Appendix:Glossary of British military slang and expressions

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The British Armed Forces consist of the Royal Navy (RN) and Royal Marines (RM), the British Army, and the Royal Air Force (RAF).

Numerals[edit]

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

A[edit]

ablutions
Toilet and / or bathroom for airmen (RAF slang).
Term forthe act of morning Shower, Sh*t & Shave (Army Slang)
ally, allie, ali, alle
Stylish, tough or 'hard' looking. The pursuit of the fashionista in uniform.
All-in
Meal made from combined leftover ration packs. Quality varies from Cordon Bleu to Cordon Poo
AK
automatic kalashnikov. Derived from the AK - 47 and the popular culture surrounding it, generic reference to enemy small arms.
Andrew
(Army) Royal Navy/RN Sailor
ARAB
Arrogant Regular Army Bastard
Armoured Chavalry
The Royal Tank Regiment

B[edit]

Babies' heads
individual tinned steak and kidney puddings in the old Compo rations.
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)

Barrack Stancion: (RN) A naval rating who spends most of his / her time in shore based draft rather than at sea

Bennie
A Falkland Islander, from the Benny from Crossroads style woolly hats. His character was mentally challenged, so an insult. When challenged by senior officers, this changed to "Stills" as in: "Still f-ing Bennies"
Beer Tokens
Money
Bergen
Your big fuckoff backpack, taller than most pygmies
Black nasty
Army-issue black duct tape without which the Army would fall apart. Used for almost everything from insulating metal cups to holding the wheels on tanks.
Blighty
The UK
Blue jobs (or bluejobs)
members of the R.A.F.
Bodysnatcher
(Army) stretcher bearer
Boots Combat High, or BCH
unsuccessful, shoddy quality attempt to replace DMS boots with something more modern. Given the poor quality of the plastic-y leather, also called "Boots Cardboard Horrible."
Bootneck/bootie
(Army) Royal Marine
Bone
not good, lazy "Bone idle" - also "Stupid" as in "head solid bone" (RM)
Bundook
Rifle
Brag Rags
(Army) Medals
Brat
(RAF) Apprentice or a child born into any of the Forces
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
buckshee
easy/free/superfluous/unnecessary "I've just got a buckshee daysack"
bine
(Army) Cigarette (derived from "Woodbine" a non-filtered cigarette typically sold in packs of five, until the late 60s/early 70s)
Bing Bong (Army)
Belt-fed (Army)
Bimble
(Army/RAF) To walk out of step as a squad/troop
Bowser Mong
AAC term for Bowser Operator
BV
Boiling Vessel, most important part of a vehicles inventory, Used for making the hot liquid without which the Army comes to a standstill.
Beasted 
The excessive use of an action ie Drill or PT(An action often performed during Basic Training in the 70's or used against soldiers locked up in guard house or the Mil Prison Colchester.) Army Slang

C[edit]

Casevac
casualty evacuation
Cannon Fodder
Infantry
Cha, Char
(Army) tea
Charlie
Vietnam era - the enemy
Charlie Delta / CD
casualty dead
Charlie Foxtrot / CF / cluster fuck
Chaotic situation with all plans disintegrating in all directions
Cheese Possessed
Tinned processed "cheese" found in Compo rations. Can also be wrapped in black nasty (once out of the tin) to provide a ball for a game of compo cricket.
Cheggers
persons whose name isn’t important. “Who’s that?, just some cheggers.”
Chin-strapped
(Army) tired, knackered
Civi, civy, civvy
Civilian
Civies
Civilian clothing
Clacky
(Army) chocolate
Cloggy
(RN/RM) A member of the Royal Netherlands Marine Corps
Coy
abbreviation for company
Crab or crabfat
(Royal Navy & Army) a person in the RAF.
Crab air
(army) RAF
Crabfat
was a naval slang for a treatment for pubic crabs which happened to be the same colour as the RAF uniform. Also from a drill move where the men move sideways / diagonally only practised by the RAF.
Craphat
Military slang used by members of the parachute regiment to denote what they class as lesser regiments.Taken from the fact that they wear the coveted Maroon beret that no-one else wears.
Crayon Eater (RAF)
Armourer. Because of their lack of intullygenss. Crayons are used on paperwork. Many are accidently eaten. Note, in 2017 the yellow crayola was no longer produced. Shame as apparently lemon was the best flavour.
Crow
Cant Read Or Write. Derived from a term used with WW1 recruits, now refers to a new recruit or inexperienced soldier. OR Combat Recruit of war!
Crow cannon
L86A2 Light Support Weapon craved by the raw recruit - who quickly hates the weight of the ammunition and the weapon after a few days on Basic.But wanted to carry it solely based on the Ally factor.
CV
command vehicle
Cunt Cap
(Army) mainly used by instructors and recruits of the Infantry Training Centre Catterick, in referral to the DPM/MTP baseball caps the recruits wear in their first 9-10 weeks of training.
Cabbie
(Army) To get a ride in a piece of equipment you don't normally use ie Helicopter, tank etc
Collie
As in sent to collie, being sent to the Army Prison at Colchester. Even the prisoner escorts taking a prisoner to Colchester got beasted by the Staff.

