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FAA - Furlough
FAA "F.A.A - Fleet Air Arm"Formed 1923 as part of the structure of the R.A.F. The decision to transfer the F.A.A. from the R.A.F. to the R.N. was taken in 1937 and transfer was completed in May, 1939. The title "Fleet Air Arm" gave place to "Naval Aviation" in September, 1946, but was resumed in June, 1953. See RNAS
FACE "A Face like a Seaboot"A nautical way of describing an expressionless face.
FALL "To Fall Out of the Boat"A naval expression meaning to depart from one's line of thought or mode of living; e.g., a strict teetotaller found inebriated may be said to have fallen out of the boat, similarly a person who makes a volte face in argument.
FALKLANDS "The Battle of the Falklands"8th December, 1914. After the defeat of Rear Admiral Sir Christopher Cradock's force at Coronel on 1st November, 1914, Vice-Admiral Sir F. C. Doveton Sturdee sailed from Devonport with INVINCIBLE and INFLEXIBLE in secrecy and at high speed for the Falkland Islands where he was joined by Rear-Admiral A. P. Stoddart with CARNARVON, CORNWALL, BRISTOL, GLASGOW and KENT. The German Admiral Graf von Spee with DRESDEN, GNEISENAU, LEIPZIG, NURNBERG and SCHARNHORST approached Port Stanley (Falkland Islands) at 8am on 8th December, 1914, but withdrew when he saw the superior British force there. On completion of coaling, the British force pursued the Germans and destroyed all except the DRESDEN within 8? hours.
FANCY "Fancy Religions"A sailor's method of referring to any religious denomination other than Church of England and Roman Catholic. The list of fancy religions traditionally ends with "Calithumpians, Anabaptists and Non-swimmers".

"Fancy Waistcoats"A "matter of fancy waistcoats" is a nicety of detail of no importance to the major issue.

FANG "The Fang Farrier"A wardroom soubriquet for the dental officer, less flippantly and more frequently known as THE TOOTHIE.

Fanny Adams (Sweet Fanny Adams) Was the child victim of a notorious Victorian murder case. Fanny Adams aged approximately nine was murdered at Alton, Hants on 24 April 1867. The murderer (Frederick Baker, a solicitor's clerk, aged 29) cut the body up into pieces, some of which were allegedly found in Deptford Victualling Yard.

Baker was tried at Winchester and hanged in December 1867. At about this time tinned mutton was introduced into the Navy and soon acquired the name of Fanny Adams. The tins were subsequently used by sailors as mess gear. The name "fanny" is still the Naval slang for a cooking pot as well as being used in the nickname sense.
FAREWELL Farewell JettyA conversational name for South Railway Jetty, in Portsmouth dockyard, whence so many ships sail for service abroad.
FATHER An affectionate familiar name for the Admiral Commanding; sometimes for the Captain in command, but he is more usually referred to as the OLD MAN. A staff officer refers to his Admiral as "Master". The word SKIPPER is seldom used in the Navy.
FATHOM A nautical measurement of six feet; it was the distance between the tips of middle fingers when the arms are outstretched sideways to their fullest extent (the word comes from the Danish FAVN meaning "arms extended").100 fathoms = 1 cable; 10 cables = 1 mile; 3 miles = 1 league. "To Go Down to Thirty Fathoms" Naval slang (derived from the submarine service) for to go to sleep. Synonyms are to CAULK, to GET ONE'S HEAD DOWN, HAVING RIVETS TO COUNT (from the excellent view obtained of rivets in the deck head when lying on a bunk), to TAKE A STRETCH OFF THE LAND, and to POUND ONE's EAR. See CAULK.
FEND To fend a boat or ship is to prevent her striking against any quay, jetty, vessel or any object which may endanger her; hence a fender is an object used to soften the blow.
FETCH "To Fetch"The orthodox naval verb, of considerable antiquity, meaning to arrive at.
FIDDLE The old rating of fiddler in the Royal Yacht is now obsolete; the last fiddler was Percy Lyon.

"Fiddles" Wooden frameworks fitted on dining tables to keep crockery etc. in place in rough weather.

