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TABLE Old Admiralty Board Room Table It has been claimed that the half-circle out from the end of the table in the Admiralty Board room was out to accommodate the 24-stone Mr George Ward Hunt who was First Lord from 1874 to 1877.
TACK "Hard Tack" Old slang name for ship's biscuit.
SOFT TACK Old slang name for bread.
ON THE WRONG TACK Naval expression meaning doing things incorrectly or pursuing the wrong line in an argument. A sailing ship makes progress towards the direction from which the wind is blowing by tacking; so a ship on the wrong tack is progressing in the wrong direction. It has been suggested that a ship on the wrong tack is one on the port tack, whose responsibility it is to give way to a ship on the starboard tack.
TACKLE In the Navy when this noun refers to an outfit of pulley-blocks and rope it is pronounced TAY-KLE.
TACTICS "Strategy and Tactics" The aim of naval strategy is the manipulation of naval forces for the control of sea lanes and the denial of these lanes to the enemy. Tactics is the art of disposing and handling forces in contact with the enemy.
TAIL "Tail End Charlie" Naval slang name for the last ship in the line. see BOOT
TAILORMADES Naval slang for professionally manufactured (as opposed to homerolled) cigarettes. see BLUE
TAKE To Take Charge Said of ships' fittings or furniture which break away from their fastenings in bad weather and are thrown about by the motion of the ship.
TO TAKE ON Naval slang expression meaning to re-engage to complete time for pension on completing "lst CS" (First Continuous service) engagement.
TAKU HMS Taku Four destroyers were captured from the Chinese by Lieutenant-Commander Roger Keyes with the FAME and the WHITING on 17 June 1900, when the Taku forts were attached. These four prizes were allotted one each to Great Britain, France, Germany and Russia, and in each case re-named TAKU. Thus, until the Russian ship was re-named LIEUTENANT BURAKOV, four navies each had concurrently a sister ship named TAKU.
TALBOT-BOOTH Short title of a standard reference book on Merchant navies of the world - the merchant ship counterpart to Jane's Fighting Ships. Compiled by Paymaster Lieutenant Commander E C Talbot-Booth, RNR: not now published.
TALLY Slang word meaning Name; hence, Cap-tally (= cap-ribbon with ship's name on it), Death-tally (= identity disc). The word comes from the tally-stick used in checking cargo in the old days (hence the phrase "tallying the cargo"); these were wooden batons on which the checkers cut notches - just as early cricket scorers kept their sides' scores (whence the expression "notching the runs").
TANKY (1) of officers ... the title by which is known the Midshipman detailed as assistant to the Navigating officer. In former times the Navigating Officer was responsible for the ship's water tanks. (2) of ratings ... the title by which is known the Captain of the Hold - the seaman rating attached to the Provision party and in whom is vested responsibility for stowage and care of the provision holds.
TAPE White Tape on Sailors' Collars The three rows of white tape on sailors' collars were introduced in 1857 solely as an ornamentation. No reference to Lord Nelson's victories was intended, though doubtless the three rows of tape have often been cited by instructors as aids to youngsters to remember that Lord Nelson won three famous victories (The Nile, 1798, Copenhagen, 1801 and Trafalgar, 1805). Originally the rows of white tape on the collars of RNVR seamen were waved (hence the name "Wavy Navy"), and gave the collars the slang name of "Rolling-motion dickeys". Prior to the 1939/45 war, the three rows of tape were separate pieces of tape, sewn on by hand, but a composite 3-row tape was introduced during the war and seems to have come to stay.
TAR Tar and Feathers Jack Tar An old civilian name for a sailor; probably derived from the black 'tarpaulin' hats worn between 1857 and 1891 (boater-shaped with cap-ribbon round the crown). Another theory explains the word JACK as a diminutive of Jacket (i.e. meaning a short jacket), the TAR referring to the old sailors' practice of waterproofing their clothes with tar. see UNIFORM (Ratings)
TARPOT A naval slang name for an elderly seaman.
TARANTO The Battle of Taranto (Operation Judgement) 11/12 November, 1940. Fleet Air Arm Swordfish attack on the Italian fleet in harbour at Taranto, the Italian naval base in the south of Italy. Three battleships sunk or beached, two cruisers and two other ships severely damaged: British losses were two aircraft. Described by historians is "an example of economy of force the success of which had a profound effect on the Mediterranean situation". Rear-Admiral A L St G Lyster, CVO DSO, in command in HMS ILLUSTRIOUS (Captain D W Boyd, DSC).
