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ABCAbbreviation of All Been Changed; a change of detail.
ACEGood, excellent.
Airy FairyA member of the Fleet Air Arm.
A1 The very best.


BandieMembers of the Royal Marines Band
BanjoA sandwich; broken or broken down.
BanyanA picnic on a boat or beach.
BashaOriginally a temporary jungle shelter, now applied to any temporary shelter in the field.
Belay To cease an action; to cancel.
BimbleTo walk casually; to wander.
BishA Naval padre.
BiteTo be drawn into an argument or be wound up.
Bivvy A bivouac - temporary field shelter, constructed with a waterproof poncho.
BluesThe ceremonial blue uniform of the Royal Marines.
BootieRM and RN abbreviation of the term used for a Royal Marine (see Bootneck).
BootneckA Royal Marines Commando.
Bombed outCrazy; exhausted.
BonedomeProtective helmet, particularly applied to that worn by pilots.
Brill / BrillsBrilliant, magnificent.
BrammerOustandingly good.
Bronzy timeSunbathing.
Brown HatterSee Snapper.
BubbledTo be found out or ‘rumbled’.
Bug - outTo conduct a military withdrawal.
Bunting tosserA member of the RN signals fraternity. (see also ‘Flag wagger’ and ‘Sigs’).
BuzzA rumour.
BZBravo Zulu - Well done.


CabinA room, usually a bedroom.
Can spannerA tin opener (see ‘Spanner’).
Charlie - GThe 84mm Carl Gustav anti - tank weapon.
Chin stayThe strap used to secure a cap, or helmet to the head.
ChopperA helicopter.
ChippieA carpenter.
Chit / ChittieA small piece of paper.
Chuck one upA salute.
Chuck upa. Praise (see also ‘Recommend’).
b. To smell badly.
ChunterTo mutter or mumble (see also ‘Drip’).
Church keyA device equipped with both bottle and can opener.
CivviesCivilians / Civvian clothing.
Clear lower deckWhen personnel of a unit are called together for an address by the Commanding Officer; a 100% turnout.
CloggieCloggie A Dutchman.
Club swingerA Physical Training Instructor.
Come alongsideTo make the grade; to agree.
Common dog Common sense.
CompoComposite Rations, Ration Pack.
CrabA member of the Royal Air Force. or Lacking in personal hygeine.
Crab AirThe Royal Air Force.
Cracked itTo achieve.
Crack - upTo lose ones patience.
CrappersTo be very drunk.
Crash outTo fall asleep.
Cream inCollide.


DhobiTo wash or launder.
Dig out (blind)To make an all out effort.
Dink To give or receive a blow.
Dip out / dipTo come off worst in any situation.
DitchTo throw away or discard.
Dog robbers Jacket and tie.
Dog WatchTwo short watch periods that equalise the watch roster. Someone who has been in a ‘Dog watch’ means one who has little experience.
Donkey WallopersThe Cavalry.
Down on your chin strapsTo be exhausted.
DregsUgly; unappealing.
DripTo complain.
Drip seshA period organised so that complaints can be aired.
DrivesThe driver of a vehicle.
Drop a sprogTo give birth.


Ear poundingTo give or receive a verbal warning.
Eating IronsEating utensils.
EndexThe point an exercise ends.
EssenceBeautiful, usually applied to ones Pash or Party.


Fang FarrierA dentist.
Fanny - ratA stacks rating who is never satisfied with the Pash / Party he has.


Galley The kitchen and / or dining hall.
GannetOne with an insatiable appetite.
GashRubbish, waste.
Gash HandSpare rank.
Gen Genuine; the truth.
GDGeneral Duties rank.
GizzitItems that are given away, usually for public relations purposes.
GlimpTo peer or peep.
Globe and BusterThe Corps Crest (the Globe & Laurel) or the Royal Marines magazine.
GlopTo slurp or drink hurriedly.
GlopheadA habitual drunkard.
Goffer a. A wave (sea water vareity).
b. A cold drink.
c. A punch (fist type not drink).
GonkTo sleep.
GoppingExtremely unpleasant. Usually used to describe ugly women.


