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Jackspeak - chewing the fat

Jackspeak: chewing the fat

Today’s navy is much the same as yesterday’s in that hungry sailors have to eat. Today, sailors eat a hearty bowl of soup at morning stand easy. In the days of sail, they might have had to rely on chewing a fatty piece of salt pork. Growlies is a nickname for any tasty food cooked […]


Jackspeak: scuttlebutt

Scuttlebutt is a commonly used term with a naval origin. As far back as the 17th century, a scuttled butt was the term for a barrel that had been breached to provide a source of fresh water for the crew. Much like a modern water cooler, rumours and gossip were often shared, and these tidbits of information were referred to as scuttlebutt. […]

Over a barrel

Jackspeak: Over a Barrel

To be over a barrel means to be in a tricky situation or at a disadvantage compared to another person. The phrase is commonly used today and has two derivations related to the maritime environment. The first alludes to an old practice of reviving a drowning victim by placing the casualty over a barrel and […]