Top 10 Military Slang Phrases That Work At Home

Military Slang That Works at Home

If you’ve been around the military long enough, you know that military slang is a large part of a service member’s vocabulary. There’s so much jargon floating around my household that most of the time I wish I had a military dictionary just to translate my husband’s retelling of his day at work.

But even though I may not understand most of the lingo that comes out of his mouth, I have to admit that some of the slang my husband comes home with has become so ingrained in my psyche that I find myself regularly regurgitating certain words and phrases in my own everyday conversations. And judging from discussions with friends, status updates on Facebook, and posts written by fellow bloggers, I know I’m not the only MilSpouse to make additions to my personal dictionary thanks to the military.

The list of military slang is extensive and, at times, pretty darn funny (especially when you read through lists like this with your husband, who can offer narrative examples of the best ones).  But there are some that are definitely more family friendly than others. Here is a list of my top ten military slang that works at home.

Military Slang Phrases That Work at Home

Top 10 Military Slang Phrases You Can Use at Home

1.  High and tight. One day I was sitting in the base barber shop as my husband and our son got haircuts. I looked at the men sitting in the chairs around me, clutching their numbered tickets as they waited their turn to be called.  And you know what I noticed?  Not a single one of them needed a haircut!  The stubble on the sides of their heads barely covered their scalps.  That’s the high and tight.

2.  Bravo Zulu or “BZ.” Doesn’t that sound so much cooler than saying “well done?”

3.  Hit the head “I’m gonna hit the head.” I guess this phrase is better than some of the alternatives to announcing your intention to use the restroom.  It’s just really strange hearing your 8-year-old son saying it.

4.  Soup sandwich. I actually used this phrase when I taught kindergarten. My students thought it was hysterical to imagine trying to eat a sandwich filled with soup. Yes, things are really messed up if you have a soup sandwich on your hands.

5.  Mandatory fun. Who hasn’t gone to that command picnic or holiday party because their husband was invi-told to attend?  That’s mandatory fun. Just remember, this term is fine to use in the privacy of your own home, but it’s probably best not to use it while you’re at the event itself.

6. …and a wake-up “My husband will be home in 4 days and a wake-up!” That sounds so much more doable than 5 more days, doesn’t it?

7.  Hooah. I haven’t quite pinpointed its exact meaning, but it seems to be the comprehensive response to just about anything requiring abundant enthusiasm.

8.  Got your 6. I got your back. A phrase all MilSpouses should be saying to each other.

9.  Zero dark thirty. This is my daughter’s favorite time of day. Really, really, really early in the morning.

10.  Rog/Roger/Roger that. My favorite, constant fixtures in my emails/phone calls/text messages.  Message received. I understand. Roger that.

 What is your favorite military slang? (Let’s keep it clean, folks. I’m well aware of the use of expletives within the collection of military slang, but I’m pretty sure we can have this conversation without all of us cursing like sailors. Or soldiers. Or Marines. Or coasties. Or airmen. You get the idea. Roger that?)

About the Author

Heather Sweeney
Heather Sweeney is an Associate Editor at, former Navy wife, mother of two, blogger, and avid runner. She’s the blogger formerly known as Wife on the Roller Coaster and still checks in every now and then at her blog Riding the Roller Coaster.
  • jesstagirl

    While it’s not my favorite, we use “voluntold” around here more often than I’d like to admit!

  • Amy_Bushatz

    So some of these must be, well, not Army. We’ve never used 2-4 and 8 before. And the only reason I’ve ever even heard “Bravo Zulu” is because I’ve spent some sizable time around Navy folks.

    • arthur

      the navy has bravo zulu’s…

      • YankeeNuke

        Comes from the international signals book

    • donwann

      Uh, what Army did you serve in? Never heard “f**cked up as a soup sandwich?” Must be a remf if you don’t know what check 6 means or never used it!!!

      • Amy_Bushatz

        I don’t actually serve in any Army. I’m a spouse. So I only know the slang that gets brought home, which you’ll note, is the point of this article.

  • Sonja

    Air Force. Using the clock to talk location, such as, At you 3 or at your 9, that way you know where to look. Then FUBAR is also one that I’ve used. Probably from being an Army brat. The voluntold ( which I love as a slang word) to be a rent a crowd(another slang term) for being told to go to something for someone who perhaps isn’t popular.

    • YankeeNuke

      Also SNAFU

    • Scotty

      Please don’t forget SNAFU and TARFU . . . Things Are Really etc

    • Sactrainedkiller

      Old time SAC ramp rats would recognize Seven High, Redskin and Broken Arrow.

      • Dave

        How about BOHICA. Interpertation Bend Over Here It Comes Again

  • I’ll talk about watching your 5’s and 20’s, and needing to rack out. I’m sure there’s other phrases I use that cause my civie friends to pause and translate, but I am so used to them I don’t know what they are.

  • David M

    Some of my favorite military sayings are: Check your six, Grazing fire, Take cover, Concilment, Charlie, including but not limited to the alpha code and contingincy plan.

    • donwann

      Concilment? Do you mean concealment? Charlie is just part of the military phonetic alphabet for “C”. Alpha Code and contingincy plan? Come on man.

      • Cliff

        As long as you’re correcting spelling, it’s “contingency”.

