Appendix talk:Canadian English military slang

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Gun or rifle? When one speaks of a 'gun' I was told it's one of those big things, a Howitzer say. And that a soldier does not carry a gun--it's a rifle? Are the two words interchangeable? if so where? (like who uses the words interchangeably); and if not, where? (who is it that might be fussy about a distinction?) Thanks. VG

No, a gun and a rifle are different. Informally and colloquially, most civilians say gun when they mean rifle. A rifle has a rifled barrel (a helical cut in the barrel that causes a bullet to twirl), but a gun has no such rifling. A Howitzer is a gun, but an M-16 is a rifle. When you join a branch of the military, your trainers and sergeants are very fussy about this and you’ll get into trouble if you call your rifle a gun. —Stephen 03:31, 19 March 2009 (UTC)
Gun, in military parlance, applies to artillery and antitank guns, automatic cannon, machine guns, submachine guns, and pistols. Most of them do have rifled barrels, but the smoothbores are called guns too. Rifles and mortars are not guns (the former have rifled barrels and the latter usually unrifled tubes). A howitzer is classified as different from a gun or mortar, but I don't know if it's considered incorrect to describe it as a kind of gun. Michael Z. 2009-03-19 14:26 z
And there are also recoilless rifles, a type of antitank weapon – don't know if gun can be applied. Michael Z. 2009-03-19 14:38 z

How about JAFFO? Jack ass fucking observer. That was popular in the Airforce when I was in. C.T.

If someone is talking about "guns" in the military...It refers to artillary, ships, or heavy mounted weapons (such as a cannon on an armoured vehicle, or the weapons system on air support chopper.) The Rifle is the C7(not m-16 thats amercian) C8 (which are the regular service weapons. the C9 and C6 are the light machine and general purpose machine gun respectively. A pistol is a side arm. As for the recoilless rifle (either nonguided wire guided or satalite guided) are refered to as anti tank weapons.

Meathead refers to MPs being dead from the neck up.


Nicely done list. I was in for 27 years and had not heard some of these. There are more, of course. Hope you get the time to write them up. This was pretty good. unsigned comment by 16:11, 26 April 2014 (UTC)

Thank you for the comment. We try. —Stephen (Talk) 18:00, 26 April 2014 (UTC)