There are certain words and phrases that one does not get to read in the maritime press. They are not polite to use, to say the least. Yet, they aptly describe some folks in the shipping community. It is language that goes beyond appearances and indicates who an individual really is, not what he or she purports to be. Take the following for instance:

fat cat (n.)

A rich and influential person
Example: The imposition of more training requirements on seafarers makes the fat cats fatter.

bleeding heart (n.)

One who displays excessive concern and sympathy for a certain group
Example: He was the typical bleeding heart, always ready to pose for a photo with a ship’s crew. 

light-fingered (adj.)

Used to describe someone who habitually steals
Example: Light-fingered manning agents in Manila regularly skim money from the remittances of seafarers.

dissembler (n.)

A hypocrite; more precisely, a person who puts on a false front in order to conceal his true motives and thoughts.
Example: He was a dissembler who profited from acting as a champion of seafarers’ rights.

smarty-pants (n.)

A person who wants to appear clever and knowledgeable before others; a know-it-all
Example: He was a smarty-pants who showed his ignorance the more he talked.

mountebank (n.)

One who pretends to be what he is not or to have the ability to do something that he cannot, usually in a showy or flamboyant manner
Example: Only the unthinking will mistake a mountebank for a genius. 

voluble (adj.)

Said of someone who is quick to talk and lengthily at that
Example: He was so voluble he annoyed everyone in the conference room.

patsy (n.)

plural: patsies

One who is easy to cheat, hoodwink, coerce or exploit
Example: Those who don’t stand up for their rights are bound to become patsies.

pedant (n.)

Adjective form: pedantic

One who is too focused on formal rules, procedures, and small details that are not important or essential
Example: Unfortunately for the maritime school, the head of the visiting audit team was a pedant.

grabby (adj.)

Another word for greedy, from the verb “grab” — to seize something suddently and roughly
Example: There is no shortage of grabby individuals in a maritime world fuelled by the love of money.

~ Barista Uno

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