Short URL for this page:

[image ALT: Much of my site will be useless to you if you've got the images turned off!]
Bill Thayer

[image ALT: Cliccare qui per una pagina di aiuto in Italiano.]

[Link to a series of help pages]
[Link to the next level up]
[Link to my homepage]
[image ALT: a blank space]

This webpage reproduces a section of

W. D. Puleston

published by
D. Appleton-Century Company, Inc.
New York • London

The text is in the public domain.

This page has been carefully proofread
and I believe it to be free of errors.
If you find a mistake though,
please let me know!

[image ALT: a blank space]
This site is not affiliated with the US Naval Academy.

 p237  Glossary

Current Naval Academy Slang

Terms marked with an asterisk were in vogue as early as 1898.
Authority: "Reef Points."

Aggie. A member of the first battalion.

Anchor. Lowest, last in a group.*

Anchor man. There, but for the grace of God, walks a civilian.*

Asiat. A fourth battalioneer.

Assume the angle. A working hypothesis.

Baltimore beefsteak. Calves' liver, so to speak.

Batt. Battalion.

Battlewagon. Battleship, the backbone of the Fleet.

Bear a hand. Sea‑going term for "shake a leg. " *

Belay that. As you were.*

Bilge. To be assigned to the U. S. S. Outside; flunk.*

Bill. The goat.*

Black "N." Mythical award for service aboard the Reina.

Blind drag. Femme accepted sight unseen.

Blou. blouse.

Bone. To study.*

Brace. A military posture.*

Breeze, shoot the. To refight the Civil War, etc.; purpose of a bull session.

Brick. 1. The girl friend with the thick glasses (formerly "gold-brick"). 2. To saddle one with such a drag.

Bulkhead. 1. Wall. 2. To gripe loudly, hoping one's superiors will overhear.*

Bull. English and history; the latter part of "sketch and describe."

Burlap. See Sack.

Bush. See Tree.

 p238  Bust. 1. To sound, as "formation's busted." 2. To fail. 3. To err.*

Butt. Part of a day, used in calculating time.*

Buzzard. The rating badge of a P. O.*

Can. A destroyer (tin can).

Canteen. The midshipman's soda fountain.

Cadet. See Webster.

Caulk off. Sleep, especially in the daytime.*

Charlie Noble. The galley smokestack.*

Cit. That happy-looking chap in clothes of his own choice; a civilian.*

Collision mat. Pancakes à la Bancroft Hall.

Com. The commandant of midshipmen.

Crab. A girl who lives in Annapolis.

Crabtown. Annapolis, a fishing village on the banks of the Naval Academy.*

Crack. To open, as to "crack a port."

Cruise. 1. Summer practice cruise. 2. Time served on the Reina.

Dago. Any foreign language.

Demo. Demerit; a black mark on the conduct record.

Drag. 1. To escort. 2. Young lady escorted.

Exec. Executive officer.*

Extra duty. Disciplinary infantry drill for victims of the pap; less serious than the Reina.*

Eyes in the boat. Head and eyes to the front.*

Femme. Any young lady.*

Fin out. Straighten your fingers.*

First class alley. Between the mess tables and the mess-hall bulkheads.

First luff. The first lieutenant.*

Flying squadron. The last ten men in after the hop. They run all the way across town and get in late anyway.

Fog bound. In a daze.

Foo foo. Perfume, or its equivalent.

 p239  Frap. To get on the conduct report.*

French out. To take unauthorized liberty.*

Furlough. That time when tempus really fugits; vacation.

Gadget. A whatayacallit; that which has no better name.

Goat herder. Inmate of the third battalion.

Gonk. The cranium.

Gouge. 1. Solution to a prob, as written up for profs. 2. To cheat.*

Gravy train. The friend in need, who lives in town and feeds the midshipman.

Grease. Pull or influence.*

Greasoir. One who oils the wheels of his own progress.*

Greasy. His impression on his seniors is foremost in his mind.*

Grease mark. Mark in "Aptitude for the Service."

Gripe. To groan and growl.

Gundeck. To feign intoxication.

Gyrene. One of the Semper Fidelis boys; a Marine.*

Ham 'n'Eggers. The lacrosse team.

Happy Homer. A midshipman of the second battalion.

Hell cats. The Drum and Bugle Corps.

Holiday. A poor job; interstices in a paint job.*

Holy Joe. The Head of Department of Faith and Morals; the Chaplain.*

Honey barge. For refuse only.

