Submarine Slang Terms and Phrases


Ad eundum quo nemo ante iit...
I copied this from a Facebook post... it's long, hilarious, vulgar, and brings back a flood of memories! Enjoy!!!...-auxman

Submarine Slang Terms and Phrases (Part 1)

If you are easily offended, turn back now! Many of these terms and phrases are quite explicit, but understand that many of these were used in the days before political correctness. Submariners give a lot of themselves...years underwater missing birthdays, births, anniversaries, funerals, holidays, milestones in the lives of the children, etc, so give them a break. I personally don't care if you find these offensive. These were my shipmates and we are a brotherhood that gave so others could have. So, in saying that, these are the submarine slang terms and phrases I have compiled from my brother submariners.

12 mile limit – referring to the international 12 mile boundary, but sailors use it to mark the time when “anything goes” when outside the 12 mile limit.

”120 sailors go down, 60 couples come back” – derogatory phrase used by jealous surface sailors who think they are being funny. Ha ****ing ha.

20 knots - The maximum speed of a submarine that is allowed to be told to someone outside the submarine community.

400 feet - The maximum depth of a submarine that is allowed to be told to someone outside the submarine community.

42 and a wake-up – actually, any number and a wake-up. Counting down to going home, retirement, or any other significant event.

7 P's - Proper Prior Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance. Phrase usually found around any training facility. Also known as Piss Poor Planning Produces Piss Poor Performance.

ADCAP – ADvanced CAPability. Latest version of the Mark 48 torpedo.

“Air in the banks, shit in the tanks, ready to submerge below... sound the diving alarm!” – An abbreviated, unauthorized, yet humorous way to report the submarine is ready to dive.

Ahead Flank, Cavitate! - to go really fast without regard to how much noise you make. Usually done when attacked by a torpedo.

“All I need is a family gram and a diet coke and I am happy to be underway” – Usually said by a salty old submariner to a non-qual to indicate how dedicated they are.

“All hands desiring to do so lay to the do so locker and do so” – Humor, no real meaning other than to mock other 1MC announcements.

Angles and Dangles – The time when the submarine is making radical depth changes. Usually done during sea trials and pre-deployment underway period to ensure everything is stowed for sea properly.

Assholes and elbows - the only things which should be seen by a boatswains mate when deck hands are on their hands and knees holystoning a wooden deck. Still used to indicate that during field day everyone should be cleaning and not goofing off.

A.T.F.Q. - Answer the ****ing question.

Baboon ass – slang for corned beef due to it’s color and consistency.

Bagged – as in “I got bagged” by the off going watch. Meaning you got left with something that someone else was suppose to do.

Baffles - the area immediately behind the submarine.

Balls to the wall - Flank Speed.

Banging Air – Air Charge.

Bent Shitcan - Someone below Naval standards. “He’s as ****ed up as a bent shitcan."

B.F.H. - Big ****ing Hammer. Also see Torpedoman’s Tweeker.

Bilge Pickers – A long thin tool used to pick items out of out-of-reach areas.

Biologics - Marine life picked up on sonar...usually noisy whales, dolphins, shrimp, etc.

Blow and Go – To emergency blow the main ballast tanks.

Blowing a Shitter - Inadvertently "flushing" a toilet while sanitary tanks are being blown overboard. This caused excrement and toilet paper to be blown all over the head to the delight of the rest of the crew.

Blow Job - Emergency blow or emergency ventilate.

Blue Nose - A person who has crossed the Arctic Circle an been initiated.

Booger board – A cork board used by old submarines sailors to show off their boogers. Why? Because you can.

B.O.C.O.D. - Beat Off Cut Off Date. The date before returning home from a deployment to stop masturbating in order to save it up for your wife or girlfriend.

B.O.H.I.C.A. – Bend Over Here It Comes Again. Referring to something bad about to happen again or as usual.

Boomer Fag - Crewmember of a Ballistic Missile Submarine (SSBN). Usually used by jealous fast boat sailors.

Boondockers - The standard workday steel-toed boots.

Boondoggle - Any unorganized, inefficient evolution or a trip taken on government time a money.

Boomer Widow – Used to describe an SSBN sailor's wife looking for a temporary fling, often with another sailor. Also see WestPac widow. In some cases the wife would take on a lover from the other crew, thus negating her chances of getting caught.

Boy butter – Slang term for silicone grease.

Box of Rocks - Derogatory term for a sailor that has performed their work in an unsatisfactory manner.

Brain Fart - a condition when, under stress, one cannot recall or perform something that would normally be easy or second nature.

Bravo Zulu - Originally "BZ" was a signal meaning "Well Done". It is usually used by seniors to praise subordinates in one form or another.

Bremerloes - Female of husky build and /or ugly as hell. Term originated at Bremerton, Washington base where they are rather common. Also know as Grotopotomus when in Groton, Connecticut.

Broach or Broaching the Boat - Sticking the sail of the submarine out of the water...a cardinal sin for a Diving Officer when underway. This is typically only intentionally done when preparing to surface so any other infraction (broach) while submerged could result in the submarine being detected.

Broke-dick - Technical term describing malfunctioning or inoperable equipment. Example: "The ****in' aux drain pump is ****in' broke-dick."

B.U.B. – Barely Useful Body.

Bubblehead – Internationally recognized term of endearment for a submarine sailor.

Buddy ****er - As implied, someone who ****s over their shipmates. Not to be trusted with any information of importance.

Bug Juice - Kool-Aid-like beverage in dispensers on the messdecks. Before the turn of the century bug juice was also used as a replacement for cleaning agents to clean decks with. Still used for removing corrosion from brass fittings.

