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Naafi - Nutty
NAAFI The NAAFI (pronounced Naffy)The Navy, Army and Air Force Institute, which runs the canteens in all HM ships and Leisure/retail facilities in RN Shore Establishments. NAAFI StarCommon slang name for the 1939/45 Star.
NARVIK The Battles of Narvik, 1940The port of Narvik (North-west Norway) was essential to Germany as it was the seaport for Swedish iron ore; German ships proceeded thence southwards inside Norwegian territorial waters (Norway then neutral). After Germany invaded Norway we were legally able to attack Narvik. 1st Battle of Narvik, 10th April, 1940; 2nd Destroyer Flotilla (HARDY, HAVOC, HOSTILE, HOTSPUR and HUNTER) under Captain B.K.W. Warburton-Lee, passed through West Fjord and Ofot Fjord and arrived off Narvik at 0430. Action very fast and fierce; 6 German supply ships sunk, 1 destroyer sunk and 3 destroyers set on fire: HUNTER sunk, HOSTILE and HOTSPUR damaged, HARDY damaged and beached by Pay-Lieut. G.H. Stanning (Captain's Secretary) on the death of Captain Warburton-Lee. Captain Warburton-Lee awarded V.C. posthumously. 2nd Battle of Narvik, 13th April 1940; Vice Admiral W.J. Whitworth, C.B., D.S.O., in WARSPITE, with H.M. Ships BEDOUIN, COSSACK, ESKIMO, FORESTER, FOXHOUND, HERO, ICARUS, KIMBERLEY and PUNJABI entered the Fjord (one of these sank later) and landing parties had little trouble in taking the town. But within a week German aircraft had burned the town to ashes.
NASTYFACE Jack NastyfaceThe nom-de-plume of a sailor who published pamphlets in 1805-35 about the evils of the press-gang and naval life generally. He had fought at Trafalgar. The name is still sometimes applied to an habitual grouser.
NATIONAL National ServiceTwo years with the Forces followed by 3? years in the Reserve with annual attendance for training, followed by 5 years in the Reserve with no training obligations. Youths are summoned for their National Service by the Ministry of Labour and National Service, and allocated by that Ministry to Navy, Army or Air Force. National service in the Navy is only guaranteed to youths who had joined the R.N.V.R. before being called for National Service.
NATIVE Naval name for an officer or rating whose home is in the port where the ship is lying. A native is sometimes said to be "changing his name to Nippinoff" from the rapidity with which, it seems to non-natives, he goes ashore!
NAVAL Naval Assistant to First Sea LordThis post was introduced in 1905.Naval Assistant to Second Sea LordThis post was introduced in 1909.
NAVIGATOR Prince Henry the NavigatorSon of King John I of Portugal (1394-1460) who devoted himself to the study of navigation and geography, building a naval college and observatory at Sagres near Cape St. Vincent; here he gathered the most scientific men and best seamen of the period. His captains established the Portuguese colonies in the Azores, Madeira and down the West coast of Africa and tested the truth of geographical theories by actual exploration. The Portuguese naval training ship SAGRES is named after Prince Henry's college; she is a captured German sailing ship, barque rigged (with auxiliary engines), launched in 1896. Navigator's ShovelA shovel with a pointed blade as used by the XIX century "navigators", i.e., the diggers of canals in Great Britain.
NAVVY Sailors' nickname for the ship's navigating officer; officers refer to and address him as "Pilot".
NAZAIRE The Raid on St. Nazaire28th March, 1942, North-west coast of France (Operation CHARIOT). Operationally more difficult than the Zeebrugge raid on 23rd April, 1918, this raid succeeded admirably in its object of destroying the only large dock outside Germany capable of taking the TIRPITZ. Centre dock gate rammed and blown up by H.M.S. CAMPBELTOWN (ex U.S.S. BUCHANAN); troops landed and demolished the pumping station and dock operating gear. V.C. awarded to Commander R.E.D. Ryder (in command of the naval forces), to Lieutenant-Commander S.H. Beattie (in command of the CAMPBELTOWN) and, posthumously, to A.B. W.A. Savage who was killed at his gun.