D[edit]

daisy cutter
(RAF) faultless landing
Dhobi dust
(Navy/RM/Army) washing powder (detergent); derived from the [[w:Indian language word dobi, meaning "washing" or "laundry"
Dhobi Engine
(RAF/Navy/RM/Army) Washing machine.
dip stick
(RM) idiot
Digger
An Australian Soldier
Digging Spoon
Implement for eating with
Dit
(Armt/RN) a story
DMS boots
Direct Mouled Sole ankle boots, issued from the 1960s to the mid-1980s. Also stands for "Dem's Moi Shooz!"
DOB
Pronounced as (D - O - B) Devoid of Brain - Someone who has joined the Armed Forces with half a brain cell.
Dorris
Female member of the Royal Air Force
Doss down
(Army) To sleep
Doss Bag
(RM/Army) Sleeping bag
Diffy
Gone missing or AWOL "Pvt nutbags went diffy".
DS
Directing Staff, often referring to Special Forces instructors
Dicker/Dicking/Being Dicked
(Army/RM) Member of an opposing force (generally during insurgency conflicts) who spies on friendly forces/the act of spying/being spied upon
D shape
A pasty of that shape
DAZ CHALLENGE
when a pads wife places a box of washing powder in her window when the husband is away hoping she will get finger blasted by 5-10 drunk squaddies

E[edit]

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 whilst they attempt to "strum" the egg from their shirt with their free hand.
End Ex
Every soldiers favourite words means the exercise or event is over and have a shower for the first time in weeks.
E&E
Escape and evasion.

F[edit]

Fairy 
(RAF) Avionics Technician. Also generic term for electrical tradesperson after multi skilling came to be. Note in context of the NEM whole trade score. Superior beings compared to the mong like riggers (see below).
Fat Albert
RAF, a Hercules transport plane
FEFSC
Foresight, Economy, Flexibility, Simplicity, Cooperation (in making a plan)
FIB
acronym, fighting in buildings
FIBUA
acronym, Fighting In Built-Up Areas
FISH n' CHIPS
acronyms, Fighting In Someone's House and Causing Havoc In People's Streets. Humourous slang for FIBUA.
Fish-head
(Navy/ RAF) RN Slang term given by WAFUs to members of the General Service. Slang term for a member of the Royal Navy.
Fizzer 
(RAF) Form 252 Charge sheet
Flying Crab
(Army) RAF Pilot
FUBAR
(Army) acronym, Fucked Up Beyond All Recognition/Recovery. "The situation's gone FUBAR!" = it's a mess!
Full Screw 
The term 'Full Screw' is British Army slang used to describe someone holding the rank of Corporal.
Furry Crocodile
(Army) Dog
Foxtrot Oscar 
(Army) Polite way of telling someone to go play on a motorway.

