Sailor Speak of the Week – U.S.S

Definition

Abbreviation

  • United States Ship. A prefix attached to the names of warships in the U.S. Navy.

Origin

8 January 1907. President Theodore Roosevelt issued Executive Order 549 that directed vessels in the U.S. Navy to have this prefixed to their names.

Comments

Pretty self-explanatory. There are a number of other meanings to the abbreviation, but “United States Ship” and its use with naval vessels is the most commonly understood. Many other countries use similar abbreviations. For example, HMS, meaning “His/Her Majesty’s Ship” in the British Royal Navy, or INS, meaning “Indian Naval Ship” in India.

References

Kemp, P. (1994). The Oxford Companion to Ships and the Sea. Oxford University Press.

Naval History & Heritage Command. (2015 January 3). Ship Naming in the United States Navy. https://web.archive.org/web/20150103224426/http://www.history.navy.mil/faqs/faq63-1.htm.

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