• 107328  Infos

Military slang

    Military organizations like nearly all large exclusive organizations develop slang as means of self-identification
    Military slang is also used to reinforce the (usually friendly) interservice rivalries Some of these terms have been considered derogatory to varying degrees and attempts were made to eliminate them Those attempts have failed because many service members take a certain perverse pleasure in the sense of shared hardship which the nickname implies
    Military slang has often been incorporated into wider usage See also: List of US Army acronyms and expressionsAmerican English British English For British Army slang see the Forces Dictionary on http://wwwbiscuitsbrowncom For Covey Crump see the Navy Slang sub-section under the Naval Life section on the Royal Navy website http://wwwroyal-navymoduk
    Military slang includes phrases such as:

    A

    Air-Dale
    (UK and US) Derogatory term for a pilot or aircrew

    Ate-up
    (US) Disreputable or shabby Probably from the appearance of a chew toy

    B

    beans and bullets
    (US) The general term for all types of supplies
    boat
    a submarine (from U-boat)
    blanket-stacker
    (UK) Any storeman (even if he doesn't deal with blankets) Also applied to the Royal Logistics Corps in general even though their duties include everything from catering to bomb-disposal as well as storekeeping
    blue falcon
    (US) "buddy fucker" ie one who does not help a fellow soldier or who intentionally gets a soldier in trouble
    BOHICA
    Bend over here it comes again
    blue force
    (US Army or Air Force) The friendly force the opposite of the OpFor
    blue on blue contact
    (US and UK) A friendly-fire incident
    Bones
    (US) Any military doctor especially in the Navy Possibly derived from either Sawbones
    Bravo Zulu
    (Worldwide Navies) Means 'Well Done' Comes from the Allied Naval Signal Book conveyed by flag hoist or voice radio
    Broke-Dick
    (US) A soldier with a medical condition that would hinder the soldier's ability to perform certain tasks Anything that is not operationally ready
    brown shoe
    (US Air Force) Things and people related to the time that the Air Corps was a subsidiary unit of the US Army When the Air Force became an independent unit black shoes replaced the brown shoes worn by the Army at that time
    (US Navy) Things and people related to the naval aviation community From the time when brown shoes were only authorized for aviation ratings and officers
    bubblehead
    any person serving on a submarine or in the Submarine Service (a reference to decompression sickness)
    Butterbar
    (US) A second lieutenant or ensign in reference to the rank insignia - a single gold bar
    BZ
    (US Navy) Also Bravo Zulu Allied Signals Book (ATP 1) for "Well done"

    C

    cannon cocker
    (US) An artilleryman
    cannon fodder
    (US) (formerly) An infantryman sent into battle with the expectation that he will be killed
    Canoe U
    The United States Naval Academy at Annapolis Jocular when used by graduates pejorative when used by outsiders
    Cav
    (US) Cavalry
    Chair Force
    (US) the US Air Force referring to the fact that many Air Force personnel spend their time "flying a desk" ie doing office work of various sorts
    Charlie
    (US) Phonetic Alphabet for the letter C. Used in Vietnam as a general term for the Vietcong or the Vietnamese people
    chicken colonel
    a full colonel for the eagle insignia Also known as "full bull colonel" as opposed to "light colonel" which is a lieutenant colonel
    chickenshit
    The worst kind of shit as it is small minded and has no large purpose and no direction whatsoever
    Chief
    (US) The familiar form of address for any US Army warrant officer or US Navy chief petty officer Also a section leader in the US Army
    Chief of Smoke
    (US) The senior enlisted man of an artillery battery after the First Sergeant Also "Smoke"
    clusterfuck
    A disastrous situation that results from the errors of several people or groups
    CS&MO
    (US) Collect shit and move-out

    D

    Delta Hotel
    (US) phonetic alphabet for "direct hit"
    deuce and a half
    (US) 2 1/2 ton truck used for carrying cargo or up to 40 people Commonly used in convoys
    dick beaters
    Fingers
    digger
    (Aus) Any unknown Australian enlisted soldier
    doc
    A medic
    dogface
    (US) A US Army infantryman - common in World War II
    Doughboy
    (US) Also a US Army soldier - this term is almost exclusively used in the context of World War I
    dropshort
    (UK) An artilleryman or the Artillery in general Artillery will often fire over the heads of friendly troops who will certainly not appreciate a round that drops short
    duckhunter
    (US) A member of the Air Defense Artillery

