Military Slang

Discussion in 'General' started by Drew5233, Aug 21, 2008.

  1. Wills

    Wills Very Senior Member

    Guards' Depot Pirbright: (defunct)

    Recruit - Crow
    Dozy recruit - Doughbag
    Meals (SG) Scoff (after Escoffier ?)
    Cavalry - Donkey Wallopers
    Bolo Bugger - usually a young officer who has not caught on yet that he has to say please and thank you to his Pl Sgt.
    Woodentops (The bearskin cap contains a wickerwork frame)
    Fish and Chip Mobs - regiments of the line!
    Forage Cap (SG) Jaggy Bonnet
    Boots Ammo (SG)-Tackety boots
    Drill Bloke - Drill Sergeant (WO2) an appointment not a rank but above company sergeant major
    Stitch -Tailor. Master Stitch top tailor!

    Rifting; Guards Depot (also used as an early morning 'cobweb' remover for any ceremonial rehearsal)- dreaded and torrid time on the square preceded by - 'now listen in' then 'step to the time I call out' (fast) 'Hi the funt queck match, a rapid - ooft ight ooft ight, left tan, right tan - ooft ight - haybout tan ooft ight, left tan and on it goes - One Scots Guards superintending sergeant would joyfully exclaim ' I am going to reduce you to shiny capstars, crispy bacon and melted boot polish!' Occasionally a poor sap would lose it completely - the words would ring out - you, you crow! Lock yourself up laddie, and off you would go marching to the corner shop (guardroom) where a (usually Grenadier at the depot - hand picked - IQ level thing) provost sergeant would point to the red llino floor that you could see yourself in, a heavy bumper tucked under the arm you were invited to add to the shine. Happy days - you cannot buy an experience like it!


    Seven Joined as One
  2. A-58

    A-58 Not so senior Member Patron

    Here's a few I've heard in the past;

    fart sack - sleeping bag (self explanatory)

    rack - bunk

    52-20 - severence pay US GIs received after getting discharged after WW2 and Korea I believe in the amount of $20.00 a week for 52 weeks

    ruptured duck - pin of an eagle given to recently discharged GIs to pin on their uniform to keep the MPs from hassling them for orders, leave papers, etc., while en-route home

    sos - same ole sh1t

    sh1t on a shingle - creamed beef on toast, a US Army mess hall staple

    chow - food

    OHIO - Over the Hill In October, seen painted graffiti-style on sides of barracks, road signs, fences, etc. In October 1940 the US instituted the first peace time draft, which at the time conscripts were to serve for one year only. Also, many National Guard units were federalized for one year as well, many in October 1940. The time of service was extended for an amount of time that I am not familiar with right now, but once the Jap(anese) bombed Peal Harbor, it was changed to the "duration + six" (the length of the war and at least 6 months afterwards as Uncle Sam saw fit).
    I almost forgot the punch line. Many of those that Uncle Sam called up really didn't want to be in uniform that bad, and were bound and determined to release themselves on their own recognizance at the end of the original contract.

    That's about all I can come up with for now. I'll add more later when I come across them.
  3. red devil

    red devil Senior Member

    Lets face it - everything is foreign to an American ;)
  4. hucks216

    hucks216 Member

    The Royal Navy has a whole different language when it comes to alternate names for things and is known as Jackspeak. Just a few...

    Scran = Meals.
    Scranbag = someone who looks dishevelled. Also the bag that kit left loafing is put in to.
    Nutty = Sweets.
    Goffer = Soft drink. Also a big wave, so if you get hit by a wave and are soaked through you have been goffered.
    Wet/Wets = Drink (tea, coffee, beer etc so when it is your round you are getting the wets in!)
    W**k Chariot/Rack/Scratcher/Pit = Your bunk.
    Babies Heads = Steak & Kidney Pudding.
    Train Crash = Corn Dog Hash.
    Pot Mess = Stew.
    Pongo's/Sandbags = Soldiers.
    Crabfats/Civvies In Uniform = RAF.
    Booties/Tootie Fruities = Royal Marines.
    The Death Star = Aircraft Carrier.
    Dhoby = Laundry or having a wash.
    Crimp = Fall asleep.
    Full Foulies = Wearing a condom.
  5. A-58

    A-58 Not so senior Member Patron

    Lets face it - everything is foreign to an American ;)

    Is this directed at me perhaps? :huh:
  6. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Old Hickory Recon

    Is this directed at me perhaps? :huh:

    Naw, Bobby, probably 'tis me. See post 35 and following in this thread.B)
  7. Tom Canning

    Tom Canning WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    A58/ jeff

    As they would say over here -"not guilty M'lud" this thread is about slang - NOT slanging -

    and as one of your better presidents might paraphrase - " the buck does not stop here- but with the chap who made the comment "

    but I thought Jeff would bite on that comment....
  8. Wills

    Wills Very Senior Member

    Looking again at the original contribution 'one of my Jollies' That surely is one for the Grey Funnel Line lads - 'Jolly Boat!'

