Wilson Gray wilson.gray at RCN.COM
Mon Dec 6 21:14:47 UTC 2004

On Dec 6, 2004, at 10:53 AM, Bruce Hunter wrote:

> ---------------------- Information from the mail header
> -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Bruce Hunter <bhunter3 at MINDSPRING.COM>
> Subject:      Re: x-locker
> -----------------------------------------------------------------------
> --------
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Jonathan Lighter" <wuxxmupp2000 at YAHOO.COM>
>> "Snot-locker" is well attested in print since the mid-50s. It
>> apparently originated in the Navy. "Shot-locker" was a nineteenth
>> century naval term for a wallet or one's fund of ready cash.
>> Any other "-lockers" out there?
>> JL
> Greetings, All!
> Delurking for the moment to comment. I am an amateur language watcher
> with no formal language training, but find  discussions of languages
> fascinating.
> I was a member of the USN from 1969-1981 and can attest to the use of
> snot-locker. We used "rain-locker" to designate the place where one
> would shower. A derisive phrase in use, usually in response to a
> particularly uninteresting announcement over the 1MC (ship's public
> address system), was, "All those who desire to do so, may _lay down_
> to the do so locker and do so."
> Regards,
> Bruce Hunter

Re "lay down"

It's also possible to do the opposite. "Now hear this! Now hear this!
The following-named military personnel _lay up_ to the troop
commander's office this time. I say again, etc." This was a very common
announcement aboard the MSTS Upshur, the troopship that I returned from
Germany on. By an amazing stroke of luck, orchestrated by the _RFM_, no
doubt, one of the ship's loudspeakers was located right at the foot of
my bunk. As a consequence, I expect to hear that bit of naval jargon
ringing in my ears till I go to my grave.

Re "RFM": abbreviation of "The Great Random-Fuck Machine in The Sky,"
G.I. slang for the engine of fate that sees to it  that any
seemingly-positive action will have unforeseen negative consequences. I
had made sure to grab a top bunk - the bunks were stacked four high -
so that I wouldn't have to worry about getting myself or my bunk barfed
on by sea-sick comrades. I probably don't need to add that, by sheerest
coincidence, no one in my area got sick.

-Wilson Gray

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