Talk:List of United States Marine Corps acronyms and expressions

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Why is this censored? True, Marine slang can be...gritty. But the only people looking for this will be the ones who don't really care about maintaining their "innocence." Just thought I'd ask. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:31, 31 December 2007 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Profanity indicates that profanity should not be censored when it has encyclopedic purpose, such as the terms and phrases in this article. It is commonplace in the military nowadays to replace profanity in acronyms with less profane words of the same letter, but in this article, should not be included unless the less profane version is as common or more common than the profane words. For example, FNG was origionally coined as "Fucking New Guy", but was subsequently modified to replace the curse with "Freaking"... The encyclopedic resolution for this would be to include the origional and more common "Fucking". bahamut0013 13:35, 28 June 2008 (UTC)


For the sake of uniformity, I'd like to set a single format to be used.

* '''term''' or '''similar term''' — definition, etymology; unrelated definition. See also [[List of U.S. Marine Corps acronyms and expressions#LETTER|TERM]]

  • Please italicise any words that are not English language, and link to the language used. If the term is forign, italicize and bold it.
  • Keep in mind other branches, some terms are shared by them as well. Use the term "servicemember" if necessary.
    • Capitalize Marine, Marines, etc. Use judgement when referring to members of the other branches.
  • Use wikilinks as much as possible for terms. Include a "See also" link if the related term is on this list (but not when it starts with the same letter).
    • If you refer to a rank, link to the US or Marine version if possible.
    • Use a piped link to avoid redirects and when the name of the article is a synonym of the linked term.
    • Utilize Wiktionary for terms that don't have an article.
  • Try to avoid using other slang or acronyms in the definitions. Make links if necessary.
  • Capitalize the definition of an acronym (i.e. CONUS becomes CONtinental United States). This may require some piping when linking to another article.
  • Add a reference if you know of one. So far, we only have one.
    • Avoid speculation on where the etymology. If you have to use weasel words because the explanation isn't 100% sure, you should hesitate to include it.
  • We could use some images, but let's try to stick to one per letter (not everyone uses the same resolution, and too many images causes boxing and stretching).

Thanks! bahamut0013 15:43, 7 April 2008 (UTC)

Words for discussion[edit]


Has anyone ever heard the term "mufti (dress)" before (not the Islamic scholar definition)? A major told me it's all the vogue in TBS lately, as opposed to the more traditional term "civvies". bahamut0013 12:13, 17 July 2008 (UTC)

"Mufti" comes from the British military. I've read it in many accounts of Brit wars from mid-19th century through WWII. I thought it was nearly out of use these days but if it's being used by US military it must have been picked up from joint operations with our cousins from across the Pond. I know a Brit who writes on Defense matters, I'll check with him and get back to you.Uncle Bubba (talk) 19:25, 15 August 2008 (UTC)
Got in touch with my Defense journo buddy. He said "mufti" is still in common usage in British civilian and military life. Uncle Bubba (talk) 03:20, 19 August 2008 (UTC)

MOS numbers[edit]

"03" and "04" -- I hear them all the time where I work. They represent MOSs, but I'm not sure which is which. (talk) 05:27, 27 October 2008 (UTC)


Pool or Pool(ee) or Poolee - I've heard it used but have no clear definition other than they aren't recruits/boot camp ready yet. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:28, 11 September 2009 (UTC)

Yeah, I remember this from my days as a poolee. Some people treat it almost as if it were a rank. I think I may go around later and try to dig up a good ref for this one, as I don't think any of the other branches use the term. bahamut0013wordsdeeds 12:49, 12 September 2009 (UTC)

Regarding "Deuce Gear"[edit]

As a Marine Logistician in the 70s the form we used was the "NAVMC 782" which was pronounced "Navmac 782". As a joint use form it (and all other joint use forms) showed NAVMC reflecting the Marine Corps' status as a Department of the Navy. Before the Corps was computerized every physical item was inventoried and accounted for by a yellow handwritten NAVMC 782 form. The term "deuce gear" does in fact refer to the last digit of "782" so that part is right. JAG USMC (talk) 20:13, 19 December 2011 (UTC)


