Admiral of the Swiss Navy
A self-important person.
With full vigor; determination; or enthusiasm.
Armed to the Teeth
Well equipped with firearms; alert; fully prepared; awake to danger.
Canned milk. Variations: Armored Heifer; Canned Cow.
Franks and beans.
A submarine's periscope.
The company wit; so-called because he's full of wheezes (jokes).
Men who require extra instruction at drill.
Absence without official leave.
Mustard; from its resemblance to that which comes out of the hind end of an infant.
Bags of Mystery.
Parachute jump from plane; by extension; to get out of a situation like a date.
A broad-assed Marine (i.e.; a female Marine).
Baptized by Fire.
To have been under enemy fire for the first time; to have received one's first wounds.
Artificial lemonade powder included in K-rations -considered undrinkable and regularly discarded or used as cleaning solution.
A Navy term referring to the heavy breakfast of steak and eggs commonly given to sailors and Marines on the morning of a combat operation.
To do one's best under difficult circumstances.
Hospital treatment for venereal diseases. Bayonet refers to the male member.
A beach where invading forces land
Beat your gums
To talk a lot about a topic.
Beat Your Gums.
To talk a lot about something. Variations: Gumming; Jawing; Chin Music.
Become a Gold Star in Mom's Window.
A gentle way of saying killed in action.
Letter to a girl.
Letter to a girl back home.
A man who has slept with a woman you slept with.
Anyone with a little authority.
A term sometimes applied by the Port Moresby natives to the B-24s when they first made their appearance in that area.
Bite the Dust.
Killed or wounded.
A date with a girl you have never seen.
Blow it out your barracks bag
Shut up! Go to hell!
Blow It Out Your Barracks Bag!
Shut up! or Go to Hell!
False courage inspired by drugs or drink. Variations: Bought Guts; Drugstore Nerve.
Broad With a Heat Wave.
Passionate woman; women with a venereal disease.
Broad With a Load of Lettuce.
A woman of wealth.
Broad With Canned Goods.
Ass-kisser. To curry favor; or boot-lick. Variation: Brownie.
Annoyed or fed up.
Men in the armed forces who have been dumped by their girlfriends. Variation: The Ex-Darling Club.
’Big time operator’—someone who thinks he is important.
Big Time Operator: someone who thinks he's important.
The lowest rank in the Army.
A lazy solider with a sloth-like attraction to his bed. Variation: Sack Rat.
Burn and Turn.
Game of blackjack.
’Nuts’ about driving.
Serviceman acting as officer’s messenger.
Cash in One's Chips.
Cast the Last Anchor.
To be killed; to die.
The G.I.'s name for service regulations and the seemingly endless make-work chores. Sometimes abbreviated as C.S.
Men who always wind up at the head of the mess line.
One who seeks easy jobs; a loafer.
Pancakes or waffles.
Bored to an extreme.
Cooking With Gas.
Having become wise to something.
Cool as a Cucumber.
Alert and aware; self-possessed; calm.
One who is cool as a cucumber.
A silly or dumb person.
A silly or stupid person.
To get a haircut; shoeshine; freshly pressed shirt; etc.; in preparation for an inspection.
Any venereal disease.
The oldest member of a group.
An irritable or gloomy person; a pessimist.
Dead Nuts On.
Fond of in love with.
A letter from one's wife or sweetheart informing one that the relationship is over.
Devil Dogs of the Sea.
A machine gun.
A bugle call.
Dirty Gertie of Bizerte.
A promiscuous woman.
’Batty’ because of copying too much radio code.
Do a Hitch.
To serve an enlistment.
Do One's Bit.
To serve in the military in time of war; to engage in war work.
A[n Air Force] cadet before he starts flying.
Corned beef hash.
Two metal identification tags worn around the neck; one to be collected and one to be left with the body after death.
Doug’s Dug Out
An uncomplimentary term for the residences of General Douglass McArthur and his family. First in Australia, then later at a well-appointed plantation owner’s house in Port Moresby
The second half of an army enlistment.
To dress in one's best uniform.
The uncomplimentary term for General Douglass McArthur
A soldier is so anxious to impress his superiors that he volunteers for every job that's offered; or otherwise displays unusual diligence.