B.U.F.F. – Big Ugly Fat ****er.

Bullshit flag – An imaginary flag that someone “raises” when they believe that what someone is telling them is pure and utter bullshit. They will call out “I am raising the bullshit flag on that one” or in some cases sailors actually carry around a rag that they will throw on the ground as their bullshit flag.

Bum****, Egypt or B.F.E. - A bad duty station or bad place in general.

Bunk Bag - They were originally elongated bags, designed for horizontal passageway storage and hung from the tubular bunk frames on diesel boats. In later years they were hung inside racks and usually used for dirty clothes or to hide porn and patrol socks.

Bunkie – a term of endearment for your bed, bunk, or rack.

Burn the flick – Indicates to start the movie.

Burn Run - An organized evolution to dispose of the classified material stored in burn bags.

Buttshark - Also known as a brown-noser or butt snorkeler. A person that is buddying up to another person (usually an asshole) to gain favor and for ulterior motives.

Cadillac - A mop bucket, usually with wheels and a wringer.

“Cake and cock and we’re outta cake.” – A humorous comeback by Mess Specialist when asked what is for chow when it is clearly posted in the Plan of the Day. Usually used when serving bratwurst, kielbasa, hot dogs, etc.

Casino Night – a night designated to play casino games such as poker, black jack, etc to raise money for the recreation committee.

Channel Fever - Said if a sailor is anxious when approaching port to get leave.

Check Valve – Also known as a “one way check valve”. A submariner who does things for himself/herself but does not reciprocate.

Chasing the Bubble - A term when the Diving Officer can't seem to the the trim of the boat right and the "bubble" (much like the bubble in a leveling tool) is riding up and down wildly, thus the boat is see-sawing through the water.

Chicken Switches - Emergency Blow Actuation Valves.

Chop – The Supply Officer. Taken from the Supply Corps' pork chop-shaped insignia.

Clean Sweep - Refers to having "swept the enemy from the seas," a completely successful mission. It is traditionally indicated by lashing a broom to the periscope of a submarine.

Clear your baffles - Look behind you...also known as "sweep the baffles".

“Close enough for horseshoes, hand grenades or Polaris Missiles.” – A highly technical slang term used when a job is good enough to call complete. Also known as “Close enough for government work.”

Cluster **** - Refers to when a group performs some task in a severely disorganized manner, usually with poor results. May also be used to describe any person or thing that is in a state of general disarray. "That kid is a walking cluster ****." Can be indicated using the NATO phonetic Charlie Foxtrot for CF.

C.O.B. – Chief of the Boat, Crabby Old Bastard, Clueless Overweight Bastard. The senior enlisted person on board a submarine.

Comshaw, cumshaw - something extra or free, given as a favor or gift comes from the pigeon expression using the Chinese word for grateful, thanks, "kamsia".

Comanche Bollocks – Royal Navy Jack speak for 'Tin Tomatoes'.

Coner - A submarine crewman who is not part of the engineering department, especially Torpedomen, because they are stationed in the forward cone of the Sub. Also known as "Forward Pukes" (as opposed to "****in' Nukes") or M.U.F.F.s (My Up Forward Friends).

Cow - A refrigerated fixture in the galley that dispenses something like milk.

C.O.W. – Chief of the Watch. In charge of the ballast, air and water systems while underway.

CPO Spread - The worlds most useless and uncomfortable rack/bunkie sheet. See "Rack Burn".

Countdown calendar – used to count down the days until returning to port. Can be an actual calendar, chain made of paperclips, etc.

Crab bridge – dental floss strung between bunks whenever a shipmate was found out to have gotten crabs. The dental floss was a humorous way of building a bridge for the crabs to travel on and infect other crew members.

Crank - Mess deck worker, typically a new transferee to a submarine assigned to mess deck duties while qualifying for a regular watch. Also see NUB.

Crazy Ivan - Demonstrated in the movie The Hunt for Red October. Russian submarines would quickly turn 180 degrees while underway to see whether any American submarines were following.

Crotch crickets – scabies, lice, crabs.

C.R.I.S. – Cranial Rectal Insertion Syndrome. Having one’s head up one’s own ass.

Crotch Novel – A book of pornography. Usually well worn.

Cumshaw - Obtaining by bartering outside of official channels and paperwork.

C.U.N.T. - Civilian Under Naval Training. A term used by disgruntled sailors impatiently awaiting their day to get out of the Navy. These were usually prime candidates to actually reenlist.

D.A.D. – Day After Duty. Usually a day off after duty afforded to sailors who worked throughout the night.

"Damn, man, your voice has changed but your breath still smells the same" - Someone farted. Also heard as "Keep talking Lieutenant, we'll find you."

D.B.F. - Diesel Boats Forever. An unauthorized pin showing a non-nuclear submarine. Worn proudly by diesel boat sailors and generally tolerated by senior officers.

Dick Skinners – Your hands, i.e. "get your dick skinners off my white hat", also known as Peterclamps, Meathooks, and Dick Beaters.

Dicking the dog - putting a "half-assed" effort into a task (refers to improperly securing the "dogs" on a watertight hatch when passing through. Such a lax procedure could spell doom for a sinking ship if hatches were not absolutely watertight). Also said as "poking the poodle". Not to be confused with "screwing the pooch" which refers to royally messing up a task.

D.I.L.L.I.G.A.F. - Does It Look Like I Give A ****? Universal acronym, but widely used in the Navy.

