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Before we joined the Navy, we were civilians, land lovers, sod-busters, desk jockey’s, you know “not a sailor!”.  But, then we were issued "the BOOK”.  "The Bluejackets’ Manual”, the U.S. Navy’s bible. 

It taught us how to be a sailor, talk like a sailor (not that kind of sailor talk) but working sailor talk.  How to work like a sailor and understand the Chain of Command of being a sailor.

I’ve taken the liberty of quoting a few Naval Words and Phrases from the Bluejackets Manual, words you might find handy if you’re on a cruise, or you just want to refresh your memory or you want a little chuckle.

Here we go!  And this is going to be a quiz…enjoy! 


(USS Muliphen postcards)

The game is a little like Jeopardy, when I say, "The Answer is!" and you say, "What is?"

Anchor’s aweigh:

  1. About a half a ton.

  2. Dropping the anchor.

  3. What is said, when the anchor clears the bottom.

Aye, aye (sounds like eye, eye)

  1. When Larry pokes Moe in the eye – eye.
  2. What you say, when you are pleading for mercy, “I...I didn’t do it!”
  3. The reply to an order or command to indicate that it is understood and will be carried out.

Bear a hand:

  1. When you take off one glove.
  2. When a grizzly bear climbs on board the ship.
  3. Speed up the action; lend a helping hand


  1. What you do when a girl curtsies to you.
  2. The thing you put an arrow in.
  3. The forward section of a vessel.


  1. Your hard headed sailor buddy.
  2. The place where you put all your Christmas boxes.
  3. The walls of a room.

Clap on:

  1. What you do to turn on the lights.
  2. What you do when the Skipper leaves the ship.
  3. To put on more sail or catch hold of a rope to haul it in.

Davy Jones’ Locker:

  1. Where one of the Monkey’s stores his guitar.
  2. Your shipmate “Davy Jones” storage area.
  3. The bottom of the sea.


  1. A full set of cards.
  2. To knock out your buddy for insulting the ship.
  3. The floor.


  1. That word you call your mother-in-law.
  2. The sound you hear when someone's at the door.
  3. Small handy boat, 16-20 feet in length.


  1. What the Dog Whisperer does.
  2. A Timex on your dogs front paw.
  3. one of the two-hour watches from 1600 to 2000.

Ebb tide:

  1. A sexy song of the 50's
  2. When the knot was tied by your country friend "Ebb".
  3. The tide falling or flowing out.


  1. What a Peacock does.
  2. What you do when you set on a hot lawn-chair.
  3. The main deck section in the after part of a flush-deck ship.


  1. A nice town in northern Arizona.
  2. A light brown Falstaff beer.
  3. small vertical spar at the stern on which the ensign is hoisted.

Granny knot:

  1. What you say when your Grandmothers ill. "Granny knot feeling well."
  2. When you play tag and your brother ask, "is Granny it?" you say, "no, Granny knot it."
  3. A knot somewhat similar to a square knot; does not hold under pressure.


  1. On top of your shoulders
  2. What you tell the navigator to do, "Head dat way."
  3. Compartment of the ship having toilet facilities.

Jury rig:

  1. What the defense attorney tries to do.
  2. A small car that floats
  3. A makeshift rig of mast and sail.


  1. An old coin.
  2. What you want to take with your girlfriend, but she won't let you.
  3. Authorized absence of less than 48 hours.


  1. Something that holds a man purse?
  2. "Manrope the steer, no cowboy rope the steer."
  3. Side rope to a ladder used as handrail.


  1. What the first coat of paint is called.
  2. What you have to do after you put on the first coat of paint.
  3. Short, heavy blue coat worn by enlisted men below the grade of CPO.


  1. A pretty good wine.
  2. The place where airplanes go at night, air 'port'.
  3. The left side of the ship facing forward.

Rat guard:

  1. The opposite of left guard.
  2. The person that guards "stool-pidgins"
  3. A sheet metal disk cone, with a hole in the center, to install over mooring lines, keeping rats out.

Sky hook:

  1. The thingy all Boatswain's mates send seamen to find.
  2. A metal device that attaches to a cloud, to stabilize the ships rocking.
  3. There is no such thing.

Turn to:

  1. Follows, Turn one and precedes turn three.
  2. The second turn in NASCAR.
  3. An order to begin work.


  1. A Norwegian funny story.
  2. The yellow part of the egg.
  3. The piece of fitting across the head of the boat's rudder.


Obviously, all the above answers are #3.  (use them on your next cruise)

I hope you enjoyed this little peace of trivia.  It’s time to “Up Anchor” and leave, and may you always have “Fair wind” as you travel.

Jerry the Mules Yeoman from 64-65.