Recent Reviews (July 2018):

“A delightful read, for both mariners and non-mariners alike! Despite having over 25 years in the Royal Canadian Navy, I learned a few new terms reading this book. The author, who first introduced me as a very green Ordinary Seaman to the Naval world, has done a wonderful job capturing the unique nature of Naval speak. I would recommend this book to any new and even seasoned sailors to gain a better understanding of life at sea.”
— Commander Jason Karle, OIC Sea Training (Atlantic) – Patrol, RCN
“Today’s RCN needs this book as a bridge between the experienced sailors and the new entries … An outstanding resource!”
— Chief Petty Officer Chris Radimer (retired)
“It’s wonderful to see such an outstanding collection of the words and phrases I have passed on to many young sailors in my forty-three years of naval service.”
— Chief Petty Officer Fred Haight (retired)


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Ever hear the phrase, “They talk like a sailor.” A sailor has their own language and “cursing like a sailor” is not the banter that we have come to stereotype with this old and noble profession.

Through time and tradition these brave souls who go down to the sea in ships have developed a colourful language of their own and like any form of modern language it is still changing and evolving.

Jackspeak of the Royal Canadian Navy by Mark Nelson has captured this mysterious repertoire of words and phrases used by Canadian sailors. Written in a dictionary style for ease of reference, it is more an alphabetical legacy of the terminology of a modern sailor’s language in today’s Canadian Navy.

Mark has captured the essence of the words and terminology that is easily enjoyed by any landlubber dreaming of a life at sea. While the master mariner will find this book an excellent resource.” — Roger Litwiller 


polarbearpi – 4.0 out of 5 stars Good reference guide for green sailors
Good reference guide for new personnel. I liked it because it brings back memories. A glossary is never an exciting read so four stars is fair.
ICFY95 – 5.0 out of 5 stars A guide to Canada’s third official language – that of the RCN.
An outstanding reference for every “land-lubber” or a family member of a sailor who wants to know what it is they are hearing when the “Matelot”, “Salty Dog” or “Deck Ape” in their lives comes ashore after a period at sea. Great Canadian content from an expert.

(Current reviews appearing here were made for the 1st edition of this book.)