The definitive glossary of modern US military slang | GlobalPost

It\’s painful for US soldiers to hear discussions and watch movies about modern wars when the dialogue is full of obsolete slang, like \”chopper\” and \”GI.\”

Slang changes with the times, and the military\’s is no different. Soldiers fighting the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have developed an expansive new military vocabulary, taking elements from popular culture as well as the doublespeak of the military industrial complex.

via The definitive glossary of modern US military slang | GlobalPost.

Most of these have been around for a long time, but a few are quite specific to Afghanistan or Iraq.

Though I mentioned woobie just yesterday.

What are some of your favorite slang terms?

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7 responses to “The definitive glossary of modern US military slang | GlobalPost

  1. Two come to mind.

    The first is “rub one out”. You know what it means.

    The second, which made its rounds surprisingly quickly, is one I actually introduced in Ramadi in 2004. It was a term my Dad used, to describe someone dull-witted. People like that would be called “hat rack”.

    Before we left Iraq, I would hear dumb people being called “hat racks” quite often.

  2. Pave Low John

    I was always fond of “Blue Falcon” myself (more polite term for that guy who dimed you out to the commander. Thanks “buddy fucker”!)

    Also, I’ve never heard anyone use “geardo,” but it sounds like a PC version of “Gear Queer” which I have heard plenty of times down range.

    And since when is “Hadji” derogatory? It refers to any Muslim male who has made the obligatory trip to Mecca, as far as I know. Although I guess it probably depends on how pissed off the guy calling you the term really is and whether he’s holding a loaded weapon….

  3. I remember hearing Korean War slang as a kid in the late 50s early 60s. Some of it started in WW2 and got carried over. When I was in Germany, I started hearing ‘nam war slang. “Hat up,” “Mosh Kosh” were two examples. An earnest trooper that was a bit of a rube was “Gomer,” which got replaced with “Homer,” IIRC, in Iraq. A F**k up is still a F**k up in any form of slang that everyone understands regardless of the war. My Grandpa who was in the 42nd Division in WW1 France knew what it meant and was the first one to tell me about it.

    I’m pretty much out of those circles, but, given human nature, there will be new slang in every war as long as sinful man walks the earth.

  4. Esli

    Not a definitive list. Not sure what I was expecting to see, as these are indeed mostly in common usage, so I don’t even see them as slang.

    A personal favorite, for some odd reason, is the old (80s) existence of “fromunda cheese” which will choose not to define at this point.

    I do kind of enjoy the emergence of random Arabic words in the Army lexicon, when I started out “back in the day” with all the random Vietnamese words.

  5. ultimaratioregis

    Some of the great old time words that are still in the nautical lexicon from the Navy and Marine Corps include “slop chute” (chow hall), someone who is a “feather merchant”, or a “sea lawyer”. There is also the tried and true name for a lousy local restaurant. The “choke and puke”.

  6. Buck Buchanan

    Some I remember…

    Machs nix (machts nichts)

    PFC Joe Bagofdonuts; Snuffy

    The Ville (any place outside post)

    Roach Coach (AAFES Running Chef at every Army training post)

    CHOWEX – in the 1980s in the Infantry, everything was an –EX; DROPEX, MOVE-EX, WASH-EX…


    The Field

    ARTEPed as in “We got ARTEPed last month and it sucked because instead of staying in billets we had to go to The Field at Graf in Februrary!”

    Sucking Headwound….yeah, for someone that stupid.

    Flesh peddler – anyone working on personnel assignments

    PAC Rat

    High Speed Low Drag

    Four Deuce M106 4.2 inch mortar

    Ma Deuce M2 .50 caliber machine gun

    PC M113

    Cut a choggy