Bunting tosser

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'Bunting tosser' or 'Bunts' is an informal term used in the Royal Navy to describe the sailors who hoist signal flags. Although dating from the period of signalling by flags,[1] it has survived as a general term for naval signallers.[2] Wireless operators may also be termed 'sparkers'.

Bunting is now a commonplace term for any small decorative flags or streamers strung on a line, but its original etymology is more specific as the worsted cloth used for flags in the Navy.

The term doesn't appear in Covey Crump, although that is a far from infallible source.[3]

Although the naval term, 'bunting tosser' is known across the services, and may be used as a jocular insult amongst Army signallers, its use implies that the intended is only fit for the Navy.[4]


  1. "Bunting Tosser". Dictionary of Vexillology. Retrieved 2013-05-11.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. "My father, ... served as a signalman (a bunting tosser)". BBC WW2 People's War project. Retrieved 2013-05-11. External link in |publisher= (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. Covey Crump on Brass Monkeys
  4. "Tidied up your gash spelling as well, you Bunting tosser". ARmy Rumour SErvice. External link in |publisher= (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>