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Dog watches

From The Great War 1914-1918

Dog watches: The half-watches of two hours each, from 4 to 6 and 6 to 8pm on board ship. Thus the daily watches are made uneven in number, seven instead of six in the twenty-four hours. Otherwise the same man would be on watch at the same time daily throughout a cruise. The term is over two hundred years old.[1] Among suggestions for its origin are “dog-watch” and “docked watch.” Theodore Hook suggested that it is a watch which is “cur-tailed.” Various others have been offered.[2]

References / notes

  1. If you include the time since the publication date of the source, the term is just under three years old.
  2. Edward Fraser and John Gibbons (1925). Soldier and Sailor Words and Phrases. Routledge, London p.80.

Glossary of words and phrases

The above term is listed in our glossary of words and phrases of the Armed Forces of Great Britain during the Great War. Included are trench slang, service terms, expressions in everyday use, nicknames, the titles and origins of British and Commonwealth Regiments, and warfare in general. These words and phrases are contemporary to the war, which is reflected in the language used. They have been transcribed from three primary sources (see Contents). Feel free to expand upon and improve this content.
Browse other terms: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

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