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:
Safe haven - A safe harbour, including natural harbours, which provide safety from bad weather or attack.
Safety Net - The net that is normally placed below the brow. Its role is to catch anyone that accidently falls off the brow.
Sagging - When the trough of a wave is amidships, causing the hull to deflect so the ends of the keel are higher than the middle. The opposite of hogging.
Sail - 1. A piece of fabric attached to a vessel and arranged such that it causes the wind to drive the vessel along. 2. To use sail power to propel a vessel. 3. Take a trip in a ship. 4. In the USN, describes the tower-like structure on the dorsal (topside) surface of a submarine.
Sail Loft - A large open space used by sailmakers to spread out sails.
Sailing Orders - A determination that the ship will sail. Usually accompanied by a date and time of the day which the ship will sail. eg. "The ship is under sailing orders."
Sailmaker - A craftsman who makes and repairs sails, working either on shore in a sail loft or aboard a large, ocean-going sailing ship.
Sailmaker's Palm - A leather pad that slips over a sailors thumb, and rests in his palm. It is normally used when doing repairs and especially when pushing a needle through a rope, leather or canvas.
Sailmaker's Whipping - Used to secure the end of a line, to stop it from unraveling. This is one of the most durable and stable rope whippings used, as it winds around the line and is drawn taught by weaving in-between the cutlines of the rope.
Sally Ship - A method of freeing a vessel grounded on mud in which the crew forms a line and runs back and forth athwartships. The goal is to cause the ship to rock back and forth, breaking the mud's suction and freeing her with little or no hull damage.
Salt and Peppers - A military order of dress which consists of black pants and a white short-sleeved collared shirt.
Saltie - Great Lakes term for a commercial vessel that also sails the oceans.
Salty dip - A story of some exploit or adventure; it usually pushes the limits of credibility, and grows better with each recounting.
Salty Dog - Slang for a sailor, especially for a seaman in the navy.
Saluting the Quarterdeck - A tradition maintained on all naval vessels is that any sailors entering or departing the quarterdeck are to salute. Some hold this is derived from the very early seagoing custom of the respect paid to the pagan altar on board ship, and later to the crucifix and shrine. Others hold that the custom comes from the early days of the British Navy when all officers who were present on the quarterdeck returned the salute of an individual by removing the their headdress. Today the salute is seen as respecting the authority of the ship and the colours that are flown on the quarterdeck.
Salvo - One or more guns fired together, or the actual shells which have been fired.
Sandy Bottom Sailor - In the RCN, this is the term that east coast sailors use to describe west coast sailors.
Sandy Bottoms - In the days when tots of rum were issued, it was commonplace for sailors to pledge a portion of their rum ration to another shipmate, possibly to settle a debt. The donor would indicate how much he was allowing the other to take with one of the following phrases: "Sippers" - Take a Sip. "Gulpers" - Take a Gulp. "Sandy Bottoms" - Drink it all.
SAR - Search and Rescue. Pronounced as a word, not initials.
SAR Tech - A Canadian Air Force crewmember with specific Search and Rescue training.
SATCOM - Satellite communications.
Schooner - A type of sailing vessel characterized by the use of fore-and-aft sails on two or more masts with the forward mast being no taller than the rear masts, first used by the Dutch in the 16th or 17th century.
SCOPA - Senior Canadian Officer Present Afloat.
Scope - The estimated length of anchor cable to be paid out that will allow a ship to swing safely at anchor. Too much scope and the ship could go aground or wash ashore.
Scope Dope - A sailor who stands watches on a radar display (scope).
Scotchman - Any piece of metal, wood, leather, canvas, etc., used to prevent chafe or wear.
SCR - Sonar Control Room .
Scrambled Eggs - The gold braid found on the cap brim of a senior officer.
Scran - 1. Food, specifically a meal served by a naval galley. 2. Personal belongings that are laying about (sculling), when they should be stowed.
Scran Bag - Term to describe someone who looks especially slovenly.
Scran Locker - Stowage for kit left lying about. Usually, a monetary donation is required for a sailor to retrieve their items.
