The Military Slang Quiz

Robin Tyler

Image: Frank Rossoto Stocktrek/Digital Vision/Getty Images

About This Quiz

The world is certainly not a safe place, and never really has been.

Since the beginning of time, each nation that rose to prominence did so through the use of its military. 

Just take a look back to the world's first really dominant group, the Romans. They expanded their territory through military might. No negotiations, no diplomacy. Just military might. The Roman army was feared around the world.

The Huns, who eventually sacked Rome, didn't take control by talking their way through the gates of the great city. They burnt them and the city to the ground.

Even in more modern times, military might has remained important. Napoleon and France ... check! Japanese expansion in the Far East ... check. German expansion in Europe under Hitler ... check. All of these nations expanded their territories through their military might, in some cases forcing other countries to capitulate at the mere threat of action.

Even today, military forces around the world are still as important.

And with the military comes a form of slang that is certainly unique. And that's what this quiz is all about.

Sure, you may have heard some of them before, but many will have you stumped!

Let's see how well you do!

Good luck. 

In military slang, what does the term "chest candy" refer to?

Think about it, it makes complete sense to call medals and ribbons "chest candy". Although this is usually used in positive way, it can also be very derogatory.

"Helo" incoming means what type of vehicle is approaching?

"Helo" is military slang for helicopter. They form a vital role in any military situation and have proved an indispensable vehicle as shown to such great effect in the Vietnam War, either bringing soldiers to contact points or removing the injured.

An "eagle keeper" is slang for?

The McDonnell Douglas F-15 Eagle was the primary 4th generation fighter in the United States Air Force. It entered service in 1976 and remains in active duty today.

In a battle, if someone called for "band-aid" what did they need?

Band-aids in real life fix anything, right? Well, almost anything. In World War II, most soldiers would call for a medic but by the time Vietnam rolled around, a medic had a slang name, a "band-aid".

Who or what is a "geardo"?

In the military, a "geardo" is someone who has every piece of gear they can possibly lay their hands on. This is despite the fact that they may not even use half of it. This is not only Army gear but supplementary equipment that they pay for themselves.

Marines who are "on the double" are

Now this is probably one that you have heard before. To a Marine, "on the double" means doing whatever task they are performing as fast as possible and certainly without delay.

Soldiers looking for a "moonbeam" wanted what exactly?

Actually, that's a brilliant description for a flashlight ... a moonbeam. Gonna use that from now on. Obviously flashlights are never used on the battlefield, but useful in camp on a dark night when you have to find the latrine.

Which military units are called "dopes on a rope"?

A "dope on a rope" is used by other branches of the military to describe air assault soldiers. This phrase is derogatory. Air assault soldiers are not paratroopers but usually alight from helicopters into battle using ropes to reach the ground.

In military terms, what is a "bunk"?

Again, this one is fairly easy. A bunk is a bed. Bunks are the perfect way to get a lot of men into a small space to sleep. They were particularly useful on ships when transporting troops to the Pacific in World War II.

"DZ" stands for?

Air assault troopers or paratroops will know all about the dropzone. This is the point which they will aim for when jumping out of their aircraft or helicopter.

Pilots reporting "ack ack" have encountered what?

"Ack ack" refers to enemy fire from the ground aimed at aircraft. It does not included small arms fire but specific anti-aircraft weapons such as cannons etc. In World War I, this was known as "Archie" and in World War II "flak".

A soldier asking for new "gofasters" from the supply chain wants what?

No, they are not sneakers, they are "gofasters". Although the term is common in the Marine Corps it is also used by other branches of the military including the Army and Navy. I bet you will never call them sneakers again!

"Klicks" are a unit of measurement. Which of these below is it?

5 klicks till contact, Sir. You understand that right? Yes, a klick is a kilometer. Interestingly, you would not associate the use of kilometers with the US military, but it is used as a standard distance measurement that US allies use as well.

When "meat wagons" are called in, what vehicle is on its way?

Sad but true, an ambulance is called a "meat wagon" by the military. This name originated as due to the severity of war injuries, sometimes soldiers left the battlefield missing limbs.

"Cage Kickers" are another branch of the U.S. military, often loathed. Who are they?

The United States military has its own police force. These are the military police and it is their duty to enforce law and order at military facilities. Generally, they are loathed by regular servicemen, possibly because they break up their parties!

