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NAVAL GLOSSARY
GENERAL NAVAL TERMINOLOGY

Above: Upward, higher, as to go above; above the flight deck

Aft: Toward the stern

Athwartship: At a right angle to the centerline, as a passageway which runs from port to starboard as opposed to fore and aft.

Below: Downward, beneath, as to lay below; below the flight deck.

Bow: The forward end of a ship or boat.

Bridge: Area in the superstructure from which the ship is operated.

Bulkhead: A vertical partition, never called a wall.

Chow: Food

Deck: 1. Shipboard floor, horizontal plating which divides a ship into layers.
           2. Shipboard floors from Main deck and below numbered 1, 2, 3.

Fantail: The after end of the main deck.

Forecastle, Foc'sle: Forward section of the deck on which the anchor handling equipment is located. Forward section of the                                    02 level on the Carl Vinson.

Frame: An athwartship beam which provides structural strength to a ship.

Galley: Space where food is prepared. Never called a kitchen.

Hatch: A square or rectangular access in a deck.

Island: Superstructure on the starboard side of the flight deck on an aircraft carrier.

Ladder: A shipboard flight of steps. Never called stairs.

Level: Shipboard floors above the main deck. Numbered 0-1, 0-2, 0-3.

Main Deck: Highest watertight (complete) deck aboard ship. On aircraft carriers, the hangar deck is the main deck.

Mess: 1. Place where meals are eaten, such as Mess Decks, Captain's Mess, etc.
            2. A group who takes meals together, such as officer's mess or chief's mess.

Midwatch: (The Mid) The watch which begins at 0000 and ends at 0400.

Mid Rats: (Midnight Rations) Meal served around midnight for those crewmembers going on or off watch.
                  OOD: Officer of the Deck

Overhead: The underside of a deck from the overhead of the compartment next below. Never called a ceiling.

Passageway: A corridor used for interior horizontal movement aboard ship.

Port: To the left of the centerline when facing forward.

Scuttle: Round, watertight opening in a hatch.

Scuttlebutt: 1. Drinking fountain.
                    2. A rumor.

Second Deck: First deck below the main deck.

Secure: 1. To make fast, as to secure a line to a cleat.
              2. To cease, as to secure from a fire drill.

Sickbay: Shipboard space used as a hospital or medical center.

Square away: To put in proper place, to make things shipshape.

Starboard: Right of centerline when facing forward.

Stateroom: A living compartment for an officer.

Stern: The aftermost part of a vessel.

Topside: General term referring to a weather deck.

Wake: Trail left by a vessel moving through the water.

Wardroom: Officer's messing compartment.

Weather Deck: Any deck exposed to the elements; a deck outside the skin of the ship.

Jirka Wagner

 

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