Screech - A brand of dark rum bottled in Newfoundland. Upon your first visit to Newfoundland you will likely be coerced to drink an ounce of this liquor in order to be "Screeched In". As well as imbiding, the visitor is also asked to recite a short verse. When asked, "Are ye a screecher?" the response is "Deed I is, me ol' cock! And long may yer big jib draw!" (Translated, it means "Yes I am, my old friend, and may your sails always catch wind.")
Screw - A propeller.
Screw the Pooch - To make a mistake, or to be incompetantly idle. Derived from the derogatory term "Fuck the dog".
Scribe - A writer or a sailor in the Administrative branch
Scrimshaw - The name given to scrollwork, engravings, and carvings done in bone or ivory. Traditionally, it refers to the handiwork created by whalers made from the byproducts of harvesting marine mammals. Today, it is any sort of carving done as a hobby.
Scrounge - The procurement of a needed item through irregular or illegal means.
Scrub - To clean.
Scrub Around; Scrub Round - To figure out another way to accomplish a task.
Scrub Out - To clean from top to bottom.
Scudding - A term applied to a vessel when carried furiously along by high winds.
Sculk - To shirk work, or loaf.
Scullery Slut - Junior hand assigned to work in the mess to clean dishes.
Sculling - 1. To leave personal gear lying about or unattended. 2. For a sailor to be loitering, especially in a location where he/she ought not to be.
Scupper - A fitted drain in the deck that is designed to drain water overboard.
Scuttle - 1. A water-tight opening set in a hatch or bulkhead. 2. To intentionally sink a ship or object.
Scuttle-butt - Rumours or gossip. The origin of the term is literally a scuttled butt, or breached cask, which was usually lashed on the deck. It was used to contain the fresh water for daily use, and sailors met there to draw water and exchange gossip.
Sea Anchor - A stabilizer deployed in the water from a boat for heaving to in heavy weather. It acts as a brake and keeps the boat in line with the wind and perpendicular to waves. Often in the form of a large bag made of heavy canvas.
Sea Chest - 1. A watertight compartment in the lowest part of the ship to which valves and piping are attached to allow water in for ballast, engine cooling, and firefighting purposes. 2. A wooden box used to store a sailor's effects.
Sea Chicken - Derisive term for a NATO Sea Sparrow.
Sea Daddy - Someone who takes a less-experienced crewmember under his wing and expert tutelage.
Sea King - The venerable Sikorsky CH-124 Sea King is a twin-engined anti-submarine warfare helicopter which has been in use by the Canadian Navy since 1963.
Sea Legs - The ability to maintain good balance when a ship is rolling.
Sea Mile - Another term to describe a nautical mile. Used when describing ships's movements. eg. "In the month of May the ship made 3500 sea miles."
Sea Pay - A monetary bonus that is received if a seaman is posted to a sea-going ship.
Sea Room - Room to maneuver the ship.
Sea State - The general condition of the free surface on a large body of water with respect to wind waves and swell at a certain location and moment, characterized by statistics, including the wave height, period, and power spectrum.
Sea Story - A tale of nautical deeds. Usually it achieves greater embellishments the more times it is told.
Sea Suction - Sea water intake, below the ship's waterline.
Sea Time - The amount of years, months and days a sailor has spent at sea. It is a statistic of pride, and often leads to discussions as to who has the most sea time.
Sea Training - A special group of Officers and Senior NCOs who have the role in training and readiness of ships throughout the fleet. Often feared, they're usual response is, "Were only here to help you."
Sea Trial - The testing phase of a ship, or submarine, usually the final step in her construction, conducted to measure a vessel's performance and general seaworthiness before her owners take delivery of her.
Seaboots - Low-cut, waterproof, steel-toed boots used by sailors onboard ship.
Seacock - A valve in the hull of a boat.
Seaman - Generic term for sailor, or (part of) a low naval rank.
Seaman's Eye - A special quality of judgement which is allotted to experienced sailors.
Seamanlike - Characteristic of or befitting a seaman; indicating competent seamanship.
Seamanship - The act of handling of lines and small craft, knots and splicing, etc.
Second Mate - The second officer of a civilian vessel. Also referred to as the Second Officer.
Secret Squirrel - Anyone employed in the intelligence role.
Section Base - A local coordinating base for fire-fighting and flood control activities. eg. Forward Section Base and After Section Base.