Dink - Short for delinquent. See Dink List.

Dink Check – Usually done just prior to movies and in areas where crewmembers might be relaxing. This was done to check the area clear of non-qualified crewmembers who were on the dink list. (See below)

Dink List – Delinquent List. A list of non-qualified individuals who are not up to date on their qualification’s status. In the older days of submarining this was checked often and a loss of privileges was afforded anyone on the dink list.

Diver's 1MC Announcement - "There are divers over the side, do not rotate screws, cycle rudders, take suction from or discharge to the sea, blow flood or vent any tanks, or operate any underwater equipment or activate sonar. There are divers over the side."

Dog and Pony show - A special show put on for inspecting senior officers. Normally sailors are instructed not to ask questions of the senior officers even if requested by the inspecting officer.

Dolphins - slang term for submarine warfare insignia...or those cute little fishies that follow the submarine to sea.

Donkey-Dick - refers to the head valve indicator (a rod which shows if the snorkel's intake valve is open), the hose fitting used for the towed array sonar, and anything else that is roughly round and longer than it is wide. Also used to describe hot dogs, kielbasa, and Polish sausages.

“Don’t let your alligator mouth overload your mocking bird ass.” - Normally said to a non-qual who is getting a little cocky.

Douche Kit - Container (usually zipper closed) for toilet articles such as shaving cream, deodorant, after shave lotion, etc.

Double Digit Midget - A short timer. Someone who is less than 100 days from retirement, EAOS, being discharged to civilian life, or returning to port.

Drinking your dolphins – Extinct tradition. In the old submarine force a time-honored tradition was to drink your dolphins if you were newly qualified. This consisted of your shipmates buying a shot of everything behind the bar and putting it all in a pitcher, dropping the dolphins into the pitcher and the newly qualified submariner drinking until her caught his dolphins in his teeth. Unfortunately, incidents occurred from alcohol poisoning and injury from getting dolphins stuck in the throat, so the practice was officially banned.

Dynamited Chicken - Chicken a la King or Chicken Cacciatore.

EAB – Emergency Air Breathing. Akin to the fires of Hell, wearing this mask and going around plugging it in was/is a submariner’s worst nightmare. Known as “sucking rubber” this mask could give you a headache and attitude adjustment in the worst way just inside 30 seconds. Making matters worse would be looking around at all the drill monitors not wearing theirs.

“Eat shit and bark at the moon.” – a phrase commonly used when someone doesn’t like what someone else told them to do. As known as “**** off and die” (F.O.A.D.)

E.S.A.D. – Eat Shit and Die.

E.W.A.G. – Engineered Wild Ass Guess or Educated Wild Ass Guess. Also see S.W.A.G.

Fabulous feces contest – An old submariner contest in that the person who produced the unbroken longest feces (turd) during a deployment would win a prize.

Failed open – Used to describe when a person can’t sleep and their eyes won’t shut.

Family-grams – The one way communication given to family before a submariner left on deployment. Family grams changed over the years, but were usually limited to 20-50 words depending on operational priorities. Family grams were sent from the loved one and were screened for anything that might upset the receiving submariner. They were usually read over and over and sometimes misinterpreted causing much stress with the sailor.

Fart Sack - Mattress covers.

F.A.T.A.S.S. - Fast Attack Tough And Super Salty.

Fat pill - A bread roll, or cinnamon roll.

Fightin’ gear – Eating utensils.

F.I.I.G.M.O. - **** It I Got My Orders.

F.I.I.S. - **** It I'm Short.

Finger wave – Prostate exam.

Firing Point Procedures - The announced point at which target motion analysis has been completed on a target and a solution has been generated to the point of making preparations to shoot a torpedo. In reality it is the time at which new Weapons Officers often reevaluate and over-think the solution and make adjustments that will ultimately result in missing the target.

Fish – Torpedoes or Submarine Warfare Qualification Insignia.

Float test – To toss overboard.

F.L.O.B. - Freeloading Oxygen Breather. Someone who is not holding their own or carrying their share of the load. Usually a non-qual dink puke.

F.O.A.D. – **** Off and Die. Self explanatory.

Foxtail – A soft hair brush used for cleaning.

Fresh Meat - A new non-qualified person board.

F.U.B.A.R. – ****ed Up Beyond All Recognition. Also known as Fouled Up Beyond All Recognition.

"****in' A Ditty Bag" - Yes, with enthusiasm!

Gear Adrift - Items not stowed away.

Geedunk - Candy, vending machine items, etc.

Gilly - Illegal pure grain alcohol. Also known as "Torpedo Juice".

Goat locker – A term of endearment for the Chief’s Quarters. As in that is where the old goats live.

Goatrope or goat**** - Any situation that is "FUBAR."

Gorilla snot- compartment bulkhead stuffing tube sealer.

Grape signature – Refers to a qualification checkout that was less than adequate but the system expert signs off the qualification anyway.

Green board – When the status on the ballast control panel indicates all hull opening are shut (a green slash) and the submarine can be submerged. Also known as a "straight board".

Grotopotamus - The rather large ladies that graze around the Groton, CT area. Similar to a Bremerloe.

Grottweiler - see Grotopotamus.

Growler - A sound-powered phone on older submarines.

G.U.A.M. - Give Up And Masturbate

Gun decking the logs - Filling out a form or log with mostly imaginary data. Usually done out of laziness or because they got behind. See also “Radioing the logs” and “Pencil Whipping”.

Halfway night – The designated night that marked the halfway point in a deployment. Usually, halfway night was marked with a special dinner and entertainment from the crew. Often in conjunction with Casino Night.