  • Benny Martin

    Old salts are still using their 782 gear.

    • Mac McGrew

      Still carry my “trenching tool” in my work van …. hasn’t broke yet and still keeps me humble …. Mac USN Ret MCB23

    • Lane Corporal

      we shortened that one to just deuce gear

    • Lawrence Galindo

      “roger that,over”

  • Radio Guy

    BOHICA; Generally spoken by the husband to himself after messing up something his wife told him to do. You know you’re gonna get it.
    A minor correction to above: ROGER (THAT) means “understood.” COPY (THAT) mean “message received, and nothing more. WILCO is the proper term for Will Comply.

    • I only use this one when talking of the Obama administration and their “successes”.

    • YankeeNuke

      In the Navy Aye, aye is a response to a verbal command that means I understand and I will obey.

      • hooyahzero

        nuke power! haha

        • YankeeNuke

          And DBF as well

    • desert

      Aye Aye for us Navy people! lol

  • dale

    im guessing you hubby is a jarhead also! #7 is army, we say OOH RAH! and 4 was a s#!t sandwhich. but if you want to know the rest of our lingo they do make a dictionary you can order one from SGT GRIT ! Semper Fi.

    • Bill Taylor

      Outstanding suggestion,especially #7 & 4. I guess we don’t have to speak about bulkhead or ladder,then they will be FUBAR until they get their donkey over to Sgt Grit.

      TANGO/YANKEE for the good read.

      Semper Fi,
      The Gunny

    • Lisa

      Agreed! Have also heard my Jarhead Hubby tell our mouthy daughters to “stand down”, “hit the rack”, do something “ASAP” (one word, not A.S.A.P. like civvies), and I’m sure there are so many others but our daughters even know most of the less-than-appropriate ones because, well, my husband is a Marine (now retired after 28 years). Definitely Semper Fi and OOH RAH!

  • frdrsjr

    HOOAAH comes from HUA…Heard…Understood…Acknowledged…

    • Mac

      Aye Aye Sir (l) I heard the order , (2) I understand the order, (3) will carry out the order to the best of my knowldege …….. Mac USN Ret

    • Bull Butler

      I have a different take on Hooah. When I was in the 82nd Airborne back in the day, an old brown-booter who was still on active duty in his golden years told me that he remembered its origins from Vietnam. When you walked past a group of soldiers sitting in full battle-rattle waiting for transport and you asked them what they were doing, they would respond, “We’re HUAW (hoo-wow)” which stood for Hurry Up And Wait. This morphed over time to Hooah.”

    • Kstack

      Wrong. Hessian soldiers who came from France and Germany used this saying for hundreds of years – it stems from the Otttoman Empire and is actually a Turkish word that means to “destroy or kill”. Britain hired Hessians to train their soldiers (Hessians were the most professional soldiers in Europe) to defeat colonists – many of these Hessians defected and took land in the Americas for themselves. During their training this word was used and over time has changed.

      Oorah did not even come back for the Marines until 1953 in the 1st Amphibious Reconnaisance Company after the Korean War.

      Hoosah was used by Northerners during the Civil War and can be heard in the movie Gettysburg. The difference in the saying comes from the many immigrants who fought during the war and had trouble pronouncing an “Americanized” word. Over time it changed.

      There are many ways to pull this word out through history, but the point is it has a long complicated history and really is the cumulation of many cultures history of war, the most significant being the powerful Ottoman Empire.

    • MadTom

      Not going to argue the origins of Hooah.

      I’m a retired Army Armor/Cavalry officer. “Hooah!” wasn’t as popular in Armor and Cavalry in my day (1980s to early 2000s) as it was in the Infantry. I remember an Infantry officer explaining to a newbie what “Hooah” meant. And then a year or so later I saw the movie DONNIE BRASCO, and Johnny Depp’s explanation of what “Fuhgeddaboudit!” meant was practically identical to it!

  • Clifton B. Sommer

    One I use constantly, and have even heard civilians using (coincidence, or assimilation?) is : Say again.
    In the military you only use “repeat” to call for an additional artillery fire mission.

    • johnny

      No. It was adopted from how Native American’s working with/around Soldiers greeted them…u can look up the rest Einsten. Where did u come up with that answer anyway?

      • 1SG MTZ

        Res dog… a ret. US Army 18B, love milspeak

    • I was actually thinking about this as I say “say again” frequently-civilians often look at me funny- I think everyone military is ingrained with never saying “repeat.”

      • Matty

        I have always used “say again” and I’m not military, nor did I grow up in a military family.

  • Bonnie

    I’m constantly asking my husband if has positive control of the baby and to belay my last…he just laughs at me. We also use the phonetic alphabet to spell words we don’t want the toddler to hear.

    • Karen :)

      We do that same thing! Sadly, our 11 and 14-year olds have become wise to the phonetic alphabet. It was quite handy while it lasted though. Military slang has been awfully helpful doubling as “speaking in code” in the presence of our kids! :)

  • jody

    I still use
    Whiskey Tango Foxtrot
    What The F ***

  • russ Barclay

    BOHICA or FUBAR: terms from long ago. SITREP…

    • desert

      Don’t forget Snafu! it fits America to a T anymore!

