Word Nerd

Navy [ne•vi]


1. a group of ships; a fleet, or a nation’s assembled ships of war and associated yards and facilities

2. a very dark blue

3. Navy Heights: an unincorporated community on the east end of Astoria that shares the same zip code. Navy Heights began as a World War II-era housing development back when Tongue Point was a U.S. Naval Air Station


Navy comes from the Latin navis, meaning “ship.” It enters late Middle English by way of the Old French navie; navy is the plural form of the word and literally means “ships.” It is not hard to imagine how the housing development got its name due its relationship with the Naval Air Station.

“War-related housing projects at Guild’s Lake and Ardenwald in the Portland area survived for some years, as did Navy Heights in Astoria.”

— Richard H. Engeman, “World War II Opens New Doors,” The Oregon History Project, https://oregonhistoryproject.org, 2005

“Fifty years ago this week: Four-year-old Billy Gregory, whose father is stationed at Tongue Point, caught a ride on the school bus from Navy Heights and made like he was going to go to class at John Jacob Astor School today.

Principal Bob Parnell said young Billy apparently thought the bus was picking up picnic passengers, so unbeknownst to his parents, climbed aboard.

G. T. Arrington, of the city police force, was called to the school to arrange to return the youngster to his home.”

—“Water Under the Bridge” The Daily Astorian, Sept. 14, 2015

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