Sailors Have A Word For It - A to D




The A.B.C. of Sailors’ Slang - A to D


Abaft the Screen (or “the Q”): — The quarter-deck. Might be considered the opposite of “before the mast.” The region reserved, for officers; the glamour of ward-room environment. The steel casing that usually divides , the quarter-deck from the ship’s waist is called the screen/


Above-board —adj.. Honourable, upright.


Abyssinia —A valedictory; so long; farewell. The expres­sion came into favour as a mark of sympathy with the Ethiopians when the Italians invaded their country. It was cheerfully adopted because of its phonetic similarity to “I’ll be seeing you”


Acting green —Pretending fo be innocent; assuming tp be unacquainted with matters sub judice.


Admiralty Rain —A pessimistic view of the weather. The weather is considered to favour the Admiralty when it gives sunshine during working hours and rain during the dog watches, or during any part of one’s own time.


Adrift —Late, behindhand or unable to keep pace with the routine of the day. Applying to shore leave, the term signifies exceeding the time one is allotted liberty. A delinquent six hours late is declared to “ come off six hours adrift.” '


Afters — Delicacies to follow; dessert.


Aggie Westons or Aggies —The Royal Sailors' Rest in any of the three famous naval ports, Portsmouth, Devonport and Chatham founded by the late Dame Agnes E. Weston.


Aggs —(Agony Column) — Acid Drops, Caustic, Bitter Weed, Famous Crimes, Smile Awhile, and Clanking Irons—Nick­names awarded to all who persistently grumble. “Old Aggs,” however, is the most common sobriquet of the querulous.


All about —Highly efficient; clever.


Andrew Millar —The alpha-and omega of the Royal Navy. Even in the seventies this name substituted for the Service. One often said, “When I joined the Andrew" — meaning, of course, the Navy. When more edible rations, particularly soft bread, made their welcome appearance on board of men-of-war, the firm of Andrew Millar had the biggest contract. Arthur Miller was also the name of a notorious press-gang leader of Nelson’s day, but his activities have no connection (as 'some people believe) with the Service.


Answer the Bugle — At breakfast time (usually) every morning certain men were, and still are, warned to answer the bugle that day. This means attending the defaulter’s table (at which the commander usually presides) either as a request-man seeking favourable consideration (such as a half­day’s leave) or as a defaulter,. where the offender must explain the why and the wherefore he breaketh the law.


Astonicky — Any instrument of corporal punishment. The derivation has been credited to certain Irish ratings whose schoolmaster, they remembered, had a marked weakness for high-faluting language, even to the extent of dubbing his cane — astonicky.


Bracking and filling — fig. A term seldom used these days except by hoary-headed pensioners. It implied indecision, hesitancy, etc. A person who could not readily make his mind up was" described as backing and filling. A sailing ship passing through a narrow channel was piloted by the trimming of her sails which alternately moved her ahead and astern. The process was called backing and" filling.


Bake — Implies frustration, a sore disappointment, the failure of a scheme or unfavourable results. The term springs from a dinner withdrawn from the oven, proving to be the crude and unlovely “ bake ” instead of the more savoury roast.


Ball ’em off, Gatchum killala, or Get the head down - means simply having a sleep. Ball ’em off hails from the once very frequent job, unraveling a skein of spun-yam or cod-line and rolling it up into a ball.


Bandmaster —A pig’s head.


Bandy —Not necessarily a how-legged individual, but any member of the Royal Marine Band.


Barrack Ranger —Any rating who is reputed to enjoy a long sojourn in a naval barracks is so-called because he dodges the rigours of life afloat.


Barracky —Nickname for the barrack-master. He is usually a shipwright-lieutenant under whose charge the artisan staff in the depot works. Under him come all the barrack repairs as well as the responsibility of a large number of stores. He is the only officer allotted a private house in barrack territory.


Bare Navy —Tragic memory of Edwardian days when butter or even margarine was a luxury. Living on bare Navy symbolized having to exist on the coarse fare supplied by the Service. It was experienced on long cruises on pre- refrigerator days (up to 1907). when the ship’s canteen ran . out of the more edible viands. Hard biscuit and tinned beef were the two foremost delicacies of bare Navy.


Bash or Basher —Same as “winger” q.v. Basher is a corruption of masher. 


Batchy —A nickname usually applied to a renowned devil- may-care. Batchy, from bats—in the belfrey.


