Do You Know All of These WWII US Navy Slang Words?

By: Talin Vartanian
Estimated Completion Time
3 min
Do You Know All of These WWII US Navy Slang Words?
Image: Getty Images / Retrofile RF / George Marks

About This Quiz

World War II lasted from 1939 to 1945 and involved ongoing battles between the Allies and the Axis. Navy personnel were also involved during this war, and as such, a variety of slang terms and phrases were used to describe situations, protocols and parts of the ship.

Some phrases were used to denote emergency situations. For example, if someone shouted "Sound off the alarm," it meant that the alarm was about go off. 

Some phrases were also used for conversational purposes, including the word "over." For example, "Are you at your station, over." "I am at my station Captain, over." Other phrases were used to denote parts of the ship, such as "bow," "stern," "freeboard" and "aft." Another one was "bridge," which was referred to as the main command room.

In this quiz, we're testing you on 35 different slang words that were commonly used by Navy personnel during World War II. Think you know what phrases like "beam," "barge" and "bulkhead" mean? If you ever get stuck on a question, we've also provided 1 hint (per question) to help you out! Without further ado, it's time to take this WWII US Navy Slang quiz to see if you can score at least 90%!

What does the word "chow" refer to?
Ships
Rooms
Food
"Chow" was often used by Navy personnel to denote food. For example, "I'm hungry, let's get some chow."
Uniforms

Advertisement

A "Flag Officer" refers to the ...?
Admiral
Rear Admirals and Vice Admirals are also known as Flag Officers. These are often some of the highest ranks in the Navy.
Seaman
Ensign
Commander

Advertisement

A "compartment" was a fancy way of saying ...
Book
Movie
Room
Another way of saying "room" was to use the word "compartment." For instance, "I'm quite tired, I'm going to retire in my compartment for the evening."
Ship

Advertisement

What did the "galley" refer to?
The bedroom
The bow of the ship
The bathroom
The kitchen
The "galley" referred to the kitchen. For example, "I have to talk to one of the cooks in the galley today."

Advertisement

If today is a "field day," what does that mean?
It's a nice day outside.
It's a training day.
It's a lazy day.
It's a clean-up day.
For Navy personnel, a "field day" was a "clean-up" day for the ship. For example, "I'm not ready for field day today, there's so much cleaning to do."

Advertisement

Which of these words is synonymous with "rope?"
Lucky bag
Line
A "line" referred simply to rope. For instance, "Hey, pass me that line over there so I can secure this."
Knot
List

Advertisement

What does the word "rack" mean?
A bed
Navy personnel referred to their beds as "racks." For example, "Hey, I'm gonna hit the rack, I'm so tired."
A closet
Kitchen tools
The floors of a ship

Advertisement

Who was the "yeoman" with regard to the Navy?
Captain
Admiral
Clerk
The clerk was called the "yeoman" with regards to the Navy. For instance "Hey, I'll be right back. I've got to have a talk with the yeoman."
Recruit

Advertisement

If you have to "swab" the deck, you have to ...
Return to the deck
Mop the deck
To "swab" the deck means to mop the deck (to clean it). For instance, "I can't play cards with you right now, I have to swab the entire deck!"
Inspect the deck
Leave the deck

Advertisement

Which of these phrases refers to the hospital?
Sick bay
A "sick bay" was slang for a hospital. For example, "I'm not feeling well today, I'm going to the sick bay."
Stern
Muster
Sack

Advertisement

What does the phrase "sack out" mean?
To prepare for battle
To get dressed
To sleep
Another way of saying "sleep" is by saying "sack out." For instance, "I'm going to sack out right now, it's been a long day."
To play games

Advertisement

If someone is going to the "head," where are they going?
To their bedroom
To the toilet
The "head" simply means toilet. For instance, "I don't feel too well right now, I'm going to the head."
To the captain's office
To the hospital

Advertisement

The "complement" was another way of saying ...
Admiral
Captain
Crew
All members of the crew were included in the "complement." For instance, "We've got a pretty good complement on our ship this year."
Jail

Advertisement

If you were stationed at a "conn," where were you specifically stationed?
Navigation post
A "conn" was a nickname for navigation post. For instance, "I'm stationed at the conn this morning, so I can't sleep in too much."
Back of the ship
Front of the ship
Top deck of the ship

Advertisement

To immediately stop something is to ...
Aft
Bells
Bilge
Avast
To avast something means to immediately halt or stop your current activity. For example, "Avast, eating sailors, the enemy strikes before us."