Hall balls - Ahead Flank or going very fast.

Hawaiian Bark Spiders - Farts.

Hazing - Sorry, but no definition for this. It does not exist. ;)

“He/She made Chief when Noah was a cabin boy” – Refers to a very old Chief. Many variations exists.

“He's/She’s dumber than a box of rocks!” – Self explanatory universal phrase for a dumbass.

“He's/She’s so full of crap the birds won't land on him!” – Also self explanatory and used for a constant bullshitter.

“Hey Messcrank another Gedunk” – A common phrase used in the golden days of submarining when a qualified sailor would harass a non-qualified individual who was doing mess duty. Many variations exists, such as “Crank, more potatoes”, or “Crank what the **** is taking you so long?”

“Hit her in the shitter.” – Usually called out during a movie when a hot girl appeared. This phrase has for the most part become extinct with political correctness.

H.M.F.I.C. - Head Mother ****er In Charge. Self Explanatory phrase used to designate who is in charge.

Hockey pucks – Swedish meatballs.

Hogans Alley - The berthing section of the after battery on diesel boats that doesn't have any traffic. Like a dead end street, only one way in and out.

Holidays – Mythical days of the year that are non-existent while on deployment.

Hollywood showers – A long and normally unauthorized shower utilizing as much water as the offender wants. Normally attributed to Sonar Technicians and Radiomen.

Horse Cock - Large log of baloney or overcooked kielbasa usually put out for lunch or mid rats.

"Horse Play Leads to Sick Bay" - Phrase meaning don't be ****ing around or you will get hurt.

Hot Cock - The latest news or rumors. Also known as "the skinny" or "scuttlebutt".

Hot Racking or Hot Bunking - Sharing racks. When one goes off, the other takes his place, thus the rack never gets cold. (Three men share two racks).

“How's your wife and my kids?” – Usually used by boomer sailors from opposite crews. A way of getting under their skin, but sometimes true.

"I can neither confirm nor deny the presence of nuclear weapons aboard any Navy vessel" - Standard answer given to civilians when they ask whether the submarine is carrying nuclear missiles.

"I could tell you, but then I'd have to kill you" - Another standard answer when a submariner is asked about specific missions they have been on.

“I got more time sittin' on the shitter sucking rubber and reading piping tabs at test depth than you have time in the Navy, ya non-qual dink puke.” Many variations of this exists, but used to put a non-qual in their place. Examples include, “I've wrung more salt water out of my socks that you've sailed over, ya nub!”, “I've got belt buckles with more sea time than you.”, and “I've so much time at sea, I'd rather hear a young boy fart than a pretty girl sing.”

“I had it, you got it. Any questions, I'll be in my rack” - A common abbreviated, unauthorized turnover from watch stander to another. Usually used when the off-going watchstander was extremely tired.

“If it don’t move, paint it” – Poking fun at the Navy’s relentless need to paint everything.

“If it is ****ed - un**** it” – In another words, if it is broke, fix it.

“If it was up your ass eating a ham sandwich you'd know” – Smartass answer given back to a non-qual when ask a qualification question and they respond with “I don’t know”.

“If you are looking for sympathy, you can find it in the dictionary between shit and syphilis” – Self explanatory phrase used to show non-compassion.

“I'm so short, when I look in the mirror, I'm not there!” – Phrase used by sailors getting close to their separation date or another important event.

"In the Fan Room, no one can hear you scream!" - A 'threat' to a non-qual who is less than motivated.

"I was never there, not aware, and have no knowledge of any particular operation" - Standard reply to question about special operations.

"I would rather have sister in a whorehouse than a brother on a skimmer" - Interpretation...surface ships suck.

Joe Navy - Another term for a lifer with no life outside the Navy.

J-5 = steak

Laundry Queen - the person assigned to do the laundry...typically a non-qualified person.

L.B.F.M. - Little Brown **** Machine. Derogatory term (or sometimes a term of endearment) for a hot Asian girl, usually a prostitute or B-girl. Also known as L.B.F.M.P.B.R. or Little Brown **** Machine Powered By Rice.

Lieu-****ing-tenant - Illustrates Navy practice of including a swear word INSIDE another word. Another favorite - Abso-****ing-lutley.

Lifer - A name given to both officers and enlisted men who love the Navy and make it clear they want to be in for 20 or more years. Lifers will try to convince others to re-enlist. Also, lifers say things like "there is nothing a Sailor needs that is not in his sea-bag" this usually is a comment implying a Sailor does not need to see his spouse or children.

L.I.F.E.R. - Lazy Incompetent ****er Escaping Reality or Lazy Incompetent ****er Expecting Retirement.

Lifer cup - Also know as THE Cup. A porcelain white coffee cup with blue stripes usually stained brown by repeated use. Never washed, except as a prank by disgruntled juniors.

Lower-than-whale-spunk-non-qual-dink-puke – A term of endearment given to a non-qualified sailor from a qualified dolphin wearing submariner.

Low Voltage flat cocks - IC men.

Mail Buoy - A fictitious buoy that mail for a ship is left on. Usually new sailors are given a mail buoy watch for the entertainment of the more seasoned sailors.

Make a hole! or make a hole, working Navy! – used to get people to clear a path in a cramped area.

Mandatory fun – When attending a ship’s function, such as a picnic or party was mandatory.

M.A.R.F. – Make a Round ****er. Often used by Missile Technicians to get their Roving Watch to make a round through the missile compartment.

Meat Gazer - A senior enlisted person that has to watch crewmembers give their urine samples all day.