TAS (1) The specialist qualification shown against the names of officers qualified in Torpedo and Anti-Submarine work, combining (in 1946) the former separate qualifications of T (= Torpedo) and A/S (- Anti-submarine). (2) A wardroom soubriquet for the TAS officer, replacing TORPS and PING Pronounced TAZZ. see ASCIC: PING
TAUT A Taut Hand A good all-round seaman whom everyone respects.
TEAK Pacing Teak Naval officers' slang expression referring to walking the quarter-deck as officer-of-the-watch; a relic of the days when teak was used for deck-planking.
TEAR To Tear off a Strip
TELESCOPE Queen's Telescopes At the "End-of-term Prize giving and Passing-out Parade" each term at the Britannia Royal Naval College, Dartmouth, two telescopes are presented, as from the Sovereign, to the two Chief Cadet Captains. The telescopes are engraved with the royal arms and an appropriate inscription. Dirks are not presented since the war. A senior officer is invited by the Captain of the College to take the Parade and make the presentations.
TEN Ten-A The old official name for the authorised naval punishment (2 hours' extra work or drill) awarded for minor offenses. This number (in the list of authorised punishments given in the Regulations) was changed to No 11 several years ago, and to No 14 in 1954.
TEN-A MATCHES Only safety matches are permitted on board HM ships; non-safety matches therefore often led to awards of No 10-A punishment and so acquired this slang name.
TERRITORIAL Territorial Waters Sovereignty over the waters round their coasts is a matter on which different nations hold different views. The United Kingdom view is that States have, in general, a right to a belt of territorial waters three marine miles wide, measured from low water mark or from the limits of their 'internal waters' (i.e. ports and harbours, and estuaries and bays up to a maximum width of ten miles). This view is held by other member states of the British commonwealth, by the USA and by most of the countries of western Europe; Norway's claim to a four mile belt was upheld by the International Court of Justice at the Hague and is accepted by us, but we do not accept other claims to territorial waters broader than three miles, though such claims have often been respected as a matter of politic courtesy. National claims to territorial waters have always varied, but by 1700 the general theory was that sovereignty over the sea was limited to such portions as could be effectively commanded by guns mounted on the coast; at that time extreme cannon range was about three miles so the idea arose of a belt of territorial waters three miles, or one league, wide. In connection with Norway's claim to a four mile belt it is noteworthy that the Norwegian league was four miles, not three like ours. The subject of territorial waters is a very complex one and the foregoing remarks are generalities only.
THETIS HM Submarine Thetis Sank in Liverpool Bay, 2 June, 1939, during trials; 99 lives lost. Salvaged in November, 1939, and later recommissioned as HMS THUNDERBOLT; sunk by enemy action off Cape Milazzo, Sicily, 13 March, 1943.
THIRSTY The Thirsty Thirty
THIRTY "To go down to thirty fathoms" "The Thirsty Thirty"
THREE The Three Mile Limit
THROUGH To Go through the Hoop
THROW Throw Off Firing `A form of naval gunnery firing practice in which the guns have previously been moved a specified number of degrees out of alignment with their sights. This enables another ship to be used as the target, on which the sights are trained, in the secure knowledge that the projectiles fired will fall astern (or, rarely, ahead) of that ship
TICKET "Blue Ticket" Officers' slang name for the official intimation received by a senior officer that he is to be placed on the retired list. These notices were originally written on blue paper.
PINK TICKET The metaphorical card of permission obtained by a married officer from his wife to enable him to join in an evening entertainment at which she will not be present.
TICKLER This nickname was formerly given to short-Service seaman: now it is given to tobacco as issued in the Navy. As applied to short-service seamen, it superseded "Selborne's Light Horse", (the scheme having been introduced by Lord Selborne when First Lord of the Admiralty at the beginning of the Twentieth Century). The name originated when, in 1905, jam was first supplied to the Navy, manufactured by Messrs Tickler & Co of London. The older seamen scornfully suggested that this jam was obviously provided for the short-Service men who could not eat "proper sailors' food", and so these men got the name of "Ticklers". Soon after this, tinned tobacco was introduced in the Navy for issue to those men who preferred this to leaf tobacco; again the older sailors implied that this was only fit for use by 'Ticklers' who were not long enough at sea to learn the art of chewing leaf tobacco. Consequently the name "Ticklers" was soon applied to manufactured tobacco; it later spread to cigarettes made from that tobacco. see BLUE: NEW
TIDDLY Naval adjective meaning straight. Possibly it originates from "tidily".
