Sailor Speak of the Week -Yeoman

Definition

Noun

  • Enlisted rating in the Navy and Coast Guard, and a person aboard a merchant vessel, all of whom perform clerical work.

Origin

Earlier than the 19th Century. Probably from Middle English, but exact nautical origin is unknown.

Comments

The person who works in the ship’s office and makes sure all of the records are in order. May seem like a glorified secretary, but the truth is that the yeoman holds the keys to your existence. They can literally make you disappear from the system if they wanted. Hopefully your evals and fitness reports don’t get “magically” lost. You do want to get promoted, right?

References

Rogers, J.G. (1985). Origins of Sea Terms. Mystic, CT: Mystic Seaport Museum.

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