Men Working in the Sail 1MC announcement - "There are men working in the sail. Do not raise, lower, rotate or radiate from any mast or antenna. There are men working in the sail".

Metric **** ton – Another highly technical measuring term used when something weighs a lot. Also known as a “butt ton”, “shit ton”, and “that’s ****ing heavy”.

“Mind Your Bubble” - The indication of the ship's angle fore and aft. The Diving Officer of the Watch (DOOW - pronounced "Dive") controls the angle on the ship by various means. If the angle becomes too large he will be ordered to "Mind your bubble." In rough weather near the surface, maintaining the angle on the ship can be very difficult. When the Dive can no longer control the angle on the ship by the means at his disposal, he is said to have "Lost the Bubble."

Mouse House - Ballistic Missile Submarine slang description of areas usually occupied by Missile Technicians. Also used to describe MCC (Missile Control Center).


Ad eundum quo nemo ante iit...
Submarine Slang Terms and Phrases (Part 2)

“Mr. (insert name of offending officer here) is so ****ing stupid he couldn't pour piss out of his boots if the instructions were written on the heel” – Used by enlisted personnel to describe an officer who is young, dumb, and full of ***.

Mung - Any dark green/brown plant residue with snot-like consistency found in/on scuppers. (mostly in engineering spaces).

Mushroom Club – Imaginary club that some crew members belong to. As in “they feed us shit and keep us in the dark.”

"My mood has a slight down bubble" - Submarine speak for I'm having a bad day.

Mystery Shitter - an intoxicated sailor who returns from the beach and is unable to safely reach the head, defecates in random locations prior to climbing into his or her rack to sleep it off. Also used for someone who sneaks in and takes a shit but leaves it in the bowl without flushing.

Needle dick bug ****er – Another term of endearment for a non-qualified crew member.

No ****, Vagina - Norfolk, Virginia.

Non-skid - A rough epoxy coating used for grip on the topside walking surfaces of a submarine.

No-Shitter - A sea story which is mostly (never completely) fictional, and unverifiable as well. Examples: "Hey, this is a no shitter, but I once blah blah blah..." or "Hey this is a no-shitter, I got a buddy who once blah blah blah..."

N.Q.P. - Non-Qual Puke. A non-qualified crewman who is not yet able to stand watch or is not yet qualified in submarines.

N.U.B. - Non Useful Body or ‘Nuther Useless Body. A sailor who has not yet earned his Submarine Warfare Qualification (Dolphins).

Nut to Butt - Slang used to describe packing the line in tighter.

Occifer - Pronounced "ossifur". It is a derogatory reference towards officers in general, particularly junior officers…unless you have a lisp.

Operation Golden Flow - Urine drug testing

Oxy-panic - the look of terror on a shipmates face when he is piggybacking on your EAB hose and you disconnect without warning him.

Package Check - A common form of greeting where one man smacks another man's crotch. This is done not only to test the 'mettle' of the one receiving the greeting but also as a sign of camaraderie. However, ever since hazing became increasingly unpopular over the last few years this greeting has occurred less often. Much more common in the submarine service due to the impossibility of discharge while underway.

Paper Assholes - Gummed re-enforcements for the page holes for a 3 ring binder.

P.A.P.E.R.C.L.I.P. - People Against People Ever Reenlisting Civilian Life Is Preferable. Term used to show dissatisfaction with enlistment or unity amongst a brotherhood of bitter and disaffected sailors, specifically submariners. Often symbolized by the wearing of a paperclip on the uniform in varying levels of prominence to indicate the sailor’s level of disgruntlement.

Patrol shoes – Any type of shoe other than Navy issue that is worn underway only. Example include tennis shoes, bowling shoes, and cowboy boots.

Patrol sock or Cruise sock - A sock that is sacrificed early in a deployment and used to clean up after masturbating. It is usually kept under the mattress or in a bunk bag and can stand up on its own by the end of cruise. Often found in the outboards by non-quals during field day.

P.E.B.K.A.C. - Problem Exists Between Keyboard And Chair (always popular in radio and sonar). Loose interpreted, operator error.

Pecker Checker – Navy doctor or Corpsman.

Pencil whip - Filling out a form with mostly imaginary data. Usually done out of laziness or because they got behind. Also know as “Gundecking or Radioing the logs”.

Periscope Liberty – Viewing the outside world through a periscope. The longer you have been at sea the better it is. The best periscope liberty usually involved beaches, topless women in pleasure craft, and viewing whales while underwater.

P.F.M. - Pure ****ing Magic. Normally used when something seemed to “fix itself” or an answer came about without the use of logic.

Phantom Shitter - that sick bastard that would shit in a trash can, put it into trash compactor so they could and laugh at the person who had to compact it.

Ping Jockey - Term used to describe Sonar Technicians.

Pink lipped tuna – vagina.

Piping tab - A manual of all submarine systems (air, hydraulics, plumbing, electrical, etc). In the older days it was big enough to fit into your poopy suit back pocket and no non-qual was ever seen without one for fear of retribution.

Plastic Cow - The dehydrated milk they use after the real milk runs out.

P.M.F.L. - Pure Mother ****ing Luck. Usually used when skill didn’t work.

Poking holes in the ocean - Underway on a submarine.

P.O.N.T.I.A.C. - Poor Ol' Nub Thinks It's A Career.

Poopysuit - Blue overalls worn when deployed out to sea.