Beach —n. Terra firma, needless to say. Your matloe enjoys being poetical at times and refers to a trip ashore as “going on the beach”—or a beacher.


Beaches —n. As stated above, a trip ashore. “Beacher, Harry?’’ testifies to the Value of economy in words, for it asks Harry in two words if he is going ashore.


Beating up —v.i.. Sly negotiations in order to. curry favour with superiors. “ Lashing out ” as soon as officers (particu­larly the commander) heave in sight. The term is borrowed from the lingo of boat-sailing; i.e. so to move the helm as to take every possible advantage the wind may offer.


Bender —n. A story, a yarn ; e.g. spin a bender.


Birthday —n. A man is said to have had a birthday when he has imbibed not wisely, but too well. In the old days when naval men were more fraternal, sympathetic considera­tion was accorded to anyone obliged to spend his birthday on board ship, and the birthday celebrant was the recipient' of many tots or of any “ gash ” rum as a form of felicitation. In some messes a wise caterer kept a list of his messmates “birthdays” in order to ensure that they had only one each year.


Blackguard’s Pension —poss. n. The minimum of long- Service pensions granted to naval men. A man who mis­conducts himself to such an extent that, at the expiration of hrs time, he cannot boast of even one good-conduct badge must atone for his past by being granted a very meagre pension indeed. Before 1915 it was as little as 9/- a week ; it is now in the neighbourhood of 19/- and some odd coppers.


Black-outs —n. (fern.) Wrens’ knickers; Wrens’ knickers are black (so the author is informed), hence “black-outs” The lingo hails from the Wrens themselves—not from matloes.


Blitz —n. A bore ; a nuisance ; a pest.


Blitzed —v. In the past tense, defeated, impotent, drunk or incapable. Needless to explain what dulcet lingo this weed sprouted from.


Blow —v. To boast a good deal. From blowing one’s trumpet.


Blue Peter —n.. The long-service and good conduct silver medal awarded to naval ratings after 15 years’ continuous gbod service. It carries with it the well-merited gratuity o! £20. A facetious allusion to this award is that it was nobly earned for 15 years undiscovered crime.


Bloke —n. When preceded by the definite article, “ bloke ” indicates any person in authority. The Bloke, however, is * usually the commander or medical officer of the ship.


Blondie —nomen. Any effeminate-looking youth who sports very fair hair must not- be offended if he should be hailed as “ Blondie.”


Bombay Oyster —nA restorative for those who have gazed upon the wine when it was crimson. It consists of an egg beaten up into a quarter-glass of vinegar and well sprinkled with pepper and salt, Xs a tonic this is reputed to have powerful healing properties—but the author hesitates to substantiate this statement.


Bottle —n. A sharp reprimand, a scolding. To be the recipient of a “bottle” or a “drink” means being found fault with. The abstract bottle is represented as containing a liquid uncommonly strong, and certainly more tolerable when kept securely corked.


Bottle it up —fig. To hold one’s temper for a future occasion; to -repress emotions; to hold a grievance in memory with a view to reprisals. The analogy is a “rum” one. Certain naval ratings who have the fortune to draw the neat rum ration may prefer to put it in a bottle instead of drinking it at the time of issue—usually 11 a.m. The beverage proves more suitable for many at a late hour.'


Bring out —v.t. To introduce to the limelight. More commonly used- in reference to sport, particularly boxing. “Tucker Brown brought him out" (coached him). Again, one who has trained a noted singer is said to have brought him out.


Bring up with a Round Turn —fig. To “ bring up with -a round turn,” “ hoke his luff” or “bring one to his bearings” signifies taking the conceit out of a person by having so much the better of him in an argument or a quarrel as to render him powerless to proceed further. It may also imply a direct order to keep silent or take the consequences.


Broadside or Salvo —-fig. An apt retort; an epigram so potent as to “ sink ” an opponent. A broadside or salvo is a number of guns fired simultaneously ; scoring a hit, of course, the effect would be very much more dynamic than that of only one gun finding the target.


Brocky —nomen. The sobriquet of anyone who sports a rough or pimply complexion.


Browned off —Has many meanings and hails from the Army. Defeated, cheated, outdone, imposed upon or punished. “I’ve been browned off for a quid“ I browned, him off at crib “the skipper browned him off with seven' days’ leave stopped.”


