Military Argot

Military Argot

The military has always had its own argot (slang), the armies of the far future should be no different. Some of these terms are from the real U.S. Army, others are from GW's fluff and some are my own invention.

AAA Anti-Aircraft Artillery (see Triple A)
AFV Armored Fighting Vehicle
Amasec A widely available and highly alcoholic beverage distilled from wine.
Angel 250 meters of altitude (Dive to 10 Angels then begin your drop run)
AO Area of Operation
APC Armored Personnel Carrier
AP Armor Piercing
APFSDSDU Armor Piercing, Fin Stabilized, Discarding Sabot, Depleted Uranium (pronouced App-Fizz-Due)
Aquilla The Imperial Two-Headed Eagle
ASAP As Soon As Possible
AT Anti-tank
Augmetic Cybernetic/Bionic, usually in the sense of body implants or repairs.
AWOL Away With Out Leave
Baby Ogryn Catachan trooper
Barracks Ghost A trooper who never leaves the barracks for anything other than duty, drills or chow and then complains how boring the duty post is.
BBs Batteries and Beans, supplies.
Big Daddy Typically the largest Imperial Navy ship in orbit over a contested world
Big Mama The drop ship that ferried an Imperial Guard unit to the surface (See Mama Bird)
Big V Vacuum, Open Space
Bin Rats Quartermaster Corps personnel, notorious for refusing to issue anything ("it's called stores because we store stuff! If we was meant to issue it, we'd call it issues wouldn't we?")
Black Eagle Brotherhood Imperial Guard, especially troopers from regiments other than one’s own.
Bleed Out To die of blood loss before medical attention can be given.
Blood Stripes A promotion received as a result of the death of the person who previously held the position
Blueskins Tau (See Spoonheads)
Blunt Sanctioned Psyker slang for a non telepath, a non-combat rating in the Imperial Guard
Bone 'Ead An Ogryn sergeant with surgically enhanced intelligence who can interpret orders for his less advanced squad mates. Also used as a term of abuse for anyone given to taking orders too literally to the detriment of their subordinates.
Broken Toys Battlefield hulks, wrecked vehicles
Bugs Tyranids
Buy the Farm To die in combat (see Win the Big Prize)
Calling Friends To request artillery support
Calling Friends in High Places To request ortillery support
CAP Combat Air Patrol
Casualty Both wounded & dead personnel
Catachan Leave To go AWOL
Catachan Kiss A head butt
CATFU Completely And Totaly Frakked Up
CCP Casualty Collection Point
CDR Commander
CFV Cavalry Fighting Vehicle
Charlie Chaos
Charlie Mike Chaos Marines
Chart Desk/Chart Table A small, portable easel-like device for displaying tactical hololithic maps and three dimensional terrain models. A chart desk is a heavier and usually non-portable version
Cherry New; can refer to new personnel or new equipment (friendly or enemy)
Chest Candy Medals and other decorations
Chow Military Rations
CinC Commander in Chief
CO Commanding Officer
Cogitator Device empowered by the Machine Spirit to perform complex calculations and battlefield metriculations. Also Codifier or Logic Engine
COL Colonel
'Commissioned By Mom' An incompetent officer of noble origins (by way of explaining how he achieved officer rank)
ComSec Communications Security (scrambling, channel hopping, limiting signal interception, etc.)
Cooker Portable Fusion Gun also called a Melta gun
Counterseptic Antiseptic and analgesic fluid used to combat infection.
CP Command Post
CPL Corporal
CPT Captain
Dataslate Hand held device used to store and transfer information, imagery and orders
DC Damage Control
Det-Tape Tape peeled off to detonate tube charges (time delay determined by length tape is trimmed to). Also used as a general purpose detonator material.
Do a Deuce

Perform a special operations mission.

'Do A Yarrick' To take a trophy from a dead enemy.
Dog and Pony Show

Any event that takes soldiers away from their real duties for the sole purpose of impressing high-ranking officers or civilians.

