World War 2 American Slang: A Collection

World War II created a brotherhood, and a language all its own. Men from a wide variety of backgrounds were thrown together in close-knit, often boring, frequently dangerous situations, and slang that came from those experiences tied them together and cemented their brotherhood.

WW2 slang helped create an “us” vs. “them” mentality, where them is not only the enemy, but the “Brass” and folks back home who can’t fully understand the world of the fighting man.


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There are currently 18 names in this directory beginning with the letter P.
P.S. Man
One with previous military experience; one with a previous term of enlistment.
The chaplain.
Paragraph Trooper
A member of the Chair-Borne Infantry.
Pecker Checker
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.
Pep Tire
A doughnut.Pig Snout. A gas mask.
A hand grenade.
A picture of a woman for a soldier to pin up on the wall of his quarters.
Pocket lettuce
Paper money.
A soldier's hometown.
Prang (verb)
To smash or bomb a target.
An "inefficient airman."
Pucker Factor
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

WW2 Slang Sources:

“Glossary of Army Slang,” American Speech, Vol. 16, No. 3 (Oct., 1941).
“G.I. Lingo,” American Speech, Vol. 20. No. 2 (Apr. 1945)
War Slang: American Fighting Words and Phrases Since the Civil War By Paul Dickson
FUBAR: Soldier Slang of WWII By Gordon L. Rottman

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