Bully boys, a term prominent in Navy chanties and poems, means in its strictest sense, "beef eating sailors." Sailors of the Colonial Navy had a daily menu of an amazingly elastic substance called bully beef, actually beef jerky. The item appeared so frequently on the messdeck that it naturally lent its name to the sailors who had to eat it. As an indication of the beef's texture and chewability, it was also called "salt junk" alluding to the rope yarn used for caulking the ship's seams.
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