TIDDY Tiddy-Oggy The traditional name in the Navy for a Cornish Pasty; also a nickname for a Devonport rating.
TIDE Neap and Spring Tides Neap tides are those which, twice a lunar month, rise least and fall least from the mean level. Spring tides are those which, twice a lunar month, rise mist and fall most from the mean level.
TIE The Navy Tie The generally accepted "navy" tie - often known in the ward room as a "Gieves Old Boys" tie - is of navy blue with a red and white (1/8" red, 1/16" white) stripe running diagonally across it at 2?" intervals. This tie is governed by no instructions of the Admiralty who is in no way responsible for its design, manufacture, issue or wear; the tie is not registered at Haberdashers' Hall. Originally tacitly regarded as for wear by naval officers only, nowadays the Navy Tie may often be seen round the necks of naval ratings in plain clothes, and of others whose connection with the Royal Navy is vague. The RNVR tie is similar to the Navy Tie but its red-and-white stripes are waved (like RNVR officers' former distinction lace on their sleeves). The RNR tie similarly has its red-and-white stripes in pairs waving across themselves like RNR officers' sleeve lace. The sequence of colours in the registered design of the Royal Marines' tie is yellow 1/8", green 1/6", red 1/4", navy blue 1". see BADGE
TIER Tier-Shot
TIFFY The inevitable slang abbreviation of the rank-title 'Artificer'. It usually refers to Engine Room Artificers since these predominate numerically over Ordnance, Electrical, Air and Shipwright Artificers. The word is also often used to refer to a rating who is not specifically an Artificer - e.g. "Sick Bay Tiffy".
TILLY Slang name for a "Utilicon" motor vehicle, used in the shore-based Navy.
TIME Time-Hours In the Navy, the word "hours" is never used following the four-digit number denoting the time - the number alone suffices. E.g. "1830" not "1830 hours".
TIN TIN HATS (1) Common slang name for steel helmets or "Battle-bowlers". (2) Naval slang word meaning inebriated.
TINFISH Naval slang name for a Torpedo. Synonyms are "Mouldy", "Fish", "Kipper".
TOBACCO Navy Tobacco Smoking was introduced on board HM Ships in about 1700, over tubs of water in the forecastle only. Tobacco was first issued in the Navy a hundred years later. The issue on repayment of leaf tobacco ceased in 1953 and tobacco is now available as "Pipe" and "Cigarette" only. The authorised monthly allowance of service tobacco which may be purchased on board is 21bs abroad and 11b at home. see BLUE: TICKLERS
TOM Long Tom A paint brush lashed to the end of a long pole, used for painting inaccessible places.
TOMBOLA The naval name (Italian for lottery or Raffle) for the popular game of chance known ashore as "Lotto" and in the Army as "Housey-Housey". The Navy took this name from Malta where the game is very popular. Inevitably many of the numbers have acquired nicknames; these vary in different ships but the following are fairly general:-
1. Kelly's eye 6. Spot below 9. Doctor's Joy
11. Legs eleven 13. Lucky for some 17. Old Ireland
20. One score 21. Bank bang bang 22. PC Parker
45. Half way 59. The Brighton Line 62. to Waterloo
66. Clicketty-click 69. Whichever way you look at it
89. All but, Maltese goat 90. Top of the house
Notes:- 6. Numbers which could be misread upside down have a spot beneath them. 9. sick bay purgative pill. 17. 17 march is St Patrick's Day. 21. A Royal salute is 21 guns. 22. An allusion to an old music-hall turn. 59. The LBSG Railway fare from Portsmouth to London was 5/9d. 62. The LSW Railway fare from Portsmouth to London was 6/2d. 69. See note above on No 6.
