BOAT NAMES GONE BONKERS?
Copyright The Quipping Queen 2005.
BOAT NAMES GONE BONKERS!
Or, vessels with odd names.
Being an eccentric academic is a bit like being a loopy
light-bulb engineer. And if you can't grasp the gist of this
flight of fancy, it's likely that we're not on the same
wavelength or worse yet ...unlikely to be residing in the same
Having dusted off my incredibly large library of loose thoughts
and an unpublished dissertation entitled, "The Merits of Mind
Candy for Sexegenarians" and its compelling companion piece and
saucy sequel, "Eye-Candy Solutions Are Better", I came across
some nebulous notes on nudnick names of boats, battleships and
other things that bob about on water.
Quite frankly, naming boats is an art and a science, both of
which seem to be furthest from the minds of those who came up
with marvelous monikers and radio call signal names for the
following merchant ships (circa 1930):
Watussi (German) - call sign - "DAFT"
Tirpitz (German) - call sign - "DDIZ"
Felix Fraissinet (France) - call sign - "FOOD"
Lourenco Marques Polana (Portugal) - call sign - "CRAP"
Birka (Sweden) - call sign - "SHIT"
Balaklava (Sweden) - call sign - "SHAT"
And then we have such ferocious foreign warships as the Georges
Leygues (France) with the call sign "FART" and the Undaunted
(US), call sign "NERD".
Several commercial shipping stations circa 1930-31 were
christened: "Cleethorpes" and "Butt of Lewis Lighthouse"
(presumably so blessed boats would not be lost in a fog of
But the British do take the cake for nifty naval nomenclature,
all designed to shake the boots of foes and impress close
friends and allies.
HMS Audacious, Conqueror, Defiance, Dreadnought, Formidable,
Furious, Illustrious, Implacable, Indefatigable, Indomitable,
Inflexible, Invincible, Irresistible,Terror, Thunderer,
Venerable, Victorious, and Warspite not to mention
classic submarines named Renown, Repulse, Resolution, and
Revenge fill the pages of history books chronicling who
thumped who, where, when and why (which usually had a lot do
with grabbing some else's goodies before the next-door potentate
With far too many boats in their bathtubs, they no doubt had
difficulty coming up with feisty names...so they adopted rather
snotty ones like: HMS Arrogant, Surly, Spiteful and
No doubt reading a dog-eared edition of bedtime tales probably
inspired the next generation of naval nincompoop names
including: HMS Pansy, Fairy and Wallflower.
A few "HMS Pinafore" types probably petitioned the Crown for a
name change of one of their blessed bucket battleships to "HMS
Petticoat!...but alas, they only thing they got to assuage all
their huffing and puffing was HMS Spanking!
So, the next time one is out for a Sunday stroll, please don a
dunce cap and try to come up with a new generation of gripping
if not giggle-oriented names for the fastest, fiercest,
floatillas known to man!