Portable Air Sample - A snipe hunt gag inflicted on "newbies." Normally, portable air samples are regularly collected by a hand-held device operated by a highly qualified crewmember. In this snipe hunt gag, however, a plastic garbage bag is inflated like a balloon and sealed, sometimes with "official" forms taped to the exterior; the newbie is then dispatched to take this important atmospheric sample to the Executive Officer (NEVER the Skipper). Depending on that particular XO's sense of humor, the newbie could possibly come back with interesting counter-orders.

Prairie chicken – rabbit.

“Prepare to ventilate the boat!” – A phrase used to bring fresh air into the boat but more often used as a phrase after someone has let loose an obnoxious fart. Also used in conjunction with “Pressure in the boat" and "Crack the hatch”.

Pressure test - a game involving a vise, grease gun, and a new, unqualified crew member. The new person usually walks into a space whereas he sees another crew member with his fingers in a bench vise and those around him counting out numbers. The new guys asks what is going on and he is told that whoever can take the most turns on the vise (pressure the fingers) will win a cash prize. After the new person is sufficiently in the vise an clamped down his pants are dropped, his butt is greased, a he is left there to be found be an officer.

Puckered mouth bass – butthole.

Puka - Sailors speak used to indicate a small storage location or hole.

Purging 02 Generators 1MC Announcement - "The smoking lamp is out in Machinery One while purging Oxygen Generators."

Purple pen – A pen with purple ink used to sign a grape signature, or a less than earned signature for a qualification checkout.

Pussy patch - A transdermal scopolamine patch for seasickness.

Rack - Bed.

Rack Burn - Reddish marks seen on the face of a sailor who has just emerged from sleeping in his/her rack. Scorned upon if he/she was not supposed to be there. Often caused by the ridges in a CPO spread (blanket).

Rack Hound - Derogatory but usually with a hint of envy term used for someone who sleeps a lot. Sailor that spends more than his/her fair share of time in the "Rack". Usually spoken when seeing somebody with Rack Burns; "You are such a Rack Hound!".

Racki-dexterous - the ability to get shit out of your rack foot locker without getting out of your rack.

Racking Out – Going to bed.

Radioing the logs - Filling out a form or log with mostly imaginary data. Usually done out of laziness or because they got behind. See also “Gundecking the logs” and “Pencil Whipping”.

Rain locker – A shower stall.

‘Rats – Short of Midrations. Food for the midnight to 6 am watch that usually consists of leftovers, sandwich fixings, beanie weanies, etc.

R.C.H. – Red **** Hair - A highly technical, very small unit of measurement when eyeballing something. "How much more till the pipe is in place?" Response, "Oh, about a **** hair." Also you can use "a red **** hair" for a slightly larger unit of measurement due to the natural coarseness of a gingers hair.

Reactor scram - a completely made-up casualty developed by nucs to keep coners from having a good Hollywood shower and to secure the bug juice machine.

“Reveille, reveille, up all bunks. Drop your cocks, put on your socks, it's daylight in the swamp” – Old phrase used when waking up the crew. Extinct.

Rig for red – In the old days of submarining certain spaces in the boat would be rigged for red (all red lights) prior to going to periscope depth, when surfacing at night, or all the time in sonar. The red lights helped adjust eyes to the dark. Unfortunately, in later years studies found that the red light was actually irritable to the eyes and made people more aggressive. Other colors were tested and used, such as blue, yellow and eventually low level white (dirty gray).

Rig for sea - To get the all submarine systems lined up for sea and to ensure the boat is stowed for sea.

Rig for silent running (or ultra-quiet) - Turning off all unnecessary equipment so as to make the submarine as quite as possible. Also known as "ultra quiet".

Rig ship for lady visitors - Before women were allowed on submarines the crew would be informed of women visitors so as to not say or do anything inappropriate and to put away all smut locker material.

R.O.A.D. Program - Retired On Active Duty. Refers to a sailor who is getting ready to retire and is not doing much more than taking up space until that time.

Roast Beast - Roast Beef, or any meat served aboard the ship that even the cooks who prepared it don't know what it is.

Rock - Term used to describe a sailor that acts as though he hasn't learned anything.

R.T.F.M. - Read The ****ing Manual. Also know as R.T.F.B. (Read The ****ing Book)

R.T.F.Q. - Read the ****ing question.

Rumor Control - The often wildly inaccurate rumors that concern fictitious changes to the ship's schedule.

Sail she may, shine she must – Old sailor term used to describe the monotony of shining brass and chrome when it felt like the priorities were more import to clean and shine rather than get underway to sea.

Sailorproof – Meaning a sailor cannot break this. Unfortunately, this is much like a unicorn, the Loch Ness monster, and Bigfoot…it has never been found. Many engineers have tried to make things sailorproof but with only limited/no success.

Salty - Someone who has been in the Navy a long time or has a lot of sea experience.

Sandbagging - When a player in any game chooses (on purpose) to not play their best. Normally this is because they are too superior, they want to hustle you, or they are too lazy to play their best with nothing on the line. Used extensively in Hearts, Spades and Pinochle, thus the reason many players institute a sandbagging rule to penalize a sandbagging player when they have under-declared the amount of tricks they will make.

S.A.P.F.U. - Surpassing All Previous ****-Ups.

S.C.R.A.M. - Safety Control Reactor Axe Man.

Screwed, blued, and tattooed – Old Navy term meant to describe what sailors did on shore leave or liberty. Screwed – get laid, Blued = get drunk, and Tattooed = get a tattoo.

Scupper Trout - Sewage solids or turds being washed overboard, or floating turds in the ocean which have been pumped overboard. Also know as a "Cornbacked Gator" or "Brown Trout".

