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Military Jargon - What Are They Saying???

Cassandra is a Photographer out of Spring Lake, NC. She loves to travel, do many different crafts and really enjoys being an Army spouse!


Have you ever spent time around military people and not understood what they were talking about? When my husband first said "Hand me the 100mph tape." I looked at him like he was crazy. What the heck is 100mph tape? Or how about hook pile tape? Or slide fastener and thong? Even a pull the dot fastener? What are they saying????

For those of you who don't know the lingo, here's a list of what I know. For those of you who have been there, or are there now, maybe these will bring back some fond memories.

There's so much military lingo out there that it's possible I'm forgetting some. If that's the case, leave a comment with the ones you know.


Military Jargon Books

  • 100mph Tape - Army OD Green Duct Tape (yeah, it's just duct tape LOL)
  • Velcro - Hook pile tape
  • Zipper - Slide fastener and thong
  • Button - Pull the dot fastener
  • Coffin Nails - Marlboro Cigarettes
  • FUBAR - F*cked Up Beyond All Recognition
  • Down Range - Any Forward-Deployed Area of Operations
  • KISS - Keep It Simple Stupid
  • Re-Up - To Re-enlist
  • Brownnoser - Someone Who Sucks Up To Seniors
  • 90 Day Wonder - 2nd Lt. - Officers Training School Graduate
  • TDY - Temporary Duty Station
  • Deep Six - To Get Rid Of
  • Zulu - Time
  • ETA - Estimated Time of Arrival
  • Cherry - First Time In Combat
  • Cover - Headware (for civilians - hats)
  • MOS - US Army Job Listing
  • Ate Up - Something that is messed up
  • Civys - Civilian Clothing
  • Short Timer - Someone who has less then 90 days before discharge or separation from the army
  • Lifer - Someone who has re-enlisted in the Military until retirement
  • Ghost Turd - A ball of fuzz, dust, etc. found under your bunk in the barracks if you haven't swept in a few days.
  • Bunk - Your Bed
  • Barracks - Where single soldiers live
  • Squared Away - Taken care of
  • Dog and Pony Show - Doing something for the brass or the public
  • Zero Dark Thirty - Very early in the morning
  • 2 Diget Midget - Someone who has less than 100 days left before enlistment is up
  • Hazmat - Hazardous Material
  • Airborne Stick - Jumpmaster
  • Cover Your Six - Watch your back
  • Top - First Sergeant
  • HALO - High Altitude Low Opening
  • Leg - Anyone who is NOT a Paratrooper
  • Dress Right Dress - All Aligned
  • Good Enough For Government Work - When a task is completed "close" to standard
  • Chow - Food
  • Chow Hall - Where you go to eat
  • Deuce and A Half - Two and a half ton capacity truck
  • SOP - Standard Operating Procedure
  • Cluster F*ck - Mass Confusion
  • Roach Coach - Food Catering Truck or Van
  • Grunt - Infantry Soldier
  • Attitude Adjustment - To change the mind of sombody not with the military program
  • Full Bird - Colonel in the Army, Marine Corps and Air Force
  • Fart Sack - Sleeping Bag
  • Grunt - Groundpounder, Infantry Marine
  • Head - Bathroom
  • High and Tight - Fresh hair cut
  • Rack - Your Bed
  • Chopper - Helicopter
  • Chow Time - Time to eat
  • PCS - Permanent change of duty station
  • Pogey Bait - Candy
  • Field Day - To clean your barracks
  • Honcho - The one in charge
  • Assholes and Elbows - To work very hard, as in, all I want to see is assholes and elbows
  • A "Dear John" Letter - A letter from a girlfriend informing the service member that "it's all over; I'm dating another guy".
  • Left Handed Cresent Wrench - an imagnary tool "boots" are sent to fetch


Cold Canuck on October 20, 2020:

"Grunt" The IQ of a foot soldier.

Kmorris on April 17, 2020:

G. I. Party cleaning the barracks

Ron Cox on January 30, 2020:

Battery Acid = Pineapple juice

Cherokee Love Darts = Cocktail Frankfurts

Egg Beaters = Helicopters

Ginger Beer = Engineer's ( Combat or Construction )

Patrick on January 30, 2020:

FNG = F**king new guy

Col Sanders on May 10, 2019:

Gee dunk = candy.

Bug juice = cool aid.

Connie = money

Jar head = marine

Rocky's mom on September 15, 2018:

Never been nor have family in miltary, but knew about half of these just from movies and tv...where've you been?

Elaine Jennison on August 29, 2017:

Thank you so much. I need all the help I can get. My entire family has been military but it's been a while and believe it or not you do forget some. Plus new is being added.

barrioslimy on November 21, 2016:

How a bout - "Jody" Civilian back on the block makin time with your girlfriend.

CassyLu1981 (author) from Spring Lake, NC on November 14, 2012:

Hahaha, learning in life - I knew those too :) It's good to see another Army wife on here! I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!!!! Looking forward to reading your hubs :) Thanks for stopping by and the comment!

Megan Garcia from Florida on November 14, 2012:

Since I have been in the Army and I'm now an Army wife, I found this hub more amusing than informative. It provided me with a much needed hub. I am loving reading any of your Army hubs. I'm trying to make that my niche. You are doing very well.

There is also:

Blue Falcon- "Buddy F***er" a person who gets everyone else in touble.

Tag Chaser- Male or female who tries to hook up with anyone in the military

Barracks Rat- someone who goes around the barracks sleeping with anyone

CassyLu1981 (author) from Spring Lake, NC on April 13, 2012:

point2make - Thanks so much for the votes :) Being married to the military makes life interesting for sure. It helps knowing what's being said from time to time. Thanks for the comment and stopping by!

point2make on April 12, 2012:

This is a pretty comprehensive list cassylu well done. It's easy to get lost in a conservation with a soldier especially if is there is two or more. Your list should help...thanks.voted this hub up!

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