USNA slang

macphera4950

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I am reading a the biographies in The Lucky Bag working on a project about leadership.

I have encountered a number of terms and would like to know what they mean.

They are
Red Mike (he was or was not a Red Mike)
Wife (probably not as in normal usage)
Sky Buddy
O.A.O.
Dago
sand-blower

Replies to macphera4950@gmail.com would be best
 

usna1985

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Sand-blowers are short folks. The term is typically used in reference to marching (parades, games), when in the past, the short folks were put in the back and on the right side (facing front) of the formation. It was always tough when the tallest guys were in the front taking long strides, forcing the sand-blowers to take exaggerated strides to keep up. I believe formations are now formed differently, so not sure the term still is used.

I've heard "wife" used to refer to a GF who was already married to a mid (yep, it happens) or was PG while the mid was still at USNA. Not sure that's the only use, or even the right one, however.

The other terms aren't ringing any immediate bells.
 

kinnem

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Just a guess but I think "Red Mike" is a reference to "Red Mike Edson". See here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Merritt_A._Edson
I would take it to mean what the user thinks about someone else's likeliness to succeed. Since it seems to make sense to me, I'm sticking with that theory.
 

macphera4950

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These are the terms in Lucky Bags


1940

MELVIN ABRAHAMS NEW YORK, NY

"What! No mail?" With this comment New York's contribution to the "sandblowers" of the Fourth Platoon arrives, ready to expound his latest psychological theory.


ROBERT THOMAS ALLSOPP East Orange, NJ

He will tell you that he's a "red mike." but take it with a grain of salt,


GEORGE WILLIAM KITTREDGE Freeport, NY

Neither a snake nor a red mike, he is remarkably successful in the quality of his drags.


WILBUR GARDNER BARTON Schenectady, NY

Whether with the O. A. O. at a hop or with a blind drag at a tea fight, the man rates his nickname of "Smooth


CONRAD HILMER CARLSON Cambridge, MA

Two years at his beloved Harvard and an aptitude for Math and Dago have justly labeled Connie a savoir


WILLIAM HENRY GAME Albany, NY

Bill finds no menace in academics in spite of an occasional disastrous skirmish with the Skinny Department. Though never a cutthroat, his marks are always in the upper

level. A steady worker, a dependable staff to the classmate in need, an ever cheerful wife, and a good-natured terror to Godless

plebes,


JOSEPH EDWARD GOULD Brunswick, Georgia 1943

He was always at the hops, and that curly hair and friendly smile drew the women like a magnet. He was an ideal wife. One minute he would be without a care while the next might find him studying like mad.


WALTER PURNELL NOCK, JR. Salisbury, Maryland 1943

Walt was discouraged to see the Matapeake ferry leave its slip every day, but he finally became reconciled and has become a swell wife and friend.


RICHARD WRIGHT PHIPPS . Tampa, Florida 1943

I'm glad our other wife was not from California 'cause God knows the arguments over Florida were loud enough as it was.


ROBERT LYONS JUNGKLAS Saginaw, Michigan 1943

Midshipman Jungklas, 4/c, sir!—"Carry on, I'm your new wife." That was the start of three years together by the bay.
 

Old Navy BGO

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I believe "wife" was used to describe roommates long ago. I don't recall anyone using it in the 80's, but have heard or seen references in Shipmate. OAO is either "one and only" or "one among others." -depending on use. I think Dago is was used to describe foreign language classes, again before my time.

As '85 noted, Sandblowers was used for short people in our time. I watched a P-rade this fall, and noticed that the sandblowers are no longer at the end of the Company. The formation looked really strange, and I asked a couple of the Prade judges about it, particularly if this was some new effort at political correctness to avoid offending short people. The response was a bit ambiguous, and that was certainly a factor.
 

macphera4950

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In the 40's did underclassmen serve upper classmen doing things like shining shoes, etc.? I kind of get that idea from
Midshipman Jungklas, 4/c, sir!—"Carry on, I'm your new wife." That was the start of three years together by the bay.
 

