Pusser An all-purpose word to do with the Navy and RM that is one of the most interesting and widely used in Jackspeak;
- The paymaster and supplies officer of the old Navy was the purser (an appointment still made in the Merchant Navy) which then became slurred in daily usage to pusser. This word was a noun, verb or adjective depending on the shade of meaning required. The Pusser is still the ship or establishment’s Supply Officer, whereas a Pusser is any officer of the Supply and Secretariat specialisation.
- Anything of official origin is a pusser’s item, or pusser’s issue, and in the sense that Pusser refers to the whole Royal Navy or Royal Marines as an organisation, the word crops up in a large number of daily descriptions:
- Pusser’s blanket – any issued blanket that is usually itchy and flea ridden.
- Pusser’s war canoe – any RN ship.
- Pusser’s wool – green hairy string used for comms-cord in a harbour area if no para cord is available, or for tying up just about anything you don’t want secured. Pusser’s wool is not very strong and therefore as much use as indicators on a submarine.
- Pusser’s tea bag – old term used for issued waterproofs that weren’t. Now replaced with Gore-Tex.
- You pusser’s twat – anyone who will not deviate from regulations.
A drop of pusser’s is a general phrase for rum. When speaking of proper Naval rum, Royal and Jack will refer to a drop of pusser’s, without necessarily referring to the trademarked commercial fluid (with a capital P). Pusser’s Rum is distributed from Tortola, but Charles Tobias, the former US Marine who owned the company, sold out to the huge Jim Beam drinks conglomerate. One of the key new account executives was a Peruvian American who supported the Argentine cause in 1982, and therefore simply hated the image of the White Ensign that used to adorn the original bottle label! Sales dropped. Charles eventually bought the company back, the White Ensign returned, and common sense has now prevailed.