NDA The Naval Discipline Act or "Articles of War"The first Naval Discipline Act was passed in 1661 by King Charles I; This Act, much amended in detail, is the basis of the present Act of 1866; section 27 has still the original words ("... guilty of any profane oath, cursing, execration, drunkenness, uncleanness, or other scandalous action in derogation of God's honour and corruption of good manners..."). The opening words of the Act, often quoted, include "... the Navy, whereon, under the good Providence of God, the wealth, safety, and strength of the kingdom chiefly depend." For historical background, see the introduction to the Admiralty Memorandum on Naval Court-Martial Procedure (B.R. 11/1954).
NEATERS Naval slang name for the rum issued to Chief and Petty Officers (as opposed to grog issued to Leading rates and below).
NELSON Lord NelsonBorn 1758; went to sea at age 12; Post Captain at age 21; killed 21st October, 1805, on board the VICTORY, his flagship at the battle of Trafalgar; buried in crypt of St Paul's cathedral, London. Created Baron in 1798 after Aboukir Bay, Viscount 1801 after Copenhagen. Lost his right eye at the Siege of Calvi, 1794; lost his right arm at the Siege of Santa Cruz, 1797. Held the rank of Vice-Admiral at his death. Nelson's ButtonOn the left hand side of the fireplace in the Board Room at the Admiralty is a white disc, about the size of a shilling, let into the oak panelling, 5ft. 4ins. above the floor. The legend is that this 'button' denotes the stature of Lord Nelson, but the more probable story is that it was put there to assist the committee interviewing candidates for commissions in the Royal Marines for whom the regulations of 1847 laid down 5'4" as the minimum height.
NEW "New Navy"The old naval man's term of contempt for any innovation.
NEWMAN The Newman Memorial PrizeFounded 1886 in memory of Edward Newman who died while serving as Chief Engineer of H.M. Dockyard, Portsmouth. It consists of a sum of money the interest on which is employed in providing a prize annually (books, scientific instruments, etc.) for the naval officer who obtains the highest aggregate marks in the qualifying examination for the rank of Lieutenant at the R.N. Engineering College.
NIBBY An old naval name for a ship's biscuit - something to nibble. see NUTS
NICKNAMES Naval Nicknames for MenThe following nicknames have at one time or another (some for long periods: some for short) been current in the Navy for men with these surnames:- DAISY BellWINDY GalePIGGY MayTOMMY Thomas WIGGY BennettBETSY GayDUSTY MillerTOPSY Turner CHARLIE BeresfordTOSH GilbertPONY MooreGUY Vaughan DOLLY GraySPUD MurphyHOOKEY WalkerJOHNNY Bone JIMMY GreenCHARLIE NobleNELLY WallaceRAJAH Brookes CHATS HarrisNOSEY ParkerSHARKEY WardGINGER Casey GRANNY HendersonWHACKER PayneBANJO WestNOBBY Clark NOBBY HewittJACK ShepherdKNOCKER WhiteJUMPER Collins COSHER HindsJUMPER ShortTUG WilsonHAPPY Day GIBLEY HoweFROSTY SnowTIMBER WoodBANDY Evans FLAPPER HughesRUSTY SteelSLINGER WoodsNOBBY Ewart BOGIE KnightSPIKE SullivanSHINER WrightFLORRIE Ford DODGER LongBUCK TaylorBRIGHAM YoungHARRY Freeman PINCHER MartinSNIP Taylor Naval Nicknames for Ships The following nicknames have been applied to ships at one time or another. (Dates in brackets are dates of ships' launch). EGGSHELLS, Achilles (1905)THE POOL, Liverpool (1937) AGGIE, Agamemnon (1906)THE SMOKE, London (1927) GIN PALACE, Agincourt (1913)MAGGIE, Magnificent (1894) AM AND TRIPE, Amphitrite (1898)NELLY, Nelson (1925) BILLY RUFFLAN, Bellorophon (1907)NORTHO, Northumberland (1865) CENTURY ONE, Centurion (1911)ONE-EYE, Polyphemus (1881) TEA BOAT, Ceylon (1942)BIG LIZZIE, Queen Elizabeth (1914) CHRISTMAS ANTHEM, Chrysanthemum (1919)REZZO, Resolution (1916) COCOA BOAT, Curacoa (1917)DESPAIR SHIP REMORSE, Resource (1928) DEADALICE, Daedalus (1928)TIDDLY QUID, Royal Sovereign (1916) DREADO, Dreadnought (1906)TEA CHEST, Thetis (1817) PUFFINGTON, Effingham (1921)TRAFFIE, Trafalgar (1887) HE-CAT, Hecate (1914)ARCHDEACON, Venerable, (1889) ANGRY CAT, Henri IV (French, 1899)THE LORD'S OWN, Vengeance (1889) NIFFY JANE, Iphigenia (1891)AGGIE ON HORSEBACK, Weston-Super-Mare (1932) TIN DUCK, Iron Duke (1913)