Secure - 1. To make fast. 2. The time of the day to stop work.
Secure for Sea - The proactive action of securing loose items above and below decks in preparation for heavy seas.
Seen off - To be cheated or hard-done-by.
Self-Inflicted Injury - A malady brought on by personal ignorance such as sunburn or even an alchohol induced hangover. Often seen in the tropics, when pasty white Canadian sailors return from a day at the beach.
Semi - Somewhat derogatory term for a member of the USN, or more generally anything American. Short for "semi-intelligent". Pronounced "sem-eye".
Service Number - A unique identifier that is issued to each member of the Canadian Forces. It replaced the Social Insurance Number as the common unique identifier for serive members. Consists of a letter and then eight digits.
Sesame Street - The main passageway leading fore and aft on the 01 deck of an Iroquois Class Destroyer.
Set and Drift - Refers to the behavior of a ship under the influence of wind and current.
Seven Seas - This expression refers to the seven oceans of the world: Arctic, Antarctic, North Atlantic, South Atlantic, North Pacific, South Pacific and Indian. However, this term commonly denotes all the oceans, collectively.
Seven Seas Creases - On the traditional square rig uniform, the bell-bottomed trousers were pressed so that seven creases were present, apparently one for each of the seven seas.
Sewed - Ship grounded on the blocks during docking in a dry dock.
Sewer Pipe - Submarine.
Sextant - Navigational instrument used to estimate a ship's position by measuring the angle to celestial objects.
Shacks - Military quarters ashore.
Shad - A Naval Reservist. When the term is used by the Regular Force is it derogatory. When it is used within the ranks of the Naval Reserve it carries a certain degree of pride. eg. "Sharpest Hands at Divisions". The term is derived from the fact that when fishing, shad can be the least desirable catch.
Shady - Nickname for anyone whose last name is "Lane".
Shake - A wake-up call. A book called the "shake-book" is kept, and it contains the names, bunk numbers and times of sailors that need to be awoken, or "shook", during the night. Just like in a fancy hotel with a wake-up call, but in this case, it's one of your shipmates touching your shoulder or grabbing your foot.
Shake Down Cruise - A short cruise undertaken immediately after refit to ensure that there are no immediate glaring bugs in the systems.
Shanghaied - A practice that was once common in Shanghai, China was to drug sailors and kidnap them for employment as crew on clipper ships.
SHARP - Standard for Harassment and Racism Prevention. The acronym used for standardized harassment training done in the CF.
Sharp End - Another idiom for the bow of a ship.
Sheet - A rope used to control the setting of a sail in relation to the direction of the wind.
Sheet Bend - A knot used principally for joining two lines of unequal size.
Shellback - An old-timer. One who has crossed one or more of the Equator, the Arctic or Antarctic Circles.
Sheppards Hook - A stave with a large hook for recovering boats falls and lifelines.
Shift Colours - Changing the positions of the national ensign and the naval jack once a ship gets underway.
Ship Side Grey - The general term for the colour that Canadian warships are painted. The Navy started using the current hull grey in the late 50's. It was known as Grey 1-2 at first, and is now referred to as 501-109 (FS16480).
Ship's Bell - A ship's bell, made of brass or bronze, is usually engraved with the name of the ship. It is one of the most revered items aboard the ship and is always treated with respect. Traditionally it was used to indicate the time aboard a ship, and to regulate the sailors' duty watches. The watch would ring the bell every half hour, and increase the number of "dings" by one, every half hour. At the end of the four hour watch, the bell would ring eight times. Afterward, the next watch would begin by ringing the bell once. The Ship's bell is also used as baptismal font, with the names of the children who have been baptized engraved on the bell itself.
Ship's Colours - Every HMC Ship is assigned official colours, which are also displayed in the nameplate area of the Ship's official badge.
Ship's Husbandry - The maintenance and cleaning of a ship.
Ship's Routine - The general day to day schedule of a warship.
Shipmate - Obviously, a member of the same ship's company. However, this term carries some derision because of its constant overuse by members of the USN.
Shipping it Green - Taking greenies (large waves) over the bow of the ship. Having the bow dig into an oncoming wave, so that the water encompasses the fore section of the ship.
Ships Company - The complement of a ship. All members of the ship.