    E

    F

    First Shirt
    (US) a First Sergeant Also "First Soldier" or "Top"
    fister
    (US) An artillery soldier in a Fire Support Team (FST)
    fruit salad
    (US) The colorful collection of medals worn on the breast of a dress uniform
    FUBAR
    (US) Abbreviation for "fucked up beyond all recognition (or repair)" Sometimes "FUBER" for "economical repair"

    G

    Gaggle
    Often thought to mean an unorganized group of soldiers this term actually refers to a loose group of airborne things headed in the same general direction Thus a gaggle of gnats a gaggle of B-52s a gaggle of ICBMs a gaggle of artillery shells
    GI
    (US) A US Army soldier or a member of another US military service Somewhat dated When used as a verb it means to clean thoroughly as in to GI the barracks The phrase comes from the initials for "galvanized iron" which were stamped on the trash cans during World War II. Also
    goldbrick goldbricker
    (US) A member of the military who feigns illness to avoid duty
    Good Training
    (US) Anything that does not result in death 'We had rain for three days during the field problem but it was all good training'
    Grunt
    (US) A US soldier - sometimes but not always specifically refers to an infantryman Folklore has it that GRUNT was originally an acronym of government reject -- unfit for normal training
    gun
    (US) An artillery piece This isn't slang per se but precision
    gun bunny
    (US) An artilleryman - often specifically a cannon crewman
    gun-plank
    (UK) An Artillery term for a junior officer implying that they would be more useful wedged under the wheels of the gun to prevent it sinking into the mud than in their current role
    Gunny
    (US) a Marine Corps gunnery sergeant -- or -- (US) a Naval Gunner's mate Less commonly used to describe the duty position of gunnery sergeant in a US Army howitzer platoon

    H

    Habib
    (US) A general term for Iraqis during the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003 From Arabic for 'friend'
    Hadji
    (US) A general term used to describe Middle Easterns during the war in Iraq in 2003 "same as Habib" refers to people native to the Middle Eastern Countries India and Egypt
    hardball
    (US) Any hard-surfaced road
    high speed low drag
    (US) Excellent particularly of equipment
    hindquarters
    Any headquarters
    hit the silk
    (US) To abandon an aircraft mid-flight by means of a parachute For example "Johnson's plane took a lot of flak but he hit the silk just in time!" Also punch Elvis
    Hooah or Hoo-rah
    (US) A motivated cry meaning "affirmative"
    Hudson High
    The United States Military Academy at West Point for the Hudson River Pejorative

    I

    Ie-yee-ah
    (US) Same as "Hooah" used in the US Army Third Armored Cavalry Regiment Based on an American Indian war cry

    In country
    (US) In a foreign territory esp a combat zone esp Vietnam I was in country that whole summer Does not generally apply to foreign basing in friendly countries during peacetime

    J

    jarhead
    A US Marine - according to some a reference to the "high-and-tight" haircut and squared chin Alternatively a reference to Marine utility covers supposed resemblance to mason jar lids Pejorative
    jet jockey
    (US) A pilot
    Jodie
    (US) A man who steals a soldier's girlfriend/wife when deployed out in the field or in training So often referred to in cadences used during exercises that the cadences themselves have become known as jodies or jody calls
     Ain't no use in goin' home
     Jodie's got your girl alone
    Joe
    (US) A soldier

    K

    L

    Lima Charlie
    (US) Phonetic Alphabet radio slang for loud and clear
    LT
    (US Army Air Force and Marine Corps) Nickname for Lieutenant (pronounced ELL-TEE) A pronunciation of the actual abbreviation for Lieutenant
    Leatherneck
    (US) A United States Marine from the high leather collar formerly worn with formal uniforms

    M

    Mike Mike
    (US) Millimeter from the phonetic alphabet
    Mikes
    (US) Minutes from the phonetic alphabet
    millers
    (US) An attempt to pronounce the acronym MLRS for Multiple Launch Rocket System
    mustang
    (US) A nickname for an officer promoted from the enlisted ranks Can be respectful when used by enlisted ranks and seasoned officers or pejorative when used by career-oriented academy trained officers

