"Dagenham Dave went harpic and he's got an appointment with the fang farrier today" -- that was an example of the Royal Navy slang heard on Radio 4's Today programme this morning (listen here for another week).
Dagenham Dave: for non-London-based readers, Dagenham is an east-London suburb and Captain Jolly said the reference is to it being 'one stop short of Barking'. Barking is not only another east-London suburb, very near Dagenham, but it is also slang for 'crazy' (barking mad).
Harpic is the brand name of a toilet-cleaning fluid, so, again, the reference is to insanity; the old ad slogan was, if I remember correctly, 'clean round the bend'.
Fang farrier/ molar mangler: dentist
Louse ladders: sideboards (strips of hair at the side of the cheeks)
Hog snarling/ hog whimpering: drunk
Captain Jolly said slang develops on board a ship because everybody lives in such a cramped compact space and knows everyone, so expressions travel quickly and are understood by everyone. Also, humour defuses tension.
Listen again to the interview for another week here.
I'm about to go off for a long weekend to Bologna, Italy. I've prepared some blog posts to be published on a timer while I'm a way, but I apologise in advance for not being able to reply to any comments for a few days. Back Tuesday.