View Full Version : Military Jargon

Steve Coate
09-20-2014, 06:51 AM
I'm in the midst of writing military fiction involving a Marine rescue mission in Iraq. I've found some wonderful resources for equipment, formations, hand signals and the like, but am looking for a good source for jargon that might be used in the Marines. I've spent some time Googling, and found some lists, but not what I was specifically looking for, which is the equivalent (if it exists) of "better safe than sorry."

So I'm appealing to AW's experts to determine whether I'm looking for something that doesn't exist (in which case I'll come up with something else), or if I'm looking in the wrong place.

Any ideas or suggestions?

09-20-2014, 07:25 AM
Send your traffic.

Edit: "semper gumbie" is what your looking for, I think. It means always flexible.

Steve Coate
09-21-2014, 05:40 AM
Thanks, badwolf. I think that might work.

09-21-2014, 06:57 AM
The thing to remember is that every unit has its own subculture. Infantry units are different from engineer units which are different from admin units. Also, Engineer service companies are different from combat engineer companies which are different from engineer bridge companies. So lingo can be very specific, and also varies from time to time so what is popular one year is not popular the following year.

Another term that might work is "stay frosty", which was popular with line companies for awhile.

Michael Davis
09-25-2014, 12:22 AM
Here's a few for ya:

John Wayne - can opener
brain bucket - helmet
blooper - grenade launcher
Baby G - Brigade General
Above my pay grade - not my responsibility
Whiskey tango - white trash
Fallen angel - marine that failed out of flight school
Squid - sailor
556 hickey - Being scared or injured by the ejected hot brass of an
Zoomie - pilot
Kabar - knife
Daily 7 - morning exercises
AR15 type rifle (556 is the caliber.)
ANt farm - command center with a tone of antennas sticking up
Deuce - intel officer
Rain locker - shower
Wookie - femle marine
Leadstick - pencil
House mouse - Recruit tasked to clean quarters

That should get ya started.

Gaff off - ignore order

09-25-2014, 02:24 AM
Read through the archives of this comic about the Marines by an Iraq war vet. It may give you a good peek into the culture. Also, I bet he'd be receptive to questions.