TON Ton : Tonnage LONG TON - the English ton of 2240 lbs; 2240 lbs was the average weight of a tun of wine whose capacity was fixed by law in 1434 as 252 gallons. SHORT TON - the American ton of 2000 lbs. METRIC TON - one thousand killogrammes (2204.6 lbs). REGISTER TON - unit of internal capacity of a ship = 100 cu ft. DISPLACEMENT TON - unit approximately equal to the volume of a long ton weight of sea water (35 cu ft), used in reckoning the displacement of ships. MEASUREMENT or FREIGHT TON - unit of volume for cargo, usually reckoned at 40 cu ft. MANIFEST or REVENUE TON - unit at which cargo is manifested when the carrier has the option to assess freight charges on the basis of a ton weight or a ton measurement, whichever affords the greater revenue. GROSS(REGISTER)tonnage - measure of cubic capacity of a ship; 100 cu ft of permanently enclosed space equals 1 gross tons. NET(REGISTER) TONNAGE - gross tonnage less non-earning spaces such as crew space, engine rooms, etc. DEADWEIGHT TONNAGE - the weight (in long tons) of cargo, fuel and ballast that a ship carries when laden to her waterline. DISPLACEMENT TONNAGE - the weight (in long tons) of a ship measured by the weight of the amount of water she displaces. POWER TONNAGE - the sum of the gross register tonnage and indicated horsepower of the engines, used as a basis for fixing pay scales for merchant navy officers.
TIZZY Tizzy-Snatcher An old naval slang name for Supply Officers. A "Tizzy" is (was) a sixpence. Naval pay paid to the men used to be made up to the nearest sixpence below, the odd coppers being carried over on the ledger until next payment; many sailors maintained that the Paymaster had 'snatched' the odd pennies from them.

The Loyal Toast The privilege accorded to the Royal navy of remaining seated while drinking the Sovereign's health is of long standing but obscure in origin. There are three popular beliefs about this - (a) that King Charles II when on board the ROYAL CHARLES bumped his head on rising to reply to the toast; (b) that King George IV when Regent, dining on board one of HM Ships said, as the officers rose to drink the King's health "Gentlemen, pray be seated, your loyalty is above suspicion"; (c) that King William IV while Duke of Clarence (Lord High Admiral) bumped his head as he stood up at dinner in one of HM Ships. It is to be noted that in many of the wooden ships it was almost impossible to stand upright between decks except between the deck-beams; furthermore, in ships having a pronounced 'thumble-home' (i.e. steeply sloping sides) anyone seated closer to the ship's side would find it difficult to stand at all. The privilege of remaining seated does not extend to naval messes on shore, nor afloat when the National Anthem is played, nor did it apply in the Royal Yacht. If no one takes wine for the loyal toast, the mess president has his glass filled at the expense of the mess so that, through him, all the members of the mess do drink the Sovereign's health. It has been said that the practice of drinking the loyal toast in an empty glass, or in water, was authorised by King George V out of defence to officers' pockets.

TRADITIONAL WARDROOM EVENING TOASTS The following are quoted by Commander Beckett as the routine toasts drunk after dinner in wardrooms in Nelson's time: Sunday ............... Absent friends. Monday ............... Our ships at sea. Tuesday .............. Our men. Wednesday ............ Ourselves (as no one else is likely to concern themselves with our welfare). Thursday ............. A bloody war or a sickly season. Friday ............... A willing foe and sea room. Saturday ............. Sweethearts and wives. Thursday's toast is clearly a reference to promotion, only then to be obtained in dead men's shoes. Other versions are: Sunday ............... Absent friends and those at sea. Absent friends. Monday ............... Our native land. Queen and country. Tuesday .............. Our mothers. Health and wealth. Wednesday ............ Ourselves. Our Swords. Old Ships (i.e. shipmates). Thursday ............. The King. Friday ............... Fox hunting and old port. Ships at sea. Saturday ............. Sweethearts and wives. Sweethearts and wives. Of these, only the old Saturday's toast still remains, and that or if the ship is at sea. The mess president gives the toast and then calls on the youngest member of the mess present to reply to the toast; this, of course, comes after the loyal toast.
TOOFER Ward room slang name for a cigar; said to be derived from the cynical suggested price of the cigars - "Two for Sixpence"! The verb associated with a toofer is to push - e.g. "He was pushing a toofer".
