Dave’s Dictionary of Obscure Words and Phrases

Dave’s Dictionary of obscure words and phrases, a work in progress.

Gun-decking: Navy term means to say we did but really did not. Usually applied to preventive maintenance tasks that were not completed but marked off as done. Origin may have to do with midshipmen faking the completion of assigned navigation practice with a sextant to be done on the gundeck. Correct answers were fabricated starting with the last known noon position which was posted by working backwards using dead reckoning. Also means to falsify a report.

Order wire:  Special kind of wire frequently sought out by new personnel sent on the hunt by more senior personnel.  Really it is a teletype circuit to facilitate the fleet center communicating to the tech control, transmitter or receiver sites what configuration changes to make.  But we send the new guys looking for wire.

Poka-yoke: Japanese term frequently heard in automotive engineering context indicates a part or process is idiot proof. For example a connector that will only fit on the right way.

Sand Crab:  Civilian employees of the Navy, occupying a billet that would otherwise be filled by a fleet Sailor for shore duty.  Intention is to provide a repository of corporate knowledge and continuity of operation at a Navy shore facility such as a Communication Station or Air Station.

Sea Chicken:  Seagull cooked and disguised to resemble chicken, employed when supplies run low on Navy ships.

Sound powered phone batteries:  Very rare kind of batteries needed for operation of sound powered phones.






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