Some opinions have been expressed recently about harsh standards on this list. Normally, I'm not so possessive about an article, but this one in particular is vulnerable to getting deleted. Eyes are always being cast upon lists such as this, and this list is particuarly popular wth anons and new editors for unsuitable and/or poorly written entries. I'm harsh in editing this article because I'd like it to stay around for a while (better to have a less complete list than no list); the Army slang list was recently deleted, and this one was looked at as well. Also note that I'm slowly adding more and more sources as time goes on; with the ultimate goal of sourcing every single term. bahamut0013wordsdeeds 16:31, 21 January 2009 (UTC)

I don't think it's "harsh standards" that people object to. Most of the terms on this list are POV, because that's how slang and informal terms are. There's no documentation. There are some things that you, personally, have never heard of. Terms, slang and jargon that was used years before you joined the Corps. Because you have never heard of them, or because the term doesn't make logical sense to you, you personally decide it shouldn't be on the list. I'm sure there are USMC terms from 1957 that I've never heard of, just as there are USMC terms from 1977 that you've never heard of. Perhaps a suggestion: date the terms. Eastcote (talk) 18:00, 21 January 2009 (UTC)
Which is why everything added needs to have good references or at least sound reasonable, or it can't stay. If it sounds like bullshit, I'm goung to remove it unless it is properly sourced. If it is actually something Marines of the past used, then you should be able to provide a reference. bahamut0013wordsdeeds 03:49, 22 January 2009 (UTC)
There are also a lot of terms that are fairly common, and certainly not Core specific e.g; hurry up and wait, FUBAR, port, RPG, scrounge, sayonara... Some terms are so banal and intuitive as to be pointless to list e.g; embed. For others, where there is a common definition and a Marine specific one as in "over the hill" and running lights" listing the conventional form is superfluous. It's a waste of space, and reader/maintainer time. -- (talk) 23:07, 12 April 2010 (UTC)
As I stated at #Not only for jarheads, the scope is very clear. If you want to remove some entries that don't qualify, go ahead, though I would caution to be careful when asserting that a "common definition" might be worth removing in favor an a USMC-unique one. Chances are that a vandal or good faith editor would add them in (something I have seen firsthand), which adds to the maintainer burden; also that what seems blindingly obvious to you may not be so to somebody else. bahamut0013wordsdeeds 23:40, 12 April 2010 (UTC)

Requested move[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: No consensus. Ucucha 20:41, 18 February 2010 (UTC)

List of United States Marine Corps acronyms and expressionsGlossary of government and military acronyms — In accordance with other "Glossary of -" articles (talk) 10:50, 9 February 2010 (UTC)

  • I think the inclusion of acronyms precludes the definition of glossary from being used accurately in this case. bahamut0013wordsdeeds 12:12, 9 February 2010 (UTC)
  • I've undone the move performed by Anthony Appleyard (talk · contribs) at 09:37 today. I don;t think one IP and one editor can equate to consensus, especially when the latter disputes the proposal. I tried to leave this message earlier today, but it seems to have disappeared: here. bahamut0013wordsdeeds 22:24, 17 February 2010 (UTC)
  • OK, I have reversed my other 2 moves. All 3 pages & their talk pages are at 'List of ...'. Anthony Appleyard (talk) 22:44, 17 February 2010 (UTC)
  • I don't have any heartburn changing the term 'list' to 'glossary' but I would advise against incorporating Air Force, Marine, (and Navy) lists into one comprehensive U.S. government list (or glossary). I think that merging them together would make the page too large and unwieldy and potentially create a lot of acronyms that have multiple meanings.--Ndunruh (talk) 14:03, 9 February 2010 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

Move discussion in progress[edit]

There is a move discussion in progress on Talk:List of United States Marine Corps acronyms and expressions which affects this page. Please participate on that page and not in this talk page section. Thank you. —RM bot 10:30, 18 February 2010 (UTC)

Not only for jarheads[edit]

A great deal of these are shared by the Army. And some things on this list, such as the entry for CAC card, simply do not belong. It's called a CAC card across all branches and on the civilian side as well, certainly not specific to the Corps. Jersey John (talk) 02:19, 8 March 2010 (UTC) "Muscles Are Required Inteligence Not Expected." =)

