British Naval and Sea Slang and Terminology

83 terms

Admiral Of The Narrow Seas

One who from drunkenness vomits into the lap of the person sitting opposite to him. SEA PHRASE.


Loose, turned adrift, discharged. SEA PHRASE.


Bring your a-se to an anchor, i.e. sit down. To let go an anchor to the windward of the law; to keep within the letter of the law. SEA WIT.

Andrew Millar

a ship of war.—Sea.


 The Straits of ballambangjang , though unnoticed by geographers, are frequently mentioned in sailors' yarns as being so narrow, and the rocks on each side so crowded with trees inhabited by monkeys, that the ship's yards cannot be squared, on account of the monkey's tails getting jammed into, and choking up, the brace blocks.—Sea.

Banyan Day

A sea term for those days on which no meat is allowed to the sailors: the term is borrowed from the Banyans in the East Indies, a cast that eat nothing that had life.


a day on which no meat is served out for rations; probably derived from the banians , a Hindoo caste, who abstain from animal food. Quite as probably from the sanitary arrangements which have in hot climates counselled the eating of banyans  and other fruits in preference to meat on certain days.—Sea.


a fellow who prowls about the sea-shore to plunder wrecks, and pick up waifs and strays of any kind.—Sea.


“to top one's boom  off,” to be off or start in a certain direction.—Sea.

Box the Compass

to repeat the thirty-two points of the compass either in succession or irregularly. The method used at sea to teach boys the points of the mariner's compass.—Sea.
To box the compass: To say or repeat the mariner's compass, not only backwards or forwards, but also to be able to answer any and all questions respecting its divisions. SEA TERM.