Navy Slang Phrases from the Past We Want to Bring Back



A little bit of Jack-Speak makes us feel right at home and if you’re a sailor, chances are you do too! The Royal Navy has a language of its own and these are our favourite past Navy Slang phrases that we wish would return to everyday conversation.

TO SWALLOW THE ANCHOR – To leave the Navy for good – implying that one has no further use for the implement one has for so long trusted.

How to use it today: When you quit your job and never step foot in that office again.

TO BLEED THE MONKEY – To extract rum from its barrel by boring a small hole in the barrel.

How to use it today: Pouring the bottle of Pusser’s upside down to get every last drop of Navy Rum perfection.

ICERS – A term used to describe something very cold, usually a drink served cold with ice.

How to use it today: Ordering a dram of Pusser’s Rum on the rocks

ALL Hands In “All hands in” refers to everybody on board. Usually when completing a task that needs many men at once.

How to use it today: Gathering your mates for a shot together

RUM Rat – Describes one in the older days of wooden ships who had a good nose for where extra rum might be aboard a ship, and who was seeking an extra tot or two.

How to use it today: A complimentary term to describe a rum lover who appreciates the authenticity of the spirit!

GOFFA – A non-alcoholic drink

How to use it today: Don’t. What’s the point?

And there you have it! A few Navy Slang Phrases we’d like to bring back into rotation. Because let’s face it, it’s more fun to Jack-Speak anyway!