HandA member of an organisation / crew. Commonly used to refer to an individual of good repute.
HangfireWait a period of time.
Hanging - outTo have given 100% physically.
HarrySuperlative eg ‘Harry Crappers’.
Honking / HonkersIntoxicated; smelly.


IcersVery cold
InboardTo come out on top, to succeed.


JackA member of the Royal Navy.
Jack up To arrange or organise something.
JennyA member of the Women’s Royal Naval Service.
Jimpy / Jeeps General Purpose Machine Gun.
JollyAn easy job or organised recreatiion. (see ‘Swan’).
Jollies (HM)Original name for citizen soldiers of the Trained Bands of London in 1664, from whose ranks Marines were first formed. Later became RN slang for a Marine, hence Kipling’s ‘HM Jollies’.
JungliesMembers of the Naval Air Commando Squadrons.
‘JWH’Abbreviation of Jersey Wool Heavy - the issue pullover.


Kag / KaggageUnwanted or useless equipment.
Kit musterA check, in which an individual’s complete equipment is laid out to ensure all is accounted for. The term is also used to describe the act of vomitting.
Knack allNil, nothing.
Knacker / fat knackerA person who is unfit and / or overweight.


Lash up To treat
Laughing kitbagsTo find something very amusing.
Leg itTo run.
LimersA soft drink.
Loafer / loafingOne who sits back and lets others do his share of the work.
LovatsThe No 2 dress uniform of the Royal Marines, lovat green in colour.


Make ‘n’ mendA period allocated to the maintenance of an individual’s equipment, or personal administration.
Manky Filthy.
MaskersMasking tape. Uses for this valuable commodity are many and varied. Also known as ‘Ha rry black’ or ‘Harry black maskers’.
MatelotA sailor.
Mess deck dodgerThe person responsible for tidying a mess deck or barrack room.
Micky duckA cartoon film.
MOAAbbreviation of a Marine Officer’s Attendant - the equivalent of a batman.
MOD PlodMinistry of Defence Police.
Muscle bo’sunOne who prides himself on the strength of his body.


NauseNausea, inconvenience.
NeatersUndiluted spirits. (Navy Rum ration traditionally was condenced)
Nine o’ clockersMid evening snack.
Nod / NoddyA Royal Marines recruit. (Changed to "Wink" due to presure from the media about name calling - i.e. a Nod is as good as a Wink.
Nutty fiendOne who has a sweet tooth.


‘OD’An abbreviation indicating ‘ Other Denomination’ as a persons religous conviction or commonly used as a derogatory term for someone who should know better.
OggieA pasty.
O GroupA meeting whereby orders for an operation are given to subordinate commanders.
OolooOriginally the term applied to jungle. Now sometimes given to an area of rough country or heavy vegetation.
OppoA close friend.. The ‘opposite number’ of a two man team; a system used to ensure maximum effectiveness in military activities.


Party A female.
PashA female, with whom a marine has formed a more than casual relationship. A fiancee.
PercyA soldier (see also ‘Pongo’).
PhotA photograph or photographer.
PingTo recognise or identify; to catch out.
PingersMembers of the RN anti - submarine helicopter squadrons.
Pipe To broadcast a message; usually via the public address system on board ship or in barracks.
PisoCareful with money.
PitA bunk, bed or sleeping space (see also ‘Scratcher’).
PlumsNothing. (see also ‘Dip’). Often used in the context of ‘Trapping’.
Plums ratingOne who is continually unsuccessful with women.
Pole - upTo appear, to arrive suddenly.
PomDehydrated mashed potato.
PongoA soldier; derived from the common naval belief that soldiers never wash.
ProfTo acquire.
ProvieA member of the Provost Staff, the Regimental or Unit Police.
PussersAppertaining to the Service; stores and equipment issued from Service sources. Anything done unimaginatively or ‘by the book’ is done in a ‘pussers’ manner.
Pusser’s hardIssue soap.
Pusser’s planksMilitary skis.
Pusser’s red devilThe standard naval issue bicycle. Invariably painted red.
Puzzle PalaceA Headquarters building.