Hop. The knee-cracking Annapolis brand of dance.*

Jamoke, Java, Joe. Coffee plus boiler compound.

Jimmylegs. A yard watchman.*

Joe Gish. Midshipman John Doe.

Juice. Electrical engineering.*

Kaydet. Our brothers-in‑arms, the West Pointers.*

Kiyi. A small scrubbing-brush.

Knock off. Stop whatever you are doing.*

Ladder. Stairway.*

Lost Battalion. U. S. S. Cumberland, home of the Mess Attendants.

 p240  Man overboard. Your spoon in your cup.

Misery Hall. Overhaul spot for damaged athletes.

Miss Springfield. The midshipman's drag at an infantry drill — his rifle.

Monkey jacket. Full dress blou.*

Monthly insult. The very small part of $65 on which we can get our hands.

Nav. Navigation.*

Non reg. Not regulation.*

Number jumper. The cutthroat who writes five minutes after the word to knock off.

O. A. O. The One and Only. Sometimes "off and on."

Overhead. The ceiling.

Pap. Daily conduct report.*

Pin pushers. The fencing team.

Pipe down. Keep quiet!*

Plebe. That insignificant being, the Fourth Classman.*

Podunk. The home town.*

Pogey bait. Candy.

Pollywog. One who has not crossed the Line (Latitude 0°).*

Port. Window.*

P‑poor. Pretty poor; expressing scorn.

P‑rade. We're in 'em all, but we never see one; dress parade.*

P‑work. Saturday inquisition; practical exercise.*

Radiator Club. Those whose recreation is sedentary; the non‑athletes.

Rate. 1. A privilege by virtue of rank. 2. To give an opinion of merit.*

Ratey. One who uses the rates of others.*

Red‑eye. The great disguise, ketchup.

Red Mike. A dyed-in‑the‑wool misogynist.

Reina. U. S. S. Reina Mercedes, station ship.

R. H. I. P. Rank Hath Its Privileges.*

River. An exam.*

Robbers' Row. The double row of Maryland Avenue merchants who covet our scanty stipend.

 p241  Sack. Official responsibility, as in snipe hunting.

Sandblower. A member of the fourth platoon; a shorty.

Sat. Passing, 2.5 or better.*

Savoir. One who is academically brilliant.*

Savvy. Mental condition of a savoir.*

Scoffer. Inordinately rapid eater.

Scuttlebutt. 1. Drinking fountain. 2. A rumor of doubtful origin.*

Sea gull. Various types of bird served in the mess hall as "chicken."

Secure. Knock off work.*

Sep leave. A month of leave after the cruise.*

Shellback. Opposite of Pollywog.*

Shiverin' Liz. Jello. In a snowstorm, with whipped cream.

Shove off. Leave, depart, get thee hence.*

Sick‑bay. Place where we explain our ailments to hard-hearted doctors.*

Skag. A cigarette.

Skinny. Chemistry and physics.*

Skivvies. Underclothes.

Sleep. All night, used with Butt in counting days.

Slip stick. The magic rule on which you can find everything but money and leave-papers; a slide-rule.

Slum. Mess cook's holiday; stew or its equivalent.*

Smoking lamp. Now used figuratively. When out, smoking is forbidden.*

Snake. Opposite of Red Mike.

Spanish Athlete. Member of the Radiator Club.

Spoon. Upper classmen who drop all intimations of seniority with a lower classman. Originates with a handshake.*

Spuds. Bakes, mashed, fried, boiled, and parboiled.*

Star. A sign of intellectuality; savvy.*

Steam. Marine engineering.*

Step out. Bear a hand.*

St. Johnny. Inmate of St. John's College, Annapolis.*

Striper. Midshipman officer.*

Supe. Superintendent.*

Swabo. Zero.*

 p242  Tea fight. Annapolis tea dance, which must be seen to be appreciated.*

Tecumseh. The God of Two Point Five, whose statue is in front of Bancroft Hall.

Tin can. A destroyer.

Tree. List of unsats, posted every week, month, and term.

Trou. Trousers.

Unsat. Not passing.*

Velvet. Anything over 2.5.

Whiff. A period of time less than six hours.

Wife. One who shares your money, toothpaste, shaving-cream, etc.; roommate.*

Yard engine. A girl who lives in the yard.

Youngster. A Third Classman.*

Zip. Zero.

[image ALT: Valid HTML 4.01.]

Page updated: 10 Nov 20