Special Sub-Topic: Royal Australian Navy Nicknames
|What nickname is given to a sailor with the surname 'Williams' in the Australian military?|
Bungy. 'Bungy' is the nickname given to a sailor with the surname Williams.
The true origin of this nickname is obscure and no one seems to know for sure however it has been in recorded use for a very long time.
However there is one interesting story that originates from the time of the death of Admiral Nelson. Two Able Seamen named Williams and Edwards were tasked to obtain the brandy cask that Nelson's body was to be transported back to England in and upon discovering it was to be filled with brandy, (as well as Nelson's body,) Williams decided to ensure the barrel had a 'bung' in it so that he and Edwards could siphon off the brandy during the voyage. When the barrel was opened, Nelson's head was above the level of the brandy and had not pickled due to the quantity of brandy consumed. Williams and Edwards were flogged for their crime and Williams became synonymous for the 'Bung.'
Another possibility is that it was named after a sailor having a 'Full Bung.' This relates to a type of purse sailors stowed their money in the days before wallets. There is obscure speculation there was a 'Williams' who was generous with his money.
|What nickname is given to a sailor with the surname 'Kelly'?|
Ned. 'Ned' is the nickname given to a sailor with the surname Kelly and it is named after the famous Irish/Australian bushranger, Ned Kelly.
Ned Kelly was born in Victoria, Australia in 1854. His father, Red Kelly was a former convict born in Ireland and his mother was the daughter of a Victorian farmer.
In 1869 at the age of 14, Ned Kelly was arrested for the alleged assault on a Chinese immigrant. The charge was later dropped but this was the start of Ned's trouble with the law. A string of minor offences, some proven and others not, culminated in Ned Kelly (along with other gang members,) being responsible for the deaths of three policemen at Stringybark Creek. Kelly and his gang, now outlaws and on the run, committed two bank robberies before being tracked down at Glenrowan where Police laid siege to the Glenrowan Inn where the Kelly gang were hiding. At dawn, Kelly confronted the police wearing the armour he is now famous for before being wounded and captured. The remainder of the Kelly gang died at the inn.
Ned Kelly was hanged at the Melbourne Gaol on 11 November 1880 and was immortalised with his final words which were, 'Such is life.'
Ned Kelly is an important part of Australia's culture and to some, is considered an anti-establishment hero.
|What nickname is given to a sailor with the surname 'Smith'?|
Smouch or Smudge. 'Smouch or Smudge' is a nickname given to a sailor with the surname Smith.
'Smudge' originated in the British armed forces and was used often in both the Australian and British navies. 'Smouch' is now used predominantly in the RAN.
The word 'Smouch' is derived from the word 'Smutch,' which is a dark soil or stain such as on the face, hence a 'Smudge.' In the days of steam and coal powered vessels, ship's stokers, and also blacksmiths, who worked with coal would most likely suffer from facial smudges.
'Smouch' could also be related to counterfeit tea that was made in England in the seventeenth century as imported tea was very expensive. This locally produced tea was known as 'Smouch.' Although the link between Smouch and Smith is tenuous, it could be that the first two letters, 'SM,' were used as a link between the two words.
|What nickname is given to a sailor with the surname 'Jones'?|
Spike. 'Spike' is a very common nickname for Jones's, not just in the Royal Australian Navy and other navies of the world.
The nickname most likely originates as a reference to Lindley Armstrong Jones who was a musician and band leader in the middle of the twentieth century. Jones was known for his satire and parodies of popular music of the time.
He was nicknamed 'Spike,' because he was likened to 'being as thin as a railroad spike'. His father worked for the Southern Pacific Railroad and this is where the reference probably originated.
|What nickname is given to a sailor with the surname 'Brown'?|
Bomber. 'Bomber' is the nickname given to a sailor with the surname Brown.
Most likely this nickname is a reference to 'Arthur Whitten Brown,' who was a pilot during World War One and navigator on the first non-stop transatlantic flight in 1919.
