Service Nicknames


Valuable Contributor
Aug 2, 2007
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Ive no idea what some of them are or where they came from perhaps you guys can enlighten me here goes....

PONGO is this the term used for a guy in the army as aparantly they dont was in the field or have poor hygeniene or something like that.

CRAB some one serving in the RAF??? Ive only heard the RAF be called brylcream boys or slipper boys

MATELOT A guy serving in the navy no idea why there called this

WALTER No idea about this one

I know about bootneck and royal is there anymore if so what are they and why? :)


Well-Known Member
Jul 6, 2007
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A walter is someone pretending to be in the forces or a particular regiment / corps I think. :? Used a lot with the Parachute Regiment as far as i've read on MFAT and ARSSE!

alan wilson

Valuable Contributor
Jul 28, 2007
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pongo = where the army goes the pong goes

due to the fact when some army personel go to wash in the moring the shave and wash with their combat 95 trousers on...where as the marines shower every morning

so the army got the nick name pongo's


Valuable Contributor
Sep 19, 2007
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As we are all hoping to be "Bootnecks" :wink: , RM's are also called "Royals, the Green machine ect"

Paras call none Para army units "craphats", SBS guys are shakies after shaky boats, SAS guys are blades or's a rich vocabulary 8)

ste preece

Former RM
Mar 7, 2007
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Bootneck Terminology

