Jargon or slang relating to the military.

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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
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5answers
508 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
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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 ...
6
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1answer
228 views

How was the term 'payload' coined?

Wikipedia describes payload as, Payload is the carrying capacity of an aircraft or launch vehicle, usually measured in terms of weight. Etymonline says, payload 1930, from pay (n. or v.) + ...
5
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1answer
70 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
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3answers
366 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
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5answers
2k 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 ...
2
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1answer
164 views

How to say one minute past midnight in military time?

I first would like to say that I did read How should one say times aloud in 24-hour notation? but my question isn't answered there. How do you say 0001 in military time? oh one hours? oh oh one ...
2
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3answers
96 views

What does “running a gauntlet of fire” mean?

From the Wikipedia page for "Battle of Melle": Now Moltke broke off with the entire force and headed for Ghent running a gauntlet of fire from the various French posts along the roads and ways ...
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3answers
488 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.
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2answers
41 views

At this point, are “military” and “armed forces” synonymous?

Looking at the free definitions online, and not including too much history, it seems to me that at one point the Navy was not directly associated as ”military”. Or rather, that the Navy included not ...
1
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1answer
99 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 ...
1
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1answer
90 views

Word request: Generalization of “spike” and “scuttle” and “slight”

An author I know wrote this on his Facebook page: There is a term of military art I cannot remember, that I need for a book, and that is driving me [batty] trying to find. So what is the single ...
0
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5answers
186 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
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1answer
149 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 ...