  • christina

    Thats a no- go ! My children know this well lol! And hubbys a DS so he uses it mostly at work haha!

  • Ron Horn

    Here’s one that hasn’t been mentioned: LEAP X A pointless exercise akin to “jumping through your a-hole”.

  • Brian

    Move out & draw fire.

    • Erich

      I use this on my kids. LOL

  • keith

    Hooah other wise known as heard and understood.

    • SRCline

      Heard, Understood, acknowledged

  • Ron Horn

    Here’s another phrase that I haven’t heard in decades: “He’s ‘Brown Shoe Army'”. Before the official uniform change to the green Class A’s in 1954, the Army uniform included brown shoes instead of black as seen nowadays. The phrase was applied to an EM or officer who was considered a traditionalist or an “Old Timer”. It was usually meant as a compliment. Today, I suppose the term “He’s Old School” might be applied in its place. Uh oh! There’s another one of those military acronyms, “EM” for Enlisted Man (or Enlisted Member to be properly inclusive). To this day, I remember my father dieing his low-quarters black. And there’s another term that civilians never use to refer to lace-up shoes, “low-quarters” as opposed to boots.

    • m.somers

      Low Quarters were Lifer Loafers.

    • JP5

      Brown Shoes are Airdales
      Black Shoes are Shipboard
      Low Quarters are Boondockers :-)

    • Eric D

      I guess today’s term would be a “Black Boot” Soldier/Airman, since the elimination of BDUs and black combat boots.

  • Terry

    LIFER, lazy, ignorant, f’er, expecting, retirement.
    REMF, rear, eschelon, m’f’er.

    • judi

      LIFER is “old-timer” for making the military your career. My father was one-served 1937-1960.

  • RBruce

    Oops, I left out “sea”. I haven’t been to sea for more than one day. One word makes a difference.

  • Sarah

    Just laughing–glad our family’s the military norm! :) We use lots of the above, plus “post!” when we want the kids to come quickly, “strong work” for good job (though that may be more medical than military), and we regularly use the alpha code to spell things, especially over the phone.

    • We also use “March” when we want the kids to move it quickly!

    • JP5

      March an Post = Double Time!
      Alpha code is the phoenetic alphabet … :-)

  • Erich

    Hooah can mean ANYTHING other than NO. Hooah is not a negative response ever.

  • Amy_Bushatz

    We use “no-go” and “household six,” but in order to remember that I had to read all of these responses. Why? Because they are so ingrained in our conversation that I forgot they were military lingo at all.

  • Ed Redsecker

    Do you remember “CAN DO”

  • cc j

    Frago is when something is planned and then gets changed, super common in the Army. “Frago, that meeting is moved to 1830.”

  • HGRB

    Whenever my husband says something to me and I don’t respond for whatever reason, he says “Over.” Oh, you are finished and expect a reply. Got it. Appealing to the radio operator in me.

  • My husband occasionally refers to me as the Household or spousal CSM-“gotta check in with the spousal CSM” or “household six.”

    • jody

      Thats a good one

      • Mr.E

        here in Canada we call the the 9er D, or 9er Domestic. since the 9 is the commander.

  • jody

    My name is Jody….you think I did’ nt catch hell during Basic Training ?

    • m.somers

      So you’re the guy! Ha Ha

      • Lisa

        At least he’s not “THAT guy”! LOL

  • RememberTheAlamo

    Growing up, our kids loved SOS for breakfast…S_ _ _ On a Shingle. Sausage gravy on toast, an ancient and honorable Air Force breakfast before flight.

    • Dan

      Actually SOS was originally chipped beef gravy on toast and was later (sometime after WWII) changed to ground beef gravy on toast in the Air Force. Sausage gravy is a civilian thing in the South.

    • Terrence Dankel

      Wasn’t there a version using Spam?

      • SACcrewdog

        The first one that comes to mind is the first bunch of astronauts lamenting lack of control over their space capsule, referring to themselves as, “Spam in a can.”

  • m.somers

    Mailcall! That’s all she wrote! Does this show my age?

  • Dan

    -How about telling somebody your wife is pregnant by saying, “She has one in the hangar.”
    -Or instead of asking when she’s due to deliver, you ask, “When does she download?”
    -Instead of saying you want another drink it’s, “I’ve got a beer low level light.”
    -Getting permission from your wife to go out with the guys is, “Getting a kitchen pass from the War Department.”

    • I forgot about the alcohol low level light.
      Kitchen Pass where I was stationed usually went along with Higher Headquarters.
      Having been aircrew and maintenance, due date was When is she going to drop.

      I posted a couple of others separately,
      Roach Coach and Motion Lotion

      • Lisa

        uuuggghhhh……the Roach Coach….how could we have left this one out of the list for so long??? That one is classic military!

        • USArmy 1998

          a couple more “Maggot wagon” and “L7” Squared Away

  • gse1

    My kids grew up hearing and all use “Turn Two” or just two fingers up turning back & forth… means get it done quick or move quickly… refers to using both shafts on the ship for fast movement. Aegis cruiser (Ticonderoga class) navy… you bet!

    • Mick

      I believe that it is actually “turn to” and it comes from the pipe over the 1MC to “turn to ship’s work'” meaning to turn to the work at hand and get busy.

  • 73shark

    Turn and burn = go to afterburner and get out of Dodge.