Payday; also known as the day the eagle shits. A reference to the American eagle that appears on some coins.
A person who doesn't let you get a word in edgewise.
Egg in your beer
Too much of a good thing.
Egg in Your Beer.
Too much of a good thing.
A solider who gets into trouble so much that he's a liability to his unit; from the old notion that it is bad luck to be behind the eight ball in pocket billiards.
A short; fitted; belted jacket of the type made popular by General Dwight D. Eisenhower during the war.
Naval cadets; so-called because they were given a condensed edition of an etiquette book by Emily Post.
An Aussie term meaning (generally) a fair deal
1) A person in, or associated with the military living in safe and sometimes luxurious conditions. (A term often applied to personnel assigned to posts in Australia, including Red Cross personnel.) 2) An aircraft assigned to fly to and from fat cat areas.
To place a propeller in an edge-on position to the direction of flight to cut down on the wind resistance (with engine stopped.)
Abbreviated form of German word Fliegerabwehrkanone or "pilot warding-off cannon" (anti-aircraft fire).
Abbreviated form of German word Fliegerabwehrkanone; or pilot warding-off cannon (anti-aircraft fire).
A glamorous pilot (usually used ironically).
Term applied to the twin-engine Martin B-26. This aircraft had a small wing area, and was said to have “No Visible Means Of Support.” A high performance aircraft for its day, and requiring great skill to fly.
A number of campaign ribbons worn on the chest.
Fouled (or fucked) up beyond all recognition.
G.I. Government Issue.
An enlisted soldier. Being G.I. means doing only what is authorized and not wishing to take any risks.
A member of the Womens Army Corps. Variations: G.I. Jill and G.I Josephine.
A metal mess tray with eight depressions in which food is served.
Member of the armored division (usually a tank driver).
A term sometimes used by green pilots for the Automatic Pilot. ( “Let George Do it”).
An office clerk.
To get started; to get into the air. Borrowed from the British RAF.
Emergency hand cranked radio, so called because it was shaped to be held between the knees while cranking. The shape reminded the guys of the turn of the century, pinched waist, corseted pin-up girls of the same name
A hand-cranked radio transmitter included in aircraft life rafts; so-called because of its wasp-waisted shape; reminiscent of the beautiful; idealized women drawn by Charles D. Gibson.
Give It the Deep Six.
Forget it; keep it a secret. From older naval slang for burial at sea; which was known as the deep six; probably from the custom of burying people six feet underground.
A term first use in WW1 aviation circles meaning a person had died.
A person given to carousing; a generous person.
Mythical creatures who are supposed to cause trouble such as engine failure in aeroplanes, a curious piece of whimsy-whamsy in an activity so severely practical as flying. Now the gremlin seems to be extending its sphere of operations, so that the term can be applied to almost anything that inexplicably goes wrong in human affairs.
A person who knows little but talks much about regulations; military law; and soldier's rights.
Used to describe almost any part of the equipment of a plane, with about the same meaning as gadget.
That is, "I’ve had it", "he's had it", and so on. In some cases it inferred a disastrous ending
Ham That Didn't Pass Its Physical.
Spam; the ubiquitous canned meat which was served to soldiers up to 2-3 times per day.
An aircraft with an unenviably bad maintenance record. An aircraft spending a great deal of time being repaired or maintained.
An airplane mechanic who boasts about what he would do if he were a pilot.
Used to describe a piece of equipment that was not behaving itself; or an event that took a bad turn. Derived from the use of haywire (baling wire) to make farm repairs.
Head Up and Locked
A term applied to a person reacting stupidly to an emergency. (“He had his head locked up his a--”)
Head Up his a--
same as above
An exclamation of approbation; thrill; or enthusiasm by a man for a woman.
Over fond of women.
Joint Army-Navy foul-up.
Japanese person; anything Japanese.
A small; low; khaki-colored car in general use in the Army.
Impassable except by a jeep (said of a rough road).
A German; anything German.
Joe Blow Biography.
A short biographical article featuring a fighting man; written for publication in a hometown newspaper.
