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Naval slang and its everyday usage
by Martin Robson
Flogging a dead horse...
Money for old rope...
Three sheets to the wind...
What do these common phrases actually mean, and where do they come from?
For any maritime nation the traditions and quirks of its navy have long intrigued and influenced society. Sailors would come ashore conversing in a unique language, which spilled out of the taverns and slowly seeped into everyday speech.
Concentrating on the British and Commonwealth and US Navies, this book explores naval slang thematically, covering such areas as ship handling, discipline, and food and drink. Ranging between phrases that clearly have a nautical theme, such as 'splice the main brace' and 'sun over the yardarm' to quirky terms such as 'scuttlebutt' and mundane words such as 'skyscraper'. it gives an 'A1' account of their actounding origins and provides numerous examples of how they are used in the popular media, while also devoting a chapter to 'poking Charlie', a guide to insulting someone with a sailor's filthiest slang!
Complete with original black line drawings, this detailed and highly entertaining exploration of naval slang will appeal not only to old-time 'matelots' (fellow sailors), but to all those interested in how the English language has developed.
Hardbound: 176 pages