Sailor Speak of the Week – Bug Juice

Definition

Noun

  • (slang) A colored non-alcoholic beverage similar to Kool-Aid.

Origin

Unknown. Modern times.

Comments

Simply put, it’s the cheap government form of Kool-Aid served at sea. It usually comes in the colors red, orange, yellow, green, or purple (others exist as well). However, the color has zero bearing on the flavor. It all tastes the same…sweet.

It’s really just water with ascorbic acid powder (AKA vitamin C), food coloring, and lots of sugar added to it. If you leave out the sugar and food coloring, it can indeed be used as a cleaning agent to scrub or shine all sorts of things like toilets, linoleum, brass fixtures, concrete, etc.

Whatever nostalgia you had for Kool-Aid as a child will quickly be lost once you drink bug juice for any period of time. You can look at it more or less as the modern version of grog. The vitamin C will help prevent you from getting scurvy. After a while it tastes more or less like sugary water with a bit of lemon flavoring. Then again, Kool-Aid isn’t much different.

References

Crowell, J. (2003, October 31). Naval Terminology, Jargon and Slang FAQ Part 1 – A through M. Retrieved from http://www.hazegray.org/faq/slang1.htm

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