Jackspeak: Certain words or terminology that is used in the Canadian Navy.
The Canadian Navy has it's own terminology and slang that is still evolving to this day. Much of the language used is still derived from the Royal Navy, although as Canadians many local customs and slang have come about.
Please choose a letter from our index:
Kedge - A technique for moving or turning a ship by using a relatively light anchor known as a kedge. The kedge anchor may be dropped while in motion to create a pivot and thus perform a sharp turn. The kedge anchor may also be carried away from the ship in a smaller boat, dropped, and then weighed, pulling the ship forward.
Keel - The central structural basis of the hull.
Keelhauling - A historical form of punishment meted out to sailors at sea. The sailor was tied to a line that was looped beneath the vessel. Then he was thrown overboard on one side of the ship and dragged under the ship's keel. Depending on the severity of the crime, the keelhauling could be done from either one side of the ship to the other, or the length of the ship from bow to stern. If the offender was pulled quickly, keelhauling would typically result in serious injury caused by marine growth (barnacles) on the underside of the hull. If the victim was dragged slowly, his weight might lower him sufficiently to miss the barnacles, but this method would frequently result in drowning.
Keep a Shot in the Locker - Keep a little for a rainy day. Originally referred to the practice of keeping extra ammunition stowed away in case of emergency.
Kentledge - Weights, often scrap or pig iron, used as permanent high-density ballast in a ship.
Ketch - A two-masted fore-and-aft rigged sailboat with the aft mast (the mizzen) mounted in front of the rudder.
Kevlar - The registered trademark for a synthetic aramid fiber material used in body and splinter armor.
KFS - Eating utensils: Knife, Fork, Spoon.
Killick - Leading Seaman. It is derived from a Gaelic word meaning "anchor", which was a heavy stone wrapped in tree branches. The nickname is derived from the fact that the Leading Seaman's rank badge was once a fouled anchor.
King Neptune - The mythological God of the Sea. A reasonable facsimile of King Neptune always presides over the traditional Crossing the Line Ceremony.
King Neptune Tattoo - A tattoo that is worn by a sailor who has crossed the Equator.
King Spoke - A spoke of ships wheel, which when perpendicular, indicates that the rudder is amidships. Received its name from the old custom of decorating that spoke with a crown.
Kipper - Common term for all things British.
Kisby Ring - A buoyant lifesaving ring designed to be thrown to a person in the water, to prevent drowning. The "kisby ring" is thought to be named after Thomas Kisbee (1792-1877) who was a British naval officer.
KISS Principle - Keep it Simple Stupid. Don't overcomplicate the evolution.
Kiss the Cod - Kissing the cod is a Newfoundland tradition that is linked to act of "Screeching In". After you drink the Screech, a codfish must be kissed.
Kissing the Gunner's Daughter - Bending over the barrel of a gun for punitive beating with a cane or cat.
Kit - A generic term for any sort of gear, whether it be general or personal.
Kiwi - Common term to describe members of the New Zealand Navy, or anybody and anything from New Zealand for that matter.
Knee-Knockers - The coaming of a watertight door. Being several inches off the deck they tend to wreak havoc on the shins of those who forget they exist.
Knighthead - A bollard or bitt.
Knocker - Nickname for those with the surname of "White".
Knot - Speed in nautical miles per hour. Originally speed was measured by paying out a line from the stern of a moving boat; the line had a knot every 47 feet 3 inches (14.40 m), and the number of knots passed out in 30 seconds gave the speed through the water in nautical miles per hour. Sometimes "knots" is mistakenly stated as "knots per hour," which is incorrect.
Know the Ropes - A sailor who "knows the ropes" is familiar with the miles of cordage and ropes involved in running a ship. Today, it describes someone who has expertise, however it was traditionally the reverse. It was once used to describe a novice sailor who simply knew the names and uses of the ships ropes, but not much else.
Knuckle - A transitory disturbed area which is caused by dramatic maneuvers (sharp turns) of a sub at high speeds. Often the evasive maneuver causes sonar pulses to be returned, and have the false appearance of a submarine contact.
Kye - Sweet hot chocolate made from slab chocolate shavings mixed with water into a hot drink. Used to warm cold sailors, or for a late night treat.
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