Doormat Mission

slang for the duties involved in preparing a landing zone for following forces. The term refers to the mythical last step in this type of mission: "Be sure to put out the doormat."


A quick takeoff after landing. Often refers to casualty evacuation flights.

DZ Drop Zone
Emperor's Benediction Euphemism for a Mercy Killing.
Empyrean Warp-Space
Engineseer A Techpriest of the Adeptus Mechanicus charged with the responsibility of tending the machine spirits of a regiment's vehicles.
End of Discussion

Often used by colonels or lieutenant colonels when addressing majors, captains, or lieutenants. Simply stated, it means shut your face, don't say another word, do it my way, and the door is that way. Sergeants prefer to use a longer, more colorful version.

EOD Explosives Ordnance Disposal
EPW Enemy Prisoner of War
Farmer Armor Improvised armored vehicles
Feth (v) to copulate (vulgar, Tanith)
Flak Board General Purpose Sheet Material for defense and repair. Fitted to the inside walls of defensive positions to prevent spalling material dislodged by weapon impacts from causing injury.
FNG Fraking New Guy
FO Forward Observer. (Occupies the OP & watches for enemy movement, also directs Artillery strikes)
Fortress World

A planet that is heavily garrisoned and equipped with first-rate defensive equipment like deep meson sites. These worlds are able to hold off almost any force.