So remove them. The scope is very clear on that. bahamut0013wordsdeeds 13:27, 8 March 2010 (UTC)
What about "Naval Service" terms? A great number of the entries here, after all, are common to both the Marines and the Navy (where in many cases they originated): 8 bells, deck, bulkhead, scuttlebutt, aye-aye etc. --Solicitr (talk) 16:14, 5 October 2010 (UTC)
If you find anything more appropriate for List of U.S. Navy acronyms or Glossary of nautical terms, go ahead and move them (unless, of course, the Marine definition is unique and distinct to the more common definition). bahamut0013wordsdeeds 20:03, 5 October 2010 (UTC)


"aye-aye or aye — nautical term used as a response to orders meaning "I understand the orders I have received and will carry them out"; supposedly a corruption of the words "yea, yea," a claim advanced that Cockney accents changed the "yea" to "yi", and from there to "aye"."

Uh, no. "Aye" is simply a dialectical survival of Middle English yai "yes", which was the normal word in English seafaring regions (and other parts). Shakespeare is full of Ayes, and it's still used in voice votes ("all in favor say 'aye'") Yai derived from Old English gea (pron. "yey-a", hence the alternate version yea); 'yes' descends from the emphatic gea si "so be it." Solicitr (talk) 03:20, 29 May 2010 (UTC)

That line was copied from Aye (yes) before it was redirected to yes long ago. If you have a good reference, go ahead and change it. bahamut0013wordsdeeds 14:32, 29 May 2010 (UTC)

Question concerning terms "Short-Colonel" and "Light-Colonel"[edit]

I hope someone that would be able to answer a question for me. I was talking to my father, an Army veteran, and I referred to a Lieutenant Colonel as a "short colonel". He corrected me that the term was "light colonel". I swore that I had heard it used somewhere, but he told me he never heard the term used his whole enlistment (about 75-79 or thereabouts). So I checked 'ol Wikipedia. It doesn't have a jargon section for the Army, but the Marine Corps section sure did have an entry for "short colonel". So can someone confirm this for me and lay it to rest? Is one a Marine Corps term and the other an Army, similar to "hoo-ah"/"ooo-rah"? It sure looks that way, but i just wanted confirmation. Joe Giorandino (talk) 04:11, 6 July 2010 (UTC)

The Army list got deleted because it was full of OR and POV, as well as being mostly unreferenced. Asking here probably won't get you much good, I only know that both terms have been used very informally by Marines. bahamut0013wordsdeeds 13:26, 6 July 2010 (UTC)

24 years in the Marine Corps, 85-09. Served as Pvt to Maj, never once heard the term Short Colonel.

Miser — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:32, 22 December 2011 (UTC)

Query: sight in[edit]

sight in — aim a weapon at a target using the sights, considered an intention to shoot the target.

My aging brain may be faulty, but I don't remember it that way at all. "Sighting in" a weapon, IIRC, is the process of recursively firing groups at a target and adjusting the sights until they are properly aligned. --Solicitr (talk) 15:12, 26 September 2010 (UTC)

See the definition of "battle zero", that's the word you're thinking of. bahamut0013wordsdeeds 00:15, 27 September 2010 (UTC)

May need correction[edit]

TAD — Temporary Additional Duty

I'm pretty sure the actual meaning is Temporary Assigned Duty. E.g. "... daily allotment to reimburse servicemembers for the out-of-pocket cost of food, lodging and incidental expenses that occur while on military business or temporary assigned duty ..." After all, when you go on TAD you're doing it instead of your regular job, not in addition to it! Solicitr (talk) 22:21, 18 November 2010 (UTC)

Marine Corps Order P1050.3H, Regulation for leave, Liberty, and Admistrative Absence writes TAD as "Temporary Additional Duty". Where did you get the above definition? Other services may define TAD differently. FieldMarine (talk) 01:54, 19 November 2010 (UTC)

Discussion On AYFKM[edit]