Bubbly, Mutiny, n. The rum ration issued daily. Some­times it is referred to. as “Navy” It cost me a week’s Navy to get that sub”—meaning that the speaker managed to get a sub. (q.v.) the price being a tot every day for a week.


Buckshee —(from the Persian bakseesh) something for nothing; extra; free, gratis; additional to the usual allow­ance.


Buffer (usually chief buffer) —A senior or chief petty officer under whose administration the work on the upper deck is carried out. He is the commander”s right-hand man.


Bugs, Chats —nomen. The uneuphonious sobriquet applied to anyone who is habitually untidy or “chatty”


Bug-whiskers —nomen. A derisive salutation to the owner of an untidy or badly-grown beard.


Bullock, Turkey or Leatherneck —Any member of the Royal Marines. A tradition of the Royal Marines is that its members always go straight at a person and never around him if even more convenient, hence “bullock” Turkey recalls the once-bright-red tunic, and “leatherneck” of course, to the light leather strap which secured one part of the collar of the tunic to the other. A marine is always addressed familiarly as “Royal” and never as Joe or Joey as so many misguided writers declare.


Bunt, or Bunting —nomen. The cognomens of any signal rating. A signalman is a bunting-tosser. The-term applies to the material of which the flags are made.


Buzz —A rumour. “What’s the buzz?” “Have you heard the latest buzz?”


Cabin —n. A euphemism for cell punishment; viz., ten days’ cabin.

Callao —fig. A sort of El Dorado existence. A ship is said to be Callao when living conditions, routine, food, officers and shipmates are highly favourable. Etmy. Sacred to cherished memories of the Peruvian seaport where, once upon a time, bacchanalian orgies were the order of the day.


Camel Corps —Towards the close of last century it was a common sight in the home ports to see a young seaman or stoker struggling home beneath the weight of a great white bag of dirty clothes, hammocks, etc. The burden was his shipmates’ washing and he was taking it to his wife. There were no separation or children’s allowances in those days and the young married couple who faced life on 1/7 to 2/-  a day had to resort to the labour of the wash-tub in order to pay the rent for one room and make ends meet. The-late Mr. Lionel Yexley, founder and Editor of THE. FLEET, wrote a very, distressing picture of this struggle as he himself had bitter experience of it. 


Capribbon pint —n. fig. Refers to the froth formed from beer or stout on top of an inadequately filled pint measure; a very shaky pint. In pre-pre-war days the staff in the wet canteens of naval barracks worked hand-in-hand with the “crushers” with, one titanic aim—to rob the bluejacket customers. In exchange for his twopence “Jack” was handed a very shaky and unwholesome-looking pint. If he grumbled about the issue he was immediately ejected by the patrol at the “Crusher’s” order and threatened by the tyrant with a charge of insubordination. Truly did those black marketeers of the wet canteen and some shady ships’ police enrich them­selves brazenly at Jack’s expense.


Cargo shifter — A one-time derisive reference to any Royal Naval Reserve officer. The expression has happily died down, possibly because the Navy has discovered how highly efficient an R.N.R. officer can be ...  it has taken a war to discover it. The nickname now is “Rocky,” which applies to any type of reserve rating.


C.D. — Popular abbreviation for Captain’s Discretion. In cases involving the captain’s consideration, whether it be awards, rewards, favours or punishments, when he is not bounded or inhibited by certain clauses and regulations, the liberty of meting out judgment as he thinks fit is popularly called C,D. The same letters in the bad old days had a far more Sinister interpretation—CROWN DEBT, the aftermath of a spell in prison. Though the erring matloe had expiated his offence he found himself heavily in debt on returning to civilisation. This was to be expected as, having no pay in prison, his wages could only count from the date of his release. But then he had to foot the bill by paying the railway fares of the escort who conducted him to prison, to say nothing of the heavy fine that may have found its way into the charge sheet. To add to his misery he was forced to wear a garb of shame, a heavy coarse canvas suit with the letters C.D. surmounted by a stigmatizing broad arrow.


Carry Round —v.t. A man is said to be “carried around the ship” when he has to be shown everything in connection with his duties and when his work has very often to be done for him. The implication is that he is as helpless as a baby and so has to be “carried round.”


Catch a Crab —fig. A man is said tp catch a crab when, through erratic feathering, the blade of his oar is jammed beneath the water, the loom catches him across the chest and he is in danger of being knocked off the thwart.


