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Military Slang 3

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Members of the Australian Defence Force (ADF) use many unique slang terms. The ADF is made up of the Australian Army, the Royal Australian Navy (RAN), and the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF).

We have excluded the more interesting and colourful of the military slang because we’re a family-friendly website visited by children all over the world. We hope you understand and enjoy the slang we do share with you here.

See also    Victoria Cross    Australian Military websites    Australian Military Ranks

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Handbag Signals operator. The term is derived from the satchel used carry a VHF dipole antenna known as an Antenna Lightweight for either a ‘Seventy Seven Set’ or its modern equivalents. Particularly applicable to Royal Australian Signals Corps personnel as their corps badge resembles the Interflora symbol. Also used to be used to describe medics whose medical kits looked like handbags and were often carried like a lady carries a handbag.
Harden Up Standard response to whinging or complaining, telling a person to shut up and get on with the job. Often provided in imaginary consumable form, e.g. here’s a harden-up pill or have a can of harden-up.
Head Shed Headquarters at any unit level.
Helo Army / Navy term for helicopter (pronounced HEEL-o).
Ho Chi Min Shuffle Slow run designed to conserve energy over long distances. The feet are not lifted very high.
Hoochie individual plastic sheeting used for shelter in the field (probably from hooch, a Vietnamese rural dwelling)
Hook in To perform a task aggressively or with gusto. “Hook in, get your work done and we’ll have an early knock off”.
House on back To put on ones pack; because soldiers in the field are required to live out of their pack.
Hot Box Large plastic containers which bring fresh rations to Diggers in a field environment, which contains inadequately small portions of cooked vegetables and a small helping of whatever yesterdays leftovers were from the base mess packed into tinfoil trays.
Jack Rations Civilian food taken to the field to liven up the issue rations.
Jellybean-dispenser F1 sub-machine gun. Derived from the jelly-bean like appearance of low velocity bullets that may be observed leaving the barrel.
Jube New or inexperienced soldier, thought to be because they are soft and sugar-coated. Also JOOB – Just Out Of Basic
Juvie juice Fruit flavoured cordial.
KFF Khaki Fur Felt (hat). More official term for the Slouch Hat.
KFS Knife Fork Spoon. A piece of equipment which hosts all three cutlery items.
Kip Short sleep or nap.
Koala Bear Someone who is generally considered a protected species and useless in the greater scheme of things. Usually accompanied by the phrase “Not to be exported or shot at” was used to refer to Armoured Corps.
Lance Jack Used in place of the rank Lance Corporal. E.g. We have 3 Corporals and 2 Lance Jacks in this unit. The slang comes from a VC winner. Also used in the British Armed Forces.
Light Colonel,
Half Colonel
Lieutenant Colonel
Limers Navy term for cordial fruit drink.
Lobster Physical Training Instructor, usually meaning “Hard on the outside and head full of sh-t”. Also refers to their bright red training uniform.
Maggoty Short for “maggot bag”, meaning a meat pie.
Maggoted Drunk.
Makers Naval euphemism for an early stand-down from work. Derived from the naval custom of ‘make and mend’, whereby sailors were allocated ‘free’ time to repair personal clothing and equipment.
Mango Army Reservist. Green on the outside, yellow on the inside and too many of them give you the sh-ts.
Mog ADF medium transport truck the Mercedes Unimog.
Morale Vampire Officer who is highly focussed on his own goals and needs, showing little or no care for the welfare or needs of the soldiers under his command.
Mordor Canberra, the Australian National Capital and location of Army Headquarters.
Motorbike licence Ruse to get diggers to volunteer for something. Example .. Sgt: Has anybody here got a motorbike licence? (2 or 3 new diggers jump to their feet) “I have Sergeant!” Sgt: Good. Grab these shovels and go dig a latrine. Diggers: What about the motorbike? Sgt: GRAB THOSE SHOVELS AND START DIGGING!
Nard roll Toilet paper
Numpty Individual who just doesn’t get it, for example This numpty recruit forgot his boots. Also used in the British Armed Forces.
NVG Night Vision Goggles

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