If the situation a platoon find themselves in is described as a "charlie foxtrot" it is ______

In military slang, a situation described as a "charlie foxtrot" means it is a cluster****! The term uses military alphabet to denote that the situation is particularly dire.

Going down in the "drink" means what exactly?

More of a term used by English pilots during the Second World War, if you went down in the "drink" you had ditched your aircraft in the sea. This was some serious business, as a plane sank quickly. Even if a pilot had a life jacket, he needed to clear the plane as quickly as possible to avoid drowning.

Wearing "cammies" means what exactly?

"Cammies" is a term for a camouflage uniform. Depending on the areas troops are deployed, it might be a necessity. This term is used by both the United States Marines and Navy.

What or who is a "rotorhead"?

An apt name don't you think! Helicopter pilots have a rotating blade above their head so it's easy to see how the name fits. This is just a general term used across all United States military.

In military slang, what does a "ground pounder" mean?

A "ground pounder", someone who often marches between objectives, fights the enemy and moves onto the next objective. This was particularly true during World War II. No specific force type were ground pounders although they were mostly GI's or Marines.

Something that is "unsat" is ______

Essentially, "unsat" is a shortened version of unsatisfactory or below par. It an be used to describe anything including facilities or even people. This is miltary slang from the United States Marine Corps.

Which US fighting force are known as "devil dogs"?

Yes, the Marines are known as "devil dogs". It is thought the phrase came from German soldiers in World War I who were so impressed by the Marines that they called them "teufelhund".

What important military building would be known as the "five-sided puzzle palace"?

Well, it has five sides and so many corridors it might be a puzzle to get in and out, so that is a pretty accurate name for the Pentagon. The Pentagon is the world's largest office building at 6,500,000 sq ft in size! Over 23,000 people work there, both military and civilian.

Officers referred to as "lance criminals" are what rank?

Lance corporals, the third lowest rank for enlisted men, are not that well liked by regular troops without rank.

The term "at ease" means?

You've seen enough Army movies to know the meaning of "at ease", right? Essentially it means carry on with what you were doing before you stood to attention when rank entered the room. Phew, a long but accurate description.

"Rack ops" refers to what exactly in military slang?

"Racks ops" is to get some sleep while out in the field, for example. It's a case of get what you need when you can. This is a United States Marine slang term.

Who are known as "puddle pirates"?

Members of the United States Navy refer to Coast Guard members as "puddle pirates". Why? Well, it's because they only operate in puddles i.e. near the shore and never in deep water.

At a military base, what would be known as the "big voice"

"Big voice" is the name given to the PA system and loudspeaker at a military base. These constantly bark orders, instructions and information so troops know what exactly is going on at any point. It is perhaps most important when the base is under fire and can quickly inform troops of that fact.

A pilot undertaking a "dollar ride" was _____

Even the most experienced pilots could take a "dollar ride". In fact, they may have taken many during the course of their career as they flew different aircraft and new, modern aircraft entered service as their careers wore on.

"Gone Elvis" means a soldier is ________

A soldier who has "gone Elvis" is missing after a skirmish with the enemy. This is also known as "MIA" or missing in action. If the soldier's body is later found, it is changed to "KIA" or killed in action.

A soldier needing a new "fart sack" wants ______

A term used in the United States military, a fart sack refers to a sleeping bag. Hmm, might have to steal that for use on a camping trip! Anyone seen my fart sack? Hilarious!

Do you have any idea what an "anymouse" is?

This term refers to a lockbox found on a ship. It essentially acts as an anonymous suggestion box where ideas, thoughts, criticisms can be dropped off. Obviously this is a United States Navy only idea.

A soldier who received an "alpha charlie" from their superior was _______?

Now a verbal reprimand in any profession is never nice. In the military it is downright scary. You've seen the Hollywood movies, right? A superior getting right up in the face of a private, screaming in their face, spit flying everywhere. Also often called an "ass chewing".

In Air Force slang, what is a "bone"?

In the military, the Rockwell B-1 Lancer is known by the slang term, "bone". The B1, a swept-wing supersonic bomber, was introduced in the mid-1980s and remains in service today.

If soldiers were forced to eat a "long pig," what did they consume?

War is hell! Cases of cannibalism have been reported throughout history, and particularly during World War II, were both Soviet and German prisoners of war resorted to cannibalism to avoid starvation. Kind of gross, but in military terms human flesh is called "long pig".

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