G[edit]

Gary Stacks
(RAF) Name used for addressing every Supplier regardless of their real name or rank. [Supplier = Shelf Stacker]
Gash
(RN/RM) waste such as food wrappers
Gash
(RAF) Poor quality workmanship or inadequate kit/food
Gash
(Army) vagina
gat
(Army) derived from Gat Gun, an archaic air gun produced until the mid 1990s. Refers to an infantryman's personal weapon (rifle)
The Glasshouse
(Army) military prison
gobblin rods
see KFS
goffer
(Royal Navy) A large wave (usually breaking) and also a refreshing drink
gong
a campaign medal
Gopping

nasty, horrible, unenjoyable. That exercise was totally gopping

Gucci
slang for privately bought gear that is better or 'shinier' than standard issue
Guz
(RN/RM) Plymouth, said to have originated from the World War I radio ID letters for the city's port (GUZ)
gen
slang for genuine "Whats the gen?" Whats the true gossip?
Green Slime
Army, military intelligence personnel
grow bag
(RAF) Slang term for Aircrew SNCO on account of being made a SNCO purely due to their job.(my memory from 1970's this refered to the imersion suit, permenantly required and despiseded kit despite hot weather by Victor and other crews, green and rubberised and akin to the horticultural type. 'Bunny suit' was the fluffy thermal we wore under it.)
God

SWO/RSM

GIMPY

The L7A2 GPMG, or 'GIMPY', is a 7.62x61mm belt-fed general purpose machine gun. The GPMG has been in service with the British military for decades. The Royal Marine version is "Geep" (pronounced like "Jeep").

Green time machine

A sleeping bag.*

Gibbering
Cold
Gizit/Gizus
From "Give It". To get something for nothing i.e. "Gizus a loan car",
Grand Slam
Navy & Army, To vomit, urinate and defecate in your place of sleep due to excess drink. "He/I grand slammed in his pit / in the mess square last night..."
Grot
(Army) unpleasent,nasty

H[edit]

Half Screw
The term 'Half Screw' is British Army slang used to describe someone holding the rank of Lance Corporal.
Hat
Hat or Crap hat is a derogatory term for the standard (originally khaki, now dark blue) beret worn by regular soldiers in the British Army, in contrast to those worn in the special regiments (typically red or green). The term is also used by special regiment members like paratroopers and commandos to refer to other soldiers.
Headshed
Planning room, part of military intelligence, or to describe officers at the planning level
Herman
Germans
Horror bag
Army packed lunch. Usually contains two flaccid sandwiches, one of which may contain Mystery Fish paste, unknown brand crisps ( often 'Paprika' in BAOR) an apple, a Kit-Kat and a tin of cola. Avoid.

J[edit]

JAFFA
Abbrev: Just Another Fat F*****g Arsehole
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
Jockey
(RAF) Pilot
Jap Cap 
Term used in he Army in the 70's and 80's to described the DPM Combat cap.

K[edit]

KFSM
Knife, fork, spoon, mug. Issued day 1.
Kiwi
New Zealand military
Kit-Kat arse
marks on the skin of the backside that come from sitting for hours on the benches in the back of a four-tonner, that remind you of a Kit-Kat bar.

L[edit]

Lumpy Jumper
(Army) A female soldier as the woolly pully often exagerated the female form
Lizard 
(Army) A individual who screws up in the most idiotic way , or just used for idiot.

A civilian wearing military clothing such as airsofters.


Lance Jack 
(Army) Somebody who holds the rank of Lance Corporal

M[edit]

Maggot
One of a number of terms for Army Sleeping Bag
Matelot
A Navy sailor, from French, pronounced /ˈmæt.ləʊ/
Mincing
A term used meaning procrastinating or carrying out a task slowly
Minging
Grotty, drunk, ugly,
MINTUA
"Mind In Neutral - Thumb Up Arse" Not a clue
Mk 1 Peter’s
The most basic of all pasties. 11% meat at best.
MOD90
(Army) Your ID card - DON'T FUCKING LOSE IT YOU NOBS!
Monkey
military police
Muckergee
A comrade a friend brother in arms. brought back with the Army from India. Also Mucker and Mucka
mufti
civilian dress; also used in a non-military context in other Commonwealth countries
Muppets
Term from NI for those guys who we don't who they or what they do
Mutant
Mystery Fish
unknown source of fish paste. Nobody actually knows what sort the fish was once upon a time or even if it ever was actually a fish. To be found in sandwiches in Horror Bags.