FIELD RN field Gun Display
FIRE St. Elmo's FireThis was aromatic superstition associated with the electrical phenomenon which appears on the trucks of the masts and at the yard-arms in the form of faint glowing balls of light during an electric storm. In addition to St Elmo's Fire, it was known among sailors as "Corposant" and "Jack-o'-Lantern". The common belief was that it warns sailors of an approaching storm and is sent by St Elmo in gratitude for his having been saved from drowning by a ship which, in heavy weather, was hove-to and the saint taken from the water. The legend is said to have originated in Brittany.
FIRST "Firsts" In 1939/45 WarFirst U-boat sunk - U.39, 14th September, 1939, West of Hebrides, by depth-charge and gunfire from HM Ships FAULKNOR, FIREDRAKE, FOXHOUND. First H.M. ship sunk - HMS COURAGEOUS, 17th September, 1939, by torpedoes from U.29. First merchant ship sunk - ATHENIA, 3rd September, 1939, North-west of Ireland, by torpedoes from U.30. First German air raid on U.K - 16th October, 1939, over the Firth of Forth. First warship sunk by dive-bombing - German KONIGSBERG, 10th April, 1940, in Bergen, by FAA aircraft from R.N.A.S. Hatston. First enemy aircraft destroyed by any Service - Dornier, 26th September, 1939, shot down in North sea by F.A.A. aircraft from H.M.S. ARK ROYAL. First outward-bound North Atlantic convoy sailed from UK 7th September, 1939. First Lords of the Admiralty in the XX Century 1900Earl of Selborne1931Sir J Austen Chamberlain 1905Earl Cawdor1931Sir Bolton Eyres Monsell 1908R. McKenna1936Sir Samuel Hoare 1911W. L. S. Churchill1937A Duff Cooper 1915A. J. Balfour1938Earl Stanhope 1916Sir E. H. Carson1939W L S Churchill 1917Sir E. C. Geddes1940A V Alexander 1919W. H. Long1945Brendan Bracken 1921Lord Lee of Fareham1945A V Alexander 1922L. S. Amery1946Viscount Hall 1924Viscount Chelmsford1951Lord Pakenham 1924W. C. Bridgeman1951J P L Thomas 1929A. V. Alexander First Sea Lords in the XX Century 1899(14 Aug)Vice-Admiral Lord Walter T. Kerr 1904(20 Oct)Admiral Sir John A. Fisher 1910(25 Jan)Admiral of the Fleet Sir Arthur K. Wilson, VC 1911(5 Dec)Admiral Sir Francis C. B. Bridgeman 1912(9 Dec)Admiral H. S. H. Prince Louis of Battenberg 1914(30 Oct)Admiral of the Fleet Lord Fisher of Kilverstone 1915(27 May)Admiral Sir Henry B. Jackson 1916(4 Dec)Admiral Sir John R. Jellicoe 1918(10 Jan)acting Admiral Sir Rosslyn E. Wemyss 1919(1 Nov)Admiral of the Fleet Earl Beatty 1927(30 Jul)Admiral of the Fleet Sir Charles E. Madden, Bt. 1930(30 Jul)Admiral Sir Frederick L. Field 1933(21 Jan)Admiral Sir Alfred E. M. Chatfield 1938(17 Nov)Admiral Sir Roger R. C. Backhouse 1939(15 Jun)Admiral Sir A Dudley P. R. Pound 1943(4 Nov)Admiral of the Fleet Sir Andrew B. Cunningham, Bt. 1946(13 Jun)Admiral Sir John H. D. Cunningham 1948(16 Sep)Admiral of the Fleet Lord Fraser of North Cape 1951(20 Dec)Admiral Sir Rhoderick R. McGrigor
FISH A naval slang name for a torpedo: synonyms are MOULDY, TINFISH, KIPPER. "Fishbones"see BREADCRUMBS "Fishes' Eyes"Sailors' slang name for tapioca pudding. "Fish-head"A Fleet Air Arm officers' slang name for any non-flying naval officer. "Fishing Fleet"A naval slang collective name for unmarried ladies, who frequent the Ladies' Lounge of the Union Club in Valletta, Malta (or other places where naval officers are much to be found ashore). see SNAKE
FISHER "Jackie Fisher"John Arbuthnot Fisher - Admiral of the Fleet Lord Fisher of Kilverstone, G.C.B., O.M., G.C.V.O., L.L.D. Born 25th January, 1841; entered R.N. 1854; Lieutenant 1860. Present at the capture of Canton, in the Crimean War and in the China War of 1859-60. Commanded H.M.S. INFLEXIBLE at the bombardment of Alexandria, 1882. Rear-Admiral 1890; 3rd Sea Lord, 1892-97; CinC, America and West Indies, 1897-99; CinC Mediterranean, 1899-1902; 2nd Sea Lord 1902-03; CinC Portsmouth, 1903-04; 1st Sea Lord 1904-10 and 1914-15. Died 10th July, 1920.
FIZGIG A three-pronged spear, similar to the trident as depicted held by Britannia on a penny.
FLAG Admiral's FlagsWhen all Admirals' flags were the plain St George's Cross, the rank of the Admiral was indicated by the masthead at which his flag was flown in his flagship, viz: rear-admiral at the mizzen, vice-admiral at the fore, admiral at the main. When 3-masted ships disappeared, admirals' ranks were indicated on their flags by the inclusion of red roundels in the cantons of the flag nearest the mast - two for a rear-admiral, one for a vice-admiral, none for an admiral. In 2-masted ships, the flag of a full admiral (or of a Commander-in-Chief, whatever his actual rank) is flown at the mains: that of a vice - or rear-admiral (not being a Commander-in-Chief) at the fore. The Admiralty FlagProperly called the flag for the Lord High Admiral, the Admiralty flag displays a gold anchor horizontally on a crimson ground. It was formerly on the Old Admiralty building, Whitehall, by day and night, and was not half-masted except on the death of the Sovereign (instructions given by King Edward VII). When lowered, the flag remained at half-mast until the funeral, except on the day when the new Sovereign was proclaimed. As insignia of the Board of Admiralty, this flag was flown whenever two or more members of the Board and a Secretary, acting as the Board, embarked. When flown in a flagship it automatically displaced the Admiral's flag which would otherwise have been flown. The Admiralty flag is still flown at the foremast head of a warship whenever the Sovereign is embarked because the Sovereign is, at common law, the Lord High Admiral, and retains those functions of the