Shipshape - Clean, neat, and tidy. Originated from the term "shipshapen" which means "arranged as a ship should be".
Shipwright - 1. A person who designs, builds, and repairs ships, especially wooden ones. 2. In the RCN, a nickname for a member of the Hull Technician trade.
Shipyard - A facility where ships or boats are built and repaired.
Shit Deflectors - Imaginary devices used to deflect trouble. Somewhat reminiscent of the "deflector shields" in Star Trek, they are usually placed in the on position when trouble is detected. eg. "I went in to that meeting with my shit deflectors on high".
Shit Hawk - A seagull. Also Shitehawke.
Shit the Bed - To make a huge error.
Shit, Shower, Shave - The standard routine before heading ashore.
Shitter Fitter - A term that refers to a person of the Hull Technician Trade.
Shoal - Shallow water that is a hazard to navigation.
Shore Leave - Free time given to officers and crew of a naval vessel when they are off duty and allowed to disembark and spend time on land.
Shore Patrol - A special duty function in some foreign ports, where members of the ship are assigned to assist the local police force in dealing with wayward sailors.
Shoring - A temporary rig built from lumber to strengthen bulkheads, doors and/or hatches when they have been weakened by damage.
Short Splice - A joining splice that increases the diameter of the line.
Short Stay - The relative slackness of an anchor chain; this term means somewhat slack, but not vertical nor fully extended.
Shot Across the Bow - A shot fired close to and in front of a moving vessel to warn her to stop, often for boarding.
Shot Line - The line fired from a line-throwing gun.
Shot Mat - A heavy rope mat used to protect anything, most commonly the decks from heavy equipment used during underway replenishment.
Show a Leg - A traditional call made at wakey-wakey. Originated in the days of sail when women were allowed aboard ship. A woman in a sailor's hammock would display a leg and thereby the sailor was not required to turn out.
Show the Flag - To visit a foreign port largely in an effort to meet and entertain local VIPs and distinguished individuals.
Shrouds - Standing rigging running from a mast to the sides of a ship to support the mast sideways. The shrouds work with stays, which run forward and aft, to support the mast's weight.
Sick bay - The space or quarters aboard ship for treating injuries and illness.
Sick Bay Ranger - Someone who spends more time in sick bay than doing their job. A sailor that is seen to be heading to Sick Bay in an effort to avoid a task.
Silent Hours - Hours between pipe down and calling the hands, only emergency pipes are made.
Silent Service - The oft used nickname for Submariners.
Sin Bos'n - Chaplain or Padre.
Since Christ was a Killick - An exaggeration meaning "a long time ago". Killick is common naval slang for the rank "Leading Seaman" and how long ago do you think it was when Christ was at that rank? eg. "He's been in the Navy since Christ was a Killick."
Sippers - In the days when tots of rum were issued, it was commonplace for sailors to pledge a portion of their rum ration to another shipmate, possibly to settle a debt. The donor would indicate how much he was allowing the other to take with one of the following phrases: "Sippers" - Take a Sip. "Gulpers" - Take a Gulp. "Sandy Bottoms" - Drink it all.
SIR - Significant Incident Report.
Sister Ships - Ships of the same class.
Sisters of the Space Age - A description of the Iroquois Class commissioned in the early 70s. This term comes from a promotional movie that was produced with the same title.
Sisters of the Stone Age - A tounge-in-cheek description of the aged Gate Class vessels, which were used to train Naval Reservists.
SITREP - Abbreviation for "Situation Report". A report on the current military situation in a particular area.
Skate - A no good sailor who avoids work. A man frequently in trouble.
Skiff - A small boat, traditionally a coastal or river craft, for leisure or fishing, with a single person or small crew.
Skimmer - A submariner's description of a surface ship, or officers/crew of same.
Skipper - Commanding Officer. Apparently from the Dutch 'Schipper', which means, essentially, "he who ships".
Skirmish - To search about for gash. To pick up litter or foreign objects such as in a "FOD Walkdown".
Skive - To avoid work.
Skiver - A person that is consistently not to be found when work opportunities are presented.
Skulk - To avoid duty-usually in the sense of hiding.
Skunk - The common label used for unknown surface radar contacts.
Sky Pilot - The Padre.