For the transatlantic flight, Brown was teamed with pilot John Alcock by Vickers Engineering to fly a modified Vickers Vimy Bomber aircraft. The flight departed from St Johns in Newfoundland at 1:45pm on 19 June 1919 and arrived at Connemara in Ireland, 16 hours 12 minutes later. Both Brown and Alcock recieved 10,000 pounds from the Daily Mail as reward for the flight and were knighted for their achievement.
The Vickers Vimy bomber aircraft the pair flew was designed by Reginald Kirshaw Pierson and first flew on 30 November 1917. The aircraft was not used operationally during WWI as the war ended before it could be utilised however it did become the main heavy bomber of the RAF during the 1920s. A commercial civilian version was also produced.
|What nickname is given to a sailor with the surname 'Young'?|
Brigham. Traditionally, 'Brigham' is a nickname given to sailors with the surname Young however it is falling out of use in modern times.
The nickname originates from the name of one of the founders of the modern Mormon church, Brigham Young. He was well known (no doubt by sailors,) for being one of the most prominent polygamists of the Mormon Church.
Young was also the founder of Salt Lake City, Utah, and was the first governor of the Utah Territory. He also has a university named after him.
|What nickname is given to a sailor with the surname 'Gray' or 'Grey'?|
Dolly. 'Dolly' is a nickname applied to sailors with the surname 'Grey' or 'Gray.' It originated as a nickname around 1900 after the popular music hall song of the day, 'Good-bye Dolly Gray.'
The song 'Good-bye Dolly Gray,' was written by Will D. Cobb and Paul Barnes. Although the song was written during the Spanish-American war of 1898, it was sung by soldiers of the British Empire during the Boer War in 1899 to 1902. The song was also popular among troops during World War One.
|What nickname is given to a sailor with the surname 'Miller'?|
Dusty. 'Dusty' is the nickname applied to sailors with the surname of Miller. It is also given to a sailor with the surname of Rhodes.
This nickname does not have a complicated origin. It simply implies a 'Miller' would be dusty from being covered in flour dust.
The nickname's relationship with Rhodes is likewise simple, as in 'Dusty Roads.'
|What nickname is given to a sailor with the surname 'Paterson'?|
Banjo. 'Banjo' is named after the Australian journalist, writer and poet, Banjo Paterson.
Andrew Barton "Banjo" Paterson was born in 1864 and died in 1941. He became a famous part of Australian folklore for writing the poems, 'Waltzing Matilda, The Man From Snowy River and Clancy Of The Overflow,' among many other works. His image and words from 'The Man From Snowy River' are also represented on the Australian ten dollar note. A college in Queensland and a Library at Sydney Grammar school are named after him.
'The Banjo' was a pseudonym Paterson used while writing poetry for 'The Bulletin' magazine. Paterson was also renowned as a war correspondent during 'The Boer War' and the 'Boxer Rebellion' and served in France during World War One as an ambulance driver.
Banjo Paterson was related to Australia's first Prime Minister, Edmund Barton.
|What nickname is given to a sailor with the surname 'Mills'?|
Timber. 'Timber' is the nickname applied to sailors with the surname of Mills.
This nickname probably originated when ships were made of wood and men were made of steel.
Timber Mills were much more populous in the days of wooden sailing ships so it is most likely the relationship between Timber Mills and Wooden Ships is important to a sailor.
Sailors in the 'Commonwealth' navies are more likely to have called a mill a 'Timber Mill' rather than a 'Lumber Mill' which is a term more prevalent in North America.
As with all folklore, over time the truth can sometimes be confused with myth. Bear in mind when you read these answers that what you read are the more common reasons for the nicknames. It's possible and very likely that there are other possibilities for some of the names. I have included just some of them. The main point of the quiz is about nicknames, not the origins of the nicknames.
Wikipedia, The Free Dictionary, www.navy-net.co.uk. www.gunplot.com.au, www.mhs.mb.ca, www.firstworldwar.com
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