  • I have found that I have had to hold my tongue during my work day on my military slang.. but I think everyone has covered pretty much all of them. After being married to a Navy man, retired as a lifer sr enlisted and Army Brat I heard pretty much most of them.. for us spouses we are Semper Gumby! Thank you for all you do!!

  • BillH

    Wheels Up. I worked the flight line in a Navy F/A-18 squadron. We would be told “the birds” were going wheels up at zero-8, meaning the aircraft were taking off at 8am. This meant all preparations had to be complete before. When my son askd what time we are leaving to go some where, I tell him we will be wheels up at [time] and to be standing tall on the “flight line”.

  • Pogue. My favorite for ********

  • Pogue. My favorite for ********

  • Hooah…is actually H.U.A….stands for Heard, Understood, Acknowledge.

  • George Smith

    Short timer

  • Roach coach = Food truck
    Motion lotion = Fuel
    Kitchen Pass + The spouse let you out of the house
    Then of course there is the revocation of said kitchen pass

  • DMZ


    • Perk

      You must be a Nam guy.

  • JacSac834

    Can’t forget SNAFU (Situation Normal: All F’d Up)…

  • Max

    Oohrah came from Recon Marines whe heard ‘Arroogah’ from the old Marine Raiders who made raids from rubber boats pulled up from a hatch on submarines.

  • DNollinger

    I use the term “lock it Up” when the kids are being too loud

  • Jordan

    This is cool! I am a Marine Vet, work civil service. I work with 2 wives of retired 1stSgt’s. They never heard the word “Grub” or “Hankerin” (don’t know if that one is military related or not), but those 2 words I’ve always heard in the Marine Corps! They had to check with their hubs!

    • desert

      Don’t feel bad…I would bet $ they don’t know what “gedunks” are either LOL

  • Juan Rivera-Colon

    He is on the ROAD program or Retired On Active Duty! I used this one a lot of times!

  • desert

    How about Navy’s “black shoe”……ships company, not an airdale!

    • R Moris

      Actually the term ” Black Shoe / Brown Shoe came from the days Navy of aviation wearing Winter Greens. Navy Aviation had a special uniform of green color, with Brown shoes I so well remember because I was working/studying to be a Chief and I wanted that uniform ! wasn’t to happen though, Navy dropped the uniform the year before I made chief.

  • Juan

    My wife often got mad at me when I told her that we had a GI party and she was not invited until of course I clearified what GI party was and she did not want any part of it.

  • Bob

    When i call my kids into the room for something important it’s ” Front and Center”

  • Coach Merv

    I use bolo daily as a tennis teacher. Had a student google bolo and comeback with military for a sub standard performance. The bolo knife was the alternative to philippine trainees who could not shoot straight.

    • desert

      “bolo” is an old police term for “be on the lookout for”

  • SFP3

    Rain locker = shower

  • ABE

    Don’t let you Battle Ship mouth overload your Row Boat Axx!

  • Steve Swaja

    As to No.3, the alternative is “Gotta make a pit stop”… and, for no. 7, the USMC version would be “Hoorah” !

  • JP5

    “Turn Too” or “Turn-n-Burn” or “Hit it and Get it” = get to work!
    Geedunk = snacks!

  • JP5

    Drop you C____, and grab your socks! = Get out of bed and get dressed!

  • tom

    can’t dance

  • dick donaway

    boonies, we’re in the boonies maybe even lost.

    • Hawker54

      Right, we called our black low cut boots “Boondockers” in the Navy, as that is what you would wear going into the “Boondocks”. This word comes from the Tagolog (filipino) word “Bunduk” which means mountain I read somewhere, and my Filipina wife says that is the meaning of the word.

  • Bob

    How about Gung Hoe for those old salts.

  • Steve

    How about getting squared away?

  • SIxteanine

    Tango Uniform. To let someone know that a piece of equipment was inoperable. AKA: T_ts Up.

  • captjack47

    Our kids used to shudder when their Mom said, firmly, “OK Kids, TURN TO and clean up your rooms.”

  • flynavy001

    “Throttle back” is not a good thing to say to your wife when you (in her opinion) “have your head up and locked”. If she really “has her knots up” you might try “level you wings and chill” but only if your call sigh is “NAFOD” (No Apparent Fear of Death).

  • Old Chief

    I was one of a few dozen Navy guys on an Army base. I remember calling the command Sgt Major a rap leg and he had no idea what I the term was. We had a Master Chief (who was senior to the Sgt Major) that called him smage.Old Chief

  • artgus

    off and on (off your ass on on your feet and get to work)

  • Mike Carroll

    How about SCUTTLEBUTT? It can mean drinking fountain or rumors.

    • 300zxuserBob

      Drinking fountain? Maybe getting rumors around the drinking fountain? In the corps it only meant rumors, at least the corps I was in! lol!!!

      • John

        In the corp, scuttlebutt is also the drinking fountain. Poggy bait is candy.

  • Perk

    When Chief Chapin wanted everyone moving he yelled “I want every swinging dick on deck in 5.” Can’t say that anymmore, you would miss about half your department.

  • Gareth Goetsch

    I still say “PRESS ON” a lot even after retiring from the AF 35 years ago. I believe Chuck Yeager started it during a test flight in the early 50’s when something went wrong. He even named one of his books PRESS ON.

