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
Uniforms
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

"Chow" was often used by Navy personnel to denote food. For example, "I'm hungry, let's get some chow."

Advertisement

A "Flag Officer" refers to the ...?
Admiral
Seaman
Ensign
Commander
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Rear Admirals and Vice Admirals are also known as Flag Officers. These are often some of the highest ranks in the Navy.

Advertisement

A "compartment" was a fancy way of saying ...
Book
Movie
Room
Ship
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

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."

Advertisement

What did the "galley" refer to?
The bedroom
The bow of the ship
The bathroom
The kitchen
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

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.
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

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
Knot
List
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

A "line" referred simply to rope. For instance, "Hey, pass me that line over there so I can secure this."

Advertisement

What does the word "rack" mean?
A bed
A closet
Kitchen tools
The floors of a ship
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Navy personnel referred to their beds as "racks." For example, "Hey, I'm gonna hit the rack, I'm so tired."

Advertisement

Who was the "yeoman" with regard to the Navy?
Captain
Admiral
Clerk
Recruit
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

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."

Advertisement

If you have to "swab" the deck, you have to ...
Return to the deck
Mop the deck
Inspect the deck
Leave the deck
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

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!"

Advertisement

Which of these phrases refers to the hospital?
Sick bay
Stern
Muster
Sack
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

A "sick bay" was slang for a hospital. For example, "I'm not feeling well today, I'm going to the sick bay."

Advertisement

What does the phrase "sack out" mean?
To prepare for battle
To get dressed
To sleep
To play games
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

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."

Advertisement

If someone is going to the "head," where are they going?
To their bedroom
To the toilet
To the captain's office
To the hospital
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

The "head" simply means toilet. For instance, "I don't feel too well right now, I'm going to the head."

Advertisement

The "complement" was another way of saying ...
Admiral
Captain
Crew
Jail
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

All members of the crew were included in the "complement." For instance, "We've got a pretty good complement on our ship this year."

Advertisement

If you were stationed at a "conn," where were you specifically stationed?
Navigation post
Back of the ship
Front of the ship
Top deck of the ship
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

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."

Advertisement

To immediately stop something is to ...
Aft
Bells
Bilge
Avast
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

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 type of meal
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

A "bogey" referred to a radar contact that was not known, or unidentified. For example, "I'm picking up a signal from a bogey."

Advertisement

If you did something bad, you were often put in the ...
Brig
Bow
Bridge
Below
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

"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."

Advertisement

A receipt was also called a ...
Boot
Chit
Aft
Brass
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

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

Advertisement

To throw something over the ship and into deep waters was known as ...
Freeboard
Flank speed
Deep six
Bulkhead
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

A "deep six" referred to throwing something overboard and into deep waters. This often made the item in question very difficult to retrieve.

Advertisement

The two-hour window to eat dinner was called a ...
Davit
Cover
Conn
Dog watch
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

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
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

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
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

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
Cruise Information Center
Cover Information Center
Commander Information Center
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

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."

Advertisement

To go "flank speed" is to go ...
Completely silent
Normal speed
Faster than normal
Slower than normal
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

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."

Advertisement

The opening of a door was called the ...
Gig
Lee
Hatch
Dip
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

The "hatch" referred to the opening entrance of a door. For example, "This hatch right here leads to a secret tunnel."

Advertisement

What was a student officer called?
Midshipman
Mustang
Petty Officer
Officer of the Deck
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

A "midshipman" referred simply to a student officer. For example, "We've got a new midshipman today, so everyone behave yourselves."

Advertisement

What does an "OOD" stand for?
Officer of the Decade
Officer of the Day
Officer of the Deck
Officer of Details
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

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."

Advertisement

What does "pogey bait" mean?
Candy
Fish bait
Anchor chains
Uniforms
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Candy was referred to as "pogey bait" by Navy personnel. For example, "Hey, you got any pogey bait on you? I'm starving."

Advertisement

If you had to wash dishes, you had to report to the ...
Sea cabin
Locker
Hatch
Scullery
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

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
Paper Exchange
Package Exchange
Parcel Exchange
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

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."

Advertisement

What did "skivvies" refer to?
Shirts
Underwear
Socks
Pants
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

"Skivvies" is a nickname for underwear. For example, "I have to wash my dirty skivvies today."

Advertisement

A 4-hour shift that involves some type of work was called a ...
Watch
Wheel
Swab
Stanchion
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

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."

Advertisement

If someone will do as they are told, this is known as ...
Shavetail
Shore up
White hat
Wilco
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

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
Bread roll
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

"Swabbies" and "white hats" are nicknames for "sailors." For example, "Looks like we've got some new swabbies in today."

Advertisement

Clothes and accessories were often placed in a ...
Striker
Scuttle
Sea bag
Wardroom
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

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."

Advertisement

You Got:
/35
Featured