Sparkies' secret language. - Ships Nostalgia
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Sparkies' secret language.

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  #1  
Old 14th May 2008, 23:16
Peter Fielding Peter Fielding is offline  
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Sparkies' secret language.

We have a fair number of sparkies and ex-sparkies on the site, and from time to time, they lapse into their esoteric alphabetic codes. I'm sure there's no sinister intent in this, so would it be considered intrusive to ask for a list of commonly-used codes to be posted to enable the rest of us to follow the thread. Or am I just being a nosy bugger?
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  #2  
Old 15th May 2008, 00:07
K urgess K urgess is offline
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DO you mean the Q codes or the shorthand we sometimes use?
The Q codes are listed at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Q_code but these are mostly the modern ones and the amateur ones.
The shorthand is exactly the same as "speedwriting" which is exactly the same as text messaging on a mobile phone.
A few odd things like OM = Old Man, 73s for luck, etc.

Cheers
Kris
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  #3  
Old 15th May 2008, 07:38
Peter Fielding Peter Fielding is offline  
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Thanks for the response, Marconi Sahib. I was referring to the mysterious Q-codes. No doubt the link you gave will reveal all.
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  #4  
Old 15th May 2008, 08:05
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Some more for you Peter.

73 ....Best wishes

88 ....Love and Kisses

OM ..Old man (used to address the distant operator even if he was 18 years old!

YL ...Female equivalent of OM (Young Lady)

XYL . Mrs (Ex Young Lady)

Hi Hi..Laughter (Now sent by texters as LOL)

Last edited by King Ratt : 15th May 2008 at 09:44.
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  #5  
Old 18th May 2008, 08:49
Keckers Keckers is offline  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by King Ratt View Post
Some more for you Peter.

73 ....Best wishes

88 ....Love and Kisses

OM ..Old man (used to address the distant operator even if he was 18 years old!

YL ...Female equivalent of OM (Young Lady)

XYL . Mrs (Ex Young Lady)

Hi Hi..Laughter (Now sent by texters as LOL)
I remember TUSU - as: thank you - see you.
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  #6  
Old 18th May 2008, 10:13
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Keckers..you've reminded me of another one -AS- (sent with the two letters run together) ..meaning Wait. eg AS 5 (wait five minutes) or AS tic.
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  #7  
Old 18th May 2008, 11:01
niggle niggle is offline  
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how about "thank you see you" expressed in morse as -tusu-

Niggle
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  #8  
Old 18th May 2008, 12:49
trotterdotpom trotterdotpom is offline  
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No 9 - Doctor's orders.

13 - Lucky for some.

22 - Two little ducks.

88 - Two fat ladies.

John T.
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  #9  
Old 18th May 2008, 14:39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trotterdotpom View Post
No 9 - Doctor's orders.

13 - Lucky for some.

22 - Two little ducks.

88 - Two fat ladies.

John T.
Mixed metaphores, 88 Love & Kissses from Two fat ladies = 13
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  #10  
Old 18th May 2008, 15:45
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GeeMcDee GeeMcDee is offline  
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Q Codes

What about that ever-so useful Q-code which we got in every weekly test at Radio College in Manchester - never heard it used since, but it's chiselled into my memory bank;-

QUQ? Shall I train my searchlight nearly vertical on a cloud, occulting if possible, and if the aircraft is seen, deflect the beam up-wind on the water or land, to facilitate your landing?

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Gary
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  #11  
Old 18th May 2008, 23:08
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The only one I can remember from my College days is QRM - I am being interfered with (the way I remember it it was M - Molested).

Strange how somethings stick in the mind after decades without ever using it.
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  #12  
Old 18th May 2008, 23:23
athinai athinai is offline  
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Peter OM

mni tks fer ur post peter ur not a nosi bugger atal
vy bst 73 to u es urs es 88 2 ur lass
fer nw bi bi es hpe cuagn
tu gn ar va
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  #13  
Old 18th May 2008, 23:50
trotterdotpom trotterdotpom is offline  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jaydeeare View Post
The only one I can remember from my College days is QRM - I am being interfered with (the way I remember it it was M - Molested).

Strange how somethings stick in the mind after decades without ever using it.
Similarly, QRQ? - Can you send faster? (remembered by "Quicker) and QSQ? (Do you have a doctor on board? (remembered by "Quack"). I think I've got them the right way round.

All that stuff is stuck in my head too, that's why there is no room for me to know where I put my watch weeks ago! QTR? anybody - "What is the exact time?"

John T.
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  #14  
Old 19th May 2008, 18:31
K urgess K urgess is offline
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While doing some Googling on another subject I came across this.


