signalese

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

signal +‎ -ese

Noun[edit]

signalese (plural signaleses)

  1. Words and abbreviations used by radio operators and other signalmen to clarify the letters that they were sending and receiving, such as the RAF phonetic alphabet.
    • 1967, Lawrence Wright, The Wooden Sword, page 164
      The signalese for 'S/L' I could decipher, but the NMI defeated me, until I learned that it referred to the fact, an oddity to Americans, that I had 'No Middle Initial'.
    • 1990, Ken Bradstreet, Hellcats
      The signal "dit-dah-dit- dit-dit" which, in signalese meant "wait", was heard a lot while we attempted to decipher what it was the operator on the other end
    • 2006, Ian Pfennigwerth, A Man of Intelligence: The Life of Captain Eric Nave, Australian Codebreaker, page 47
      The commodore's staff prepares the necessary message using a standardised jargon used by the Navy, sometimes referred to as 'signalese'.

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