Here’s a list of 122 phrases and acronyms used in the military over time…some are even new to me. How many of these do you remember?


13. “Smoke’m if you got’em”

14. Smoking lamp is on….better learn how to smoke if you want to escape

15. Make your buddy smile.

16. Back Blast Area All Clear
17. Chest Candy
18. Five Sided Puzzle Palace
19. Bullet Catchers
20. KISS (Keep it simple ‘sweetheart’)
21. Bullshit Bomb
22. Charlie Foxtrot
23. Dear John
24. High Speed
25. Snake Eater
26. DMZ
27. Un-Ass
28. Birth Control Glasses
29. In The Rear With the Gear
30. Make a hole
31. Pucker factor
32. Secret Squirrel
33. Friendly Fire
34. Who knows how long they will be around—

35. Take ten, expect five, and get two
36. If it aint raining you aint training
37. Ate up
38. Squared away
39. Blue falcon
40. Jody
41. Warrior pass
42. Awol
43. C.o.b. (close of business) time to pop smoke and un-ass the a.o.

44. 2-digit midget

45. Stand Fast

46. Kiss was keep it simple stupid
47. It don’t rain in the army, it rains on the army

48. Outstanding! the most over-used adjective/verb/noun of all time?

49. “Don’t mistake kindness for weakness.”

50. Spread out. One round will get you all

51. What’s your major malfunction?

52. Lifer

53. Ground pounder

54. Get me a Bucket of Purple Steam and a Left Handed Monkey Wrench

55. Bucket of Prop Wash and several feet of Flight Line. You have to be careful with prop wash. It actually exists (solvent used to clean propellers). I know of two different people, who send some out for propwash, and the guy came back with a can of it. The smart soldier knows where to get it, and bring it back to the dumbfounded NCO who sent him for it.

56. Can of squelch

57. Ate up like a football bat
58. We used “Barney-Big Bird style”
59. P for plenty (demo calculation)
60. Unit specific “3 things change twice every 5 minutes”

61. One eye monster

62. Pinch a loaf

63. Up tight alright outta sight

64. Low flying ducks

65. Getting packed into a cattle car, you know 80 people in a 60 person trailer with full packs and weapons. Drill sergeants yelling pack in in there ” I want Nuts to Butts ” It sure sucked being short. God help up if someone farted.

66. Assumption = the mother of all F ups.

67. SOS..same old shit
68. Combogulate

69. Six P’s: Prior Preparation Prevents Piss-Poor Performance (from a DI).

70. An alternative to “chest candy” frequently used in naval circles: “fruit salad.” Air Force used chest candy some but fruit salad was pretty common.

71. If it ain’t snowin’, we ain’t goin.

72. Along with the Dear John is she’s seeing Jody!

73. Take an aspirin and drive on.
74. Suck it up.
75. Slacker.
76. Strap hanger.
77. Desk Jockey.
78. Cannon Fodder
79. Three on a match.
80. Brown Boot Army.
81. Sand box.
82. Across the pond.
83. Foxtrot Uniform.
84. Smoked’m.
85. Greaseded’m

86. that sounds like a problem for the chaplin.

87. Chairborne Ranger

88. Fort Living Room First Armchair Division

89. shut up and keep running

90. I don’t want to see anything, but assholes and elbows”
91. “If it moves salute it, if it don’t move pick it up, if you can’t pick it up…paint it”

92. Painting all sides of the rocks.

93. B.O.H.I.C.A.

94. fubar

95. REMF

96. Get your head out of rectal defilade.

97. Jody’s got your girl and gone

98. Birth Control Glasses!

99. “You had best pull your head out of your ass, son!”

100. “Drop, and give me 20!”

101. Pogie Bait – I am an infantry soldier (“grunt”) and we commonly used the term POG to mean “Personnel Other than Grunts” which was a toned down version of REMF (Rear Echelon MF”). I served a stint as a Drill Sergeant where the term “Pogey Bait” referred to unauthorized items (primarily sweets) that trainees had in their possession.

102. LegUp

103. Operator Head Space Error

104. 50-foot roll of flight line

105. Boom boom

106. Cannon cockers

107. Flower seeker

108. Get your shit together

109. Meat wagon

110. Steam and cream

111. The crotch

112. Dog and pony show

113. Fart sack

114. Hang a light

115. Lanyard grease

116. What are they going to do, send me to Nam?

117. Sleeping-in is a memory from home.

118. My grandma can do better.

119. Don’t pick anything up…don’t leave anything behind. Charlie will use it against you.

120. Having ‘greenbacks’ in your possession is illegal.

121. If you get the ‘Black Clap’ there is no cure. You’ll be shipped to a special island for the rest of your lives and be reported as MIA.

122. Buy me tea.

…Got any to add?

For more, visit my most popular page: Military Slang in the Nam –


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