British Military Slang

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DuncaninFrance
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British Military Slang

Post by DuncaninFrance » Mon May 18, 2020 1:41 pm

If you are struggling to understand the military language your son, daughter, mother, father or an ex-military colleague is using. Here is your go-to guide/dictionary of all the words and phrases that you will ever need to know.

1. ‘Ally’

A word which describes how cool someone or their equipment looks, usually their battlefield fashion. Those serving in the special forces have automatic ‘ally’ status.

2. ‘Threaders’

Angry or fed up.

3. ‘Hoofing’

Excellent or amazing.

4. ‘Gleaming’

To describe something as good, desirable or brilliant. A particular favourite of the Guards Division. If something is ‘gleaming’ you’re probably onto a good thing.

5. ‘Dhobi Dust’

(Navy/Army/RAF) Slang term for washing powder. The Indian word 'dobi' meaning 'washing' or 'laundry' has been used ever since the British military were stationed there.


6. ‘Egg Banjo’

A fried egg sandwich, so called because when it is eaten, generally with the one hand that is free, egg yolk squirts onto the eater's shirt/jacket resulting in them raising their sandwich to approximately ear height while they attempt to ‘strum’ the egg from their shirt with their free hand.

7. ‘Gash’

(Navy/Army/RAF) slang for waste/discard able items such as food wrappers.

8. ‘Gen’

Slang for genuine: ‘What’s the gen?’ - What’s the true gossip?

9, ‘Jack’

Workshy or selfish person. For example ‘He's Jack as f***.’

10. ‘KFS’

Knife, fork and spoon.


11. ‘Beasted’

The excessive use of drill/marching at speed or physical training/running for an extended period of time, designed to wear down an individual, sometimes used as a punishment.

12. ‘Civi, civy or civvy’

Slang for civilian - a member of the public that doesn’t serve within the Armed Forces.

13. ‘Crow’

A derogatory term derived from the First World War, which refers to a new recruit or inexperienced soldier or Combat Recruit of War. The title is given to the newest members of a regiment.

14. ‘Buckshee’

Slang for a spare item of equipment, something easy or free, for example - ‘I've just got a buckshee pair of boots’.

15. ‘Daysack’

Small backpack which contains all the essentials to keep a person sustained for a short period of time. Although there’s still the question, ‘can a daysack be used at night?’.

16. ‘Crap hat’

A derogatory term used by members of the Parachute Regiment to describe a person who belongs to any other regiment or unit than their own.

17. ‘Dit’

(Army/Navy) a story – usually an exaggerated story.

18. ‘Doss Bag’

(Royal Marines/Army) Sleeping bag.

19. ‘Oggin’

(Royal Navy/Royal Marines) water. In the ‘Oggin’ - at sea or in the water.

20. ‘Pull up a sandbag’

(Army) To tell a story – usually someone telling an unwarranted war story. For example - ‘Pull up a sandbag … so this one time in Afghanistan…’

21. ‘Green time machine'

A sleeping bag

22. ‘Redders’

Word meaning hot or warm. For example - ‘I’m redders today, I need to go cool down.’

23. ‘Walt or Walter Mitty’

A fantasist who makes up stories about their time in service, or a civilian pretending to have been a member of the Armed Forces.

24. 'Badmin’

Word used to describe a person with bad administration or poor organisation skills.

25. ‘End Ex’

Every soldiers favourite word, meaning the exercise or event is over and they can have a shower for the first time in weeks.


26. ‘Scoff’

Army slang for food. For example - ‘I’m starving, let’s go get some scoff.’

27. ‘Cookhouse’

Canteen where the Army goes to eat.

28. ‘Scran’

(Royal Navy/Royal Marines) slang for food. ‘I’m starving, let’s go get some scran’.

29. ‘Galley’

Canteen on board a ship where the Royal Navy goes to eat.

30. ‘Stag’

Guard duty

31. ‘NAAFI’

Short for Navy, Army and Air Force Institute – a place where members of the Armed Forces go to buy sweets, crisps, snacks, tea/coffee. For example - ‘let’s take a NAAFI break.’

32. ‘Scale A Parade’

A parade/gathering where every person available in the regiment is to attend at a specific time and date, no exceptions or excuses.

33. ‘Chin-strapped’

Meaning very tired or lack of sleep.

