What Is a Squid in the Navy

What Is a Squid in the Navy?

In the world of the United States Navy, there are many unique terms and slang used to describe various ranks, positions, and personnel. One such term is “squid,” which is often used to refer to sailors in the Navy. But what exactly does this term mean, and why is it used? In this article, we will explore the origins and meaning of the term “squid,” as well as provide answers to some frequently asked questions about it.

The term “squid” has been in use for decades in the Navy, and its origins can be traced back to World War II. It is believed to have derived from the shortening of the term “squidboat,” which was a nickname given to submarines. Sailors who served on submarines were then referred to as “squids.” Over time, the term expanded to include all sailors in the Navy, regardless of their specific job or position.

The term “squid” is often used in a lighthearted and playful manner, with no negative connotations. It has become a way for sailors to identify and bond with each other, creating a sense of camaraderie among those who serve in the Navy. In fact, many sailors proudly embrace the term and consider it a badge of honor.

Now let’s delve into some frequently asked questions about the term “squid” in the Navy:


1. Is “squid” a derogatory term?
No, “squid” is not considered a derogatory term in the Navy. It is used in a playful and affectionate manner to refer to all sailors.

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2. Can only enlisted personnel be called “squids”?
No, both enlisted personnel and officers in the Navy can be referred to as “squids.” The term is inclusive and applies to all sailors.

3. How did the term “squid” come to be associated with submarines?
During World War II, the term “squidboat” was used to refer to submarines. Sailors who served on these submarines became known as “squids.”

4. Are there any other terms or nicknames for sailors in the Navy?
Yes, there are several other terms and nicknames used in the Navy. Some examples include “swabbie” for a sailor, “shellback” for someone who has crossed the equator, and “jarhead” for a Marine.

5. Is it appropriate for civilians to use the term “squid”?
While the term is primarily used within the Navy, it is generally accepted for civilians to use it in a respectful and friendly manner when referring to sailors.

6. Do sailors use the term “squid” to address each other directly?
In most cases, sailors will address each other by their rank or job title. The term “squid” is more commonly used when referring to sailors collectively.

7. Are there any official rules or guidelines regarding the use of the term “squid”?
No, there are no official rules or guidelines regarding the use of the term “squid.” It is mainly used informally and varies depending on the context and individual preferences.

8. Do sailors take offense to being called “squids”?
Most sailors do not take offense to being called “squids” as it is generally seen as a term of endearment within the Navy. However, it is always important to be respectful and considerate when using such terms.

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In conclusion, the term “squid” in the Navy has a long history and is used to refer to all sailors, regardless of their rank or position. It is a lighthearted term of camaraderie and is not considered derogatory. Sailors often embrace the term and use it to identify with each other. Remember, when using the term “squid” outside of the Navy, it is important to do so respectfully and in a friendly manner.

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