Catch the boat —fig. To catch the boat implies punctuality for any event, whether it be for a meal, a smoke, a theatre, or the liberty boat for shore. Obversely to “miss the boat” signifies being late. “The boat’s shoved off” may mean that there is no more tea in the urn or eatables in the dish.


Chance his arm—fig. To chance one’s arm means to take a bold risk in any undertaking. The relevance of the term implies that when a man “chances his arm” he risks being disrated; he chances losing the decorations on his arm.


Charley More —The synonym for everything that is upright, honest and reasonable-. As long ago as 1840 a Maltese publican of that name had a huge sign-board over his pub on which was flamboyantly inscribed — Charley More The Fair Thing. The panegyric caught the eyes of naval men so often that Charley More was accepted into their vocabulary as the very pinnacle of altruism and integrity. “Come on, act Charley More,” was often a very earnest appeal to a man’s sense of fair play. The expression is seldom heard to-day, having more or less been replaced by “ act the white man.”


Chatty —adj. Dirty, grubby. From Chatham, the entrance to which was never very picturesque.


Chats —ft, pr. Short for Chatham, the Eastern seaport.


Chats —nomen and Chatty adj. The appellative of the untidy. See Bugs.


Chef —nomen.' All members of, the cooks’ branch to-day are deservedly hailed as Chef. At one time the sobriquets were Greasy-Neck and Sloshy, but happily these have faded into oblivion, for the modern cook is worthy of high esteem.


Chemist —The'ship’s surgeon.


Chew fat —fig. A man is.said to chew or chaw his fat when he talks a lot, in other words, make quite extravagant movements with his mouth. In the old days the fat of the salt pork was so inedible that in most cases it could only be chewed. So when a poor sailor was chewing his fat he was certainly giving his mouth a good deal of exercise.


Chink —A Chinaman, and Chinky-.(nom). Anyone who talks a good deal about China, praises China or, indeed, looks like a Chink is in grave danger of being nicknamed “Chinky”


Chocker —fig. Fed up, disgusted, have endured to the limit, won’t stand any more. Derived from the seamanship term “ chock-a-block,” which indicates that' the two blocks of a purchase being hauled close together (two blocks) no further power can be obtained from that purchase.


Chuck his hand in —fig. A tragic proceeding. A man who refuses to-perform his duty or who stoutly, disobeys an order to carry on with his usual work is said to “chuck his hand in.” He is then put under arrest (down below q.v.) and, not infrequently, imprisonment follows. Etmy. A card : game: the player seeing that his hand Of cards are hopeless to achieve any points, throws them on the table with disgust he chucks his hand in.


Chummy Ship —Portrays one of the Navy’s most fascinating traditions. By some mysterious, almost psychic, means, the crews of two ships in a fleet or squadron become endeared to each other. A comradeship that baffles sentiment endur-es and the crews of each show an eager readiness to do anything for their compeers in the “ chummy ship.” Meeting on shore they join in drinking bouts, toast each other’s racing crews, walk about arm in arm, wear each other’s cap-ribbons, and are ever'willing and eager to fight each other’s battles in the event of coming to a clash with a rival or “enemy” ship (q.v.). Racing bouts between the two ships are always noted for their sportsmanlike friendliness. For instance, if the forecastlemen’s racing cutter’s crew of H.M.S. A chal­lenge ditto of H.M.S. B, the losing crew invites the victors on board their ship to supper. At the expense of the forecastlemen of the losing ship a top-hole feast is spread and a smoking concert follows.


Chippy or Chippy-chap —Any member of the shipwright branch; A shipwright is usually addressed as Chippy. From chips—chips of wood,-shavings.


Chitted up. -  Getting in touch with any rating by application to the head of his department. In a big place like the R.N. Barracks, or indeed, in any of our Big warships, it is not always easy to locate an individual who may be required. By application to the head of his department the man may be quickly traced; in a case of urgency he may be'broadcasted for. This is called chitting-up a person.


Chucking-up boat —jig. Signifies aiding and abetting. A. chucking-up boat’s crew is really a crowd of enthusiastic, supporters who form a boat’s crew of their own and follow in the wake of their shipmates’ racing crews, cheering them to the echo and encouraging them all the way.


Clampy —nomen. Nickname for the owner of very large feet. (See flatfoot).


Clew up —v. To finish; to terminate. From the lingo of sailing.


Clinker-Knocker —n. See Dustman.