    N

    O

    the old man
    The unit commander In practice this term is often used even when the commander is female
    OCONUS
    (US) Acronym for "outside the CONtinental United States While this acronym is predominantly used by the military some US-based multinational corporations also use it
    OPFOR
    (US) The exercise enemy at the American National Training Center in California By extension the enemy or 'OPposing FORce'

    P

    POG
    (US) Person(or personnel) Other than Grunt Used by combat arms soldiers to describe anyone in a support Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) This is often derogatory
    Puddle Pirate
    (US) A Member of the United States Coast Guard so called because of the mistaken belief that they never sail into deep water
    Purple Suiter
    (US) A person who is serving in an all-service (Army Navy and Air Force) position An example would be a Naval officer who manages fuel for all military units in an area or major command

    Q

    R

    redleg
    (US) An artilleryman Refers to red leggings worn by some artillerymen in the 19th century
    ring knocker
    A military academy graduate particularly one who calls attention to the fact Pejorative
    rock
    (US) A particularly stupid soldier From "Dumber than a box of rocks"
    ruptured duck
    (US) The Honorable Service award given to US service members who were discharged under honorable conditions during World War II Also used to describe the recipient Refers to the awkward appearance of the spread-wing eagle of the emblem

    S

    scaley or scaleyback
    (UK) A signaller It is suggested that this term comes from the figure of Mercury on their cap badges who appears to have fish-like scales on his back
    scrambled eggs
    (US) The decorations on the brim of a field-grade officer's dress uniform cap
    sick lame and lazy
    The group of military personnel on 'sick call' or excused from duty for injury or illness -- a half-joking reference to malingering
    Sierra Hotel
    The NATO phonetic alphabet abbreviation for Shit Hot It is considered high praise and is the pilot's favorite and all-purpose expression of approval For example "That Sierra Hotel pilot just shot down six MiGs and an ICBM!" This is the "polite" military way to say that something is very impressive and has fallen into use outside the military
    shit on a shingle
    (sometimes abbreviated SOS) (US) Chipped beef on toast
    shoe
    (US Navy) Short for "black shoe" a surface warfare officer Pejorative Compare "brown shoe"
    SNAFU
    (US) Abbreviation for "Situation Normal All Fucked Up"
    stand tall
    (US) Used as a verb for to be proud or to present a military appearance
    Sparks or Sparky
    (US) Anyone who deals with radios or things electronic
    Spook
    (US) Anyone who deals with the gathering of electric intelligence covertly
    squid
    (US) A US Navy sailor Often used with derogatory intent
    stripes
    (US) Enlisted rank insignia especially above an E-4 (non-commissioned officer (NCO)) pay grade Get your stripes - to be promoted to an NCO rank
    swabbie
    (US) A US Navy sailor A reference to "swabbing the deck" a frequent and highly visible activity of deck division sailors

    T

    Tango Mike
    (US) Phonetic Alphabet for "Thank you much"
    Tango Uniform
    Phonetic Alphabet for "Tits Up"
    * (US Army & USMC) Not in optimal condition (eg The HUMVEE went Tango Uniform before we even arrived)
    * (US Air Force) Dead drunk
    TDY
    (US Army and Air Force) Temporary duty a short reassignment to another duty location generally for a few weeks or months Usually used in its official sense but sometimes describes a seimi-official recreational trip or boondoggle
    Teflon-coated
    (US) Excellent especially a piece of equipment Origin
    those people
    (US) A euphemism used for the enemy forces by Robert E. Lee during the American Civil War The term is still widely used
    throttle-jockey
    (US) A jet aircraft pilot particularly one with a penchant for speed
    Tommy Atkins or tommy
    A generic name for a soldier in the British Army (now obsolete)
    tool
    A soldier especially an unfit soldier
    Top
    The first sergeant or a sergeant major In the US Marine Corps a master sergeant or master gunnery sergeant
    Trench monkey
    (US) A member of the Army infantry Mostly used in a derogatory way by members of the Air Force

    U

    Uncle Sam's Misguided Children
    a joking reference to the United States Marine Corps Sometimes the "University of Science Music and Culture"

    V

    VC
    Abbrevation for "Viet Cong" used in the Vietnam War

    W

    ”Winchester”
    (US) Out of a particular type of ammunition (eg “Negative we are Winchester Hellfire”)

    X

    Y

    Z