office not especially delegated to the Secretary of State for Defence and the Defence Council. The flag is flown in the Sovereign's ship to denote that the Sovereign is the source whence the powers of the Board of Admiralty are derived. The flag was lowered from Old Admiralty Building on April 30, 1964. "Flags" The inevitable general naval nickname for a Flag-Lieutenant. Flags - Jack and Ensign SizesThe actual size of jacks and ensigns worn by HM Ships is directed by the Commander-in-Chief, either in his standing orders or by daily signal. Broadly speaking, the objective is solely a pleasing appearance; the sizes can therefore be expected to vary in ships of different classes and sizes. It is generally considered that a 10-breadth jack, a 16-breadth ensign and a 12-breadth admiral's flag look well together. All union flags in the Navy, whether as jacks or flags, are in the proportion of 2:1; flags ashore (e.g., on churches and public buildings etc.) are 5:3. In some other navies and services a more square-shaped jack is met (e.g., a Regimental Colour is 5:4).
FLANNEL A naval slang word for insincerity (read or imagined) in any form, whether a "pep-talk" or simple boasting or swank. "Hot air" and "Soft soap" are civilian synonyms. The word is sometimes used as a verb, meaning to Bamboozle.
FLARE The upward and outward curve of a ship's sides at the bows.
FLASH "Flashing"The periods of darkness between individual flashes given by a FLASHING light are of longer duration than the flashes: by an OCCULTING light, the periods of darkness are shorter.
FLAT "Flat Aback"The accepted naval way of describing a sailor's cap jammed on the back of his head. It was a sailing ship expression said of square sails when the wind blew from right ahead.
FLIMSY When an officer leaves any appointment, his Commanding Officer is required to give him a certificate (form S.450) as to his conduct, etc., This certificate is on thin ("flimsy") paper and must be in the same vein as the officer's Confidential report (form S.206). When an officer is found guilty at a Court-martial, he may produce his past flimsies before sentence is passed as evidence of his previous good character.
FLOATERS IN THE SNOW A sailors' slang name for Sausages and mashed potatoes.
FLOG "Flogging"(1) the punishment, see CORPORAL.(2) a common slang verb of modern introduction for the selling of any article either illegally obtained or through illegal channels. Though often in fact used purely as a synonym of 'to sell', the use of this slang word gives the transaction an aura of impropriety. "Flogging the Cat" The naval conversational synonym of the common expression 'crying over spilt milk'. "Flogging the Monkey"An old naval expression for the obtaining of an illicit (and insipid) drink by rinsing out an empty rum barrel with water; the old type rum tub was called a Monkey.
FLOTSAM Floating wreckage or cargo left floating on the sea after a shipwreck. It remains the property of the owners; if not claimed it becomes the property of the Crown.
FLUNKEY The inevitable sailors' nickname for an Officers' Steward or a Royal Marine acting as a Ward Room Attendant.
FLUTE Ownership of a flute, and proficiency thereon, was at one time regarded in a ship as the prerogative of the Royal Marine officer.
FLYING "The Flying Angel"Naval slang name for the Missions to Seamen, from the token displayed on the Mission's flag.
FOOD Food in the NavyOf Food in the Navy, Samuel Pepys wrote - "Englishmen and more especially seamen love their bellies above anything else and therefore it must always be remembered in the managing of the victualling of the navy that to make any abatement from them in the quality and agreeableness of the victuals is to discourage and provoke them in the tenderest point, and will soon render them disgusted with the King's service more than any other hardship that can be put upon them".
FORE "Fore and After"Old officers' slang name for the uniform cocked hat. "Fore and After Rig"General naval name for the jacket-and-trouser uniform worn by Petty Officers and certain others, as opposed to "Square Rig" (the type of uniform worn by men dressed as seamen - bell-bottomed trousers and jumpers). Class I rig is fore-and-aft rig with brass buttons, worn by CPO's and confirmed PO's: Class III rig is fore-and-aft rig with black buttons, worn by stewards, writers, young artificers, cooks, etc.: Class II rig is "square rig".
FORESHORE The beach below high water mark.
FORK "Fork in the Beam"An old gun room custom was the thrusting of a fork from the table into an overhead beam, by the Sub-Lieutenant, as a sign that junior members of the mess were to leave the gun room without delay.
FOUL "The Foul Anchor"Commonly known as "the seaman's disgrace", the foul anchor was the seal of the Earl of Nottingham, Lord High Admiral in 1600; as Lord Howard of Effingham the Earl had been in command of the British forces which defeated the Spanish Armada in July 1588.
FREE "Freeboard"The height of the weather deck above the water line. "Harry Freeman's"A sailor's method of describing a gift, or something for nothing. It is said that a London drayman named Freeman used to provide free beer to his employees. At one time, too, porters and carmen calling at Freemans Quay (near London Bridge) had a pot of beer given them free. see GRIPPO
FRIDAY "Friday While"Naval slang name for week-end leave which extends from Friday until the following Monday; from the North Country use of the word "while" in place of "to" - i.e., instead of saying "from Friday to Monday" they say "Friday while Monday".

