For centuries, sailors of the United States Navy have plied the world’s waters, defending America’s interests and projecting the nation’s military might. As they churn through the waves, they bandy about some colorful terms, phrases and descriptors that only sailors really know. In this barnacle-laden test, do you think you can blow through these Navy terms … or will you wind up three sheets to the wind?
Sailors work in disciplined routines to maintain and operate their ships. In peacetime, they use words like “quarterdeck,” “chit” and “aback” as part of their lexicon. Some terms, like “adrift” are pretty self-explanatory. Others, like “avast,” would be pretty vague to anyone who hasn’t been in the service (avast means to stop your current actions immediately). And of course, Navy life is full of adult-themed language, but we’ll have to save the racy stuff for another quiz.
Do you have any idea where the phrase “know the ropes” came from? It’s old sailor-speak for understanding your way around the ship. “Boats” is short for the boatswain’s mate, and “chips” an old slang term for the ship’s carpenter. Can you name other terms used to describe parts of ships and the men and women who sail them around the world?
Go full-speed ahead in this Navy terms quiz now! We’ll find out if you’re an old salt or if you’re a ricky who needs to get back to his swabbing station.