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Royal Marines Slang

Royal Marines

The British Royal Marines, like most military organizations, have developed their own slang as a means of self-identification. Since the Royal Marines are an amphibious force, their slang shows both military and naval influences and much is also used by the Royal Navy and/or British Army.


A
ABC - All Been Changed
ABCBA - All Been Changed Back Again
ATS - Anti Trapping Squad ie. a mate can see you off by thinning a girl out, you were trying to trap
B
bag off - to have sex, (usually with a woman who is too drunk to confirm it)
bag rat - packed lunch invariably containing salt & vinegar crisps and a rotten cornish pasty.
banjo - A fried egg sandwich.
battle bowl - combat helmet
beasting/beast - give someone a hard time, serious physical training
basha - improvised low mounted shelter in the field, mainly used by 'pongo's'
bezzy - best as in "bezzy oppo"
bimble - to walk at a casual pace
bite - to fool somebody into doing or believing something stupid
bit of kit - someone who is honking in everything he does
bivvy - tactical camping positions - from bivouac
black maskers - thick black masking tape that is the all in one answer to service DIY
Blues - Royal Marines Number 1 (Dress Blue)uniform
bone - a stupid thing to do or a stupid person
bone dome - helmet
boogie - (pronounced boo-jee) - similar to dhobie but applied to equipment ie a nod might be pinged to give the heads a quick boogie as a (very mild) punishment.
bootie/bootneck - Royal Marine
bottom field - the assault course at CTC where the recruits spend most of their time being beasted
bowser - large container of water, also reference to a gronk ie. spunk bowser
buzz - a rumour, sometimes true though usually not
C
cabin - one's room or accommodation
casevac - short for casualty evacuation; US forces use medevac
chad - something that is considered 'cheesy' or low quality
chad valley - a piece of equipment the is prone to failure (most pusser's kit)
cherry berry - A member of the Parachute Regiment, from their red berets.
chit - request form
chuck up - to receive praise
civvy - civilian
cloggie - a Dutchman
club swinger - a Physical Training Instructor
cluster fuck - very badly organised
colours/colour stripey - colour sergeant Cream in Collide.
commondog - commonsense
corps pissed - to be totally intoxicated by the Royal Marines
crab - member of the RAF - from crabfat, the nickname for a blue-grey grease used by sailors, since RAF uniforms are that colour. The RAF as a whole are known as crab air
crabby - dirty
cream in - collide
CTCRM/CTC - the Commando Training Centre Royal Marines at Lympstone in Devon where all ranks of the Royal Marines undergo their basic training. Usually abbreviated to CTC.
D
devil Dodger - chaplain or padre
dhobi/dhoby - to wash or washing - from Hindi
dhobi dust - washing powder
dhobi run - a trip to the launderette
dhobi waller - person who gets pinged to do the dhobi
dig out/dig out blind - To make an all out effort
dip - come up short or suffer a misfortune
dip out - to lose out on something
dit - story
Dog and Basket - The Lion and Crown insignia.
drip - complain.
DL - Drill Leader - a marine who has specialised as a drill instructor
DS - Directing Staff
Dutchy's - a vendor of burgers at CTCRM. Arguably the greatest burger van on the planet.
E
essence - vision of beauty (mostly about females)
endex - the order given to end an exercise or end it early, also used to halt a conversation, lesson or activity
eyebrows - offering something as genuine and offering your eyebrows to be shaved off if you are found to be lying
F
flash - to lose one's temper
flapping - panicking
foofoo powder - pussers footpowder
fart sack - sleeping bag
G
galley -The Junior Ranks Dinning Hall
gash - sub-standard or rubbish; also rubbish as a noun (the 'gash bag' is the rubbish bag)
gash hand - a marine with no particular job or SQ ie "get a couple of gash hands and clean the heads"
geeps/jeeps - RM term for the L7 General Purpose Machine Gun (the famous Belgian 7.62 belt fed FN-MAG).
gen - the truth (genuine)
gen dit - genuine story
gimp/gimpy - See Geeps/Jeeps above.
girl's time - A Cadet Officer's or Apprentice Marine's (16-18 yrs old) service, since they are forbidden to go on Active Service.
