Sailing Navies 1650-1850
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Slang names for Marines
http://forum.sailingnavies.com/viewtopic.php?f=29&t=751
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Author:  timoneer [ Mon Jul 31, 2006 11:22 pm ]
Post subject:  Slang names for Marines

I am reading "The Pandora Secret" by Anthony Forrest.

Captain Justice sees some riflemen ashore and remarks that they shoot better than Marines. His companion, an ex-sailor, responds "If you're married to Mistress Roper, you can't see straight."

I found on-line that "Mistress Roper" refers to the Marines in general or to a Marine in particular because they (in the opinion of sailors) handle ropes like girls.

Don

Author:  timoneer [ Tue Aug 01, 2006 7:24 pm ]
Post subject:  Lobsters

I believe that the term "lobsters" is another slang name given to the Royal Marines by sailors but I am not sure exactly why.

Don

Author:  Mil Goose [ Wed Aug 02, 2006 6:25 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Lobsters

timoneer wrote:
I believe that the term "lobsters" is another slang name given to the Royal Marines by sailors but I am not sure exactly why.

Don



..... red coats.

Author:  timoneer [ Wed Aug 02, 2006 4:08 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Lobsters

Mil Goose wrote:
..... red coats.

I figured it would be something much more derogatory: like they’re ugly, smell funny, get hit with a hammer to be eaten, or some such. :lol:

Don

Author:  susan [ Thu Aug 03, 2006 6:53 pm ]
Post subject: 

"Jolly" is another one.

Author:  Sharpiefan [ Wed May 27, 2009 9:47 pm ]
Post subject: 

'Leathernecks' is another one - because of the stocks they wore. Does anyone know where the nickname 'Jolly' came from?

Author:  Badger [ Thu May 28, 2009 7:16 am ]
Post subject: 

Not a slang name as such, but a group of marines climbing the shrouds have been described as doing so "like one legged spiders."

By the way, can anyone give me a lower deck slang for fight, or battle?

Author:  Martin Evans [ Fri May 29, 2009 4:59 pm ]
Post subject: 

Sharpiefan wrote:
'Leathernecks' is another one - because of the stocks they wore. Does anyone know where the nickname 'Jolly' came from?

The entry under 'Jolly' in "Jackspeak - the Pusser's Rum guide to Royal Navy Slanguage" includes:
"This nickname applied originally to the Trained Bands of the City of London, who provided many recruits for the Regiment of Sea Soldiers that were the forerunners of the modern Corps" but no etymological origin is suggested for the nickname. The author of this well known book is, of course, Surgeon Commander Rick Jolly.

The common current nickname is just "Royal".

Martin

Author:  susan [ Fri May 29, 2009 9:20 pm ]
Post subject: 

Badger wrote:
By the way, can anyone give me a lower deck slang for fight, or battle?

Not offhand. Have you tried Francis Grose's Classical Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue?

Author:  Badger [ Sat May 30, 2009 7:12 am ]
Post subject: 

Thanks, Susan; this will be useful.

Author:  Sharpiefan [ Mon Jun 01, 2009 12:13 pm ]
Post subject: 

Please excuse the length of this quote!

The Corps nickname of the Jollies orginated with the Trained Bands of London, who had this nickname in 1660. Whereas the citizen soldiers took the name the 'Tame Jolies' the Marines were called the 'Royal Jollies'. 'Leathernecks' is another name originally associated with the Corps, being derived from the leather stock they once wore. This name has [by 1974] been adopted by the United States' Marines, whilst the Royal Marines are better known as 'bootnecks', from the old sailors saying 'Take your seaboots off my neck.'

Another traditional nickname applied was 'Joe' or 'Joey' from the jingle 'I'm Joe Marine, I'm
always gay and hearty, When I'm not for Guard, I'm in the working party.' The old nickname 'Lobsters' was obviously derived from their scarlet tunics. The equally outdated word 'Pongoes' once applied to the Marines, although in this century it is applied by the Royal Navy to all soldiers. The original battalion to earn this name in the early 1800's was based at Chatham.

From Per Mare Per Terram: A History of the Royal Marines by Peter C. Smith, 1974, Balfour Books, St. Ives.

Author:  Badger [ Mon Jun 01, 2009 4:56 pm ]
Post subject: 

I understand marine officers were referred to as "empty bottles", due to their usefulness aboard ship...

Author:  IONIA [ Mon Jun 01, 2009 9:47 pm ]
Post subject: 

Clarence is alleged to have referred to empty bottles as "dead marines - who have done their duty and are ready to do it again" but I had not heard of the use of the term "empty bottle" for Marine officers. Are there examples of this use?

Author:  Badger [ Tue Jun 02, 2009 6:02 am ]
Post subject: 

I found it in Francis Grose's Classical Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue, that Susan recommended a few posts earlier in this thread - (there's an odd symmetry about this), although now that I look again I see that I had juxtaposed it. It is empty bottles that are referred to as marine officers, although I guess the reason remains constant.

Marine Officer. An empty bottle: marine officers being held ufelefs by the feamen. Sea <wit. (sic)

Author:  Mil Goose [ Mon Jun 15, 2009 12:42 pm ]
Post subject: 




In Seth Hunter's The Tide of War he has them referred to as "Johnny-toe-the-lines". I haven't come across that before.


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