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Not Enough Room to Swing a Cat


Naval Slang and its Everyday Use
by Martin Robson

We are all well accustomed to phrases such as “money for old rope”, “batten down the hatches”, “at loggerheads” and “a loose cannon”. The naval community once had its own language, incomprehensible to anyone who was not a sailor, which described and explained his unique world. But on shore leave, these men introduced their language to the populations of bustling ports and harbours and the usage slowly spread inland. Today through the mediums of film, television and music, naval slang has been brought to the wider public and has become fully integrated into the English language to the point where many phrases are used by people who have no concept of their meaning. This pocket-sized hardback book provides a compilation of naval slang throughout the world, from terms relating to shiphandling and seamanship through to food and drink, discipline and insults. A very entertaining read! 176 pages, illustrated with original black line drawings.

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Martin Robinson


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