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What does “Roger” mean in war movies?

In some movies, when they are talking from base-camp to a plane for instance, they end their sentences with "Roger" (I hope it's written like this). In french, we are using "à vous", meaning that it is your turn to speak.

From where does this surname (if it this) come from ?


2 Answers 2


According to the online etymology dictionary:

The use of the word in radio communication to mean "yes, I understand" is attested from 1941, from the U.S. military phonetic alphabet word for the letter -R-, in this case an abbreviation for "received." Said to have been used by the R.A.F. since 1938.

  • 5
    The OED says it's originally and chiefly US
    – Colin Fine
    Oct 5, 2011 at 10:19

From the FAA Pilot/Controller Glossary, part of the Airman's Information Manual:


"ROGER- I have received all of your last transmission. It should not be used to answer a question requiring a yes or a no answer."

Note the emphasis that "ROGER" != "YES". The word WILCO, short for I WILl COmply, is sometimes used, but the correct response is to answer AFFIRMATIVE or NEGATIVE in the case of a question requiring a yes or no answer, or to repeat back the instructions completely to indicate compliance.


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