Alcoholic liquor made with what ever is handy around camp. Some good, some not so good. Fresh or dehydrated potatoes, raisins, dried or fresh fruit, or most anything when mixed with sugar and allowed to ferment would become and alcoholic drink of questionable quality, but alcoholic, nonetheless. Those persons with material to make stills could turn this into a very strong hard liquor.
Just Sweating Member.
Pending or prospective member of the Brush-Off Club; he doesn't know where the hell he stands but the mail doesn't bring in Sugar Reports any longer.
A woman overly fond of men in uniform.
Airplane. (Also cab.)
Tired or exhausted in Australia; pregnant in the U.S
A German; from sauerkraut.
Low on Amps and Voltage.
Lacking ambition and ideas.
An inflatable life jacket that fit around the neck and down the chest; and bulged the chest when inflated. Named for the singer/comedienne who was known for her small waist and large bust.
Red flag used on rifle range to indicate a miss.
Red flag used on the rifle range to indicate a miss; as in; He fired a full clip but all he got was Maggies drawers.
Mickey Mouse movies
Instructional films in personal hygiene.
Mickey Mouse Movies.
Instructional films on personal hygiene.
Mickey Mouse Rules.
Petty rules; regulations; and red tape.
Million Dollar Wound.
A wound that took a soldier out of combat; and even perhaps back to the US for treatment; but did not permanently cripple or maim him.
A soldier who does favors for his superiors, or salutes unnecessarily; a ‘yes man.
Full dress uniform.
An officer who holds a commission by virtue of having attended a three-months course direct from civilian life
A Japanese person. Short for Nippon -a reading of the Japanese word for Japan.
One-and-only (as in one-and-only-girl).
On the Beam
Flying the old radio beam. A sometimes life-saving procedure while flying entirely on instruments and listening to the sound of radio beam signals. A pilot had to depend entirely on what he heard while believing religiously in his previous “Under-the-hood” instrument training. Room does not exist here for a description this pilot skill deserves. Perhaps another place and another time.
On The Step
An in-flight condition for a B-24 where the aircraft is accelerated to slightly above its normal cruising speed, then trimmed so that it is flying in a slightly nose-down condition, When the aircraft center of gravity (CG) was properly adjusted fore and aft, and aerodynamically trimmed, the ship would generally maintain a slightly higher cruising speed until disturbed. (AUTHOR’S NOTE: In writing this description of “on the step” the author realizes it will open up a Pandora’s Box of rebuttals. Some pilots say this is just B.S. Others will swear that you could get a ship up on the step. So have fun with this one.)(WEBMASTER'S NOTE: yeah, take it to the message board!)
One with previous military experience; one with a previous term of enlistment.
A member of the Chair-Borne Infantry.
A medical person who checks for evidence of venereal disease.
Peep (Son of a Jeep)
Bantam car; used in organizations in which jeep is applied to larger vehicles.
Air Force service member who doesn't fly.
A doughnut.Pig Snout. A gas mask.
A picture of a woman for a soldier to pin up on the wall of his quarters.
A soldier's hometown.
To smash or bomb a target.
An "inefficient airman."
A term applied to describe the tenseness or danger level of a situation. A high pucker factor could make your old rear end cut donuts out of your seat pack parachute
Put That in Your Mess Kit!
Think it over.
The single-cylinder auxiliary pour plant that provided emergency or additional electrical power
A German; a blend of "rat" and "Nazi."
Regular; first-rate; excellent; a regular soldier.
A veteran of World War I fighting in World War II.
Dazzled by one's own decorations.
Bored;especially on the rocky islands and atolls of the Pacific.
Expression used instead of okay or right.
Roll up your flaps
Rootin';Tootin' Son of a Gun
An energetic person.
Royal Order of Whale Bangers
An "exclusive" club open only to airmen who have mistakenly dropped depth charges on whales;supposing them to be enemy submarines.
A propeller out of control and stuck in the high speed setting. A truly dangerous condition any time, but especially so on take off
Shit out of luck; often sanitized as "sure out of luck" or "soldier out of luck."
Sandpaper the Anchor
To do unnecessary work.
See the Chaplain
Stop grousing; resign yourself to an unpleasant situation. In other words;I don't care about your problem. Go tell someone who's paid to care.
