Etymology
Advertisement
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").

Related entries & more 
Advertisement
Fort Sumter 

military installation in South Carolina, U.S., begun in 1827, named for U.S. Revolutionary War officer and Congressman Thomas Sumter (1734-1832), "The Carolina Gamecock." The family name is attested from 1206, from Old French sommetier "driver of a pack horse" (see sumpter). The U.S. Civil War is held to have begun with the firing of rebel batteries on the government-held fort on April 12, 1861.

Related entries & more 
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.

Related entries & more 
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.

Related entries & more 
Phocaea 

ancient Greek city on the Aegean coast of Anatolia, the northernmost of the Ionian cities, from Greek Phōkaia; its people were noted in ancient times for their long sea-voyages and naval power. Colonists from Phocaea founded the colony of Massalia (modern Marseille, in France). Related: Phocaean.

Related entries & more 
Advertisement
mutineer (n.)

"one guilty of mutiny, person in military or naval service who openly resists authority of his officers," c. 1600, from French mutinier (16c.), from meutin "rebellious" (see mutiny (n.)). The earlier noun was mutine (1580s). As a verb from 1680s.

Related entries & more 
non-combatant (n.)

also noncombatant, "one connected with a military or naval force other than as a fighter" (surgeons, surgeons mates, pursers, secretaries, chaplains, etc.), 1799, from non- + combatant. A word from the Napoleonic wars. Gradually extended by 1820s to "a civilian in time of war."

Related entries & more 
conscript (v.)

"to enroll compulsorily for military or naval service," 1813, American English, from conscript (n.). A word from the militia drafts in the War of 1812. Popularized (or unpopularized) during U.S. Civil War, when both sides resorted to it in 1862. Related: Conscripted; conscripting.

Related entries & more 
Trafalgar 

cape in southwestern Spain, from Arabic taraf-al-garb "end of the west," or taraf-agarr "end of the column" (in reference to the pillars of Hercules). The British naval victory over the French there was fought Oct. 21, 1805; hence London's Trafalgar Square, named in commemoration of it.

Related entries & more 
newbie (n.)

"newcomer, new person to an existing situation," by 1969, from new with diminutive or derogatory suffix. Perhaps originally U.S. military slang. Compare noob. Middle English had newing "a new thing" (early 15c.); new was used as a noun meaning "naval cadet during first training on a ship" (1909); and newie "new thing" is recorded from 1946.

Related entries & more 

Page 3