Skyhook - A mythical storage device, similar to an imaginary crane. eg. "How is it going to get up there? Skyhook?"
Skylarking - Frolicking or mischievous behaviour.
Slack and Idle - Describing sailors that seem to be without motivation.
Slack Tide - See "Slack Water".
Slack Water - The point between flood and ebb tides when there is no movement. It is a good time to enter some narrow passages as there will be much less current to effect the ship's movement.
Slackers - A commonly used nickname for Halifax, Nova Scotia.
Slag - To say something unpleasant about another person behind their back.
Sliders - To leave work early. Usually describes a sanctioned departure from work.
Slip - To leave the berth and sail away. eg. "The ship slipped at 0800".
Slipped his Cable - A nautical way to describe someone who passes away suddenly. Refers to the method of leaving an anchorage in an emergency, by departing with the anchor and the cable left on the sea floor.
Slop Chit - Within the scope of responsibility. eg. "Cleaning the forward heads is on the Deck Department's slop chit".
Slops - A term referring to naval clothing stores. Derived from the olde English term "slope" which was a loose fitting and shapeless garment.
Smoke Maze - A smoke filled room that is used to acclimatize fire-fighting trainees in the hazards of shipboard fire-fighting.
Smoke Pot - Non-toxic smoke used to simulate real smoke in a shipboard fire exercise.
SNAFU - Situation Normal, All Fucked (Fouled) Up.
Snake Pit - The lower bar in the Junior Ranks Mess at CFB Esquimalt. There are no actual snakes present, but there is a beautiful view of the ocean.
Snaky - A very thin person.
Snotter - A derogatory term for junior officers below the rank of Lieutenant.
Snotter; snottie - A derogatory term for junior officers below the rank of Lieutenant.
Snub - To stop suddenly, a rope or cable.
Snug - Properly secured; tight.
Sod's Opera - An impromptu variety show put on by the ship's company, usually of a bawdy nature. It is an RN term, however it can be found in the RCN as well.
SOL - Shit out of luck.
Son of a gun - When in port, and with the crew restricted to the ship for any extended period of time, wives and ladies of easy virtue often were allowed to live aboard along with the crew. Infrequently, but not uncommonly, children were born aboard, and a convenient place for this was between guns on the gun deck.
Sonar - An acronym for SOund Navigation And Ranging, a method of using sound pulses to detect, range, and sometimes image underwater targets and obstacles or the bed of the sea.
Sonar Dome - The generally onion-shaped structure at a warship's bow which houses the sonar transducer.
SOP - Standard Operating Procedure.
SOSUS - SOund SUrveillance System. A land-based system of seabed hydrophones and sophisticated analysis equipment, used to monitor worldwide movements of ships and submarines.
Sou'wester - 1. A storm from the southwest. 2. A type of waterproof hat with a wide brim over the neck, worn by fishermen in storms and purchased by tourists in Halifax.
Sounding - Measuring the depth of the water. Traditionally done by swinging the lead, now commonly by using a hull mounted echo sounder.
Sour - Indicates that a piece of gear is not operating properly. Opposite of Sweet.
South Wind - The correct retort to "How's your glass?" might be "There's a south wind in it", meaning it is empty.
Spar - A wooden, iron or steel pole used to support various pieces of rigging and sails.
Sparker - A radio operator.
Sparrow and Swallow Tattoos - Sailors traditionally received swallow tattoos before they went out to sea, because swallows always come home. Nowadays, one swallow, or a sparrow, means you've sailed 5,000 miles, and two means 10,000 miles. Also, two swallows, one on each hand means "these fists fly" ie. the sailor likes to fight. Swallows on the chest are meant to lift the soul to heaven if the sailor perishes.
Special Sea Dutymen - A group of sailors with special duties that are involved in certain evolutions of the ship, such as anchoring, close-quarter maneuvering and coming alongside. The slang term used by the crew is "Specials".
Spell - Period of time.
Spikenard's Spike - In 1942, the Commanding Officer of HMCS Spikenard drove a six-inch spike into the deckhead of the Crowsnest Club in St. John's Newfoundland. Subsequently, on a convoy later that year, the corvette was torpedoed and lost, with only eight survivors. The spike remained in the Crowsnest Club for many years.