RabbitsGifts or souvenirs, obtained by going on a ‘rabbit run’.
RecommendFormalised approval or praise - ‘take a recommend.
ReddersOpposite to Icers.
RiceEffort. To ‘give it rice’ means to apply a considerable amount of effort in a direct manner.
RigA mode of dress. To ‘get rigged’ is to get dressed.
Rock / Rock allNil, or nothing.
Rock apeRAF Regiment.
Rug ratA baby (see also ‘sprog’).
RunA trip or journey.
Run ashoreTo leave ship or barracks for recreation or relaxation.


Sandies / Sandy BottomsThe last ‘sippers of a wet’.
SBAbbreviation for Special Boat Service. One who has joined the SBS is said to have gone SB.
Scran bagA bag on a mess deck in which spare or damaged clothing and rags are collected. One who is untidily dressed is said to ‘look like a scran bag’.
ScratcherA bed, bunk or bedspace (see also ‘pit’).
Scronky / ScronksUntidy (see also ‘scran bag’).
Sea DaddyAn experienced marine or sailor who looks after a recruit to ‘show him the ropes’.
SecureTo finish; to tidy away after a job or watch.
Shave - offAn expression of exasperation; to speak out in turn.
SigsA radio operator.
Sin BosunA Naval Padre.
SippersA liquid measure; a sip offered from one’s own drink.
SkinImmature or inexperienced. Lacking in facial hair.
Skin MagPlayboy or similar magazine.
SlideButter or margerine (see also ‘grease’).
Smally Small.
SnapsA photographer (see also ‘phot’).
Sneaky BeakyIntelligence staff or their operations.
SnurgleTo advance warily, or to crawl.
SnapperSomeone who is gay.
Sods operaA show produced by a ship’s company or unit to entertain themselves.
SpannerAny food or implement.
SpitkidA waste receptacle.
SprogA baby, or youth lacking in experience.
Spud lockerVegetable preparation room.
StacksThe opposite of ‘plums’. To receive overmuch. Usually used to describe one who has great success with woman.
Stand easyAn official break in the work schedule; equates with a tea / coffee break.
SteamerA ship.
Sticka. Abuse.
b. A grouping of manpower for amphibious operations.
SwanAn easy or enjoyable journey or job, (see also ‘jolly’).
Sweating neatersTo be worried.


The CorpsRM and RN generic term for the Royal Marines.
Thin outTo depart.
ThreadersTo be fed up, to have had enough of something.
Three BadgerA marine or sailor of low rank but great experience. Derived from the good conduct badges (chevrons) worn to denote years of service, three badges being the maximum.
TrapTo successfully attract a member of the opposite sex.
Troop bibleA book containing all the relevant details of the individuals in a sub unit.
TroughTo eat.
Turn - toTo parade or begin work.
Twos - upTo take a turn at / with something.


UckersA board game. Adult version of Ludo.
Up homersTo be invited home.
Up the lineTo travel away from base, originally referring to a train journey.


Vittled upTo be subjected to heavy and effective gunfire.


WallahThe operator of a small shop or stand, usually unofficial (eg ‘Goffer Wallah’).
WatchSentry Duty; male only.
Waz / wazzerFantastic.
WellieTo punch or hit.
WetA drink of any description.
Winger / wingsA comrade or close friend (see also ‘oppo’).
Woolly pulleyPullover (see also ‘JWH’).
Work your ticketTo arrange to leave the Service.


Yaffling spannersEating utensils.
YetiA spectacular fall whilst on skis.
YompTo force march with a heavy load.


Zap / zappedTo shoot or be shot.