Jargon or slang relating to the military.

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9
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4answers
3k views

Why does “klick” mean kilometer in US military slang?

Wiktionary says it is either likely a pseudo-condensed pronunciation of kilometer or onomatopoeic of the sound of a military odometer. Though kilometers are not commonly used to measure distance ...
9
votes
5answers
459 views

OED Appeals: Origin of “bimble”

The OED has made a public appeal for help in tracing the history of some English words, including: bimble verb earlier than 1983 The word bimble, meaning ‘to move at a leisurely pace’, ...
6
votes
2answers
2k views

Etymology of “blackguard rating” in the context of the British Army during the Crimean War

From Wikipedia: I never had such a blackguard rating in all my life – I who have had more than any woman – than from this Barry sitting on his horse, while I was crossing the Hospital Square with ...
5
votes
1answer
67 views

What do you call glyphs representing kills painted on a weapon or vehicle?

Media depictions would have it that in some militaries, soldiers traditionally paint icons representing enemies they have killed or materiel they have disabled on the weapons used or vehicles operated ...
4
votes
3answers
172 views

What is the military term for calling attention to yourself, in a negative way?

There is a military term or idiom, which I cannot recall exactly, that essentially means calling negative attention to yourself. For example, you are doing something you know you shouldn't be doing. ...
3
votes
5answers
1k views

Are camp followers prostitutes?

My own understanding of the term camp followers was that it was synonymous with prostitutes who followed armies around plying their trade. However, according to Wikipedia: Camp-follower is a term ...
1
vote
3answers
318 views

What do you call a person who leads a charge?

What do you call a person who leads a charge, or otherwise leads a body of soldiers into combat 'from the front'? My context is historical but with a request this specific I'll take what I can get.
1
vote
1answer
75 views

Capitalise 'squadron'?

Should the word 'squadron' be written with a capital? In some contexts it seems more appropriate than in others, but I'd like to do it consistently. The 12th squadron set sail. versus The ...
0
votes
5answers
116 views

Is there an English idiom equivalent to “coup de main”

I am looking for a translation of the French military term coup de main. (Not the common French civilian usage which translates as helping hand.) The term occurs frequently in the correspondence ...
-2
votes
1answer
127 views

What is the proper characterization of a US military officer in popular press? [closed]

What is the proper way to represent in popular press the status of a commissioned officer of the United States Marine Corps. who is not retired, has a continuing service commitment, but is no longer ...