Sailor Slang

by | Oct 4, 2018 | Lifestyle

Are you softer than a baggywrinkle? Did you hear something from all the scuttlebut? Are you wiser than a seadog?

Does this make any sense to you? Then you’re a pro at sailor slang. If not, we’re here to bring you up to speed. Here’s a list of the best sailor slang out there!

Salty old sailor man with a white beard

  • A way to refer to rumor or gossip, but also an open cask of drinking water or a fountain. Scuttlebutt refers to the concept of gathering around an office cooler to engage in casual conversation. “The scuttlebutt has it that his boat cost more than yours”


  • Probably what you are if you are reading this article. A landlubber is someone who is unfamiliar with the sea or with sailing. Many use it to refer to someone who is an unseasoned sailor.


  • The weirder the name, the simpler the meaning. A baggywrinkle is a funky name for the soft covering on ropes aboard a yacht that prevent chafing of the sails.


  • The opposite of a landlubber, a veteran sailor some might say.  Also, a dog who enjoys the sea.


  • Generally meaning “crammed full of people or things”. In the nautical sense, it refers to when the sails are pulled in tight which leads to the blocks and pulleys being pulled tight. Sailors then started using this word to mean that they were “fed up” with a crew member or their wives.


  • While typically meaning useless or unimportant items, to sailors flotsam refers to all items from a shipwreck.


  • The word grog is a reference to the British Admiral Edward Vernon, who was nicknamed Old Grog because he wore a fabric called grogram. Many times he would water down his crews rum to make it less intoxicating. Grog is a mixture of rum and water that may leave someone dazed or groggy. His crew quickly caught on and thus the term was established.

Let us know what you think!

Are there any we missed? What slang do you use on the water? 

Come sail away with us!

Let others know where you are, find your way, and stay safe – whatever slang you use.
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