How much military slang do you know?


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Are you struggling to understand the military language used by either your family, or an ex-military colleague? See our selection of words and phrases that will keep you up to date.

‘CLANKY’
A marine engineer, probably because by the nature of their job they make a lot of clanking!

‘STAG ON’
No 2 words fall more painfully on the ears of a soldier than this! You’re sleeping in a shell scrap, probably in wind and rain with nothing but a thin sleeping bag and it’s the early hours of the morning and someone whispers in your ear “Stag on mate!” This means it’s time to get up and perform guard duty.

‘BEEFEATER’
Used by the military and a common term for those who guard the Tower of London, whose actual title is Yeoman warder. The exact origin of the term is unclear, but it’s likely to be that as some of the more elite members of the Army, they would be given large rations of beef and broth not consumed by other junior soldiers and personnel!

‘BIFF CHIT’
Whereas when most of us are feeling unwell we just need to let our managers know, the military don’t make it that easy. If you’re sick or injured you need to get signed off by your unit medic, doctor or nurse and get what’s commonly called a biff chit, otherwise known as a sick note.

‘GUCCI’
A shiny or cool bit of kit.

‘U/S’
Unserviceable, broken, no longer working. Can also refer to a person with a hangover… ‘He’s gone U/S’

‘Jack’
A workshy or selfish person. For example ‘He’s Jack as f***!’

‘The Met’
The weather! On exercise or in the field this has more power over morale than a bag of Haribo or a warm brew! Example: The met closed in and I spent the rest of the night wetter than an otter’s pocket.

‘Single Wet’
A colleague who has done something selfish or not included others. This naval term comes from long watches at sea when getting a cuppa (a wet) is the highlight of the night. But doing it for everyone when the ship is bouncing around on the oggin is no easy task, so people will try to avoid it, only making one for themselves.

 

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