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Penistone is a town South Yorkshire, England.

The “Make America Great Again” caps designed for the 2016 Donald Trump presidential campaign were made in China.

Women were not allowed to serve on Royal Navy submarines until 2011.

Lizards cannot breathe and walk at the same time.

The national anthem of Bangladesh includes the lines: “The fragrance from your mango groves makes me wild with joy.”

See other: Quite Interesting Facts

Jackspeak


Ever been caught between the devil and the deep blue sea? Or maybe you have been told to show a leg, been taken aback or have been made to run the gauntlet?

If so, you have been using just a few of the thousands of slang words and phrases coined or adopted by the Royal Navy – the world’s oldest organised fighting service – over the course of more than 400 years.

Over the centuries, the jargon of the Royal Navy, known as Jackspeak, has contributed to the everyday English vocabulary.

Royal Navy personnel feel that part of its charm comes from its exclusivity, because the terminology used is only understood by fellow naval comrades.

Also, it is believed that the humour of nautical slang is an essential coping strategy for people dealing with the multiple uncertainties and dangers of war.

“The world is a navy in an empty ocean.” – Dejan Stojanovic

The range of slang used by the Grey Funnel Line (the navy) is both instructive and amusing. Whether you serve in the Green Death (3rd Commando Brigade, Royal Marines), or are a snotty (midshipman) or a pickle jar officer (a university graduate who can tell you the square root of a pickle-jar lid to three decimal places but cannot get the blooming thing off), there is a special name for everything that matters.

In addition, the whole spectrum of naval life is covered, from a horse’s neck (brandy and dry ginger) to buckets of sunshine (nuclear weapons), the rather charming putting the Queen to bed (affectionate term for the formal lowering of the White Ensign each evening, at sunset), and helioproctosis (a condition where a person, usually a toffee-nosed officer, believes the sun shines from his backside – from the Ancient Greek ἥλιος meaning ‘sun’, and πρωκτός meaning ‘anus’).

“The sea, the snotgreen sea, the scrotumtightening sea.” – James Joyce, Ulysses

And at the end of a Naval career, one receives the Order of the Golden Toecap (redundancy), and swallows the anchor (retired from a career at sea).

Finally, to get out at Fratton is Royal Navy jargon for coitus interruptus. (Fratton is the last railway station before Portsmouth – home of one of Britain’s largest Naval Bases.)

Nelson’s Eye and the Battle of Copenhagen


The Battle of Copenhagen (Danish: slaget på Reden) was an engagement which saw a British fleet under the command of Admiral Sir Hyde Parker fight and strategically defeat a Danish-Norwegian fleet anchored just off Copenhagen on 2 April 1801. Vice-Admiral Horatio Nelson led the main attack. Copenhagen is often considered to be Nelson’s hardest-fought battle which was won much to his credit. The battle is perhaps best known for his famous ‘mistake’ to miss Admiral Parker’s orders using the telescope with his wrong eye.

Nicholas Pocock’s The Battle of Copenhagen

At 1:00 pm Admiral Parker held the back rank in order to engage in a flank attack. He would have been able to see little of the main battle owing to gun smoke, though he could see the signals on the three grounded British ships, with the Bellona and Russell flying signals of distress and the Agamemnon a signal of inability to proceed. Parker was under the impression that Nelson might have fought to a stand-still at the frontine and was unable to retreat without orders. Retreating without orders was unforgivable for a British Naval officer since the Articles of War demanded that all ranks do their utmost against the enemy in battle.

At 1:30pm Parker told his flag captain, “I will make the signal of recall for Nelson’s sake. If he is in condition to continue the action, he will disregard it; if he is not, it will be an excuse for his retreat and no blame can be imputed to him.” Nelson ordered that the signal be acknowledged, but not repeated. Supposedly he turned to his flag Captain, Foley, and said “You know, Foley, I only have one eye — I have the right to be blind sometimes,” and then, history would have us believe that while holding his telescope to his blind eye, Nelson said “I really do not see the signal!”. Nelson’s second-in-command, Rear Admiral Thomas Graves, repeated the signal, but in a place invisible to most other ships while keeping Nelson’s ‘close action’ signal at his masthead. It remains unclear whether Rear Admiral Graves used this cloak and dagger approach on Nelson’s orders, deliberately flying the signal flags to retreat in a place where almost no other ship could see. Only captain Riou, who could not see Nelson’s flagship, the Elephant, followed Admiral Parker’s signal to retreat. Riou withdrew his force, which was then attacking the Danish Tre Kroner fortress. Riou exposed himself to heavy fire and was killed in the retreat.

However, it was at this time that the battle swung decisively to the British, as their superior gunnery took effect. The guns of the dozen southernmost Danish ships had started to fall silent owing to the damage they had sustained, and the fighting moved northward. According to British eyewitness accounts, much of the Danish line had fallen silent by 2pm.

The decisive crush was made at the time when Nelson ‘ignored’ Admiral Parker’s signal. Since then The Battle of Copenhagen would be mentioned in history as the naval battle that was won because Nelson ‘held the telescope to his wrong eye’ and in doing so missed Parker’s signal.