Scuttlebutt - Drinking fountain or rumor (originated from the rumors that would be spread on board ship while gathered about the water barrel). Also known as "hot cock" or "the skinny".

Sea Daddy - Senior, more experienced sailor who unofficially takes a new member of the crew under his wing and mentors him.

Seaman Schmuckatelli - Generic name for a sailor, used in a similar manner as "Joe Blow" or "John Q. Public". Example: "You're working on an electrical system without tagging it out, when along comes Seaman Schmuckatelli, who energizes the circuit and ZAP, you're fried calamari."

Sea Pussy - a yeoman or personnelman. Akin to a secretary who does clerical work. Also known as a "titless Wave".

Sea Story - usually starts with "this is a no shitter..." or "this one time in (insert foreign port)..."It is up to the listener of the story to decide of it is true or not...kind of like these slang terms.

“Secure from field day, commence cleanup ship!” – Used when cleanup during Field Day did not produce the desired results.

Sewer Pipe Sailor - Diesel Submariner. Derives from the smell achieved from riding in a diesel boat.

Shaft seals - A mythological creature that lives in shaft alley.

Sherwood Forest – Slang term used to describe the missile compartment on an SSBN submarine.

Shit on a raft – Chipped beef in gravy over toast. Also know as “Shit on a Shingle”.

Shipmate - Any fellow Sailor. Also, used as a derogatory term against all junior enlisted personnel i.e. E-5 and below. An Officer, Chief or First Class will use this to show they think so little of you, they haven't bothered to take the time out of their day to learn your name. Sometimes when used for a less than stellar sailor the term “shipwreck” will be substituted.

Shit can - Either the name for a trash can, or the act of throwing something into the trash.

Shit house mouse – Someone assigned to Mess cook duty.

“Shit in the tanks, air in the banks, I had it you got it” – A common abbreviated, unauthorized turnover from watch stander to another. Commonly used by a Chief of the Watch or Aux Forward.

Short or Short-timer - someone with not much time left on board or in the Navy.

Shower Tech - Sonar Technician. They do love their showers!

Single digit midget – A person who is down to less than 10 days from getting back to port, exiting the Navy, etc.

Skate – A sailor who avoids work in general while not being detected; for example the ability to "skate" out of work undetected while being assigned to a 14 man working party.

Skimmer - A derogatory term for a surface ship or a surface sailor.

Slept out – When you have slept so much that you can’t sleep anymore. Not applicable to Sonar Technicians, Radioman, and Navigation Electronics Technicians.

Sliders - Mess deck/chow hall hamburgers/cheeseburgers, so named for their high grease content and purported ability to 'slide' through the alimentary canal.

S.L.I.F.F. - Silly Little Ignorant Fat ****.

“Smile! At least your wife is getting laid” – A fun term used by qualified personnel to a non-qualified personnel. Normally more effective the longer a non-qualification person has gone without a family-gram.

Smoking lamp – A term used to designate a place or time when smoking is allowed. Becoming extinct.

Smoke test – Slang for testing something at full power or turning on a piece of damaged equipment.

Smut locker – A designated place to store pornography while underway.

S.N.A.F.U. – Situation Normal All ****ed Up or Situation Normal All Fouled Up.

Snatch in the hatch – A woman coming down a hatch. Normally submariners run to see if the female is wearing a dress or not.

Snatch in the house – A woman on board a submarine.

S.N.O.B. - Shortest Nuc On Board.

Sonar Girls - Derogatory term used for the Sonar Technicians.

“So, what are they going to do? Take my birthday away?” – Many variations of this phrase exists such as “So, what are they going to do? Ship me out on a fast attack?” and
So, what are they going to do? Send me to sea?” Used as a form of rebellion.

Spin Up All Missiles - To make ballistic missiles ready for launch.

Squat to Pee – A derogatory term for an ELT (Engineering Laboratory Technician).

S.S.N. - Saturdays, Sundays, and Nights. In reference to SSN (fast attack) submarines working 7 days a week.

Starters or Commencement Cream - British submarine names for K.Y. Jelly.

Steel Beach Picnic - Celebration on the topside of a submarine usually involving a swim call and barbecue.

Steely-eyed Stealthy Killers of the Deep - Submarine sailors.

Still - Evaporator.

Submarine Shower – A shower consisting of turning on the shower for a few seconds to wet down, turning off the shower to lather up and turning on the shower again for a few seconds to rinse off. Used to conserve water.

Sucking rubber – Wearing an EAB.

“Suffers from dietary indiscretion” – Describing an overweight sailor.

S.W.A.G. – Sonar Wild Ass Guess or Some Wild Ass Guess. See also EWAG.

Sweat pumps - When someone is worrying too much and they are always running at full speed. An excitable person, or one who takes humorous situations too seriously. "They're sweat pumps are in high speed".

System heavy – A submariner that is known for his extensive knowledge of certain submarine systems.

System light - A submariner that is known for his less than extensive knowledge of certain submarine systems. Often sought out by non-quals that are delinquent or trying to skate by.

Tacking on dolphins – Extinct tradition of punching a newly qualified submariner’s dolphin’s onto their chest. Unfortunately, some got carried away and punch too hard causing injury and making the act a hazing incident. Tacking on dolphins is considered taboo in today’s submarine force.

“Take her down, take her deep, damn the pressure, damn the heat, make your depth 500ft!” – Unauthorized poetic command to submerge the ship or change to a deeper depth.

