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Oakum - Oyster
OAKUM Unravelled tarred rope used for packing seams and caulking. A prisoner in the ship's cells is required to pick two pounds of tarred hemp (or 6 lbs of tarred sisal) into oakum daily, Sundays excepted the material to be weighed in his presence morning and evening.
OFF Off and OnOld naval expression meaning occasionally. The expression originally denoted keeping close to the shore by sailing off and on it.
OFFICER Officer StrengthAt the end of the 1939/45 war, naval officers were about 14% R.N., 12% R.N.R. and 74% R.N.V.R.
OFFING In the OffingOld naval expression meaning near at hand; originally it meant a distance from the shore - i.e., towards the horizon.
OGGIN The OgginModern sailors' slang for the sea; it is said to be derived from Hogwash, though some assert that it comes from a mispronouncement of Ocean. Synonyms are The Ditch, The Pond, The Drink, all three of which words are used by officers more often than Oggin.
OGILVY The Ogilvy MedalThis medal was instituted in 1912 in memory of Captain F.C.A. Ogilvy who died on 18th December, 1909, from typhoid fever while in command of H.M.S. NATAL. The dividends from a sum of money given by officers of the Navy and certain friends and relatives are employed in providing a medal which is awarded annually, at the discretion of the Admiralty, to the officer who takes first place in the examination to quality for Lieutenant (TAS). Any balance that remains may be handed over to the winner of the medal.
OIL Oil FuelH.M.S. CRICKET was the first H.M. ship to be designed and built for oil burnings; she was launched in 1906, as one of five "Insect" class coastal destroyers, later reclassified as Torpedo Boats. Her displacement was 225 tons and her engines developed 3750 h.p. The first British battleship KING EDWARD VII burned both coal and oil in 1905; H.M.S. QUEEN ELIZABETH (launched 1913) was the first British battleship to be designed and built to burn oil fuel only.
OILY Oily Wads Naval nickname for the first British oil-burning torpedo boats (Nos. 1-36).
OLD The Old ManNaval slang name for the Captain or Admiral. It is an expression borrowed from the Merchant Navy.
OLERON The Laws of OleronThe Laws of Oleron were the first code of laws for naval service; from them has descended the Naval Discipline Act of today. The Laws seem to have been instituted in Castile by King Alphonso X in the XIII century derived from the code founded in the republic of Rhodes and adopted by the Romans and other maritime powers of the Mediterranean. King Richard Coeur de Lion introduced these laws into Great Britain, having met them during the Crusades where the forces included a strong contingent from the island of Oleron. The Laws were undoubtedly harsh - as they probably needed to be in their day; among them appears. "If a robber be convicted of theft, boiling pitch shall be poured over his head and a shower of feathers shaken over to mark him"; a murderer was to be tied to his victim's corpse and buried alive with it, either in land or in the sea. See the introduction to the Admiralty Memorandum on Court-Martial Procedure - B.R. 11/1954.
OPPO Naval slang - short for opposite number - for the person doing the same job as one's self in another watch or ship. In the former case, since you relieved each other (in the old two-watch days), it behoved you to become friends; thus the word Oppo came to mean Chum. On a two-watch watchbill, the name of a man's 'opposite number' in the other watch was shewn against his own name in the opposite column.
OSBORNE Royal Naval College, OsbourneCalled for by the Selborne Scheme the college was built at Osborne House (Isle of Wight) on the site of the old stables. It was opened in September, 1903, well within a year of its inception. It was utilitarian rather than comfortable. Cadet entry at 12? started under the Selborne Scheme and ran till 1913; this gave cadets 2 years at Osborne followed by 2 years at Dartmouth. In 1913 this was changed to 1 year at Osborne and 3 years at Dartmouth. The R.N. College, Osborne, finally closed down in 1923; its ship-name had been H.M.S. RACER.
OUTSIDE Outside-WalkeeChinese pidgin-english for a Paddle steamer: a screw ship is an "Inside-walkee" ship.
OVERCOAT Overcoat : Oilskin : RaincoatUntil 1954 an overcoat was given to all new entries into the Navy and also an oilskin to men dressed as seamen (raincoat to men dressed in 'force-&' rig). On 1st January, 1955, the issue of overcoats and oilskins was stopped, a double-breasted blue raincoat, with detachable warm lining, being issued instead to all new entries. The overcoat remains an optional item of kit; the oilskin is to disappear by April, 1957. Overcoats may be supplied on loan to ratings for wear on ceremonial occasions in the U.K. Foul weather wear will continue to be issued on loan to men whose duties make this necessary.
OWNER The OwnerNaval slang name for the Commanding Officer - much more used in the Merchant Navy (whence the R.N. borrowed it) than in the R.N.
OYSTER Bombay OysterA old maritime name for a laxative draught consisting of a double dose of caster oil in a glass of milk; a more modern name for such a laxative would be "elephant-rouser".

Prairie-OysterA morning-after reviver composed of port wine, worcester sauce, red pepper, mustard and the unbroken yolk of an egg.