Globe & Buster - 1) The Corps Crest. 2)The journal of the Royal Marines The Globe and Laurel
go outside - to leave the Corps
gobshite - someone who is vocal and often speaks out of turn with little knowledge on the given subject
gob off - see gobshite
goffers - 1) Cold fizzy drinks 2) A big wave 3) Big punches
gongs - medals
gopping - Something that is really horrible "That kebab was gopping, it made me ill"
grav (gravel belly) - derogatory name for a marine from a rifle company
green lid - green beret
Grey Funnel Line - the Royal Navy
grip - a kit bag with two carrying handles
gronk - a female who likes to get round bootnecks
grot - accommodations
grot bag - Sleeping bag.
gucci - A piece of kit that is really good and new
Guz - Plymouth, from the WW1 radio ID letters for the port GUZ
gulpers - A quantity of drink somewhere between 'Sippers' and 'Sandy Bottoms'
H
hanging out - mental or physical tiredness, exhausted
harry von... - used before certain words to increase their magnitude e.g. "harry von icers", "harry von roughers"
heads - naval term for latrines
heartbreak lane - the lane leading back into CTC that forms the final part of the endurance course and 9 mile speed march Commando Tests.
Hertz Van Rental - Mythical Dutch Officer.
honking - very dirty or smelly
hoofing - good ie "hoofing scran"
horse box - the stripeys' (q.v) mess.
I
icers -cold weather ie "it was icers on sentry last night"
inserted - to get into bed
J
jack - a member of the Royal Navy
jack up - to arrange or organise something
joker - see twat
jolly - a free outing
jollies - the junior ranks bar at CTCRM
junglies - RN helicopter pilots who fly Marines to their insertion point
K
KFS - Knife/Fork/Spoon
kit muster - a personal kit inspection
L
lash up - to treat someone, also describes a cock-up
landy - landrover
limers - lime or lemonade drink
loafing - hanging around aimlessly, to leave something out that should be put away
Lovats - Royal Marines Number 2 (Dress Green)uniform.
M
make and mend - early finish on Wednesday or Friday afternoons
matelot - a sailor
minging - Very drunk
mince/mincing - to achieve nothing whilst looking relatively busy - 'to mince'
mucker - very good mate - better than Oppo
N
N.A.A.F.I - services shop
neaters - undiluted pusser's rum, aka Navy Neaters
nelson's blood - rum
neptune's bodyguard - ships marines
ninja - Something that is very difficult or hard, A Ninja PT session
nod - an RM recruit before passing Commando course, in this phase they wear a blue beret, or the more tactical 'cap comforter' once they enter the commando stage of training, and the expression is thought to derive from the bend forward or nod that recruits tend to do rather than keeping their back vertical in drill manoeuvres during early training. Also reputed to stem from their tendency to execute the 'nodding dog' head manoeuvre during their training lectures, and any other period of training when they are not being 'beasted'. In the '50's, the term "Noddy " was used in the RN to denote someone who was slightly off-key and naive. The term then was derived from the children's story - and afternoon TV show - "Noddy in Toyland". One could be accused of wearing noddy clothes or a noddy hat. A blue beret might be a noddy hat.
Nutty - Chocolate (or more generally, any confection) devoured avidly by Marines requiring an energy fix.