Term applied to a pilot or other crew member who has quick and accurate responses to all requirements for his position
She’ll Be Right in a Fortnight or 18 Days
A delightful Aussie saying which meant, not to worry, things will be better in about a couple of weeks or so
'Girlfriend' or 'girl'
Shit for the birds
Nonsense, drivel, irrelevant matter. (A variant,‘That’s for the birds.’ It’s meaningless.)
Shit on a Shingle
Chipped or creamed beef on toast. Abbreviated as S.O.S.
Short Circuit Between the Ear Phones
One or more bills of currency (usually starting with an American dollar bill) signed by two or more persons and dated. The Short Snorter usually inferred that the owner had crossed the Equator, but not necessarily so. It was loosely understood that if an air crew member offered to exchange signatures, and the other could not produce a Short Snorter, then he had to buy the drinks at the nearest bar. Short Snorters were a great way to get acquainted. As different kinds of currency were acquired in one's travels, it was not unusual for two members of the great flying fraternity to swap examples, whereupon the new bills would be glued to the end of an ever-growing Short Snorter
Cream and sugar for coffee.
A girl who makes a flying cadet so heedless of time that he returns late from weekend leave;thereby incurring six demerits and twenty punishment tours.
A reprimand, oral or written, for a flagrant violation of Army rules. Presumably from ‘skin ‘im alive.’
Situation normal;all fouled (or fucked) up.
Snap your cap
Become excited, flustered.
Clouds;rain;and most of all;fog.
Kitchen police (K.P.) assignment (i.e: peeling potatoes).
Spuds with the Bark On
Stand down, to
To not fly a particular day, mission, etc...
Poor in quality; low grade.
A soldier too eager for promotion.
A letter from a girl.
Those who operate a machine gun under fire.
Long;one-piece government-issue underwear.
Used in combination with other words, such as: “No Sweat!”, or “Lot’sa Sweat!” This was a very descriptive term meaning exactly what it said. It originated in 1939 or the early 1940’s in the many flight training school s that grew up at that time. The flight training was notoriously tough, and the students were worked by their training instructors almost to the breaking point. In West Texas, California, and other places where the flight training schools were clustered, the airplane cockpit, coupled with the hard-driving instructor, kept the student in a real state of sweat. The students flight clothes, socks and shoes, together with his seat pack parachute could very well become soaking wet with sweat at the end of a brisk period of instruction. When the student would finally get to the showers in the barracks, and a buddy would ask how it went, the student would just as likely say, “S---, that was a no-sweat flight!” Then, his buddy would look at the dried-up salt residue on this guy’s flight suit, and he would know he was hearing that it had really been a tough day, but his friend believed he had survived to fly another day!
Sweat Something Out
Wait a long time for something.
Tough situation! Tough shit! In other words;do
Tough situation! Tough shit!
When a soldier's complaints become unbearable;his listeners frequently tell him to fill out a "T.S. Slip" and send it to the chaplain.
The last airplane in a bombing formation
That's All She Wrote
That's all; a customary cry of the company mail clerk at the end of the mail call.
That's for the Birds
Name given to the look of a man with a combat-harrowed psyche.
A torpedo or submarine.
A woman with a good figure.
Tough Row of Buttons to Shine
Temporary tent city in cold weather.
Portable radio receiving and sending apparatus. Variations: Handie-Talkie;and Spam Can Radio;after its similarity to a can of Spam.
One who cannot swim.
To be eliminated from flight training.
Failure to make the grade in a flying school
The mysterious and fearsome flying school administration as it descended on a hapless student to inform him he was being dropped from flight training
Washing Machine Charlie
A term applied, along with copious cuss words to a lone Japanese aircraft buzzing endlessly back and forth across an area, while only occasionally dropping a small bomb, The purpose being to keep the camp awake and in a nervous state. One Japanese airplane this author remembers sounded just like an old Maytag washing machine powered by a small gasoline engine- thus, the name
A white-knuckle flight was a tense, attention –absorbing flight. It could result from flying in rough weather on instruments, or on a bombing run
A soldier falling in the lowest category in the Army classification test.