  • Perk

    also “make a whole” = get the f out of the way.

    • NormB

      “whole”? How about “hole” instead.

      • Convert

        Yeah! Gang Way!

  • retired AF

    i think ya missed a couple – alpha hotel and ASAP. also use oh-dark-hundred it basically means the same thing as zero dark thirty.

  • Sara

    I have grown up with so many of these with no idea they were military terms, ha ha! As a new Army wife I posted the Alpha Code on my fridge and changed my iPod calendar and all digital clocks to 24 hr time just to force myself to learn them. And then there is all the terms for military gear that get rolled over to civi items. I long ago started calling sunglasses “EyePro”.

  • Sara

    My favorite, though, is “assault to the rear” which gets used quite frequently at my house whenever there is a debate or argument. It makes for a fun way to back down while keeping your pride and has proven to be a great peacekeeping tool.

  • AECS Dee

    Then there’s “CAVU” refers to the weather (aviation speak) = Clear And Visibility Unrestricted. Just the opposite of being in the “Clag” RAF speak for lousy weather like 10 /10ths cloud cover.
    Butter Bar = Ensign
    Railroad tracks = Lt.
    My Marine friends always referred to someone who wasn’t quite sane as being High and to the right.
    Bird Farm = Aircraft Carrier
    Coffin Locker = the stowage compartment in a rack aboard ship. The lid of the locker supports your mattress. ( I now have one of those under the bed storage boxes and my wife has no idea why I call it my coffin locker.)
    Master Blaster = Master Chief Petty Officer
    Big Chicken Dinner = a BCD bad conduct discharge
    Haze gray and under way…self explanatory?
    Irish pennant = loose thread on clothing
    Brown Shoe = NAVAIR as opposed to Black Shoe = shipboard sailors
    Crabs or Sand Crabs = civil service employees on a Naval base

  • Sherman Hanks

    How about— ( He stepped on his Dick ! ) Messed up.

  • NormB

    Haven’t read them all, but just in case it’s not listed, don’t forget those ‘lifers’ who put themselves in a ROAD status – Retired On Active Duty.

  • Heather

    There are a lot of similar ones for each branch, but I do know that they all have their own! I grew up an Army Brat and knew most of the Jargon for years, but then when my husband joined the Navy, that was a whole new vocabulary to learn! I remember him calling me one day and he said he had his request chit in for leave. I asked him to repeat it three times before he understood the problem. His response was “honey, c as in charlie, not s as in sierra”. We still get a laugh out of that one!

  • Stormag

    No body mentioned BFE for being in the sticks! You know Bum F>>> Egypt.

  • SFC/Ret.

    I’ve been retired from the Army for about 15 years now, but here’s a couple we used to use:
    “When the balloon goes up…” meaning “in the event of a nuclear war”
    “Jump Street” An Airborne reference that means a trustworthy source, such as “That’s comin’ from Jump Street”

  • don

    ………go get the smoking lamp…..get your self dress uo in some foulweathergear..get a pitch folk go bach to the fantail and look for the mail bouy…..go belowand ask the chief you want a left-handed ……monkey wrench. anda bu8cket of steam where is the kidonk#

  • Jay Are

    going to hit the “RAIN LOCKER” ~~~going to take a shower,

  • Jay Are

    and don’t forget ~~~going to hit the sleep locker~~~ going to my rack or bed~

  • Tombo

    gtg = good to go!

  • Can’t believe no one posted FIGMO.
    Finally I Got My Orders. As in hard copy PCS orders.

  • Buzz

    When you need something. Honey your car is BINGO fuel, or my bourbon bingo light is on

  • Guest

    When asked to do something and you dont want to do it, like in ‘Top Gun’ you say “Negative Ghost Rider the pattern is full”

  • Shell

    When my kids were little, i would yell out “Fall In” and they would line up by the door. Now that they are older and each in the military we talk a lot of military slang.
    Butter face – check out that person….everything on them is rockin but er face.
    FM – Fing Magic ….something happens and someone asks how did that happen
    BFH – Big Fing Hammer…… Went you cant fix it the easy way you ask for a BFH
    OPS Check – making sure soemthing is working correctly
    Pulling Chocks/Punching Out/ Kick the tires and light the fire … getting ready to leave
    Beer-30 – all done and time for a drink
    Talk and walk – You can talk as long as you keep working
    When my kids started driving, they learned aircraft marshalling signs

  • ray

    Let’s don’t forget Tango Uniform. For when things go wrong.


    My favorite that I still use 9 years after retirement is “charlie mike”. (continue mission).

  • Elizabeth Colloton

    We’ve moved “the law of gross tonnage” from meaning get out of a big ship’s way to meaning get out of anything that is big’s way–bus, big truck, big people!

  • tdjones

    I tell my kids to “ruck up” every morning to get them to grab their book bag and head out the door to school.