ABC: Abbreviation of All Been Changed; a change of detail.
ACE: Good, excellent.
Airy Fairy: A member of the Fleet Air Arm.
A1: The very best.
Bandie: Members of the Royal Marines Band
Banjo: A sandwich; broken or broken down.
Banyan: A picnic on a boat or beach.
Basha: Originally a temporary jungle shelter, now applied to any temporary shelter in the field.
Belay: To cease an action; to cancel.
Bimble: To walk casually; to wander.
Bish: A Naval padre.
Bite: To be drawn into an argument or be wound up.
Bivvy: A bivouac - temporary field shelter, constructed with a waterproof poncho.
Blues: The ceremonial blue uniform of the Royal Marines.
Bootie: RM and RN abbreviation of the term used for a Royal Marine (see Bootneck).
Bootneck: A Royal Marines Commando.
Bombed out: Crazy; exhausted.
Bonedome: Protective helmet, particularly applied to that worn by pilots.
Brill: / Brills Brilliant, magnificent.
Bronzy: Suntan.
Bronzy time: Sunbathing.
Brown Hatter: See Snapper.
Bubbled: To be found out or ‘rumbled’.
Bug - out: To conduct a military withdrawal.
Bunting tosser: A member of the RN signals fraternity. (see also ‘Flag wagger’ and ‘Sigs’).
Buzz: A rumour.
Can spanner: A tin opener (see ‘Spanner’).
Charlie - G: The 84mm Carl Gustav anti - tank weapon.
Chin stay: The strap used to secure a cap, or helmet to the head.
Chopper: A helicopter.
Chippie: A carpenter.
Chit / Chittie: A small piece of paper.
Chuck one up: A salute.
Chuck up: A Praise (see also ‘Recommend’).
Also means: To smell badly.
Chuffed: Pleased.
Chunter: To mutter or mumble (see also ‘Drip’).
Civvies Civilians / Civvian clothing.
Clear lower deck: When personnel of a unit are called together for an address by the Commanding Officer; a 100% turnout.
Cloggie: A Dutchman.
Club swinger: A Physical Training Instructor.
Come alongside: To make the grade; to agree.
Common dog: Commonsense.
Compo: Composite Rations, Ration Pack.
Crab: A member of the Royal Air Force. or Lacking in personal hygeine.
Crab: Air The Royal Air Force.
Cracked it: To achieve.
Crack - up: To lose ones patience.
Crappers: To be very drunk.
Crash out: To fall asleep.
Cream in: Collide.
Chrimbo: Christmas.
Dank: Miserable.
Dhobi: To wash or launder.
Dig out (blind): To make an all out effort.
Dip out: To come off worst in any situation.
Ditch: To throw away or discard.
Dog Watch: Two short watch periods that equalise the watch roster. Someone who has been in a ‘Dog watch’ means one who has little experience.
Down on your chin straps: To be exhausted.
Drip: To complain.
Drip sesh: A period organised so that complaints can be aired.
Drives: The driver of a vehicle.
Ear pounding To give or receive a verbal warning.
Earwigging Eavesdropping.
Eating Irons Eating utensils.
Endex The point an exercise ends.
Essence Beautiful, usually applied to ones Pash or Party.
Fang Farrier A dentist.
Fanny - rat A stacks rating who is never satisfied with the Pash / Party he has.
Galley The kitchen and / or dining hall.
Gannet One with an insatiable appetite.
Gash Rubbish, waste.
Gash Hand Spare rank.
Gen Genuine; the truth.
GD General Duties rank.
Gizzit Items that are given away, usually for public relations purposes.
Glimp To peer or peep.
Globe and Buster The Corps Crest (the Globe & Laurel) or the Royal Marines magazine.
Glop To slurp or drink hurriedly.
Glophead A habitual drunkard.
Goffer a. A wave (sea water vareity).
b. A cold drink.
c. A punch (fist type not drink).
Gonk To sleep.
Gopping Extremely unpleasant. Usually used to describe ugly women.
Hand A member of an organisation / crew. Commonly used to refer to an individual of good repute.
Hangfire Wait a period of time.
Hanging - out To have given 100% physically.
Harry Superlative eg ‘Harry Crappers’.
Heads Toilets.
Honking / Honkers Intoxicated; smelly.
Icers Very cold
Ickies Money
Inboard To come out on top, to succeed.
Jack A member of the Royal Navy.
Jack up To arrange or organise something.
Jenny A member of the Women’s Royal Naval Service.
Jimpy / Jeeps General Purpose Machine Gun.
Jolly An easy job or organised recreatiion. (see ‘Swan’).
Jollies (HM) Original name for citizen soldiers of the Trained Bands of London in 1664, from whose ranks Marines were first formed. Later became RN slang for a Marine, hence Kipling’s ‘HM Jollies’.
Junglies Members of the Naval Air Commando Squadrons.
‘JWH’ Abbreviation of Jersey Wool Heavy - the issue pullover.
Kag / Kaggage Unwanted or useless equipment.
Kit muster A check, in which an individual’s complete equipment is laid out to ensure all is accounted for. The term is also used to describe the act of vomitting.
Knack all Nil, nothing.
Knacker / fat knacker A person who is unfit and / or overweight.
Lash up To treat
Laughing kitbags To find something very amusing.
Leg it To run.
Limers A soft drink.
Loafer / loafing One who sits back and lets others do his share of the work.
Lovats The No 2 dress uniform of the Royal Marines, lovat green in colour.
Magic Marvellous.
Make ‘n’ mend A period allocated to the maintenance of an individual’s equipment, or personal administration.
Manky Filthy.
Maskers Masking tape. Uses for this valuable commodity are many and varied. Also known as ‘Ha rry black’ or ‘Harry black maskers’.
Matelot A sailor
Mess deck dodger The person responsible for tidying a mess deck or barrack room.
Micky duck A cartoon film.
MOA Abbreviation of a Marine Officer’s Attendant - the equivalent of a batman.
MOD Plod Ministry of Defence Police.
Muscle bo’sun One who prides himself on the strength of his body.
