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The word from inside

I've always had a "thing" for jargon. I love inside lingo, the little terms and phrases that are used by the folks on the inside to communicate in their own shorthand. I've worked in jobs where we kicked around wibs, 2-upping, headers, and hals, just to name a few.

Driving in winter has its own special language. This will be the 22nd New Hampshire I've driven in, and it's always fun seeing how people deal with it. In fact, just the other day, I got to say to my boss:

"Sorry I'm late. I was stuck behind this U-Boat Commander who was polishing the ice in her brand-new four-wheel-slide."

Wizbang Bonus Bucks to the first person to successfully translate that sentence into English. And for the most creative inaccurate interpretation.

(Wizbang Bonus Bucks are only exchangeable with Flanian Pobble Beads and Triganic Pus.)

Update: DaveK pretty much nailed it.

Comments (26)

"woman driver sliding in he... (Below threshold)
mark m:

"woman driver sliding in her 4wd SUV"???

"u-boat commander"Ha... (Below threshold)

"u-boat commander"
Had a John Kerry bumper sticker

"polishing the ice"
sliding, driving recklessly


"I got stuck behind a Kerry supporter who was sliding all over the place in her SUV."

U-boat commander - off the ... (Below threshold)

U-boat commander - off the road, typically into a stream/brook/puddle of standing water.

Polishing the ice - sliding on black ice.

Four wheel slide - idiots who think that owning a vehicle with four-wheel drive means they can continue at highway speeds on icy roads.

A woman driving an SUV (more than likely an Exploder or Cherokee) slid on a patch of black ice and went into the brook.

A U-Boat commander could be... (Below threshold)

A U-Boat commander could be someone who has scraped just enough ice off the windshield to see - a little tiny clear patch, like a periscope.

Um,Not to pick nit... (Below threshold)


Not to pick nits, but Kerry didn't command a U-boat. He commanded a "swift boat." U-boats were German submarines (the "U" standing for "unterwassar.")

Although, since Kerry is a Nazi, if that's the reference, then, of course, I get it.

PS:I'll have the p... (Below threshold)


I'll have the pus please.

"Sorry I'm late. I was stuc... (Below threshold)

"Sorry I'm late. I was stuck behind this Mercedes-driving woman who was sliding all over the place in her brand-new Benz SUV that can't handle conditions that a Honda Civic sneers at."

In Houston the term "U-Boat... (Below threshold)

In Houston the term "U-Boat Commander" has a different meaning. It refers to an idiot (usually driving an expensive SUV such as a Lincoln Navigator) who thinks that they can drive through the intersection of I-10 and beltway 8 (or other notorious intersection) when flooded. They tend not to believe the flood gage on the side of the road that says there is 8 feet of water there until their Lincoln Navigator is submerged.

That being said my guess is that Jay G's last paragraph is it.

I would think the U-Boat co... (Below threshold)
Rodney Dill:

I would think the U-Boat commander comment would refer to the Porsche reference from Risky Business, which would certainly slide easily on ice.

My guess for u-boat command... (Below threshold)
Paul Phillips:

My guess for u-boat commander is she was putting on make-up staring into the rear view mirror when she slid on the ice in her SUV.

It's a trick question. The... (Below threshold)

It's a trick question. The sentence WAS in english.

That aside:

U-boat commander:
Person driving a huge vehicle. Previously, a driver of an old Caddy. Now also applies to suburbans. See "tuna-boat captain".

Polishing the ice:
Spinning out. Wheels slipping because of icy conditions, however continuing to apply the gas for some reason.

Four-wheel slide:
An SUV, that makes it's driver feel invincible. Not realizing of course, that four wheel DRIVE does not equate to four wheel brakes. Also, 4-wheel does not work well when the vehicle is on its roof.

U-Boat Commander: Matthew M... (Below threshold)

U-Boat Commander: Matthew McCaunehey (from U-571)

polishing the ice: euphamism for masturbation in Canada

four wheel slide: the only thing I can come up with is pope-mobile

So, where exactly did you say you saw Matthew McKanankey flogging his dolphin in the pope-mobile?

"Sorry I'm late. I was stuc... (Below threshold)
Peter F.:

"Sorry I'm late. I was stuck behind this U-Boat Commander who was polishing the ice in her brand-new four-wheel-slide."


"Sorry I'm late. Some dumb a-hole in front of me thought their Mercedes ML350 made them invinsible on ice but they were skidding out all over the place. What a tool."