P/O PRUNE CATCHES A CODE

P/O Prune went into town;
Of beer he had his fill;
So when they asked him QBA?
He answered sadly NIL,

His comrades sat him at the bar;
Now QAH? They said,
But ere he got a QFE,
He climbed a bit instead.

He stood and shouted QVG
And QTH precarious
Then QFOd upon the floor,
His language mixed and various.

Oh QFR, Prune said. I guess
I QGHd too fast
Control! Im in a ruddy mess!
A QGX please! Blast!

He then turned to the Bar Maid
Saying, QDR my dear?
She answered rather snappily
That QFTs right here!

The QTR is time at last,
So QAA at mess?
You seem to me, Prune, almost tight:
So QAK unless.

You wish to QAL in jug
And be a most peculiar mug.
So get your QDM for home;
Allow for drift and do not roam.

From TEE EMM September 1941. (Wartime RAF Training Manual)

Translation for the non radio Q codes when I find my copy of the code of signals.
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  #15  
Old 19th May 2008, 19:24
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GeeMcDee GeeMcDee is offline  
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Nice one Marconi Sahib, like it.

Then there's always: 'She was only the Sparkies' daughter, and she di-dit 'cos her Da-dah-di-dit

Regards
Gary
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  #16  
Old 21st May 2008, 17:41
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What's not often recognised is the French connection.

de - from

OM - old man but also Homme

AS - wait - attends svp

AR - Au revoir

There has always been controversy over the origins of LID meaning poor operator. Possibly.... L'idiot.
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  #17  
Old 21st May 2008, 17:54
K urgess K urgess is offline
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Don't forget MAYDAY = m'aid.

Or so they told us at college.
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  #18  
Old 21st May 2008, 19:09
Shipbuilder Shipbuilder is offline
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I can't help thinking that Spark's secret language was nothing more than morse code. In 31 years, I sailed in 19 ships & several times it was with captains who claimed to know morse code with a far greater profficiency that I did & yet I could tell by their blank stares when I was "on the air" that this was simply not true. I wonder why some of them needed to do this? - surely as Masters under God it was unnecessary? I am not talking about tyrants, but generally decent types with whom I got on very well.
One of them did give me a scare though. It was aboard a Union-Castle liner & the captain in question died suddenly one dark calm night off the island of St. Helena. He was a true gentleman & we got on famously - he claimed to be an expert in morse. The night after the burial at sea, I was tuning in to Portishead to pick up some traffic & as I let go of the dial for an instant, the message in very clear morse came in loud & clear "sorry I didn't have time to say cheerio!" gave me quite a start, but it was only a genuine message going out to another ship!
Bob
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  #19  
Old 21st May 2008, 20:00
hughesy hughesy is offline  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marconi Sahib View Post
Don't forget MAYDAY = m'aid.

Or so they told us at college.
Was'nt PAN PAN PAN french and whatever the safety was SECUREITE (not sure of the spelling now)

all the best
Hughesy
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  #20  
Old 21st May 2008, 20:16
K urgess K urgess is offline
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Securit = Safety as in TTT. Definitely French but I'm not sure about Pan.

Morse was at least a semi-secret language, or else why would there be screams of "SPAAAAARKS" from the bridge when a ship had been called on the lamp and they'd actually replied much to the OODs dismay.
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  #21  
Old 21st May 2008, 21:18
Mimcoman Mimcoman is offline  
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I found that the scream "Spaaaaarrrkkksss" usually meant that I'd forgotten that Sports Report was on again and tried to call GKG on 12 MHz.
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  #22  
Old 21st May 2008, 21:25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marconi Sahib View Post
Securit = Safety as in TTT. Definitely French but I'm not sure about Pan.
Also French, Kris. Panne is French for a breakdown.
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  #23  
Old 21st May 2008, 21:42
K urgess K urgess is offline
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Thanks, Ron.
Had to be something but I couldn't think of the word.
Cheers
Kris
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  #24  
Old 21st May 2008, 22:17
gwzm gwzm is offline  
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It's commonly believed that "LID" for a poor operator comes from the early days of landline morse which which was copied on a sounder. These were often placed in a resonator box to make them louder but that only increased the racket in a busy telegraph office so the new operators used to put a tobacco tin or its lid in the resonator so that that the sound was different and therefore easier to copy. I believe they also used the expression "plug" operator because it was a tobacco tin that was usually used. I stand open to correction if we have any old time landline telegraph operators on board who actually had landline experience.

All the best,

John/gwzm
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  #25  
Old 21st May 2008, 23:11
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Part of my Navigation Cadet course was to learn to send and receive morse on a lamp, well at College it was a small light fitted in a box just below the ceiling.

A classmate sat in front writing down the letters I spoke out. Then it was turn around where I would write down his letters.

Learning morse on this course helped me a great deal when I went on my Sparks course.
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