Nemo567

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I believe "wife" was used to describe roommates long ago. I don't recall anyone using it in the 80's, but have heard or seen references in Shipmate. OAO is either "one and only" or "one among others." -depending on use. I think Dago is was used to describe foreign language classes, again before my time.

As '85 noted, Sandblowers was used for short people in our time. I watched a P-rade this fall, and noticed that the sandblowers are no longer at the end of the Company. The formation looked really strange, and I asked a couple of the Prade judges about it, particularly if this was some new effort at political correctness to avoid offending short people. The response was a bit ambiguous, and that was certainly a factor.
The formation thing was a change 3 or so years ago. It was more so that short people in the back couldn't screw around as much during formations than anything else.
 

DesertCaliMom

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I'd also like to know of anyone knows the origins of the "Pink N*." We found it all over the 1924 Lucky Bag and haven't been able to find a meaning.
 

5centsmom

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I can help. Months ago I came across an amazing website, USNA Virtual Memorial Hall, sponsored by the Run to Honor alum group. This site seeks to memorialize all graduates and attendees of USNA who lost their life in service to their country.

The Lucky Bag entry is included as a part of each page honoring a fallen hero. So I’ve come across many of the terms you mention. I’ve been focused on guys in ‘30s & ‘40s and earlier, so I’ve seen a lot of slang!!

Red Mike: eschews the ladies and dating. Often see “he’s no Red Mike but...”

Wife: roommate who was super helpful with domestic chores, an easy roommate. Definitely a compliment.

Sky buddy: haven’t seen this one, sorry.

OAO: one and only.

Dago: I’ve seen this but can’t say for sure, it’s an academic department I’ve always assumed.

And sand blower you got above.

I have gotten so much out of the USNA VMH pages. There are inspirational stories and tons of Naval History. https://usnamemorialhall.org/index.php/USNA_Virtual_Memorial_Hall
 

5centsmom

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I'd also like to know of anyone knows the origins of the "Pink N*." We found it all over the 1924 Lucky Bag and haven't been able to find a meaning.
I've seen this, too. Best I can give you is a reference in a '30s slang book that it refers to having done something of "great daring". Not to be confused with the Black N, which seems to be almost like a secret society of demerit-seekers. Or at least recipients. That's been around since 1912, according to a Washington Post article (worth a read - easily found in a Google search). Robert Heinlein was a Black N, according to the article!
 

5centsmom

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Sorry - forgot "snake" from above: guy who steals others' dates. One of my faves, "Blind Drags" are blind dates, i.e., the woman I wish to date has a friend she insists on bringing. If this is mentioned, it's usually because the guy tagged along willingly to help the friend out with the blind drag. The cultural norm of bragging about dating in Lucky Bag is certainly different in the '40s from what it is today.
 

macphera4950

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I'd also like to know of anyone knows the origins of the "Pink N*." We found it all over the 1924 Lucky Bag and haven't been able to find a meaning.
I have not exactly found the tern anywhere but I think I am close

The term Pink N only occurs after the biography in the section where varsity letters, clubs and the like occurs

The term is only found in four people's biographies as below

Gregg Miller Lindsay did not graduate pink N

Dewey Heisner Collins runner up class loving cup. Near Pink N

Joseph Frederick Johnson wonderful way with the women. Pink N (1)

Harolde Wesley Wray did not graduate I have four pretty little ladies Dan McGrew's closest rival and the class most skillful exponent of the great American indoor sport Pink N (2)

Charles A. Van Nydeck Schenick, Jr. At one of the Musical Clubs' shows a fair dragmurmured estatically Pink N (2).

