Sailor Speak of the Week – Idler

Definition

Noun

  • (AKA dayman) a crew member who doesn’t stand a watch.

Origin

Probably earlier than the 18th Century. Most likely a jocular term for people who had “all night in.”

Comments

The term also can also refer to crew members who are excused from standing watches at night (hence, daymen).

References

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

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