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Not-So-Petty Officers

Why are non-commissioned Naval officers called petty officers? After all, there’s nothing petty about them. The term comes from the French “petit,” meaning “under, less than, or ranking below in a hierarchy.” Petty...

Popinjay

What is a popinjay? Literally a parrot, this term is often used in a military context to refer to a vain or conceited officer with a Napoleon complex. And a bandbox boy? That once commonly referred to an officer who gave excessive attention to his...

Cannibal Sandwich, Anyone?

Ready for some crazy crossword clues? The hosts discuss some clever ones, like “hula hoop?” (3 letters). Also, is the correct term jury-rigged or jerry-rigged? Why are Marines called gyrenes? When someone points out the obvious, do you...

Sailor’s Delight

“Red sky at night, sailor’s delight. Red sky at morning, sailor take warning.” Martha talks about this weather proverb, which has been around in one form or another since ancient times. Grant shares a favorite weather word: slatch...

Gyrene

An officer from Camp Pendleton is curious about gyrene, a slang term for “Marine.” Grant says it may derive from the Greek word for “tadpole.” This is part of a complete episode.

Picklebacks and Mountweazels

Martha and Grant talk about phrases you love to hate, like “Do you mind if I put you on hold?” They also talk about mountweazels, jakey bums, picklebacks, and step-ins. And which is the proper term: mothers-in-law or mother-in-laws?

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