Jackspeak of the Royal Canadian Navy

Jackspeak: Certain words or terminology that are commonly 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.

This list was compiled over the years and was finally published in 2014 as "Jackspeak of the Royal Canadian Navy (2015 edition)" In 2018, a completely revised 2nd edition will be released. The 2018 edition features expanded and revised definitions, many more example sentences, and over 400 new terms.

Index: 0-9 A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

"I" Terms

I'm standing on your hair!
The moan of the Chief or Petty Officer when they wish to give you a strong hint that you need a haircut.
A special-purpose ship or boat designed to move and navigate through ice-covered waters.
A serious hazard where cold temperatures (below about -10C) combined with high wind speed (typically force 8 or above on the Beaufort scale) result in spray blown off the sea freezing immediately on contact with the ship. If icing conditions persist, the ship can become top heavy and risk being unstable.
Members of a ship's company who are not required to serve watches.
If it moves salute it. If it doesn't move, paint it.
A commonly used expression describing the mundane life in the Canadian Forces.
If you haven't been aground, you haven't been around
An age-old saying shared among the saltiest of sailors that admits every sailor will eventually serve on a ship that has run aground.
Identification Friend or Foe. An identification system that enables military and national (civilian air traffic control) radar systems to identify aircrafts as friendly and to determine their bearing and range from the interrogator. IFF is used by both military and civilian aircraft
Targeting of an enemy contact with radar, especially for weapons guidance purposes.
Illumination Round
An "star shell" fired for illumination.
An accountable stock or cash. Persons who are responsible for holding stock and/or cash are said to be holding an "imprest".
In (a ship)
A sailor always serves in a ship, never on a ship.
In Irons
When the bow of a sailboat is headed into the wind and the boat has stalled and is unable to maneuver.
In Ordinary
An 18th- and 19th-century term originally used to refer to a naval vessel out of service for repair or maintenance, later coming to mean naval ships in reserve with no more than a caretaker crew.
In-Water Survey
A method of surveying the underwater parts of a ship while it is still afloat instead of having to drydock it for examination.
Inboard Motor
An engine mounted within the hull of a boat, usually driving a fixed propeller by a shaft protruding through the stern.
Ships of a Surface Action Group (SAG).
Influence Mine
A mine which does not require physical contact to detonate. ie. a magnetic or acoustic mine.
Inglefield Clip
A type of clip for attaching a flag to a halyard.
The line that controls the traveler block when conducting a jackstay transfer at sea.
1. Near or toward the shore.
2. Of a wind, blowing from the sea to the land.
Intelligence, as in Naval Intelligence.
Challenge a contact with IFF.
Irish Pennants
Rope yarns or stray rope ends hanging. Any dangling or loose thread on a uniform.
Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition and Reconnaissance.

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Jackspeak of the Royal Canadian Navy
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