O
oppo - best mate
oggin - the sea (he fell into the oggin), also water in general (get some oggin down your neck)
P
pass out - graduate Royal Marine Commando training, receive your lid
phot - a photograph or photographer
PIG - officer, acronym for 'Polite Intelligent Gentleman’, used with heavy irony
ping/ pinged - found out, or 'volunteered' - e.g. 'pinged for a duchy run', 'pinged for sigs'
pit - bed, bed space or bunk
pipe - to broadcast a message; usually via the public address system on board ship or in barracks
percy pongo, perce - member of the British Army (from their supposed smell). For an alternative description, see the article pongo.
plums - Someone who hasn't bagged off in a while ie. blackwell is major plums
pompey - Portsmouth.
pongo - See Percy Pongo above.
proffed - goods acquired by dubious methods from the establishment rather than another marine
pusser - 1)The Royal Navy/Royal Marines. 2) Official issue. 3) Instructor 4) Royal Navy Logistics Officer.
pusser's charger - service issue bike
pusser's gold - rust
pusser's planks - service issue skiis
pusser's ice cream - lard
pusser's apple - onion
PTI - Physical Training Instructor
PW - Platoon Weapon or Platoon Weapons Instructor
Q
Q.R.s - Queen's Regulations
queens - Used to convince someone that you are not getting them on a bite
R
racing snake - someone who runs fast
recce - generally used throughout British forces for reconnaissance, US forces use 'recon'
redders - hot weather (the opposite of icers)
red pigs - hot weather
rock ape - a member of the RAF Regiment
rover - landrover
run ashore - short leave with clear naval connection, ideally to involve large amounts of drinking, fighting and 'getting to know the local female population'
rupert - officer
S
sadders/sad on - upset or annoyed
sance - short for essence.i.e-she is sance mate.(originated from the ranks of air defence troop royal marines).
scran - food or a meal
scran bag - collection point for loose bits of kit on a ship. A small fine is paid before retrieval
Sea Daddy - an experienced Royal Marine who looks after the sprogs (q.v)
shiny arse - someone in an administrative position
Ship- Shipmate. A mate. pal, close friend.
Shiters- Very drunk.
sick bay - medical Centre
sick bay ranger - Someone who spends a lot of time off sick
sippers - a sip of a drink
SITREP - Situation Report
skeg - a quick look
slug - sleeping bag
snurgle - to sneak or creep in or out of sight
standeasy - a tea break taken during the morning and the afternoon
spin a dit - to tell a story
sprog - new/inexperienced marine
SQ - Specialist Qualification. Royal Marines can specialize after basic training in a large number of skills earning him extra reposibilities and pay. Each qualification is usually denoted by an acronym and their level of qualification. As an example, three levels of the Assault Engineers SQ are AE3, AE2, AE1 from lowest to highest
stacked - a muscular individual
stripey - sergeant
swamp - to urinate - go for a swamp, swamp the bed etc.
sweating neaters - to be worried (see neaters).
T
tankie - member of the heavy weapons branch
thin out - disappear, disperse or go away quickly
thrashed/thrashing - same as beasting
threaders - fed up, likely to be 'dripping'
trap - to engage or chat up females, e.g.'let's thin out now for a run ashore, have a few wets and then go out on the trap'
TQ - technical qualification
twat - a twat likes to be the centre of attention and will do things to amuse others (esp when the ladies are around), see joker.
twat camp - a trip or vacation with more than one twat, each vying for Twat No.1 position
troop bible - a book containing all the relevant details of the individuals in a sub unit
turn - to - to parade or begin work
twos - up - to take a turn at / with something
U
ulu - jungle (from Malay "hulu" - literally upriver, used to refer to backwater areas
up the line - to travel away from base, originally referring to a train journey
V
vittled - to be shot at, or to shoot at. 'we vittled them up'
W
waz - slightly better than "hoofing"
wet/whet - a warm beverage such as a cup of tea or coffee or an alcoholic drink
wrap - to give up
wrap hand - somebody who gives up easily
wooly pully - green issue jumper
Y
yeti - a spectacular crash while skiing
yomp - move with heavy packs and weapons across country, the Army equivalent is 'tab' (note. 'tabbing' is a much slower, carrying less loads version of 'yomping')
yaffel - to eat
yaffeling spanners - KFS - knife fork spoon
Z
zap - to shoot or be shot
zeds/(ZZZZZZZZ's) - to get some sleep ie. 'lets get heads to zeds'