Clobber —n. Clothes ; usually those about to be washed.


Clubs —nomen. A physical training instructor. Usually hailed as Clubs, but referred to as a P.T.I. In the old days he was called a tumbler.


Cocoa Boatswain -nome. The old name for an instructor of Cookery. The implication was in a derisive vein. It is seldom heard to-day, possibly because the Navy has learned that a w.o. cook is just as important to the welfare of the Navy as a w.o, of any other branch.


Come up -n. Otherwise number eleven (once JOA) punish­ment ; viz. seven days’ 10A or seven days’ come up. In addition to enduring many other unpleasant restrictions and drills a poor defaulter was not even allowed to eat his meals with his own messmates. Authority decreed he should be treated as a social pariah and, at meal times, he had to take his meals on the cold upper deck in company with his guilty brethren. Usually as he ascended the ladder with his meals in his hands he received ironical cheers from his shipmates. Thus, “come up”


Comp. —n. (from compensation). Payment in lieu- of rations. A comp, number: an appointment where one receives an allowance for victualling ; very often it is a shore job. There are three stages of comp. These are V.A. (victualling allowance), P.A. (provision allowance), and L.P.A. (lodging and provision allowance). Referred to as “ on comp.”


Compo. —n. (compensation). Payment; e.g. a month’s compo. 


Confirmed —Promotion in the Navy to-day is what might be termed “provisional.” A rating, on advancement, adopts the acting-rank for a period of twelve months, after which, if found satisfactory, he is confirmed in the rank by his captain.


Conk —n. A nose. A man with a big nose is called Conky or Trunky. Even a Wren, so afflicted has received the same uncharitable nickname from her sisters.


Cook of the mess, cook of the rook, chef or “in the house" — In all broadside messes in the Service two men (Usually partners or cooking chums) take up culinary duties for 24 or 48 hours. They wash ail the crockery, pots and pans, and are mainly responsible for the cleanliness of their mess. They also peel the potatoes and (especially in small ships where general mess is not the order) even make the dinner for the following day. They do not, however, cook it; that job is left to the ship’s cook who receives it at the galley. “'I’m in the house to-day” means that the speaker is cook.


Cookum fry —v.i. To die, to pass away. The term origin­ally applied to destination immediately after demise and the climatic condition thereof is expressed by the verb. No matloe Was considered eligible for admission to the beatific region, so “cookum fry” became identified, rather inevitably, with the other place.


Cop —n. Signifies capture. It is associated with “copper" to be copped or winged means apprehended or caught in the act. A person, place or thing is assessed as “no cop” when weighed in the balance and found wanting. “That fellow’s no cop,”—no capture.


Corker —n. A blanket and pillow which have seen better days but still remain very serviceable when a welcome siesta is indicated.


Crabby —nomen. See Bugs.


Crack Townies or Old Ships —To crack townies or “old ships” with anyone is a diplomatic effort to gain his favour in order to reap material benefit. The claims of “townies” or “old ships” are considered to have strong sentimental value and to “crack” them is considered an unusually gilt- edged investment.


Gross bows —fig. To pass in front of one. The term has passed into table etiquette ; a man reaching across his neigh­bour for anything on the table may say, “Excuse my crossing your bows.”


Crows, Fowls, Pelicans, Birds —fig.    All ornithological labels usually apply to the misfits of the Navy ; persons who are troublesome, who cannot be trusted to perform a job of work or remain at their places of duty. The allusion refers to their ability to fall off asleep and remain so, even if standing on one leg.   .


Crushers, Scotland Yard, Gestapo —fig. Regulating Petty Officers who work under the supervision of the master-at-arrns in a ship. They were once known as ship’s police, but to-day are officially referred to as R.P.Os. As their job is partly punitive, they are not always held in high esteem. In this, however, they are paying for the sins of their “fathers,” who were the real crushers, body-snatchers and sleuth-hounds of a shady past. These fore-runners possessed much power and were noted for their corrupt practices, chief of which were, “rabbiting” and taking tips. Their nefarious sobriquet “body-snatcher” (recalling the activities of people who dug up dead bodies for gain) is happily not heard to-day. It was associated with the revolting practice of getting men into trouble (lining them up) and then releasing them for a shilling or sixpence.


Daddy —nomen. An affectionate nickname accorded to any captain whose appearance and disposition are benevolent and fatherly; one who gives kindly advice at the defaulter’s table; usually a very popular captain.