  • LtC B

    I didn’t see SNAFU (situation normal all F’d up) or
    XB3 (supply for disposible; not needed anymore)

  • PJO

    Have heard/used the term ‘ hit the sack’ or ‘ get some sack time’ — go to sleep or getting some sleep.
    gig line ? spit shine ? straighten up? dress it up? breaking starch? ‘ no brass, no ammo’ , ‘ lifer juice’?, ‘ on the double ‘/ double time,…..? ‘ ‘marking time’?, ‘ pulling KP duty ‘, ‘ Dining In’? ‘Dining Out’ ? ‘ dress and cover’, ‘ full field layout ‘, ‘junk on the bunk, junk on the floor’, ‘ heads up, line of march’, ….many many more !!!! >>>

  • jimbo

    How about “the whole 9 yards”

  • DEP

    As an Army Brat we lived “on Post”, made friends with “the Townies”, and dad would tell us to “Police the area” (clean our rooms).

  • Michelle

    My husband uses “COMNAVHOMEPAC” to refer to the me when he says he needs to check with his wife…”I will make a request to COMNAVHOMEPAC when I get home.”

  • PHLFans

    I can still hear my Army Air Corps Dad saying to the four of us, “Straighten up and fly right!”

    • Cindy

      Mine too!
      He also often said, “Don’t give me any FLAK about it!”
      Even being “grounded” is a AAC term that’s used far and wide!

  • Ray Fitz

    How many Marines know where the term of 782 gear came from? They all know what it is.

  • CPT Tim

    “pop smoke and draw fire”
    “like drinking from a fire hose” used in “death by PowerPoint briefing situations.
    “battle rhythm”
    When we “mount up” to get in the car, any oft kids who want the right front seat will ask if they can TC.

  • papajoe

    My favorite all time phrase was in boot camp, while marching everywhere, the loving NCO’s would teach us about ” Jodie” and how he would take good care of our girlfriends! Talk about putting thoughts in you head.

  • dubc

    lol I think ALOT of pejoratives could make it onto this list XD

  • doublekneepads

    “Hooah”?? really?? you’d be labeled a tool for muttering that word outta uniform imo… lol

  • John

    CINC House, The Wife. (Commander in Chief of the House)
    Household 6, The Wife
    Deuce gear (Navy 782 gear, web gear)
    TA 50 (Army web gear)
    We use the phonetic alphabet at the house but both of us are Hams.
    Don’t forget such things as prop wash and muffler bearings.

  • James

    At Ease the noise when the kids are too loud, and Dismount when we get to a destination. We also use drop, pop smoke, and fall in at our house

  • Gary

    While not a military slang phrase some common words used around the military home front have at times special meanings. On one self redeployment with a large flock of Blackhawk helicopters low level, high speed across the housing area (and post commanders golf game) my 10 year old son walked into the house and said to his Mom “Dads Home”, to which she said “yea I heard”.

  • DaveS

    TTSKOTG – means tippy top secret known only to God used to describe why some order or event HAD to be obeyed and you shouldnt care why.
    similar to commands from the coop…home/ wife

  • Dave S

    TTSKOTG – tippy top secret known only to God. Means some order that MUST be done and not questioned. Similar to orders from the home front.

  • Dave S

    FTA was used a lot but our unit was all RA (regular army) . BBR was used to mean burn before reading or to indicate junk mail before there was junk mail. Feet wet was a good thing and feet dry eas

  • Dave S

    FTA was used a lot but our unit was all RA (regular army) . BBR was used to mean burn before reading or to indicate junk mail before there was junk mail. Feet wet was a good thing and feet dry was bad

  • Dave S

    FTA was used a lot but our unit was all RA (regular army) . BBR was used to mean burn before reading or to indicate junk mail before there was junk mail.

  • Dave S

    FTA was used a lot but our unit was all RA (regular army) . BBR was used to mean burn before reading or to indicate junk mail before there was junk mail

  • Dave S

    FTA was used a lot but our unit was all RA (regular army) . BBR was used to mean burn before reading or to indicate junk mail

  • Dave S

    FTA was used a lot but our unit was all RA (regular army). BBR was used to mean burn before reading or to indicate junk mail before there was junk mail

  • Dave S

    FTA was used a lot but our unit was all RA (regular army). BBR was used to mean burn before reading or to indicate junk mail

  • Dave S

    FTA was used but our unit was all RA regular army. BBR was used to mean burn before reading or to indicate junk mail

  • Dave S

    FTA and ETS was used but our unit was all RA-regular army. BBR was used to mean burn before reading or to indicate junk mail

  • Dave S

    I keep getting an erroy saying check format yet it still pists- sorry everyone

    must be my Droid

    • Cliff

      I’ve been getting that too on FB posts. I’ve learned to check if it has posted before I try again. I’m also using an Android phone. (and got the error message on this very post!)

  • Cliff

    Until the movie came out, I’d never heard “zero dark thirty” – it was “oh-dark thirty” when I was in the Army in the 90s.

    • kevin

      In the Army, there is Oscar or Zero. Oh, is just slack-jawed wonderment! (And that was way before the 1990s)

  • John FOrtunato

    Wikipedia: Hooah /ˈhuːɑː/ is military slang “referring to or meaning anything and everything except no”[1] used by soldiers in the U.S. Army and Canadian Army[2] and U.S. Air Force airmen. Marine equivalent: Oorah! Navy equivalent: Ooyah! Alternate Marine utterance (I’ve heard a roomful of Marines do this) is to ‘growl” like a dog (hard to transliterate); arrrr arrrr arrrr arrr (I’m assuming related to being “devil dogs”?.

