1976 San Diego guide to Navy slang

Bulkhead, cum shaw, head, jarhead, u-trou, Z-gram

Airdale. Navy pilot; any Navy person associated with Navy aviation.

All Hands. Everyone; also, name of official U.S. Navy monthly magazine.

Below (also Belowdecks).Downstairs.

Boondockers (also Boonies). Navy regulation black shoes with high ankle support.

Boot. Navy enlisted person in recruit training.

Boot Camp. One of the recruit depots for enlisted personnel.

Brass. Navy officers, especially high ranking officers.

Brasso. Brand name for cleaning compound (very important in peacetime Navy and in training).

Bravo Zulu. Hooray, very good.

Bulkhead. Wall.

Bupers. Navy Bureau of Personnel in Washington D.C. (see detailer).

Buy the Farm. To die (especially used by airdales).

C.O. Commanding Officer.

Chit. Any kind of official piece of paper, usually granting one permission to do something.

Civvies. Civilian clothes (not to be confused with skivvies).

Coasties. Familiar term for Coast Guard personnel.

Comms. Communications, i.e.. “Do you have good comms with them?”

Conn. Operational command of a ship (when the O.O.D. is relieved, his relief would say, “I have the conn.”

Cover. Hat.

Cum Shaw. A kind of stealing, winked at even by Navy officials since it is a way to get around an unresponsive supply system.

Deck. Floor; story.

Deck Ape. Boatswain's mate (one who works mostly on the main deck).

Deep Six. To throw overboard, hence to throw away.

Detailer. Officer or enlisted man in Bupers who decides a person’s assignment.

Fantail. The part of the main deck aft of the superstructure.

Fo'c's'le (from forecastle). The part of the main deck forward of the superstructure.

Forward. The front; toward the front (of a ship).

4.0 (pronounced fore oh). Perfect.

Grunt. Marine; army infantryman.

Gyrene. Marine.

Head. Bathroom.

I. P. (from Irish pennant). Loose thread, especially on a uniform.

J. O. Junior officer.

Jarhead. Marine, usually derogatory.

Jet Jockey. Navy jet pilot.

Ladder. Steps; stairs.

l.ifer. Career man.

Mothball Fleet. Old ships which have been de-commissioned and are being stored for possible future use (in San Diego the mothball fleet is just below the Coronado Bridge).

Mustang. An officer who has worked his way up from enlisted ranks, especially those who have gone through Mustang program.

Muster. To assemble.

N.J.P. Non-judicial punishment, usually meted out in case of minor offense.

The Nav. Derogatory/endearing term for U.S. Navy.

Navy Shower. A shower in which the water is turned on briefly to allow soaping up and then on briefly once more to allow rinsing, used especially at sea where fresh water is scarce.

Need to Know. Classification of confidential material.

Niner. Navy method of pronouncing the integer 9.

99 Days and a wake up. A way of counting days left in an undesirable duty station.

O.O.D. Officer of the Deck, the officer who has temporary operational control of the ship.

On Station. In position, especially for ships steaming in formation.

One eighty. Exactly the opposite (to do a 180 to change behavior completely; to be 180 out— to be exactly the opposite).

Ops. Operations.

Overhead. Ceiling.

Porkchop. A member of the Navy Supply Corps.

To Relieve. To replace in a job.

Relief. Job replacement.

Sandcrab. Civilian.

Scrambled Eggs. The gold embroidery on the bill of a cover worn by a commander or above.

Shit Can. A wastebasket; to shit can to throw away or get rid of.

Skivvies. Underclothing.

Snipe. Engineer.

Superstructure. Part of a ship above the main deck.

Tin Can. Destroyer (type of ship used for escorting aircraft carriers, for shore bombardment, and for fighting submarines).

Toad. Girl, especially used by UDT and Seals.

U-trou. Underpants.

Unsat. A grade of 2.5 or below.

WestPac. That part of the Pacific west of Guam.

WestPac Widow. Wife of Navyman sent to WestPac.

White Sidewalls. Hair cut with extremely short hair on sides of head.

Z-gram. Directive sent by Admiral Elmo Zumwalt when he was Chief of Naval Operations (1970-1974).

Share / Tools

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google+
  • AddThis
  • Email

More from SDReader


Log in to comment

Skip Ad

Let’s Be Friends

Subscribe for local event alerts, concerts tickets, promotions and more from the San Diego Reader