- U.S. Naval Term.Any naval crewman that either flies in naval aircraft, or, even though ground or ship-based, is directly assigned to one of the naval ratings (job categories) that support flying operations.In common use in today's U.S. Navy, the origin of the term is not clear, though it obviously derives from the "air" aspect of flying.It is one of three terms that very generally classifies a sailor into one of the three levels on which the Navy operates and fights: below the sea (bubbleheads), on the sea (skimmers), and above the sea (airdales).
One sailor speaking to another: "What does Jones do on the aircraft carrier?" "He's an airdale."
Dictionary of american slang with examples. .
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