Jungle Picture: LSwanPhotography

British military slang or phrases you need to know 3

Jungle Picture: LSwanPhotography

Warning: This content contains adult themes and strong language which some might find offensive.

This is our third feature in a series for anyone struggling to understand the military language that their son, daughter, mother, father or an ex-military colleague is using - with help from our go-to guide/dictionary of all the words and phrases that you will ever need to know.

Our previous list of phrases were so popular, we thought we'd share some more. 

What would you add to the next list?

1. 'Block Rat'

Someone who never seems to go home on leave, and enjoys their time locked in their room playing online games thoroughout the night, while drinking copious amounts of energy drinks.

2. 'Racing Spoon'

Personal eating utensil, used at every meal time, usually licked clean between meals and kept in top left side pocket.

3. 'God Squad'

Name for any member of the Army Chaplain Service, usually the unit’s Padre. Although he/she is a welcome addition on exercise or operations, as they will come armed with a large bag of Haribo sweets.

4. 'Pan Bashing'

The name given for the punishment whereby a person is sent to help in the field kitchen, cleaning pots and pans for the Master Chef.

5. 'Drop Shorts'

Nickname given to members of the Royal Artillery Regiment by other units, as it is sometimes claimed their rounds are more likely to drop short of where they are needed (enemy position). The Royal Artillery Regiment will have a retort to this.

6. 'In Clip'

Self-diagnosis for anything from a seriously bad hangover, to sore muscles after a tough PT session. E.g ‘I’m in clip’.

7. 'Gen'

What I am about to tell you is definitely not a lie.

8. 'Eyebrows Gen'

What I am about to tell you is definitely NOT a lie. However, if what I am about to tell you turns out to be a complete and utter lie, then you can shave off both of my eyebrows.

9. 'Argos Gen'

What I am about to tell you is NOT a lie. However, if what I say turns out to be a lie, on pay day, I must go to the nearest Argos shop, type in a random set of digits, and whatever item appears on the screen, I must buy it. No matter how expensive it is.

10. 'Robo Gen'

What I am about to tell you is definitely NOT a lie. However, if what I say turns out to be bo****ks, then you can shave my head bald like in the movie RoboCop.

Man Badly Shaving His Head With Clippers Shutterstock Image No Need To Credit

11. 'Slack'

The name given to a person whose soldiering abilities have been called into question, usually because a lack of self-discipline.

12. 'Hanging Out'

Someone who is physically or mentally worn out and has nothing left in the tank.

13. 'Sucking Air From China'

Term to describe someone who is ‘hanging out’ during a PT session. Usually because they are trying to breathe in as much oxygen as they physically can.

14. 'Squared Away'

Something is sorted. Term used to refer to when military personnel would fold their bed blankets and sheets neatly into a square shape prior to room inspections.

15. 'The Badge'

The name sometimes given to the senior soldier within the regiment – The Regimental Sergeant Major, called 'The Badge' … this is due to the ridiculously large badge of rank that they wear.

RSM Badge: Picture MoD/Crown Copyright
RSM Badge: Picture MoD/Crown Copyright

16. 'Double In'

Get over here right now, or you’ll be doing press ups until your eyes bleed.

17. 'You’re In Your Own Time Now'

Hurry up and finish this task, I want to go to the Mess for a beer … you are most definitely not in your own time.

18. 'Donkey Wolloper'

Nickname given to soldiers within the British Household Cavalry regiment, or the Royal Horse Artillery.

19. 'No Duff'

An incident that is not a drill or training exercise. A real emergency.

20. 'Wriggly Tin'

Corrugated metal sheets used during construction of defences or when digging trenches.

21. 'Bulling'

Military word used to describe polishing equipment, using a cloth in circular motion. The term 'bulling' is typically used when shining boots.

22. 'Glasshouse'

The name of the British military prison in Colchester. The name 'Glasshouse' originated from the former military prison in Aldershot, which had a glazed roof. Often used to mean any military prison.

23. 'Crow Canon'

The name of the Lightweight Support Weapon (LSW) usually given to the newest member (CROW) of the regiment, because nobody else wants to carry it.

24. 'Stand To'

Get ready for the impending attack, get your kit on and be on alert. Usually before dawn or just after sunset.

'D & V'

25. 'D & V'

Diarrhoea and vomiting stomach bug, usually contracted when deployed on operations and living in less than sanitary conditions. 

If you found this list helpful, why not share this and spread the word?
What would have made it onto your list?

* Cover image: LSwanPhotography.

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