Etymology
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R.A.F. 

also RAF, initialism (acronym) for Royal Air Force, founded 1918 by consolidation of Royal Flying Corps and Royal Naval Air Service.

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nautical (adj.)

"pertaining to ships, sailors, or navigation," 1550s, from -al (1) + nautic from French nautique, from Latin nauticus "pertaining to ships or sailors," from Greek nautikos "seafaring, naval," from nautēs "sailor," from naus "ship" (from PIE root *nau- "boat").

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commodore (n.)

"commanding naval officer," 1690s, probably via Dutch kommandeur from French commandeur, from Old French comandeor (see commander). The U.S. Navy rank was created 1862, above a captain, below a rear-admiral.

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conscript (n.)

"one who is compulsorily enrolled for military or naval service," 1800, perhaps a back-formation (influenced by French adjective conscrit) from conscription, or else a noun use of the adjective.

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midshipman (n.)

naval officer, c. 1600, originally so called because he was stationed amidships when on duty (see amid). Midships as short for amidships is by 1620s. Midship as "the middle of a ship or boat" is from 1550s.

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decommission (v.)

"to take (something) out of active service," 1922, originally in reference to warships, from de- + commission (v.) in the nautical sense of "be transferred from the naval yard and placed in the command of an officer." Related: Decommissioned; decommissioning.

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armament (n.)

1650s, "naval force equipped for war," from Latin armamentum "implement," from Latin armare "to arm, furnish with weapons" from arma "weapons" (including defensive armor), literally "tools, implements (of war);" see arm (n.2). The meaning "process of equipping for war" is from 1813.

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boffin (n.)

"person engaged in innovative research," especially in aviation, 1945; earlier "elderly naval officer" (1941), a word of uncertain origin but probably from one of the "Mr. Boffins" of English literature (as in "Our Mutual Friend").

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yard-arm (n.)

also yardarm, 1550s, from yard (n.2) in the nautical sense (attested from Old English) + arm (n.1). In 19c. British naval custom, it was permissible to begin drinking when the sun was over the yard-arm.

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ship-building (n.)

"naval architecture," 1717; see ship (n.) + build (v.). Ship-builder is attested by 1700. Ship-craft is attested in this sense from late 14c., but it also meant "art of navigation." Also compare shipwright.

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