Nat Geo's 'Wicked Tuna': Learn the fishermen slang

Yahoo Contributor Network

Get ready, fishing fans! "Wicked Tuna" is returning to Nat Geo, and the fishermen of Gloucester, Mass., will be bringing in the tuna with plenty of colorful language. For those who have never seen the show, or watched but had no idea what they were talking about, you've come to the right place. Here are the must-know terms in order to understand "Wicked Tuna" fishermen-speak.

Wicked: Since the show is all about "Wicked Tuna," this is the most important term to be aware of. Many people already know its meaning, but if you live in the western U.S. and haven't watched much TV, this word may have escaped you. In the case of "Wicked Tuna," wicked means the highest quality tuna. It can also mean "very much," as in, "That show is wicked good." When used on its own (i.e. "Wicked!"), it means "Super!"

Pisser: This one can be confusing since it means either wonderful or horrible, based on context. One of the more humorous and entertaining uses of the word is, "Wicked pisser!" (see above).

Sleigh ride: This is another humorous term, although the effects of the actual situation it describes may not be so funny to the people involved. A sleigh ride is when a boat is entangled and dragged by another boat.

Dragger: A dragger is a fishing boat that uses a trawl or dragnet. It's generally a good idea for draggers to keep a safe distance from other boats and for other boats to steer clear of them to avoid being taken on a "sleigh ride" (see above).

Chum: Chum is chopped up fish that's thrown in the water to attract the creatures being fished. It is not just used when fishing for tuna. Chum is used to attract all types of sea life, even crabs.

Sea rats: Sea rat is another term for seabird. Seabirds can be highly annoying to fishermen, because they will sometimes eat the chum meant for catching fish.

Snuggle: It's not just something kids do with their favorite teddy bear. Boats can "snuggle," too. On "Wicked Tuna," it usually means that one boat is anchoring close to another boat. See, fishermen like to snuggle, too!

Googans: Professionals are sometimes annoyed by "googans," who are part-time fishermen or tourists. The googans often don't know what they're doing. The especially annoying googans think they actually have a clue about the blue.

Numbers: When the fishermen talk about their numbers, they are talking about GPS coordinates. Numbers are strategic coordinates for anchoring the boat in an area that the fishermen hope will bring in the best yield of the target fish.

Keeper: A keeper is exactly what it sounds like. It is a fish that the fishermen get to keep, based on fishing quotas.

Squeaker: A "squeaker" is a "keeper," but only barely. It's a fish that just barely qualifies, according to fishing quotas.

Cow: No, a cow is not an actual cow in the water. It's just an enormous fish.

Sinker: A sinker is simply the weight used on the end of the fishing line. The weight allows the fishing line to sink below the surface of the water.

"Wicked Tuna" airs on Sunday, 1/13 at 9 PM ET on Nat Geo.

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