  • Jim

    All those phrases sure bring back the old days. I remember using: “Mark Mark” for a fly over to mark our location, Taking fire, for a enemy contacts, zero 5 mikes, ment help on the way fast, danger close, ment arty or bombs landing close, inbound hot, ment air suppot was coming in guns blazing, and Alpha Sierra, ment all was fine. There were many others and I too still use several of them.

  • Joe

    8. Got your 6. I got your back. A phrase all MilSpouses should be saying to each other.

    Not many things are more true than this statement.

  • Gary

    “No hover zone” normally refers to an area where helicopter operations are not appreciated, when used away from the flight line it normally refers to an area where very high strung individual personality operations are not appreciated.

  • Daryl N 1981

    My kids know all about close….As we all know “close” only counts in horseshoes, hand grenades and global thermo nuclear war….

  • Joe

    Pull Chocks aka move out, aka OM(Oscar Mike) aka On the Move aka Kick the Tires and Light the Fires

  • Richard

    The 4 year old daughter of my Marine son was very frustrated by another girl in her preschool session who would not listen to her request. She went to the teacher and said in a very authoritarian voice, “I want her REPRIMANDED!”

  • hallonds

    Instead of saying leave you “pop smoke”

  • GArm

    We use the term” Move with a sense of purpose” to the child who does not want to complete an assigned task

  • My favorite:
    ‘that is a no-go at this station’!
    Our SP is 0600 – (My husband and I are both loggies… Missing an SP is an epic failure in leadership)
    You move, I cover – You get the kids, I’ll take care of the house.

  • cindy

    My WWII Army Air Corps dad often said these:
    “catch FLAK” (get resistance or trouble, originally WWII German anti-aircraft bursts)
    “Straighten up and fly right”
    “grounded” (commonly used as “must stay home”)
    “the whole nine yards” (machine gun ammo belt was 9 yds long, but now used to mean “all or “everything)

  • Marine Dad

    Air Force salute: To say, “I don’t know” by a shrug.
    Beans, bullets and bandages: Everything Marines need to fight.
    Fart sack: The linen one slips a mattress into.
    Lollygagging: The sailor-like habit of fooling around.
    Oorah: Although the other services have since come up with their own versions, oorah is the uniquely Marine way of replying positively to almost anything.

  • Marine dad

    POG= personal other than grunt (Marine)
    “Poge bait” = Cookies, anything that can be used to distract or bribe non infantry personnel. In general; a bribe or an object used to distract someone. To set some ‘pogie bait’. Give him some ‘poggie bait’.
    Spelling varies since Marines are not known for their spelling abilities. Pronounced POG-E

  • Sapper

    From the Fort Bragg folks – “Keep your feet and knees together and you’ll be alright” suitable for any occasion from sons first bike ride to daughters first date! and yelling “green light go” at cars in front of you that don’t seem to understand sitting at green stop lights is burning drop zone…and if I get a red light, arrrggghhh

  • rstover

    CM (charlie mike) = continue mission- kids keep doing whatever it is you’re doing, while i go do ____
    Lock it up!= kids stop being so noisy!
    Go/ No-Go= approval/ disapproval of whatever the kids did
    You know you have airborne kids when they understand “stand up, hook up, shuffle to the door” = we are leaving
    kids go do personal hygiene = shower, brush teeth, change your underwear, etc
    ate up= the opposite of squared away= you better fix yourself, fast
    area beautification= go pull weeds

  • Michael

    Every now and then the term “REFUEL” comes out.

  • AFwife

    My husband is an AF pilot, so we say things such as “Do you have a visual?” For example, if I’m in the house I might call to my husband outside, “Do you have a visual on K_____ (child’s name.)” Or when driving, my husband might ask, “am I clear right?” and I respond “you are clear right.” We often discuss who will drive which “leg” of a trip. I’ve heard many of the examples in the previous posts but didn’t realize they were military jargon.

  • Robert

    Ground Zero, to call in this command, well it couldn’t be worse
    Volunteered was the way it was said in my time, lol, You were volunteered to the task.

  • Tigrelily

    These are the terms I remember from childhood, the service, and marching band:
    10 HUT! (stand at attention now!)
    Butter Bars
    Railroad Tracks
    Bird Colonel (can’t remember the one for majors and captain tho)
    Full Bird Colonel
    Be My Little General (as a way to remember the different ranks of generals)
    5 x 5 and tree top high
    Make a hole
    Gang way
    Hit the deck!
    Front and Center
    Mom taught me how to take a Navy shower (it’s 3 mins long and includes everything)
    Roach Coach
    Scrambled eggs – got to salute those!
    Gig line
    Ropes (those stray threads on new uniforms you didn’t pull)
    NAVY – Never Again Volunteer Yourself
    SSIR – So Secret It’s Ridiculus a level of securtiy clearance
    Stars and Bars – officers
    Double time!
    Marking time (from marching band – marching in place)
    Eyes front! (look at me! I want your attention now)
    Tango Sierra – top secret
    BX or PX -branch exchange or post exchange – general merchandise store
    Pinger or pinger head – male basic training recruits who just had their first hair cut
    Bug out! (from M*A*S*H, for leaving the area NOW!)
    Hooch (from M*A*S*H, for small house/hut
    PT (physical training)

    There’s probably more but I’ve forgotten them. Growing up, I didn’t know that some of the phrases said around the house were military terms until I was in the military.

