When you start a new job, youre usually faced with the task of learning the vocabulary of that job. The Navy has
a language all of its own. One way to learn the vocabulary of the job is to look up terms in a glossary.
This glossary contains many terms used by the Navy. Its not all-inclusive; that is, not all terms are here. If
you want to find out more about Navy terms, refer to Naval Terminology, Naval Warfare Publication 3
ABAFTFurther aft, as Aba f t the beam.
ABEAMOn a relative bearing of 90 (abeam to
starboard) or 270 (abeam to port).
ABOARDIn or on a ship. Extended to use ashore, as
aboard a naval station.
ABREASTSame as abeam.
AC C O M M O D AT I O N L A D D E R A l a d d e r
suspended over and inclining down the side of a
ship to let people board the ship from boats.
ADRIFTLoose from moorings and out of control.
Applied to anything that is lost, out of hand, or left
AFTToward the stern. Not as specific as abaft.
AFTERThat furthest aft, as after fireroom.
AFTERNOON WATCHThe 1200 to 1600 watch.
AGROUNDWhen any part of a ship or boat is
resting on the bottom. A ship runs aground or goes
AHOYA hail or demand for attention, as Boat
ALEEIn the direction toward which the wind is
ALL FASTTied or lashed down as necessary.
ALL HANDSThe entire ships company.
ALOFTGenerally speaking, any area above the
ALONGSIDEBy the side of the pier or ship.
AMIDSHIPSAn indefinite area midway between
the bow and stern. Rudder amidships means that
the rudder is in line with the ships centerline.
ANCHOR(1) Any device used to make a floating
body fast to the bottom. (2) The act of so making
fast. (3) The act of securing or fixing the lower end
of a guy or stay or the lower end of a shore.
ANCHORAGEAn area designated to be used by
ships for anchoring.
ANCHOR BALLA black circular shape hoisted to
indicate that the ship is anchored.
ANCHOR BUOYA small float secured to the
anchor by a light line to mark the position of the
ANCHOR CABLEThe line, wire, or chain that
attaches a vessel to its anchor.
ANCHOR WATCHA group of persons available to
the OOD during the night for such duties as
heaving in or paying out the cable.
ARMAMENTThe weapons of a ship.
ARMORED DECKA deck, below the main deck,
that provides added protection to vital spaces.
ASTERNDirectly behind a ship.
ATHWARTAcross; at right angles to.
AUXILIARY(1) Extra, or secondary, as auxiliary
engine. (2) A vessel whose mission is to supply or
support the combatant forces.
AVASTStop, as Avast heaving.
AYE AYEReply to a command or order, meaning I
understand and will obey.