TOOT (1) A grouse or complaint. The verb associated with this form of Toot is to have. (2) A minor drinking party, in the expression "On the toot".
TOOTHIE (The) Toothie The customary ward room nickname for the Dental Officer. see FANG.
TOP Everything on Top and Nothing Handy An old naval expression used to describe a badly stowed compartment or locker. It originates from the traditional description of the old-pattern midshipman's sea chest in which were kept his clothes. Top Hamper In ships, the superstructure or necessary weight carried on deck or aloft but which at times is an encumbrance.
TORPS The inevitable former ward room nickname for the ship's Torpedo officer. see PING : TAS
TOSSER Hunting Tosser Naval slang name for a signal rating; abbreviated to BUNTS when used as an appellation.
TOUCH Touch and Go An expression commonly used to mean uncertainty. It is of maritime origin and refers to a ship touching the sea-bottom and then slipping off.
TRADE The Trade The old naval slang name for the Submarine service; it seems to have dropped out in about 1920.
TRAFALGAR The Battle of Trafalgar Fought 21 October, 1805, off South-West Spain. Enemy superiority in men was 8,124, in guns 474. Of the 18 French and 15 Spanish ships-of-the-line engaged, 4 French and 5 Spanish escaped, more or less damaged: the rest were either taken or destroyed. The English fleet consisted of 27 ships-of-the-line, viz:-
Ship Gun Men Captain
VICTORY 110 837 Vice-Admiral Lord Nelson; Captain T M Hardy.
ROYAL SOVEREIGN 110 837 Vice-Admiral Collingwood; Captain Rotherham.
BRITANNIA 100 800 Rear-Admiral Lord Northesk; Captain Bullen.
TEMERAIRE 98 738 Captain E Harvey.
NEPTUNE 98 738 Captain Freemantle.
PRINCE 98 738 Captain Brindall (wounded).
DREADNOUGHT 98 738 Captain Conn.
TONNANT 84 650 Captain Tyler (wounded).
AJAX 80 650 Lieutenant J Pilford.
BELIEISLE 74 590 Captain Hargood.
REVENGE 74 590 Captain Moorsom.
MARS 74 590 Captain Duff (killed).
SPARTIATE 74 590 Captain Sir F Laforey.
DEFENCE 74 590 Captain G Hope.
DEFIANCE 74 590 Captain Durham (wounded).
CONQUEROR 74 590 Captain Pellew.
COLOSSUS 74 590 Captain Morris (wounded).
LEVIATHAN 74 590 Captain Bayntun.
ACHILLE 74 590 Captain R King.
MINOTAUR 74 590 Captain Mansfield.
SWIFTSURE 74 590 Captain Rutherford.
THUNDERER 74 590 Lieutenant J Stockholm.
ORION 74 590 Captain Codrington.
BELLEROPHON 74 590 Captain J Cooke (killed).
POLYHEMUS 64 500 Captain Redmill.
AFRICA 64 500 Captain H Digby.
AGAMEMNON 64 500 Captain Sir E Berry.
see ENGLAND : NELSON Trafalgar Day Orphan's Fund An annual collection made on Trafalgar Day from officers and ratings to help maintain orphan children or naval and marine ratings; officers' orphan children are not eligible. The fund is, of course, open throughout the year; it is administered by the Commander-in-Chief of the three home ports under the chairmanship of Commander-in-Chief, Portsmouth.

Trafalgar Panorama The panorama view of the battle of Trafalgar in the VICTORY museum in Portsmouth dockyard was painted by the late Mr W L Wylie, who had spent some 40 years in making certain of his facts and checking details. The actual painting of the picture took him over twelve months. It depicts the scene seen from the stern of the French NEPTUNE at 2pm on 21 October 1805; the VICTORY is in the centre of the panorama, alongside the French REDOUBTABLE. The panorama was 'opened' by King George V on 29 July, 1930.

TRAIN Train Smash A lower deck name for bacon and tinned tomatoes. see RED.
