys eating
clear the deck clear the area by rearranging furniture, etc., to make way for a different activity
cover replace headgear
deck floor
esprit de corps readiness for action and courage
evening colors ceremony of lowering the flag at sundown
fantail the main deck of a ship at the stern
field day general housekeeping, usually held once a week often on friday. on these days all hands get busy. every nook and corner is cleaned. all glass and brightwork polished (blitzed).
fourragiere military decoration, a double-loop of green and red braid worn on the shoulder given for distinguished service in france in wwI to the 5th and 6th marine regiments
galley shipboard kitchen; kitchen of a messhall; mobile field mess
gangway an opening in the rail giving access to the ship. a command announcement stand aside to let someone through
gear personal belongings, also equipment or tools
g.i. government issue, to clean thoroughly, sharp appearance, real neat. also, a "g.i. can" is a container to hold trash
good duty a popular duty station, a popular work assignment
grinder drill field
gung ho "can do!" (or, we can do it together!)
hatch door
head bathroom or washroom
heavy weather a stormy time. used as "heavy weather ahead," to warn someone of danger or trouble coming
hitch enlistment period
irish pennant string or thread hanging from a garment
ladder stairway
leave absence from duty on written authority or period longer than on a pass and permitting one to go to distant points
liberty off-duty
line officer one in command of regularly organized troops or a government base, post or station
lucky bag lost-and-found bag
marine bible marine guidebook
mess hall dining hall or dining room
morning colors ceremony of raising the flag at sunrise
navy regs articles approved by act of congress and thus made into the regulations governing the navy
overhead ceiling
pass written authority from proper official or nco permitting one to leave his duty post or station between certain hours or for a weekend
passageway door or corridor
pipedown quiet!
pogey bait candy, cookies
police to straighten up or to tidy up
port left side (as you face the front)
p.t. physical training
rack bed
scosh in short supply - small
scuttlebutt gossip or water fountain
secure to stop work. knock it off. stop
semper fidelis always faithful
ship out to change duty stations. recruits are 'shipped out' as soon as they are processed
ship over reenlist
ship's services commissary, theater, beauty shop, etc. on ship or at a post station where service personnel can obtain goods or services at low prices
shove off a command to a boat crew; used generally for 'get lost' (as in, 'get away from here')
sick bay hospital or dispensary
sick call a set time when one is permitted to go to sick bay or dispensary for medical attention
skivvies underwear
skipper commanding officer
skylark goof-off; to loiter
smoking lamp term carried over from days of sailing ships when used on shipboard. smoking lamps were available to light pipes, when they were put out, that was the end of smoking
squared away to straighten, make ship-shape, or to get settled. to inform or admonish someone in an abrupt manner.
stand by a preparatory command, means prepare to execute. as in 'stand by to repel boarders' or 'stand by to receive visitors.' all hands stay in immediate area ready for the second part of command
starboard right side
station place of assigned work or your general duty area
stern the blunt end (rear) of a ship
stow to place in receptacle for storage; to pack
stowage room or place of storage; storeroom
swab a mop
topside upstairs; upper deck
turn to begin work; get started
uncover remove headgear
watch the lookout or sentry, also the period of duty time, generally hours on shipboard, when one portion of a ships crew is taking turns with another
Created by: kich