NILE The Battle of the NileAboukir Bay, 1st August, 1798. 13 French ships-of-the-line and four large frigates were anchored close inshore in the bay; Nelson with 14 British ships passed inshore of the French and destroyed or took them all. This victory put an end to Nepoleon's hopes of seizing India (and to our fears that he might). Nelson was made a Baron and given a pension of -2000 a year as a reward
NIPCHEESE An old-time naval nickname for the ship's Purser or Paymaster; usually prefaced by "Mr." to give flavour to the opprobrium. see SUPPLY
NIPPER The hands whose job it was to 'nip' a sailing ship's anchor cable to the endless belt activated by the capstan when the anchor was being weighed were always the smallest and youngest men on board. Hence the word 'nipper' has come to mean a youngster.
NO The naval officer's slang name for himself.
NOBBY Nobby EwartCaptain Charles J.F. ("Nobby") Ewart, in command of H.M.S. MELPOMONE in the Mediterranean and West Indies 1859-63, was renowned for his meticulous views on uniformity. Stories related of him include the whitewashing of one of the ship's fowls so that it would match the others, the securing of fowls to the deck with staples and tacks to ensure their being accurately 'dressed by the right' for inspection, and even the blackening of the eyes of the rest of his boat's crew when one member appeared with a black eye.
NOBLE An old English gold coin. Charlie NobleNaval name for the chimney for smoke from galley or other fireplace when not trunked into the ship's main funnel. Originally made of wood, the galley funnel was the responsibility of the ship's cook. Charlie Noble himself was a merchant navy master who insisted on having a brass/copper funnel for his galley in about 1850, and on having it kept highly polished. H.M.S. VICTORY was given an iron galley funnel in 1802 prior to which date she had had a wooden one.
NOREASTER Naval slang name for an empty pay packet - from the letters N.E. (meaning "Not Entitled") which are written in the pay ledger and read out at payment in respect of any man who has no pay to come this payday.
NORTHERN Northern LightsThe Aurora Borealis.
NORWESTER Old naval slang name for rum and water in equal parts.
NOZZER Local slang name for a newly entered Boy at H.M.S. GANGES, the Boys' Training Establishment at Shotley, near Harwich. The word is said to be derived from 'Nosey's boys', since a notable Instructor there once was named Parker.
NUMBER

"To Make One's Number"Naval expression for to Call on, to make oneself known to - from the custom of hoisting flags denoting the ship's identity (i.e. pendant numbers) when meeting another ship and on entering and leaving a naval harbour.Number NineSlang name for a laxative pill. A Softy NumberSlang name for a sinecure or an easy job.Number OneNaval slang name for the First Lieutenant. see JIMMY

NURSE "Snotties' Nurse"Naval name for the executive officer of a ship in charge of the welfare and instruction of midshipmen.
NUTS Midshipmans' Nuts Old naval slang name for broken pieces of ship's biscuit, eaten after a meal to round it off. An allusion to the proverbial midshipmen's indigence and their ingenuity in finding substitutes for what they cannot afford.
NUTTY Naval slang name for chocolate, whether or not it contains nuts.