"U-boat commader" is a bit odd. Like the guy from Houston, I always thought it menat someone who was trying to ford a stream or a body of water that was much deeper than the driver anticipated. Or, like when I go 4-wheelin' in my truck and I cross a deep stream, I'm being a "U-Boat Commader".

"I was stuck behind Tonya Harding or Brian Boitano..." or "Who does this tool think he is? Brian Boitano?"

I would interpret it as mea... (Below threshold)
Big E:

I would interpret it as meaning:

"Sorry I'm late, I stayed up all night drinking beer and playing Call of Duty on my new X-Box 360. Then when I was trying to make an hour drive in 10 minutes I couldn't get all the other drivers to drive 90mph down snow and ice covered roads"

I guess it's possible there might be some projection on my part in that interpretation.

Kerry didn't command a U... (Below threshold)

Kerry didn't command a U-boat.

Right. That was Massachusetts' other Senator, commander of an Oldsmobile class submarine for the Chappaquiddick Navy.

U-boat comander polishing t... (Below threshold)

U-boat comander polishing the ice

A woman driver, well ok not necessarily a woman , driving a four wheeled SUV like a Zamboni

Uboat commander: Someone th... (Below threshold)

Uboat commander: Someone that has not cleaned the snow and ice off the car just enough to see out the front.
Polish the ice; Spinning the wheels on the ice while looking out that small opening out the front wondering why not moving forward but still trying her damnedest.
4 wheeled slide:
An SUV or some other of these wonderful 4 wheeled drive/all wheeled drive vheicles that people get because they feel it will protect them from the spinning the wheels in the ice while wondering why they are not moving looking through that one small cleared area out the front windshield .

>>Kerry didn't command a U-... (Below threshold)

>>Kerry didn't command a U-boat.

>Right. That was Massachusetts' other Senator, commander of an Oldsmobile class submarine for the Chappaquiddick Navy.


McGeeHee - You Win! I don't... (Below threshold)

McGeeHee - You Win! I don't care what the rules say.

Haven't yet read the other ... (Below threshold)

Haven't yet read the other comments, so might already have been well translated, but I'll give it a try:

"A masculine woman with children (or carpoolers) who was driving so slow as to be polishing silve (and otherwise "driving" to show off and be territorial) with a giant and new SUV."

polishing silver...... (Below threshold)

polishing silver...

Oh, right, Kerry bumperstic... (Below threshold)

Oh, right, Kerry bumpersticker = "U Boat Commander" but that translates well into my "masculine woman" line, I think.

U-Boat Commander must be a ... (Below threshold)

U-Boat Commander must be a New Hampshire thing. I was born and raised in the Northeast and drove in many a winter storm, but I've never heard that turn of phrase.

I don't know about the rest... (Below threshold)

I don't know about the rest of it, but a four wheel slide is obviously a moveable piece of playground equipment.

I seem to recall, after wat... (Below threshold)

I seem to recall, after watching so many submarine races as a teen, that in the 1960's-70's this would have meant:

Local slut in an onanistic reverie while piloting a snazzed up pickup with double tires on each side of the rear axle

but now, as mentioned by many previously, its a

Local slut peering through a 2 inch diameter opening of windshield that is condensation-, snow- and ice-free with all other windows completely opaque with condensation, snow and ice, spinning like a Zamboni in her 4 wheel drive vehicle (could be a Quattro, Subaru, Jeep, Tacoma, Suburban, Hummer or whatever). Since she was a U-baot commander, can't make any comments about the onanistic reverie. (Speaking of which, then how did you know it was a FEMALE U-boat commander - makes me think that maybe Big E has the real scenario down cold) But one can dream...

Uboat commander: Here in c... (Below threshold)

Uboat commander: Here in central Texas a Uboat commander is a reference to a woman who is applying makeup in her rear view mirror while driving. From behind, it looks like she's peering into the mirror as if it were a periscope.
They invariably have one hand on the mirror to keep in in the right position, and the other is applying makeup, so they're driving with their knees.
Polishing the ice: sliding out of control on an ice covered road(obvious)
Four wheel slide: An all-wheel drive car that can't keep traction on an icy road.
But in reality, we know this excuse really means "I'm late because I hit the snooze a few (dozen)times. But the raods were bad, and I'm pretty sure you can't prove that my tardiness is a result of my being a lazy slob"






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