Daily Mirror Ship —fig. A ship which receives much press publicity is usually so-called.


Derby —fig. When there is a vacancy for promotion, all likely candidates are considered to be “in the Derby.”


Deado —fig. adj. Fast asleep.


Dicky or Caboose —n. A small compartment; dicky ; secluded or out-of-the-way comer; dicky adj, small.


Dicky-Collar —n. The Service blue collar worn by ratings dressed as seamen. Dicky-flannel: a serviceable miniature garment invented by Victorian bluejackets which it was once death to the law to wear. The old service flannel (of blessed memory) though an excellent garment, was far too heavy for many, in warm weather so, for their greater comfort, they resorted to the dicky-flannel—a very smaller addition which went over the head presenting a back and front of the material, which were then tied together with white tapes.


Dicky Run —fig. A quiet and uneventful expedition on shore entailing little expense.


Dingbat —n. A blow.


Dip —v. To suffer loss (fig. go down); v, in. to disappear suddenly. To be “dipped” means to be disrated, i.e. being punished by reduction to an inferior rating; to fail in an examination ; also v.t. to become bottom dog in any financial transaction: viz. "I dipped five bob on the spade.”


Ditch or Pond —n. The ocean, the sea ; the verb “to ditch” or dump means to heave anything overboard.


Dive-bombers —fig. Junior artisan ratings of a Royal Naval Barracks who, though they rank with leading rates, are accorded the privilege of messing in the petty officers’ mess. The specification was awarded them because of their habit of “diving” into the soft arm-chairs while their seniors in rank, and certainly elders, remain standing or, if lucky, relegated to less comfortable seats.


Dobeying —v. The operation of washing clothes.


Dobeying Firm —n. A company formed (usually two in number) for the sole purpose of “making a pay-day.” Proclaiming themselves as the Lily-white Firm they solicit their shipmates to sling along their “dirties.” These they wash, dry and fold neatly before handing them back to their customers. The usual charge is twopence a piece, bedcovers hammocks 1/- and blankets 1/6. These toilers often amass a very gratifying figure for their labours—but they certainly earn it.


Doc.—nomen. The complimentary nickname of any of the sick berth branch.


Dodger —n. A sweeper ; a cleaner or caretaker of any compartment.


Dodging Pompey —fig. Shirking work; skulking. Origin is said to be associated with the insurgents of Spartacus who, after a heavy defeat, were fleeing from Pompey, the Roman general.


Dog Watch —fig. Everyone knows that a dog watch is a space of two hours duration from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. and again from 6 p.m. until 8 p.m. In naval lingo, however, “dog watch ” is usually a very exaggerated estimate of a short duration spoken with marked contempt, e.g. “the Boer War didn’t last a dog watch.”


Doggo, Chimp, Tarzan —Uncharitable nicknames of all who are cheated of feature by dissembling nature.


Doing a never —Skulking; dodging duty or work. Modern definition: helping Hitler.


Doing a weep —fig. Lamenting; grousing.


Doughbash —Originally a Chinese washing boy who came on board with the “dobeying.” (Note combination of dobey and basher); Nag a pet, a favourite; same a swinger.”


Down below —fig. A man is said to be down below when he has been put under arrest, i.e. isolated and under a sentry’s charge. In the old days offenders .were confined in com* partments two or three decks below the living quarters.


Draft-chit —n. A notice to quit. A naval rating is notified for draft to a ship or shore station through the drafting office of his home port or division. He usually learns of his forth­coming exit a day or two before his  long week-end is due.


Draw water —fig. People who take up a lot of room 04 whose lumbering movements are molesting others are usually accused of drawing a lot of water. This analogy is, of course, that a ship afloat which displaces only the amount of her own tonnage, on this occasion exceeds the normal amount


Drip —n. or v. A new word for a grouse or a complaint: “ He hasn’t half got a drip on, the old barnacle.”


Drip-tin —n. A pessimist; applies to anyone who continues to harp on the same grievance, (nomen) “ Old Drip-tin.”


Dummy Run —fig. A speedy rehearsal.


Dummy Week —fig. Payment in home waters takes place every second Friday. The week following the no-payment Friday is termed “Dummy week” and is usually a very heart-aching period for the insolvent. 


Dustman —n. A stoker rating. In the old days he was also a Fireman, Clinker-knocker and shovel engineer.