Spindrift - Spray blown from the crests of waves.
Spinnaker - A large sail flown in front of the vessel while heading downwind.
Spinner - A person that has the tendency to go into panic mode easily.
Splice - To join lines (ropes, cables etc.) by unravelling their ends and intertwining them to form a continuous line. To form an eye or a knot by splicing.
Splice the main brace - The main brace on a sailing ship handled the main yard carrying the primary sail. If the brace gave out during a storm, a splice was the fastest way repair it. The best mariners on board were sought out for this difficult task. They were then rewarded with an extra ration of rum for splicing the main brace. The term has since come to mean a special issue of spirits to the crew.
Splinter Box - A heavy metal box used to patch a hole made in the side of the ship through enemy action, or accidentally through a collision.
Spoof - Voice imitative deception. Occurs when the enemy attempts to pretend they are a friendly voice on a voice radio circuit.
Spook - Intelligence personnel.
Spring Line - A berthing hawser running from the ship to the jetty in either the forward, or the aft direction. Its role is to prevent movement of the vessel fore and aft.
Sprog - In short, a novice.
Spurn-Water - A low metal or wooden coaming around the outboard edge of decks to prevent dirty water running down a ships sides.
Square Away - Originating in the days of sail, the term refers to putting a ship before the wind (getting way on the ship). Today, the term refers to getting organized or ready for an inspection.
Square rig - Term used for the RCN sailor's uniform worn prior to the 1970s.
Squawk - To use an IFF transponder, or the numeric code set into such a device.
SS - 1. Prefix for a civilian "Steam Ship". 2. In the military, the two letter indicator for a submarine.
Stad - The large barrack block in the upper part of CFB Halifax named HMCS STADACONA.
Staff Officer - An officer that has trained in Staff College and is normally employed in an Administrative role, usually at a headquarters or another shore establishment.
Stanchion - A supporting post.
Stand Down - 1. To quit an evolution of exercise. 2. To back down from a conflict.
Stand easy - 1. A parade command, meaning to assume a relaxed posture. 2. Announcement for the ship's crew to take a sanctioned break.
Stand On - To continue in a straight line.
Standard! - The reply from a boat to a challenging ship when members of the Royal Family are present in the boat. "Standard" refers to the Royal Standard.
Standby to Standby - A sarcastic expression for prolonged waiting for something to occur.
Standing Rigging - Rigging which is used to support masts and spars, and is not normally manipulated during normal operations.
Starboard - Towards the right-hand side of a vessel facing forward. Denoted with a green light at night. Derived from the fact that the traditional steering oar or steerboard, which preceded the invention of the rudder, was usually on the right side.
Stateboard - A lighted board located in the Operations Room and other control rooms, which gives the ability to post important information for everyone in the space to view. e.g. There is a stateboard in the operations room that displays all the callsigns of friendly ships in the area.
Stay - 1. A strong rope supporting a mast, and leading from the head of one mast down to some other mast or other part of the vessel; rigging running fore (forestay) and aft (backstay) from a mast to the hull. The stays support a mast's weight forward and aft, while the shrouds support its weight from side to side. 2. To cancel a charge in a military tribunal.
Steady - Short for steady as she goes. Used as a warning to a sailor in a conversation "not to go there". e.g. "I think the XO is wrong." Reply: "Steady!"
Steady as She Goes - A reminder to carefully keep the same course and not wander.
Steamer - Slang term for a navy destroyer powered by a boiler, such as the St. Laurent Class and her sister classes.
Steeve - A spar or derrick with a block at one end, used for stowing cargo.
Stem - An extension of the keel at the forward end of a ship.
Stern - The rear part of a ship, technically defined as the area built up over the sternpost.
Stern Tubes - On a submarine, the torpedo tubes which point aft. Most modern subs no longer have this feature.
Sterndrive - A propeller drive system similar to the lower part of an outboard motor extending below the hull of an inboard engine powered boat.
Sternwalk - An external walkway or gallery, for the use of officers, installed on the stern of British warships until the early 20th century.
Sternway - The reverse movement of a boat or watercraft through the water.
Stevedore - A person employed to stow cargo in a ship.
Steward - A member of a ship's crew involved in commissary duties, or in personal services to the Ship's Officers.