N[edit]

nails
Hard (as nails)
Nato
How do you want your brew? NATO! Milk +2 sugars, standard (NATO) issue - also (less importantly) the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation
NEM
(Tri service) New Employment Model. Where the old broken pay system was replaced by a system in which technical trades got rodgered harder. All lower ranks pay was cut. But it wasn't a cost saving exercise. Note, officers were not affected by the change.
NFI'd
Not Flipping Interested - Had enough I'm not playing soldiers anymore
nineteen canteen
a long time ago, as in "Old Yorkie joined way back in nineteen canteen and so knows it all (or thinks that he does)."
nutty
(RN/RM) term for Chocolate
nosebag
(Army) Another term for food
NIGS
New intake Gunners or Any Soldier Straight Out Of Training
Netley 
ie He has been sent to Netley. 70's term for soldiers sent to Military Hospital Netley for mental treatment reasons.

O[edit]

oggin
(RN) water. "on the oggin" = at sea
oppo
; A fellow soldier or partner, especially in the "buddy-buddy system" or in back-to-back tasks: "Make sure your oppo doesn't get left behind!"; from opposite number
One Pip Wonder 
(Army) Derogatory Term for Lt often one his first posting after Sandhurst.
OR
Other Ranks. Everyone not an officer. The playthings of Ruperts

P[edit]

Paddy
an Irish soldier
Padre
generic term for chaplain
Para
member of the Parachute Regiment
PBI
Acronym for Poor Bloody Infantry
plumber
(RAF) armourer
pongo
(RN/RM) army soldier. "Everywhere the army goes, the pong (stink) goes."; derived from the supposed inferior washing facilities in the field compared to those on a navy vessel.
PONTI
Person Of No Tactical Importance. A more polite form of REMF (unpopular)
Plank
member of the Royal Artillery or Royal Pioneer Corps
PAD
married quarters
Also term used for any married soldier in quarters
PAD RAT
a married soldiers daughter who had had sexual intercourse with half the garrison
PADS WIFE
a woman usually in the 20-25 stone weight category who will perform sexual acts on other soldiers while her husband is away on exercise or operations.
Penguins 
Term used up to 1980 to describe female members of the RAF. As at that time females didn't fly. Also used by soldiers (in a jocular way, of course) to describe the R.A.F. in general: "Penguins, all flap and no fly."
Pukka
Real as in “Pukka Gen” real information, not made up or assumed.
Pull Up A Sand Bag
(Army) To tell A Story

R[edit]

Racing Spoon
(Army) Main eating implement. Good ones prized.
recce
reconnaissance
Redders
Hot, warm
Red Cap
(Army) A member of the Royal Military Police
REMF
Rear Echelon Mother Fucker. Originated in US forces during the Vietnam War, anyone off the front line, also used to refer to 'uncool' styles of dress or attitudes associated with those from 'rear echelons'
Rigger
(RAF) Airframes Technician. Also generic term for Aircraft Mechanical Tradesperson after multi skilled tech came to be. Note riggers are in context of the NEM whole trade score, lesser people than the god like AV trades.
Rigger
(RAF) Aerial Erector
RHQ
regimental headquarters
Rodney
(RAF & Army) Commissioned officer having been promoted from ORs
rock ape
RAF Regiment
rubber dagger
(RM) Royal Marines Reservist
Rupert
a commissioned officer, including medical officers (physicians) having gone directly through Sandhurst
Rug Rat
Any thing that is forth coming from the loins of a pad

S[edit]