Advertisement

What did a "bogey" refer to?
A new recruit
A jail cell
A radar contact that was not known
A "bogey" referred to a radar contact that was not known, or unidentified. For example, "I'm picking up a signal from a bogey."
A type of meal

Advertisement

If you did something bad, you were often put in the ...
Brig
"Brig" was another way of saying jail. For instance, "I was put in the brig for 3 weeks, and I'm so glad to finally be out."
Bow
Bridge
Below

Advertisement

A receipt was also called a ...
Boot
Chit
A "chit" was also known as a receipt. For instance, "Hey I lost my chit from last week, can you help me find it?"
Aft
Brass

Advertisement

To throw something over the ship and into deep waters was known as ...
Freeboard
Flank speed
Deep six
A "deep six" referred to throwing something overboard and into deep waters. This often made the item in question very difficult to retrieve.
Bulkhead

Advertisement

The two-hour window to eat dinner was called a ...
Davit
Cover
Conn
Dog watch
The "dog watch" was the two-hour window to eat dinner. For example, "We've got dog watch coming up pretty soon."

Advertisement

A Captain's quarters were referred to as the ...
Boatswain
Brig
Head
Cabin
The quarters of a high-ranking officer, like a Captain, were called the "cabin." For example, "I was told to report to the Captain's cabin this evening."

Advertisement

Chains and cables were stored in the ...
Bogy
CIC
Christen
Chain locker
As its name implies, a chain locker was used to store chains and cables. For example, "Hey, can you go find me this type of chain from the chain locker?"

Advertisement

What did the "CIC" stand for?
Combat Information Center
The CIC stood for Combat Information Center, and was also referred to as the Operations Room. For example, "I have a meeting this evening in the CIC."
Cruise Information Center
Cover Information Center
Commander Information Center

Advertisement

To go "flank speed" is to go ...
Completely silent
Normal speed
Faster than normal
To go faster than normal speed is to go "flank speed." For instance, "We have to push to flank speed, we have enemies behind us."
Slower than normal

Advertisement

The opening of a door was called the ...
Gig
Lee
Hatch
The "hatch" referred to the opening entrance of a door. For example, "This hatch right here leads to a secret tunnel."
Dip

Advertisement

What was a student officer called?
Midshipman
A "midshipman" referred simply to a student officer. For example, "We've got a new midshipman today, so everyone behave yourselves."
Mustang
Petty Officer
Officer of the Deck

Advertisement

What does an "OOD" stand for?
Officer of the Decade
Officer of the Day
Officer of the Deck
The officer who was in charge of others was known as the OOD, or the "Officer of the Deck." For instance, "I'm not liking the new OOD, he's not very nice."
Officer of Details

Advertisement

What does "pogey bait" mean?
Candy
Candy was referred to as "pogey bait" by Navy personnel. For example, "Hey, you got any pogey bait on you? I'm starving."
Fish bait
Anchor chains
Uniforms

Advertisement

If you had to wash dishes, you had to report to the ...
Sea cabin
Locker
Hatch
Scullery
The "scullery" was nicknamed as the place where one would wash dishes or clean clothes. For instance, "I have to report to the scullery today to wash hundreds of dishes!"

Advertisement

What does "PX" mean?
Post Exchange
PX stands for "post exchange," which is a type of store on military grounds that sells a variety of goods. For example, "I have to go to the PX today to pick up some new shoes."
Paper Exchange
Package Exchange
Parcel Exchange

Advertisement

What did "skivvies" refer to?
Shirts
Underwear
"Skivvies" is a nickname for underwear. For example, "I have to wash my dirty skivvies today."
Socks
Pants

Advertisement

A 4-hour shift that involves some type of work was called a ...
Watch
A "watch" refers to a 4-hour shift that involves doing work in the context of Navy personnel. For example, "After my watch tonight, I'm going to shower and go right to sleep."
Wheel
Swab
Stanchion

Advertisement

If someone will do as they are told, this is known as ...
Shavetail
Shore up
White hat
Wilco
If someone says "wilco" after being told a certain set of instructions, it means that they will carry out these instructions. For example, "Wilco. I'll work overtime this week."

Advertisement

A "swabbie" is known as a ...
Back of the ship
Alcoholic beverage
Sailor
"Swabbies" and "white hats" are nicknames for "sailors." For example, "Looks like we've got some new swabbies in today."
Bread roll

Advertisement

Clothes and accessories were often placed in a ...
Striker
Scuttle
Sea bag
A sea bag was often used to store clothes, accessories and the belongings of Navy personnel. For example, "This sea bag is so dirty, I should probably wash it."
Wardroom

Advertisement

You Got:
/35
Featured