In nautical terms the fantail is the furthest aft part of the main deck of a warship, sort of the 'back porch', where Sailors off watch go to grab a cup of coffee, smoke a cigarette, tell sea stories, or share a ribald joke.
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If you look up "fantail" in your Funk and Wagnalls you'll find it defined something like "An Australian or Oriental flycatcher (genus Rhipidura) having fan-shaped tail feathers."
Funk and Wagnall's don't have a clue!
On the other hand, if you were a tin-can Sailor (prize to the first non-Sailor who correctly tells us what a "tin-can Sailor" is) you'd immediately envision a picture sorta like the one above.
In nautical terms the fantail is the furthest aft part of the main deck of a warship, sort of the 'back porch', where Sailors off watch go to grab a cup of coffee, smoke a cigarette, tell sea stories (what's the difference between a sea story and a fairy tale?), discuss the next liberty port, brag about the gal they met in the last liberty port, or tell their buddies what they're going to do about the guy who caused their girl-next-door to send them a "Dear John". It's where a snipe goes to get a breath of fresh air after a long watch in the engineroom, or where a young Ensign on his first sea cruise goes to watch God's sunset as no landlubber ever saw one and maybe be lucky enough to see the "green flash". It's where a crusty old Chief takes a wayward Seaman Deuce for a private a$$ chewing away from his mates in the workspace, and it's where the Skipper musters "all hands not actually on watch" to publicly commend the crew for all the hard work that went into their ship earning the squadron battle efficiency "E" for the 3rh consecutive year.
I think that we ought to have a "fantail" here on Navy Dads, so I've started one. It will be an informal place, free of political correctness, with maybe sometimes salty (but never crude-just-to-be-crude or offensive) language, and like the fantail of a ship, a place to "be ourselves".
Now, anyone have a spare smoke? --- I seem to be fresh out