Appendix:Glossary of British military slang and expressions

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The British Armed Forces is made of the British Army, Naval Service – which comprises of the Royal Navy (RN) and Royal Marines (RM) – and the Royal Air Force (RAF).

Numerals[edit]

7 p's
Prior Planning and Preparation Prevents a Piss Poor Performance

A[edit]

ally, allie, ali
Stylish, tough or 'hard' looking.
AK
automatic kalashnikov. Derived from the AK - 47 and the popular culture surrounding it, generic reference to enemy small arms.
ARAB
Arrogant Regular Army Bastard

B[edit]

the badge
Company Sergeant Major, named for the large crown on the WO2 rank badge. Now more usually used to refer to the RSM or Regimental Sergeant Major. "You're to report to the Badge"
ball of chalk, all went for a ball of chalk
Situation deteriorated beyond repair, about as much use as a ball of chalk
bandy
(RM) musician (i.e. member of the Royal Marines Band Service)
bodysnatcher
(Army) stretcher bearer
bootneck
A Royal Marine
brew
(Army/RAF) a hot drink, a cup of tea or coffee. "Want a brew?" = would you like a hot drink?
brown job
(RM/RAF) the British Army
bull
High polish on Parade Boots
buzz
gossip, rumours
bine
(Army) Cigarette

C[edit]

Casevac
casualty evacuation
Charlie Foxtrot / CF / cluster fuck
Chaotic situation with all plans disintegrating in all directions
chin-strapped
(Army) tired, knackered
clacky
(Army) chocolate
coy
abbreviation for company
crab or crab fat
RAF airman, from the blue colour of the home dress uniform, which resembles that of crab fat
Crow
Combat Recruit of War
CV
combat vehicle

D[edit]

daisy cutter
(RAF) faultless landing
Dhobi dust
(Army) washing powder (detergent); derived from the Malay word dobi, meaning "washing" or "laundry"
dip stick
(RM) idiot
DS
Directing Staff, often referring to Special Forces instructors

F[edit]

FUBAR
(Army) acronym, Fucked Up Beyond All Recognition. "The situation's gone FUBAR!" = it's a mess!

FIB: acronym, fighting in buildings

G[edit]

gat
(Army) infantryman's personal weapon (rifle)
The Glasshouse
(Army) military prison
gong
a campaign medal
Guz
(RN/RM) Plymouth, said to have originated from the World War I radio ID letters for the city's port (GUZ)

J[edit]

Jack
Selfish, lazy, workshy. "He's Jack as f***!" = He's as selfish/lazy/workshy as can be! Sarcastically, "I'm alright, Jack, pull the ladder up!" = You're being selfish!
Jack Tar
(RN) A sailor, sometimes 'Jolly Jack Tar'
Jenny, Jenny Wrens
members of the (former) Women's Royal Naval Service
Jock
(Army) a Scottish soldier or a soldier in a Scottish regiment (now amalgamated into the Royal Regiment of Scotland

K[edit]

KFS
knife, fork and spoon
Kiwi
New Zealand military

M[edit]

Matelot
A Navy sailor, from French
mufti
civilian dress; also used in a non-military context in other Commonwealth countries

N[edit]

nutty
(RN/RM) term for Chocolate
oggin
(RN) water. "on the oggin" = at sea

P[edit]

Paddy
an Irish soldier
Padre
generic term for chaplain
Para
member of the Parachute Regiment
pongo
(RN/RM) Army soldier
PONTI
Person Of No Tactical Importance. A more polite form of REMF (unpopular)
Plank
member of the Royal Artillery

R[edit]

recce
reconnaissance
REMF
Rear Echelon Mother Fucker. Originated in US forces during the Vietnam War, also used to refer to 'uncool' styles of dress or attitudes associated with those from 'rear echelons'
RHQ
regimental headquarters
rock ape
RAF Regiment
rubber dagger
(RM) Royal Marines Reservist
Rupert
a commissioned officer, including medical officers (physicians)

S[edit]

spin a dit
(RN) tell a story
sticky
chocolate bar
squaddies
(Army) soldiers
STAB
(Army) Stupid Territorial Army Bastard

T[edit]

TAB
(Army) acronym for Tactical Advance to Battle, a forced march in battle dress order, either ending in battle or during training
Tab
(Army) cigarette
Taffy, Taff
a Welsh soldier
Tommy Atkins
soldier in the British Army

U[edit]

Ulu
(Army) a remote or rural area, from the Malay language; "Out in the ulu" = away from base and populated areas.

W[edit]

wet
(RN) a hot drink, a cup of tea or coffee. "Want a wet?" = would you like a hot drink?
wibble
(RN, spec. Submarine Service) crazy; "to go wibble" means to go crazy after being at sea too long
wooden-top
(Army) a soldier from the Guards Division

Y[edit]

Yomp
(RM) To force march with a heavy load
yoyo
Young Officer, an officer in training

Z[edit]

Zob
a commissioned officer

References[edit]