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 Author  Topic: PT boat crew language
C Marin Faure

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In the interest of accuracy in the current project I am working on I am trying to have my characters use the same language that was used during WWII. I have gotten good input from vets I have talked to but one area remains unclear. And that is the area of expressive terms used by seamen during the 1940s. This includes derogatory and cuss words as well as expressions of enthusiasm.

I was told by one Navy vet that at one point the use of a particularly distasteful swear word became so prevalant that Admiral Nimitz himself issued a directive that the use of this word be stopped. Of course it had no effect whatsoever.

It would be competely inappropriate for anyone to post on this forum examples of the derogatory or swear words. But if any of you who served in WWII are willing to share some of your vocabulary with me I would really appreciate your contacting me at

I believe that when telling a story about PT boats, it must not only be accurate in terms of the boat itself but also in its portrayal of the crew. I would not want the crews in my story to be using a term in 1943 that wasn't coined until the 1980's. For example I very much doubt that anyone in the 1940s described something they were impressed with as being "cool." "Neat," perhaps, or "keen," are words that might have been used.

Thanks in advance for your help,

C. Marin Faure
Sammamish, Washington

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