  • Barrett

    I want to give my wife and kids a fighting chance to take cover, so I say “FIRE IN THE HOLE” before I pass gas.

  • VirginiaVixen

    Boots up. We use that one, especially for big trips. For Thanksgiving we were boots up at 1800. And no one thinks about it today but I bet ETA was military as well.

  • Juan Mendez

    “Pulling chalks”, “volun-told” and “say again” gets used an awful lot in my house. Along with the classic
    “Wiskey, Tango, Foxtrot . . . Over.”

  • E. Shaffer

    “I’m pretty sure we can have this conversation without all of us cursing like sailors.”
    Well, I’m a retired, non-cussing Sailor (with a capital “S” – yea, they went through a bunch of stupid legal wrangling over that and decided to make it mandatory — *roll eyes now*). Which brings me to my fav. military jargon/slang that my family and I use almost daily. There are so many..
    1. scuttlebutt. That can be an ashtray (I don’t smoke), a water fountain, or a rumor depending on how it is used in a sentence.
    2. Sea Lawyer – someone who thinks they know more about a legal situation (USUALLY very wrong), but can be used for any situation where the family know-it-all decides to chime in over
    3. Geedunk – a store where you can by that rot-out-your-teeth, make-you-fat pogie bait (that would be candy, cokes, etc.)
    4. Shipmate – now this can be a term of endearment, or it can really sell the idea that you hold the other person in complete contempt. Example: “Ahoy, shipmate!” = Howdy friend! = Good. “Looks like you fouled THAT up, ‘SHIP-mate”! = “You’re dumber than a sock-full of hammers, you low-life sea lawyer.” = Not so good.
    Finally, a Sailor doesn’t say “HOOAAH”. We say “Aye-aye”. And we mean it.
    Respect to all the troops, airmen, coasties, and ground-pounders…love you guys! You’re all “shipmates” (the good kind) in my book!!!

  • OLD_DI

    MOVE OUT AND DRAW FIRE: Leave the area, execute your given order.

  • the 1

    LLMF (Lima, Lima, Mike, Foxtrot), Lost Like a M#*$&#er Fu#*#&er

  • jim

    Real old Pogy Bait-Candy or other Sweets.

  • Gus

    Gus –
    “Keep a cool tool in the motor pool.” Don’t get so excited!!!!!

  • Gus

    Gus (again) –

    “Nervous in the service” Usually said while slapping yourself on the head when you do something stupid. What those around you say about you under those same circumstances !!!!!

  • Jordan

    Hooah= HUA
    Hear, understood, aknowledged.

  • Lucia

    These words bring me lots of fun memories and not so fun ones as well; “secure the happiness” is one I used then and one I use now with my kids mainly when they are goofing around and I need them to get serious. I also like “ears” and the reply was “open” , my drill instructor used this one.

  • Kevin the Wizard

    Dependisarurus ( Or Dependopotimus as some people say it) : A highly conceited spouse who feels a sense of financial entitlement from her husband and ultimately the military itself.

  • Patman

    “Copy” and “Copy That” for any answer that requires an Affirmative Acknowledgement. I started saying this at the Nursing Home I work in and now all my coworkers respond this way.

  • annie


  • Army Wife

    Hooah — I have heard this actually is drived from HUA — Heard Understoon Acknowledged.

  • Army Wife



  • ScrtSquirl

    Irish Penant = Loose thread

    I-D-10-T = This person is not smart

    IHTFP = “I Have Truly Found Paradise” (I hate this F***** Place)

    In Parade Order = (Kids got this from a Royal Marine Comrade means “must be at best”) (You Li’ttles, ‘En Pah-Rade O’rDah – for Ice Cream, your Da’s paying……..)

    UnSat – this room is unsatisfactory, clean it again………………

    Sierra Sierra Delta Delta = same “stuff”, different Day

    Bore-X / Farce-X / Blame-X = negative word Exercise

    Tactical Re-allocation = I didn’t STEAL your Coke Dad, I Tactically Re-allocated it….

  • Len

    Herp a Derp
    NATO Phonetic Alphabet
    “Locked down”

  • NikkiGrim

    Phonetic spelling of the military acronym HUA, which stands for “Heard Understood Acknowledged.” Originally used by the British in the late 1800’s in Afghanistan. More recently adopted by the United States Army to indicate an affirmative or a pleased response.

  • MadTom

    Practice Bleeding: going through pain and suffering and wasting resources and time, in a training scenario in which there is little or no benefit gained to offset the pain, suffering and waste.

  • Ann

    PX Ranger
    (U.S. Army) . A Soldier who purchases and wears badges, tabs, and insignia without having graduated from the appropriate corresponding schools, usually without the approval of the chain of command.

  • Bax

    PFM – Pure “freaking” Magic
    Nut to butt – In a line
    Break it down to parade rest – take something down to it’s components
    Brown shoe or Air Dale – air community sailor
    bubblehead – sub sailor
    Old man – skipper – guy in charge

  • Tom Schrimsher

    My favorite is “Turn Two” meaning GET BUSY!