Did you know that part of the USNS Mercy experience includes lessons in vocabulary?
With sailors, soldiers and volunteers from Australia, Canada and Great Britain there has been a lot to learn.
fair dinkem: truth, or "seriously?!?" or "Are you for real?"
example: I just travelled to Timor Leste. Fair dinkem?
Tah: Thank you
up the duff: pregnant
Don't be a mug, mate: Don't do something stupid
Muster: show up at 6:30 AM to report for duty
Volun-told: no one volunteers, you're assigned as a volunteer
flight quarters: No one allowed on the deck while the helicopters are out flying, no flash photography, no smoking near the helo pad
Stand by to stand by: we have no clue what is going on but be prepared. Something will be soon
Mess Deck: cafeteria
State Room: officer rooming, as opposed to enlisted berthing
Berthing: pronounced birthing but not to be confused. This is the placed where you sleep.
Secured: has multiple definitions. I have obtained something, I have tied something down, you are free to go (secured for liberty), no allowed to go somewhere (secured for flight quarters)
Sweepers: as heard twice daily. "Sweepers, sweepers. Man your brooms." Clean the whole ship now.
BZ: short for bravo zulu or translated means good job.
Rack: bed or bunk
chips: french fries
crisps: potato chips
Nappy: diaper for a baby
Plaster: band aid
rubber: pencil eraser
As I was getting on a "band aid" boat the other morning, one of the Australians already on the boat turned and said to the people already sitting down, "if you all shuffle over, we can make room." I realized--it's not their accents that makes me smile. It is the unexpected phrases they use. In my mind I was getting ready to ask one of them to scoot over, but the sweet aussie said it way better, way funnier and way more memorably (if that is a proper english word).
I have a British roommate. I can't help but smile as she throws in terms like heaps, rubbish, bloke, fancy, and "brilliant!" The other day she was reporting on a patient and reported the child had a "nappy rash." It took me a few minutes to determine if she was refering to the type of rash (a diaper rash) or describing the ugliness of the rash.