Nause Nausea, inconvenience.
Neaters Undiluted spirits. (Navy Rum ration traditionally was condenced)
Nine o’ clockers Mid evening snack.
Nod / Noddy A Royal Marines recruit. (Changed to "Wink" due to presure from the media about name calling - i.e. a Nod is as good as a Wink.
Nutty Confectionary.
Nutty fiend One who has a sweet tooth.
‘OD’ An abbreviation indicating ‘ Other Denomination’ as a persons religous conviction or commonly used as a derogatory term for someone who should know better.
Oggie A pasty.
O Group A meeting whereby orders for an operation are given to subordinate commanders.
Ooloo Originally the term applied to jungle. Now sometimes given to an area of rough country or heavy vegetation.
Oppo A close friend.. The ‘opposite number’ of a two man team; a system used to ensure maximum effectiveness in military activities.
Party A female.
Pash A female, with whom a marine has formed a more than casual relationship. A fiancee.
Percy A soldier (see also ‘Pongo’).
Phot A photograph or photographer.
Ping To recognise or identify; to catch out.
Pingers Members of the RN anti - submarine helicopter squadrons.
Pipe To broadcast a message; usually via the public address system on board ship or in barracks.
Piso Careful with money.
Pit A bunk, bed or sleeping space (see also ‘Scratcher’).
Plums Nothing. (see also ‘Dip’). Often used in the context of ‘Trapping’.
Plums rating One who is continually unsuccessful with women.
Pole - up To appear, to arrive suddenly.
Pom Dehydrated mashed potato.
Pompey Portsmouth.
Pongo A soldier; derived from the common naval belief that soldiers never wash.
Prof To acquire.
Provie A member of the Provost Staff, the Regimental or Unit Police.
Pussers Appertaining to the Service; stores and equipment issued from Service sources. Anything done unimaginatively or ‘by the book’ is done in a ‘pussers’ manner.
Pusser’s hard Issue soap.
Pusser’s planks Military skis.
Pusser’s red devil The standard naval issue bicycle. Invariably painted red.
Puzzle Palace A Headquarters building.
Rabbits Gifts or souvenirs, obtained by going on a ‘rabbit run’.
Recommend Formalised approval or praise - ‘take a recommend.
Redders Opposite to Icers.
Rice Effort. To ‘give it rice’ means to apply a considerable amount of effort in a direct manner.
Rig A mode of dress. To ‘get rigged’ is to get dressed.
Rock / Rock all Nil, or nothing.
Rock ape RAF Regiment.
Rug rat A baby (see also ‘sprog’).
Run A trip or journey.
Run ashore To leave ship or barracks for recreation or relaxation.
Sandies / Sandy Bottoms The last ‘sippers of a wet’.
SB Abbreviation for Special Boat Service. One who has joined the SBS is said to have gone SB.
Scran Food.
Scran bag A bag on a mess deck in which spare or damaged clothing and rags are collected. One who is untidily dressed is said to ‘look like a scran bag’.
Scratcher A bed, bunk or bedspace (see also ‘pit’).
Scronky / Scronks Untidy (see also ‘scran bag’).
Sea Daddy An experienced marine or sailor who looks after a recruit to ‘show him the ropes’.
Secure To finish; to tidy away after a job or watch.
Shave - off An expression of exasperation; to speak out in turn.
Shreddies Underpants.
Sigs A radio operator.
Sin Bosun A Naval Padre.
Sippers A liquid measure; a sip offered from one’s own drink.
Skin Immature or inexperienced. Lacking in facial hair.
Skin Mag Playboy or similar magazine.
Slide Butter or margerine (see also ‘grease’).
Smally Small.
Snaps A photographer (see also ‘phot’).
Sneaky Beaky Intelligence staff or their operations.
Snurgle To advance warily, or to crawl.
Snapper Someone who is gay.
Sods opera A show produced by a ship’s company or unit to entertain themselves.
Spanner Any food or implement.
Spitkid A waste receptacle.
Sprog A baby, or youth lacking in experience.
Spud locker Vegetable preparation room.
Stacks The opposite of ‘plums’. To receive overmuch. Usually used to describe one who has great success with woman.
Stand easy An official break in the work schedule; equates with a tea / coffee break.
Steamer A ship.
Stick a. Abuse.
b. A grouping of manpower for amphibious operations.
Stickies Cakes.
Swan An easy or enjoyable journey or job, (see also ‘jolly’).
Sweating neaters To be worried.
The Corps RM and RN generic term for the Royal Marines.
Thin out To depart.
Threaders To be fed up, to have had enough of something.
Three Badger A marine or sailor of low rank but great experience. Derived from the good conduct badges (chevrons) worn to denote years of service, three badges being the maximum.
Trap To successfully attract a member of the opposite sex.
Troop bible A book containing all the relevant details of the individuals in a sub unit.
Trough To eat.
Turn - to To parade or begin work.
Twos - up To take a turn at / with something.
Uckers A board game. Adult version of Ludo.
Up homers To be invited home.
Up the line To travel away from base, originally referring to a train journey.
Vittled up To be subjected to heavy and effective gunfire.
Wallah The operator of a small shop or stand, usually unofficial (eg ‘Goffer Wallah’).
Watch Sentry Duty; male only.
Waz / wazzer Fantastic.
Wellie To punch or hit.
Wet A drink of any description.
Winger / wings A comrade or close friend (see also ‘oppo’).
Woolly pulley Pullover (see also ‘JWH’).
Work your ticket To arrange to leave the Service.
Yaffling spanners Eating utensils.
Yeti A spectacular fall whilst on skis.
Yomp To force march with a heavy load.
Zap / zapped To shoot or be shot.
Zeds Sleep.