Still - A pipe made from a Boatswain's call consisting of a high note for eight seconds. It means that the ship's copanay are required to come to attention and stand still. Cancelled by the "Carry On" pipe.
Stoker - Marine Engineering Mechanic, Technician, or Artificer. The term stoker derives from the days of coal-fired boilers and steam engines.
Stoker's Friend - The ace of spades in a deck of cards.
Stone Frigate - A sea element shore establishment. This is the endearing term used for Naval Reserve Divisions, many of which are located miles from any shore.
Stook - A card game similar to blackjack where the top hand is a pair of aces, which is called a "Stook". It is a Canadian variant to the game and only common to the RCN. It is a game where it is easy to triumph, if you know where the aces are.
Stoppage - Punishment characterized by the withdrawal of a privilege.
Stopper Knot - A knot tied in the end of a rope, usually to stop it passing through a hole; most commonly a figure-eight knot.
Stoppers - Specifically, the stoppage of shore leave which has been brought on by a punishment. eg. "Bloggins can't leave the ship, he's got stoppers!"
Stove - To smash inward, to force a hole or break in, as in a cask, door or other hard surface.
Stow - To put away properly.
Stowage - The amount of room for storing materials on board a ship.
Stowaway - A trespasser on a ship; a person aboard a ship without permission.
Straddle - In shipboard gunnery, when one round or salvo is too far, and the next one is too short, or vice versa.
Straggler - In a convoy, a ship that is unable to maintain speed and falls behind.
Stretcher - An inclined footrest attached to the bottom of a boat, to which a rower may place and attach his feet.
Strike - To haul down or lower a flag or a mast.
Strike the Colours - To surrender a vessel to an enemy, from the custom during the days of sail of lowering the vessel's ensign to indicate that she is surrendering.
Strop - A piece of line spliced to form a closed loop. Used for lifting.
Stroppy - Means to be insolent. Relates to the days when a strop was used to punish insolent sailors.
Strut - An outboard support for a propeller shaft.
Sub-lieutenant - Sub-Lieutenant is equivalent to Lieutenant in the Army and Air Force, and in the Royal Navy is between Midshipman and Lieutenant. The rank insignia is a standard bar surmounted by an additional narrow bar. This rank was introduced in Royal Navy in 1861.
Subby - A Sub-Lieutenant.
Sullage - Wet garbage.
Sun is Over the Yardarm - Meaning that it is late enough in the day to imbibe in an alcoholic beverage.
Super Sailor - A nickname for members of the Boatswain branch, as they are more involved in seamanship evolutions that other members of the ship's company.
Super Stoker - A member of the Marine Engineering Branch who attended the St. Lawrence College (or equivalent) Marine Engineering Programme, entering the two-year course as a recruit and exiting as a Master Seaman.
Superstructure - The parts of the upper deck that project above the main deck of the ship. This does not usually include its masts or armament.
Surge - To loosen a line on a turning drum so that friction is temporarily lessened and the line remains stationary.
Survey Vessel - Any type of ship or boat that is used for mapping a body of water for purposes of hydrography.
Swain - Short for Coxswain. Used expecially for a Ship's Coxswain.
Swallow the Anchor - Retire from the Navy.
Swan - A side-trip or attendance at an event which is seen as a superfluous wasted of government resources. eg. "He went on a swan to Ottawa".
Sweep Oar - A long oar lashed to the stern of a boat, and used as a rudder.
Sweeper - 1. A Minesweeper 2. Man responsible for cleaning an area.
Sweet - Good, or functional.
Sweet Fanny Adams - (UK) Nothing is happening. ie. nothing, zero, etc.
Swindle Sheet - Expense claim form... jokingly of course.
Swing The Lead - 1. Measuring the depth of water beneath a ship using a lead-weighted sounding line. 2. To avoid work or only take easy jobs.
Swinging the Compass - Measuring the accuracy in a ship's magnetic compass so its readings may be adjusted.
Swinging the Lamp - Telling sea stories. Referring to lamps slung from the deckhead which swing while at sea. The theory is that the more the lamp swings, the more the storyteller is exaggerating.
Switched On - Someone who is competent and alert. Also see "Closed Up".
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