    The speed limit, 1976 Tour of NI back to BAOR and then off to Canada for the battle run at BATUS - Suffield, Alberta. The speed that vehicles moved on the autobahns - wow! Some of the lads bought those huge motorcycles and would hit the autobahns. We arrive in BATUS drivers jump into the wheeled stuff, deuce and a half (Chevy) and the odd landrover - soon heard . 'Whet the fecks up wi' this feckin thing' Foot flat to the floor and the mach meter showed 55 mph. Listening to an irate Jock describing his vehicle - that wilnae go Sergeant, it's fecked or fooked dependent on place of birth! Would have tears of laughter from the village spinster. The vehicles were fitted with governors!
  9. Goodygixxer

    Goodygixxer Senior Member

    I can hand on heart say I cannot remember a time when my father swore in front of the family and he was not impressed by any of us who did. However, there were times when something unintelligible to us was said, my mother would raise an eyebrow but wisely did not enquire.

    The times I heard 2 - 4 - 6 heave! Hanger doors being shut or opened according to my father. Of course it is suggested it came from the RN gun team numbers pulling the guns back into position.

    Egg banjos

    The saying is '2-6 Heave' and it is indeed a Naval term for the gun crew members to run the cannon back out after it's fired and recoiled.

    The jackspeak words can all be found in a book if anyones interested


    A few other naval sayings:

    Toe Rag - a rope with a rag on the end is thrown over the side to be washed clean after wiping your backside after doing a No2 in the forward heads (toilets)

    You scratch my back and i'll scratch yours - A term used to you're oppo if he may be detailed off to give punishment by cat o nine means you go easy on me and when it's my turn to give you punishment, i'll go easy on you!

    Don't let the cat out of the bag - Telling someone to be careful what they say otherwise they will end up getting punished by the cat (ie, it'll get taken out of it's bag and used)
  10. Rav4

    Rav4 Senior Member

    Brycreem boys - R.A.F.
  11. Rav4

    Rav4 Senior Member


    'SFA' as also a contraction of Scottish Football Association - and was invariably used in polite society - as well as Fanny Adams

    we also have that problem with the Americans who come up here with their miles - not Kilometers - who think that our speed limit of 100KPH means that they can speed along at 100MPH-
    I have often wondered if they realize that our signs are made up in three languages which
    seem to be foreign to them - e.g - Max = Latin - 100 =Universal - KPH = French

    The sign of Stop/Halt appears to them as an exclamation and NOT an order !

    we now await slipdigit's wrath

    SFA was also Sweet F*ck all - nothing.
  12. A-58

    A-58 Not so senior Member Patron

    Naw, Bobby, probably 'tis me. See post 35 and following in this thread.B)

    Maybe so, just wondering. It's a different kind of English these people speak over here.
  13. Ron Goldstein

    Ron Goldstein WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran Patron

    Just by coincidence, I had a PM today asking if I could remember any slang that was particular to the Italian campaign and it set me thinking.
    The British soldier has never been backward in wanting to communicate with the “locals” and it was a rare squaddie who never tried to make himself understood when bartering was required to exchange spare army rations for such things as eggs or perhaps local vino.

    The funny thing is that when trying to recall any slang that we may have used, nothing jumps to mind more than the phrase “Teds” which was a shortened form of Tedeschi which in turn is the Italian plural for Germans.

    Other than that, I confess that my memory has let me down and despite have spent four winters in Italy I can't think of a single other example :(

    With a bit of luck perhaps others will come to my rescue ?


    Don't bother to suggest the Italian word for procreation which I do remember but am much too polite to mention here :)

  14. 26delta

    26delta Senior Member

    The Americans reportedly used the term SNAFU during their involvement in the ETO. I think the term FUBAR may have been used as well; however, its use is more modern.
  15. wowtank

    wowtank Very Senior Member

    The Americans reportedly used the term SNAFU during their involvement in the ETO. I think the term FUBAR may have been used as well; however, its use is more modern.

    FUBAR I believe is legit cant from ww2 but came into modern use with a certain film and it's affect on computer games.
  16. Wills

    Wills Very Senior Member

  17. wowtank

    wowtank Very Senior Member


    That site seems to have an advert that from the hotel I stayed at last week:) And no It ant tracking cookies.
  18. 26delta

    26delta Senior Member

    Benghazi boiler = portable water heater issued to Kiwi troops
  19. Alanst500

    Alanst500 Senior Member

    Chucking some more in the mix: Twat hat, jankers, Square Bashing. I do not know there origins but i bet sixpence some one will.
  20. Tom Canning

    Tom Canning WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    26Delta -
    Doubt the "Bengazi Boiler" was issued to the Kiwis in the Desert as it was usually made-up by the battalion fitters and was made from a 7th Lb Choloate tin - old six pounder round - and a base of a 105mm round.....
    a hole was cut in the bottom of the chocolate tin - the six pounder base was cut off and round was then soldered into that hole - the lid was then cut in half - and the round was soldered to one half of the lid.

    The 105mm base was casselated to allow oxygen to the sand and petrol- the tin was filled with water - a match to the sand and petrol and whoosh - a steaming cuppa in 90 seconds- this principle is now the basis of the domestic wall hung boilers-

    We used one all through the North African and Italian campaigns and it was called the Benghazi Kettle

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