Sawbones
(RN/RM) Doctor, specifically a surgeon
Scalee(RAF)
Married airmen/women living in quarters, given they were paid Scale E
Scaley Brat
(RAF) Airmen's/Women's offspring
Scaley, Scaley back
(Army) Radio operator, from battery acid burns to the back
Any member of Royal Signals
scoff
(Army) Food
scran
(RN/RM) Food
scran spanners
(RN/RM) see KFS
screw
(Army) a corporal of some description
sea dad
(RN) experienced submariner assigned to train in a new boatmate
secret squirrels
MI5/6 operatives
septic/seppo
(Army/RM) An American serviceman/woman. From Cockney rhyming slang ie. Septic Tank = Yank = American
Shirt lifter
Pile driver
Shiny
(Army) Fancy or non-issue kit/free gubbins up for grabs/favourite or magpies
Skate
(Army/RAF) A member of the Royal Navy. Derived from propensity of sailors during the age of sail nailing flat fish to the decks of ships and fucking them (when not buggering each other)
snafu
WW2 Situation normal, all fucked up
snowdrop
Royal Air Force Military Police - in relation to their white SD caps
SNEC
(RAF) sergeant. Derived from senior non comissioned officer (SNCO).
spin a dit
(RN/RM/Army) tell a story
Sprog/Sproggy
(Army/RN) Recruit. Also offspring
Spook
MI5/6 operatives
Stag
Guard duty
sticky
chocolate bar / sticky: bun or cake RN. Member of IRA to RM
Stripey
(Army) A sergeant
Still/Stills
Still a Bennie (see above) after orders not to refer to them in a derogatory way ("Still a Benny")
squaddies
(Army) soldiers
STAB
(Army) Stupid Territorial Army Bastard or Simply the armies best
SOGI
(generic) Senior Officers Good Idea - detrimental term
Sumpy
(RAF) Aircraft Engine Technician
Sneaky Beaky
Security Services/Military Intelligence
Singly
Any soldier Reguardless if rank or marital status living in Barracks.
Shnurggle
To Sneak, Stalk, Walk, Tab, Yomp etc

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
Terry/Terence
Member of the Taliban. Good for shooting and little else.
THEM
(Army) term for SAS troopers
TLI
(Army) acronym for "Three Letter Acronym". The British Army is made of them
Tom or Tommy (Tommy Atkins)
soldier in the British Army

U[edit]

Ulu
(Army) a remote or rural area, Unsure of origin. Originally thought to be from Malay but ulu translates Into = interior person. (From Malay - Jungle. Living away from the coast i.e in the interior which was thick, primary jungle)

V[edit]

Volley Ball Player
(RAF) Fire Fighter. Slow to respond to fire incidents. Because they are busy finishing their game of volleyball or tending to the PH levels in the swimming pool they have installed in the new theatre of operation. Fingers usually smell of waff's (see below) crab hole on a friday morning.
Vet 
Anyone who has military Service and now in Civy Street

W[edit]

WAGI
(Army) Acronym for "what a good idea". Said to officers. Sarcastic.
Walt / Walter Mitty
A fanatsist who makes up stories about their time in service, or pretending to have served and won unearned medals. From the movie "The secret life of Walter Mitty" Civy claiming military service or medals, or a serviceman who claims service with units they have not serviced with or medals they have not been awarded.
Warry
Looking aggressive, WARlike even...
Webster’s
Rubbish (Army)
WAFF
(RAF) from WRAF. Former Womens Royal Air Force. Easily recognised by their willingness to please Rockapes (see above) PTI's or fire fighters. At the bop on a Thursday night.
Wet
(RN) a hot drink, a cup of tea or coffee. "Want a wet?" = would you like a hot drink?
Wet Bitch
(RN/RM) The boy who makes the tea.
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
Waste of Rations/Fresh Air/Uniform/Training
Someone who serves no useful purpose or can't do the job
Wooly Pully 
Army Jumper
Wooly 
(Army) QE Hospital Woolwich
Working his/her ticket
(Army) 40s/50s Term for jokers wisecracking or otherwise being cheeky monkies
Wrack 
(Army) 70/80s derogatory term for members of the WRAC before their disbandment
Whisky Tango Foxtrot 
In military terms "WTF"

Y[edit]

Yomp
(RM) your own marching pace. To force march with a heavy load
yoyo
Young Officer, an officer in training

Z[edit]

Zob
a commissioned officer

References[edit]