I think the key is skillful exponent of the great American indoor sport that is dating and what may follow

In other words the Pink N is lettering in women chasing/dating
 

OldRetSWO

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I'd also like to know of anyone knows the origins of the "Pink N*." We found it all over the 1924 Lucky Bag and haven't been able to find a meaning.
I've seen this, too. Best I can give you is a reference in a '30s slang book that it refers to having done something of "great daring". Not to be confused with the Black N, which seems to be almost like a secret society of demerit-seekers. Or at least recipients. That's been around since 1912, according to a Washington Post article (worth a read - easily found in a Google search). Robert Heinlein was a Black N, according to the article!
Black N is not a secret society of demerit seekers. It is slang for being caught/disciplined for a severe offense that is listed in the USNA regulation book as a "Class A" offense. I know many owners of Black N's and more than a few of them made flag rank.
 

NavyHoops

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Black Ns are not secret. The conduct system has slightly changed over the years, but for the most part it meant getting a major offense, being retained and given 100 demerits. Over the years they have changed between major/minor and then 5000/4000/etc level offenses. Basically it has to be severe enough being tossed out was on the table. You get kicked out, no N. Your fellow classmates buy your yellow sweater with a black N letter. It looks exactly like a Navy varsity letter sweater. If someone repeats this and somehow is retained they get a star just like you would if you beat Army multiple times. Not sure if they still do it, but the Black Ns used to parade through King Hall during Halloween. King Hall is pretty crazy on that night and usually the parade and water polo group costumes are the highlights. Black N sweaters can also make appearances at things like tailgaters. A few Supt’s have toyed with things like giving 99 demerits and other things to prevent them. But they always came back. Those who earned them, know they were close to being tossed. So as much ‘pride’ as they have in them, they know they have to toe the line. My best friend from USNA had one with a star!
 

Capt MJ

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Let’s see now, some highlights from my time as BattO, Tales from Bancroft Hall as related by sponsor family, and DH’s contribution, in general terms:

- Underage 3/c stashed beverages in the trunk of a friend’s car parked on the sea wall near Alumni Hall end. Attended concert in Alumni Hall. Kept making trips back out. One mid threw up on the back of an AF colonel sitting in front of them. A nearby company officer was able to round up the merry crew. (underage drinking, doing it on the Yard, degree of pre-meditation, public spectacle, discrediting the service, etc.)
- Underage 3/c (sense a theme here?), in unauthorized civilian clothes, stash beverages in the trunk of an unauthorized car in the lot of a local favorite brunch place, completely oblivious to the fact that there are 30 company officers, 30 senior enlisted, 6 BattOs and dozens of other USNA staff who go out to brunch around town. Mids go in and out, attracting the notice of a company officer, who followed them out, just in time to see them being arrested. They were all urinating against a tree in the parking lot during their beverage runs, and a customer called the police. The company officer was mine. The mids were not, but they are usually very easy to pick out.
- A first class was supposed to stand his final watch a few weeks before graduation. He had a buddy come to town, a former company mate who had graduated. The 1/c blew off his watch, went drinking with buddy, returned drunk on deck and, in his confusion, went to bed in his room from when he was a 2/c, after peeing in the shower. The women currently in that room did not appreciate the visit. His graduation was delayed from May to August, so he could finish his restriction. The Dant didn’t feel he could commission someone who walked away from an assigned watch and then compounded the situation. Mid had to tell parents to cancel all Comm Week plans - and tell his fiancée (and her family) he couldn’t marry her in June. [emoji33](The Scream emoji for those who can’t see it.) To his credit, he took summer school classes and volunteered to tell his story to the incoming plebe class.
- Intrepid group of night raiders moved the markers on Worden Field, removing one company marker from each regimental side, precisely re-siting all other markers. At next day’s p-rade, two companies had no place to go, and it wasn’t pretty. The guilty parties came forward when the Supe locked the entire Brigade down and cancelled the next holiday leave.

Black N* accelerants tend to be public embarrassment to USNA and the Service, really stupid choices as 2/c and 1/c, being arrested by civil authorities, poor choices being compounded by deliberate misconduct.

There are the funny-serious ones and the UCMJ-serious-lucky-to-be-retained ones.
 
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