TREVASSA S.S. TREVASSA Ex-German ship IMKENTERM, interned 1914/18 war, subsequently purchased by the Hain SS Co 5004 tons. Sailed from Fremantle 25 May, 1923, for England with cargo of zinc concentrates. Shortly after leaving port she struck a westerly gale which rapidly increased in strength. Ship discovered to be taking water on 10th day of the gale; pumps proved useless and ship began to settle by the stem. "Abandon Ship" ordered when forepeak submerged and rudder almost torn away. SOS was received and answered by three ships. Crew embarked in two boats and ship sank half an hour later. Foul weather shifted them from the spot given in the SOS and so the assisting ships found nothing. After waiting about for 24 hours boats set out for Rodriguez and one boat made Rodriguez 23 days later, the other boat made Mauritius. 1700 miles in open boats in 23 days after ten days' overwhelming storms!
TRICK A Trick The naval name for a spell of duty, a watch, particularly as coxswain at the steering wheel.
TRINITY Trinity House This corporation, founded by Sir Thomas Spurt, Controller of the navy to King Henry VIII in 1518, is the general authority for lighthouses on the coasts of England, Wales and the Channel Islands, and the pilotage authority for the London and Isle of Wight districts as well as of some 40 other ports in England and Wales. Its members are elected from Master Mariners and are known as Elder Brethren and Younger Brethren (Evelyn the diarist in King Charles II time and his son were both Younger Brethren). The Commissioners of Northern Lighthouses and the Commissioners of Irish Lights are responsible for lighthouses in Scotland and Ireland respectively. Sir Thomas Spurt also founded the Royal yards at Woolwich and Deptford, and was at one time in command of the HENRY GRACE A DIEU. By old custom, as the Chief of the Pilotage Service, Trinity House has the right of leading the Sovereign in pilotage waters of England. One of Trinity House's early duties was the examination of naval officers and petty officers as to their professional qualifications; until 1874 Masters and masters' Mates had to obtain a certificate of competency in pilotage from Trinity House before being accepted for service in the Royal Navy. Trinity House was first empowered to set up beacons and seamarks in 1566. Its full title is "The Guild of the Holy and Undivided Trinity and St Clement, at Deptford Strond". One of the earliest lighthouses to be erected in England was at Lowestoft in 1609. In 1954 Trinity House maintained 24 shore lighthouses, 31 rock lighthouses, 2 stations with fog signals only and some 40 minor lights. Last century the Corporation was offered the use of the White Ensign but declined the privilege, preferring to keep their own flag. When on board the Royal Yacht, HRH The Duke of Edinburgh flies his flag as an Elder Brother of Trinity House at the yacht's mizzen.
TROOPSHIPS During the 1939/45 war, the four Cunard ships QUEEN MARY, QUEEN ELIZABETH, MAURETANIA and AQUITANIA carried about 2,284,000 service personnel and steamed about 2,100,000 miles. The two "Queens" never carried less than 10,000 men per trip and between them accounted for 1,125,000 of the total. see HULL
TUB The Steep Tub
TUBES An old officers' slang name for Macaroni pudding, originating from Royal Naval College, Dartmouth.
TURKEY One of the many traditional nicknames for a Royal Marine. This one originally applied to the Royal Marine Light Infantry (The "Red" Marines) and arose from their scarlet tunics. Sir Thomas Spurt also founded the Royal Yards at Woolwich and Deptford, and was at one time in command of the HENRY GRACE a DIEU. Other traditional nicknames for royal Marines are "Bashi-Basouks", "Leathernecks", "Bootnecks", "Royals", "Joeys", "Bullocks", "Cheeks", "Jerines", "Flatfoots", "Jollies". see also BULLOCK: CHEEK LEATHER
TWELVE Roll on my Twelve The naval man's heart-cry when depressed, implying literally that he will be so relieved when the end of his 12-year engagement in the Navy comes that it cannot come too quickly for him. The remark should almost never be taken literally!
TWILL The Twill Trunk Submarine Escape Method Escape hatch is fitted at each end of submarine; when necessity to make use of it arises, crew gather it fore and after ends of the submarine and watertight doors are closed segregating the two ends. Twill trunk is then lowered from its stowage beneath each escape hatch; when lowered the trunk reaches down from the hatch to within about 3 feet of the deck. DSEA sets are donned and seawater admitted into the submarine to equalise the pressure on the air trapped inside the submarine with the water pressure outside, air within the trunk being specially vented. When pressure is equalised the hatch can easily be opened. Men duck into the trunk one at a time and so float up to the surface. see DAVIS