Found Wanting Euphemism for field execution by a Commissar; "He was found wanting at the front line."
'Foxed' Destroyed, from call sign 'November Foxtrot' or Non-Functional
Frak (v) copulate (vulgar, Valhallan)
Frag (n)Fragmentation grenade; (v)Throw a frag grenade; (v)To kill an unpopular NCO or Officer
Freak Abhuman, sanctioned psyker or non human
Freak Squad Abhuman, Sanctioned Psyker or non human unit (such as Ratling Snipers, Ogryns or Kroot mercenaries)
Freek Frequency (radio; also, freq)
FUBAR Fraked Up Beyond All Recognition
Fyceline Principal chemical ingredient used in the manufacture of standard Imperial Guard explosives.
Gak (n) excrement (vulgar, Valhallan)
Garri-trooper Rear Echelon personnel, particularly those who try to pass themselves off as something more.
Ghosts Troopers from a planet that has been destroyed or lost to Chaos.
Greenskin Slang for an Orkoid
Grubby (pl. Grubbies) Low Tech opposition forces
Grunt Infantryman
Guard Proof An overly simple task or way of doing things. Stems from the stereotype that Imperial Guardsmen are slow-witted or unable to handle complex operations. Slightly perjorative.
Gun Baby Whiteshield, or Conscript.
Gun Bunny Female Trooper
HE High Explosive
HEAP High Explosive, Anti-Personnel
HEAT High Explosive, Anti-Tank
HALO High Altitude, Low Opening (refers to parachuting)
Hell World Planet lost to Chaos
Hive A massive archology, a city housed in a single mega-structure
Hololithic Three Dimensional Imagery.
Hot An area experiencing combat
House Specials Private troops retained by nobles - quality varies from laughable to elite
'How copy?' Did you recieve/understand the transmission? Proper response is, "Good copy."
IFV Infantry Fighting Vehicle
'IHTFP' Imperial soldiers tell their officers this means "I have truly found paradise" - they are lying
Imperial Infantryman's Uplifting Primer Standard text manual issued to every Guardsmen, containing proper procedure for everything from marching to bayoneting techniques. Also includes prescribed prayers and hymnals.
ImpNav Imperial Navy
'in country' The battle zone / Area of Operations in a foreign country / region / world
Interior Guards General Term for internal security forces, a world's PDF or a Guard Regiment given colonial duties.
JAFO Joint Arms Forward Observer (or more colorfully - Just Another Fraking Observer)
Jar-heads Marines
Juvenat As in "Juvenat Processes" or "Juvenant Drugs" Techniques of prolonging youth and virility. Usually highly expensive and reserved for senior officers or Imperial Nobility.
Kentucky Long Rifle Another name for the LongLas (q.q.v.)
KIA Killed In Action
Klom (also Klick) Kilometer (1000 standard Imperial meters)
Lamp Pack Standard Guard Issue, compact lamp with internal (limited) power supply, designed to be hand held, or fixed onto lasgun's bayonet lugs.
Leftovers An incomplete squad built from the remnants of squads that have suffered casualties.
Leg Infantryman (nickname given to ground soldiers by Airborne troops)
LEO Low Earth Orbit
Lho Sticks An addictive, mild, narcotic rolled into a compact tube and smoked by guardsmen. Officio Medicae personnel have warned that they may cause respiratory damage.
Longlas Any model lasgun modified or designed for sniper use. (As the name implies, they are usually longer than standard pattern weapons.) Also called Kentucky Long Rifles
Lords of Space Marines (derogatory)
LOS Line Of Sight
LP Listening Post
LRM Long Range Missile
LRRP Long Range Recon Patrol
LTC Lieutenant Colonel
LZ Landing Zone
Magnoculars Powerful optical device for the magnification of distant objects. Can be modified to varying levels of complexity, with range finders, azimuth metriculators and heat sensing equipment.
Mama Bird The drop ship that ferried an Imperial Guard unit to the surface (See Big Mama)
MBT Main Battle Tank
Mess Military Dining Facility
MIA Missing In Action
Microbead (also Micro bead link, micro bead intercom) small, short range Vox system for inter-trooper communications in the field.. Generally only found on regiments from civilized or industrialized worlds. Usually a small ear plug with a tiny wire mouthstalk
MIF Mechanized Infantry Force
Mike Minutes
MilInt Military Intelligence
Missile Monkey Artilleryman
MM Mini Missile
MRE Meal Ready to Eat (Field Rations)
MRL Multiple Rocket Launcher
MRM Medium Range Missile
MSGT Master Sergeant
Multikey Universal key/lock pick
Mustang A nickname for an officer promoted from the enlisted ranks. Can be respectful when used by enlisted ranks and seasoned officers, or pejorative when used by career-oriented and/or snooty academy-trained officers.
NCO Non Commissioned Officer, i.e. Corporal, Sergeant or Petty Officer (in any of the several grades)
'Nine Seventies' Imperial Guard issue entrenching tool, derived from its standard Imperial catalog number 'M-970'
Obscura An illegal, highly addictive Narcotic
Old Boots Long service guardsmen
Old Man Commanding Officer - one term of many
One way Ticket Assignation to a grav chute or drop pod landing. "To be given a one way ticket."
OP Observation Post (pronouced "Opie")
OpFor Opposing Force
OpSec Operational Security (not giving/making available to the enemy information about your plans, movements, state of repair/supply, etc.)