34. ‘Bone’

A term for something pointless, anything can be seen as ‘bone’. For example - ‘This is bone, what a waste of everyone’s time.’

35. ‘You’re in your own time now’

The polite way of saying ‘You’re not going anywhere until this is done’ and ‘I don't care if you’ve got partners to go home to.’


36. ‘TAB’

(Army) acronym for ‘Tactical Advance to Battle’, a forced march carrying a heavy backpack over a long distance, usually ending in a battle or training.

37. ‘Yomp’

(Royal Marine) slang for a forced march with a heavy load usually a long distance.

38. ‘Hanging out’

Suffering badly. For example ‘I'm hanging out after the yomp/TAB.’

39. ‘Recce’

Reconnaissance. For example - ‘let’s go recce that pub and see what it's like.’

40. ‘Marking time’

Unpleasant drill movement where a person remains static while moving their legs up and down in one spot. It can also mean you or your career is not going anywhere.

:GBR: :GBR:
Duncan

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"Many of those who enjoy freedom know little of its price."
You can't fix Stupid, but you can occasionally head it off before it hurts something.

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Re: British Military Slang

Post by Niner » Mon May 18, 2020 3:09 pm

Interesting list. Nothing like US slang in the military. One of the books I have picked up is language and slang related to the US military in Vietnam with about 250 pages in it. One of the first shocks of going into a combat unit and having to suddenly learn and understand the language from soldier slang and usage to official military speak is a sudden wake up call. The first time I picked up a radio on bunker guard in pee training a few days in country and I was confronted with a request for a commo check or a sitrep it was a foreign language to me. I had to learn the formula "Lima Charlie Hotel Mike"... "Negative setrep" stuff. Once in an actual unit with an actual field responsibility there were a lot more language things to learn.

In Vietnam the 9th Division in the Delta had a few slang words that the 101st up near the Northern border of South Vietnam didn't. "Sky up" the 9th used, meaning to leave or go away, wasn't used by the "airborne" who weren't nearly as airborne in actual fact.
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Re: British Military Slang

Post by PeterN2 » Mon May 18, 2020 5:04 pm

RAF terms
Pit - issue barrack room bed.
Reast - lie in a state of idleness. 'He does nothing but reast in his pit' - he does nothing but lie in a state of idleness in/on his bed.
Duff gen - given incorrect information.
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Re: British Military Slang

Post by Niner Delta » Mon May 18, 2020 8:43 pm

Like Robert, I spent a lot of time on the radio in Nam. I think I have mentioned this before, but I think
a lot of the CB radio words and styles started over there. When I first got into CB radios in the 1970s, seemed
like I already knew much of the slang used. And going out on the FO team at first, I didn't know
any of the terms, in the Arty unit I only had talked to the FDC, not the units in the field. As with everything
over there, it was all a learning experience. Almost everything they taught you in the States was wrong .... :lol:


.
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Re: British Military Slang

Post by Niner » Mon May 18, 2020 11:11 pm

Another thing about Vietnam soldier speak was that every sentence seemed to need a cuss word in it. Best with three or four for important statements. That was a learned condition we would have to amend when we got back to the world and got a job with employee and customer relationships if we wanted to stay employed.
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Re: British Military Slang

Post by DuncaninFrance » Tue May 19, 2020 2:45 am

Very true. When I came home from my first trip in the merchant navy in '66 every other word I uttered was F**k :roll:
My father soon brought me back into the real world!!!
Duncan

What contemptible scoundrel has stolen the cork to my lunch? -- W.C. Fields
"Many of those who enjoy freedom know little of its price."
You can't fix Stupid, but you can occasionally head it off before it hurts something.

http://www.twgpp.org
http://www.andrewsinfrance.co.uk
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Re: British Military Slang

Post by Aughnanure » Tue May 19, 2020 5:28 pm

DuncaninFrance wrote:
Tue May 19, 2020 2:45 am
Very true. When I came home from my first trip in the merchant navy in '66 every other word I uttered was F**k :roll:
My father soon brought me back into the real world!!!
Likewise, when I came home from Korea I asked mum to " Pass the f**ken sauce, please", she was absolutely unfazed and I didn't realize what I'd said
Some years later the subject came up and I found out that an officer had visited the parents about a week before I arrived home and warned them of this very thing, among others.

As there were over a thousand of us returning on the ship it must have been a rather large exercise to visit all the parents.
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