Neptune’s Dandruff

It’s all aboard the HMS Purple this week as Admirals Dent and Brandreth navigate their way through the linguistic flotsam and jetsam of the Royal Navy. With a good wind behind them they sail through the official ranks before unpicking the complex slang used above and below deck. 

And there’s time for a quick word with the Sky Boatswain before sitting down to a delicious helping of ‘Adam and Eve on a raft’. We hope you like the cut of their jib!

As always we get through as many of your questions as we can - this week focussing on ‘codswallop’, ‘tosh’ and ‘gaffer’ - Susie has three brilliant words to commit to memory, and Gyles questions our baffling approach to plurals with a lovely, witty poem.

A Somethin’ Else production.

Smirting - flirting while you’re smoking
Nippitatum - a strong drink
Neckum, Swinkum, Swankum - the three draughts you can pour from a keg of ale

Try 6 free issues of The Week magazine worth £23.94 today. Go to and use your special code PURPLE to claim your 6 week free trial today.

Don’t forget, we’ve got a lovely new range of merchandise available from so get your mugs, t-shirts, and tote bags today!

Learn more about your ad choices. Visit