Ortillery Orbital Artillery, Orbital Bombardment of a target
'Out' All radio transmissions end in "Out" when the sender does not expect a reply from the receiver (never used with 'over' as in 'over and out' since this would mean 'I am done talking and await your reply, and I am signing off and will not acknowledge any reply')
'Over' All radio transmissions end in "Over" when the sender expects a reply from the receiver (never used with 'out' as in 'over and out' since this would mean 'I am done talking and await your reply, and I am signing off and will not acknowledge any reply')
Padre Chaplain (without regard to religious affiliation)
PDF Planetary Defense Forces
PFC Private First Class (or, Private Frakin' Civilians)
Pict A video feed equivalent of vox.
Plank Idiot, also a derogatory term for an Ogryn.
Pop Smoke Call for extraction.
POW Prisoner Of War. (See EPW).
Promethium A general term for fuel, but commonly used to refer to the highly volatile and incendiary jelly used as fuel in flamer units. Designed to adhere to the target and rapidly immolate them. Promethium reaches extremely high temperatures within seconds of ignition, and even burns underwater.
PT Physical Training, typically 1 Hour or more of mixed workout (running, cardio, strength exercises).
REMF Reserve Echelon Maintenance Forces (or more colorfully - Rear Echelon Mother Frakkers , typically used by combat troops to insultingly refer to supply, maintenance, admin, etc. personnel.)
Resuscitrex Officio Medicae device incorporating a number of specialized devices, most frequently used to fibrillate patients who have suffered Cardiac Arrest.
Roast Whatsit Term for unidentifiable meals served in mess halls
ROE Rules Of Engagement
'Roger' Vox shorthand for "I understand" (Note "Roger" and "Wilco" should never be used together, i.e. "Roger Wilco")
RPG Rocket Propelled Grenade
Ruinous Powers Chaos gods
SAD Search And Destroy
SAR Search And Rescue
Savlar A thief or drug addict.
SAW Squad Automatic Weapon
Scope General term for powered spotter sights. May be the telescopic sights on a longlas, or a hand held "telescope" used by an officer.
Scrambled Insane, shell shocked.
Screamer-Killer Tyranid "Carnifex" genus.
SEAL Sea, Ether, Air & Land; type of special forces troops
SFC Sergeant First Class
SGT Sergeant
Shell Carapace Armor.
Short A trooper nearing the end of his enlistment
Sierra Sniper
SitRep Situation Report
Six Behind you ("Check your Six")
Skellies Necrontyr (see Toasters)
Slap Disciplined by a senior officer for minor infraction (possession of unauthorized publications, for instance.)
SMG Sub-Machinegun
Smoked Destroyed, also a particularly one sided engagement as in 'We smoked the Tau at Gatorsville'
SNAFU Situation Normal, All Frakked Up
SP Self propelled (often used to classify whether and artillery piece is "towed" or "self propelled")
Sparks, Sparky Anyone who deals with radios or things electronic.
Spook Tyranid "Lictor" Genus
Spoonheads Tau (see Blueskins)
Spyerers Upper class Hive-worlders
Squared Away cleaned up; in military shape; ready for inspection.
Squawk Transmit
SRM Short Range Missile
SSG Staff Sergeant
'Stand By' Wait for instructions/approval.
'Stand Ready' Get prepared for action.
'Stand To' Proceed to action/battle stations & be ready to take action if warranted by situation.
Super Wammy-dyne New or experimental technology
Sweeper/Sweeper Set/Sweeper Broom Man-portable Mine Detector.
Tango Traitor
TDX Gravitationally polarized explosive that channels the blast along a plane parallel to the local gravity field. Blast effects can be extreme in that plane but nonexistent even at minor heights.
'The Emperor Protects' Common soldiers' blessing or refrain.
"The Green" Jungle Terrain (Catachan), Deathworld Class Jungle.
Those People The enemy
Titans War machines of the Collegio Titanicus
Toasters Necrontyr (see Skellies)
TOC Tactical Operations Center
Top Senior NCO of a company
Torch Flamer
Toy Soldiers, Glory Boys Storm Troopers, Special Operations teams
Tread Fether Man-portable, shoulder launched anti tank weapon. (Tanith phrase)
Triple A Anti Aircraft Artillery (see AAA)
Trooper Eggs Drop pods
Tube Charges 20cm (approx) long metal tubes filled with explosives for demolition work or grenades type work.
Twist Imperial Slang for a mutant.
Vox Caster A powerful, usually backpack carried, communications gear. "A vox set"
Vox Officer Member of a squad or platoon trained to carry the vox caster and operate it and other communications systems. General term for this branch of specialization is "Signals."
Warp-Space Alternate reality where time and physical laws don’t apply - used to traverse interstellar distances. Home to many chaos entities.
Weepers The Imperial Guard’s notoriously inefficient morale corps
WIA Wounded In Action
Win a Dirty Medal Die doing something heroic - something that would likely win a commendation
Win the Big Prize Die in combat (see Buy the Farm)
'Wilco' "(understood,) Will Comply (with instructions)" (Note "Roger" and "Wilco" should never be used together, i.e. "Roger Wilco")
World, the Your hometown/homeland/homeworld
WP White Phosphorous (a.k.a. "Pappy's Whiskey")
XO Executive Officer (unit second in command)


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