Fact Check

Is the Navy Naming a Ship 'USS Tig Ol Bitties' After an Online Vote?

A article joked that an online naming contest resulted in the Navy naming a ship the "USS Tig Ol Bitties," but it was just satire.

Published May 24, 2018

The United States Navy announced that it was christening a ship the "USS Tig Ol Bitties" after an online vote.

It is canon by now that asking the Internet to name something rarely goes as planned. In 2016, online pranksters famously attempted to name a new vessel for Britain's Natural Environment Research Council "Boaty McBoatface." So is it really so implausible that the United States Navy might name a ship the "USS Tig Ol Bitties"?

The well-known military satire web site Duffel Blog published an article on 17 May 2018, in which they jokingly claimed that the United States Navy was naming its new Zumwalt-class destroyer the "USS Tig Ol Bitties" after the name was chosen in an online contest. The satire site also included a fake tweet purporting to show President Donald Trump expressing his support:

Heads are shaking while others cheer after a failed publicity stunt led to the Navy’s next Zumwalt-class destroyer being named the USS Tig Ol Bitties, sources confirmed today.

This is not a genuine tweet from President Trump and the US Navy is not planning on naming a new vessel the USS Tig Ol Bitties.

The Duffel Blog has a long history of publishing actually humorous (and factually void) articles about military-related topics. The web site carries a disclaimer stating that all of its content is fictitious:

Duffel Blog is a parody of a news organization, and all content it publishes is satirical in nature. No content should be regarded as truthful, and no reference of an individual, company, or military unit seeks to inflict malice or emotional harm. All characters, groups, and military units appearing in these works are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, or actual military units and companies is purely coincidental.

For those who may not get the joke, this fictitious ship's name is an example of a spoonerism, a bit of word play that swaps the first letters of two words, which was named after William Archibald Spooner, a long-serving don at Oxford University in the late 1800s and early 1900s.


Chilton, Martin.   "The Best Spoonerisms."     Telegraph.   29 August 2015.

Romano, Aja.   "Boaty McBoatface and the History of Internet Naming Fiascos."     Vox.   10 May 2016.

Charlie, Mike.   "Navy to Christen USS Tig Ol Bitties After Service Allows People to Vote Online for Ship’s Name."     Duffel Blog.   17 May 2018.

Dan Evon is a former writer for Snopes.

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