The expression, now common in the navy, spread from Chatham where northcountry men were mainly trained in the 1914/18 war.

FRIEND "The Sailor's Friend"Old Naval instructors' description of a hammock. "The Stoker's Friend"Old sailors' slang name for the Ace of Spades in cards. From the natural resemblance of this symbol to the pointed coal shovel used by stokers in coal-fired ships. This shovel had the official name of "Shovel, navigator"; the navigators after whom it got its name were the canal diggers of England, now known as 'navvies'. see NAVIGATOR
FRIGATE "Stone Frigate"Naval slang name for any naval shore establishment. Although built of bricks and mortar on shore - sometimes miles from the sea - all naval shore establishments have to bear the name of a ship and there must be, somewhere near, an actual vessel bearing that name.
FROCK The white woollen polo-necked sweaters worn by submarine crews are known as Submarine Frocks. Frock Coat and SwordPrior to 1939 officers making formal calls on their Admirals in the course of their duty - or when sent for by the Admiral - wore frock coats and swords. The expression is therefore often applied metaphorically to an affair which must be handled very officially by higher authority.

"Frockers and Cockers"Pre-1939 officers' slang name for frock coat and cocked hat uniform.

FUDGE To FudgeThe word "fudge" in such expressions as "fudging the books" is said to come from a Captain Fudge, nicknamed "Lying Fudge" was a notorious liar in the XVII Century. Fudge was captain of the BLACK EAGLE into which ship some 55 quakers, offenders against the Conventicle Act, were forcibly transferred from Newgate prison in August, 1665. The ship was delayed at Gravesend and by the end of October, 1665, 19 of the prisoners and 8 of the crew had died of the plague, Fudge had been arrested for debt and the crew had mutinied. The ship eventually left Plymouth for the West Indies towards the end of February, 1666, but she was captured by a Dutch privateer the following day and the remaining prisoners liberated in Holland.
FUND The Admiralty Special FundThe Admiralty Special Fund is a charitable fund formed and maintained by gifts from various non-public sources; a grant has been (1954) made to it from the residue of the Naval Prize Fund. Its primary object is to relieve temporary need arising among officers and ratings, service or ex-Service, and their dependants. Help is given by single, not recurring, grants or, preferably, loans. The Fund is administered by senior officers in the Admiralty but it is essential unofficial and all applications are dealt with outside the official Admiralty machine. Official address of the Secretary is NL Branch, Queen Anne's Mansions.
FURLOUGH The Army name for leave, never used in the Navy. see LEAF.