“Take her up to broach depth” – Unauthorized phrase used for Diving Officers that have a reputation for broaching the submarine (breaking the surface of the ocean with the hull) thus exposing the boat to detection, or when the weather and sea state are extremely bad and broaching is expected.

“Taking a suction on the boat” – Used to describe what a FLOB is doing.

Target - Term to describe any ship or boat on the surface.

“Target a city, Aim for the county, Get the state” – Unofficial FTB motto referring to the targeting of nuclear weapons.

TDU it – Trash Disposal Unit. To throw something in the trash. All known as deep sixing in the surface Navy. Sometimes pronounced "tadooing it".

Ten punches in the Hacker Card – A hacker card is for submariners who sit through extremely bad movies. The number of punches indicates how bad the movie was rated as.

"There's air in the banks, shit in the tanks...don't worry about the fire, the flooding will put it out" - Another abbreviated, humorous, unauthorized way of giving an off-going watch relief.

The Cup - See Lifer Cup.

"There ain't no slack in a fast attack" - In reference to the heavy sea time schedule fast attack sailors keep, and their thought that they do the job better than everyone else.

“There is tit in the third reel” – Common phrase called out when breast are exposed in a movie. This usually results in numerous rewinds and replays.

The Skinny - The latest news or rumors. Also known as "hot cock or "scuttlebutt"."

"This page intentionally left blank." - Written into manual and log pages that were intentionally left blank, usually indicating the last page of a chapter or section.

Three phase flat cocks - Electricians

T.I. Mast - Telemetry Instrumentation Mast. Attached to S.S.B.N.s during missile testing. The T.I. mast sticks above the water line even while the submarine is submerged at launch depth so as to transmit/receive launch and range information.

Tits Up - Broke-dick, inoperable, dead (from some piece of equipment being "flat on its back"). Sometimes referred to as "Tango Uniform".

TLD - Thermo-Luminescent Dosimeter used to determine exposure to radiation.

Torpedoman's Tweeker – A very large wrench.

“Train like you fight, fight like you train” – Most common submarine phrase found on a poster in just about any training building.

Trim Party – A prank often perpetrated on a newly-qualified Dive Officer or Chief of the Watch, where men and other weights are shifted fore and aft to affect the trim of the boat.

T.S.T.C. - Too Short To Care.

Turd Chaser – Slang term for an A-ganger, because they work on plumbing systems.

Turn to - Get started.

Tweeker - Electronics ratings; any engineering rating not turning a wrench. Rates such as ET, RM, FT and ST who "tweek" electronic components to make them work again. The term is also used to describe a very small screwdriver.

Tweener - Affectionate term for Missile Technicians on Ballistic Missile Submarines. Usually called out during the "Coner" and "Nuke" throwbacks, since the Missile Compartment is "between" the Forward (Coner) and Engineering (Nuke) spaces.

Twidget - Sailor in the Electronics or Electrical fields of job specialties.

Two fisted gagger – Used to describe an incredibly bad movie.

Typewriter repair man - Cryptological Technician, spook or special operations rider.

Ustafish - General term for a previous submarine command one has served in. Often used as "That's not how we did it aboard the USTAFISH." Generally followed by various short, forceful comments from others present.

Vent covers – Breaded veal cutlets.

Vitamin R – Ravioli.

Water slug - refers to shooting a submarine's torpedo tube without first loading a torpedo. Often used as a joke to play on new non-quals. Shooting a water slug usually results in the shooter getting to clean out the torpedo tube.

WESTPAC widow - Sailor's wife looking for a temporary fling, often with another sailor. Also see “Boomer widow.” Could often be found in the Navy Club the very night the husband went to sea.

WETSU – We Eat This Shit Up. A derisive statement, usually regarding working or living conditions.

Wheel Book - A 6" x 9" spiral bound notepad used to take notes from Day 1 of joining the Navy.

“When I get home from patrol I take 99 pennies and throw them in the yard and tell the kids don't come back till you find 100” – Phrase used by a submariner to indicate a way for him to have some alone time with the wife after returning from sea.

White Line Warranty - Something that is guaranteed to work up to the point of throwing off the mooring lines and getting underway.

"Won't rust, bust, or take on dust" - An equipment or tool that is damn-near sailorproof.

“Works fine, fails safe, drains to the bilge” – A general phrase normally used when describing when a piece of equipment is repaired and put back in operation. Many variations exists.

Wrinkleneck trout – penis.

W.T.F.O. – What The ****, Over?

“You have a green card. You will be there.” One of the most hated phrases meaning that you have a Navy identification card, are the Navy’s property and you will be here no matter whether you had plans scheduled already.

“You have two hand and three holes. Cover the ones you don’t want hit first” – A term of endearment from a submariner to his wife/significant other immediately after returning from sea.

"You're So Vain" - Song by Carly Simon reportedly used by a submarine commander on the underwater telephone after a skimmer had search for him in vain.

“You smell that boy? That's amine, ain't no smell in the world like it.... smells like... field day!” – Another phrase said by a salty old submariners to a non-qual to indicate how dedicated they are. A take off from the movie, Apocalypse Now, whereas Colonel Kurtz says, “You smell that? That’s napalm and there’s no smell like it in the world. It smells like…victory”.

Zoomies - radiation.

Zulu 5 Oscar - Personnel making a deliberate attempt to board a ship unauthorized, usually at the direction of higher authority to test security procedures. The standard intruder drill.


Snark: a higher form of communication
I have read that "balls to the wall" is actually an aviation term. Comes from the round knob that used to be on the acceleration stick in a jet. When pulled all the way back to the firewall, the jet was at maximum speed.