Glossary
Destroyers OnLine
Glossary - S


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  • Salty
    Denims that have been tied to lines and streamed in the ship's wake for a couple of days to get that "salty" look.
  • Scrambled Eggs
    The gold on the bill of an officers hat starting at the commander level, and since the captain of a destroyer was always a commander then it was also synonymous with "the Captain."
  • Screw
    Propeler
  • Scronge
    A sailor who is messy in all ways, especially shower and clothing whereby the feeling is to get him squared away fast.
  • Scrounge
    A sailor who doesn't keep himself clean. Any civilian.
  • Scullery
    Where all the trays and cutlery are cleaned on the mess decks.
  • Scupper
    Toilet
  • Scuttlebutt
    Rumors. The accuracy of scuttlebutt is inversely proportional to the length of time prior to reaching port. Scuttlebutt was what a drinking fountain was called. Probably as that is where rumors were passed (or vice versa.)
  • Sea Bag
    Canvas bag which held all a sailor's wordly (navy) goods. Carried over the shoulder by a strap.
  • Sea Daddy
    An older sailor that takes a younger one "under his wing" to keep him out of trouble.
  • Sea Legs
    To "get your sea-legs", gain experience aboard ship, especially "underway".
  • Sea Locker
    An aluminum locker under the bunks for storage of personal gear.
  • Second Class
    Best rate in the US Navy. Too low to be responsible for screw-ups (that was for the first classes and chiefs to worry about), but high enough to get out of grunt work, and was normally the most technically qualified of all the rates and worked on the equipment. Known by characteristic crook of two first fingers due to constant carrying of coffee cup.
  • Sewer Pipe Sailor
    Any crewmember of a diesel-driven "target".
  • Shelaylee
    The thing used on your butt when you became a shellback.
  • Shellback
    A sailor who has crossed the equator, went through the initiation, and got the shellback certificate. Now he can dish it out.
  • Shipping Over
    What some poor fools did when their enlistment expired, usually after soft-soaping from the gang's officer and sweetened by a thousand dollar bonus. What they usually regretted a week later.
  • ShipShape
    To get everything in order or squared away.
  • Side-Boys
    A number of sailors used at the quarterdeck to render honors to visiting senior officials/local dignitaries. The number of side-boys used depended upon the rank of the visiting dignitaries.
  • Single Up
    Taking a single half hitch over the bollard and keeping the line tight to stop the ship's forward or reverse motion so it doesn't slam into the pier or the next ship in line, when the junior officer in charge is trying to dock the ship.
  • Sink Test
    To throw overboard.
  • Skate
    What you called it when you were sleeping instead of working in a place no one would find you.
  • Skimmer
    Term used by bubbleheads who ride in those targets (submarines) to describe any sailor who sails on any vessel on top of the water.
  • Skivvies
    A sailor's underwear.
  • Skivvy Boy
    A sailor on "liberty", who is almost always seen only in his skivvies.
  • Skivvy Club
    Where the USO held dances for the swabbies and other, even lower forms of life (like marines), to meet women.
  • Skivvy Waver
    Signalmen. Skivvy Wavers live in a little hut on top of the bridge where they figure no one on the bridge can ever see what they do.This, of course, is a great place for others to go screw off, especially if there is something interesting to look at through the big binoculars.
  • Skosh
    A little, as in time or quantity.
  • Skunk
    An as yet unidentified surface radar contact (to be tracked for course and speed, identification, radio contact etc.) in the ships Combat Information Center (CIC).
  • Smoking Lamp
    If "on," smoking is permitted. It's a condition, not an actual lamp.
  • SNAFU
    "Situation Normal, All F---ed Up". Adopted from the Brits.
  • Snap to
    To come to attention.
  • Snatch Block
    A block which has a hinged side plate that can be opened to facilitate reaving one or more lines.
  • Snipes
    Engineers. Snipes live down below and can occasionally be see emerging from small hatches in the main deck.
  • SOG
    Sonarman rate, changed to STG in mid sixties.
  • SOS
    Not "Save Our Ship". It stands for "Shit On a Shingle" (creamed chipped beef on toast). A common breakfast lukewarm food (minced beef on toast) or any chow that's awful.
  • SPs
    Shore Patrol. Your buddies with an armband and a night stick.
  • Sparks
    A radioman.
  • Spit Kit
    A World War II term for any minesweeper.
  • Spit Shine
    A shoe shine to get the shiniest job, using spit or water.
  • Spud Coxswain
    The "mess cook" assigned to peeling "spuds" ('taters, y'all!). He also prepared salads and condiments for the crew's "mess." It was considered a "promotion" and a sign of acceptance into the "galley."
  • SQS-23
    Hull mounted sonar. All FRAM destroyers were fitted with this sonar set.
  • Squid
    A modern term for a "swab".
  • Standby
    To standby for further orders or to get a standby for your watch or duty by swapping or you owed it to the other fellow.
  • Standing Orders
    "Keep then out of the trees." Actual orders to yours truly when on SP in Gitmo Naval base, Cuba.
  • Starboard
    In the beginnings of sail-craft the rudder was nothing more than a "board" that the cox'n could "steer" with. It was the "steer-board" and was always placed on the right side (facing forward) so that the strongest arm (apologies to all right-challenged persons) could be brought to bear. The other side of the boat became to be called "port" because when the boat was tied up the "steer-board" side would always be placed away from possible damage.
  • Stow it
    1) To put something in it's place and 2) an order to shut up!
  • Steaming
    Underway.
  • Striker
    A seaman that is trying to attain a rating. Such as an ET or sonarman, or radioman rating.
  • Submarine
    A target.
  • Sunburn
    Damaging government property.
  • Swab
    A sailor. A mop.
  • Swabbies
    Sailors.
  • Sweepers
    What you did for extra duty.
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