We added AYFKM (are you f***ing kidding me) and it was removed by some vandalism sensing robot? I was in the Corps for a long time, and grew up Navy. AYFKM was one of my first words in GITMO as a baby and continues to be one of my favorites. Any other Marines want to weigh in? Maybe I was wrong and others in the CORPS don't use it? —Preceding unsigned comment added by CincyBuyers (talkcontribs) 04:35, 25 November 2010 (UTC)

So, as a former Marine and also a Navy brat, I have heard AYFKM in military usage since at least 1972. Mu buddies and I used it in theater in Afganistan and Iraq, & at 29 Palms and Fort Knox. So, when it was changed back a second time, all of us who have used it regularly are just a bit confused. Seriously, it is a oft-used Marine slang term. Why'd you guys take it back down?

CincyBuyers (talk) 17:33, 26 November 2010 (UTC)

It does not seem unique to the Marine Corps to me. My recommendation is find a reference somewhere to its use in the Marine Corps & present that here as an argument to include it on this list. FieldMarine (talk) 18:35, 26 November 2010 (UTC)
No, that's something I've heard since high school (at least), so it's not even military-specific, much less USMC-specific. Well outside the scope. bahamut0013wordsdeeds 18:51, 26 November 2010 (UTC)
Give the man an opportunity to present his case if he feels he has one. There are plenty of terms on this list I used in High School and that are not military specific. However, they are within scope because they have specific meaning in context to use in the Marine Corps. FieldMarine (talk) 19:21, 26 November 2010 (UTC)

So, here's the question... Everything on the Marine Corps list of slang could have a reasonable link to usage elsewhere. For example, Light Colonel and Short Colonel are used at the very least in the Airforce, as that's what my uncle's colleagues called him when he was a LT COL. Is this list ONLY for terms used EXCLUSIVELY in the Corps? If so, I think we'd have to make a case that none of these terms would be on the Corps list, even Semper Fi.

I will certainly defer to the judgment of you guys, as it's your list. I have scoured the web to find a Marine Corps reference to AYFKM, and it seems to show up mainly on texting specific dictonairies. However, I specifically remember first hearing it on my birthday at the officers club in Gitmo about '72, when I started feeding the seagulls with my fries and the steward started shouting, "don't feed the flying rats, AYFKM!" Whether it was specific to the Marines, Navy, both or neither, it was certainly in use at least before '72, as we moved to Key West before my birthday in '73.

As for the list getting taken down, WTF!?! Wiki acts like it is a place for communal knowledge to be pooled and jointly edited, but as soon as the guardians see an article that doesn't fit into THEIR concept of what should be included, they take it down? AYFKM? Screw em. CincyBuyers (talk) 15:15, 4 December 2010 (UTC)

IMHO, the key point is a meaning unique to the Marine Corps, not necessarily a term unique to the Marine Corps. FieldMarine (talk) 21:13, 4 December 2010 (UTC)
Okay, I guess it's your list... if the key point is that it's a meaning unique to the Corps, then I would submit that 360, "48, 72, & 96", 8 bells, above my/your pay grade, acquire, ahoy, all hands, ant farm or ant hill,..... and about 90% of the remaining items do not have meanings that are unique to the Corps.
CincyBuyers (talk) 21:43, 4 December 2010 (UTC)
If you think a term should be removed or added, place the specific term & reason here for discussion. Thanks! FieldMarine (talk) 03:26, 5 December 2010 (UTC)
Some of the terms you meantion are very reasonable candidates for removal under the same rationale. bahamut0013wordsdeeds 19:31, 5 December 2010 (UTC)

Many of these terms and acronyms have migrated over time, either from Marines to others or from others to Marines. These terms evolve into "slang" which is adopted by Marines on a wide scale because the term has some unique nuance that appeals to the Esprit D' Corps shared by Marines. There should be a specific section for Slang, both that which is unique to Marines as well as that which has been adopted from others and given a "special" Marine Corps meaning. In 1919 H. L. Mencken published "The American Language" and demonstrated the malleability of English and the process by which it is modified. JAG USMC (talk) 19:38, 19 December 2011 (UTC)

The Term "Crotch"[edit]

When I was in the Corps, we referred to the Marine Corps as "The Crotch". This was commonly used among the enlisted personnel to reflect their somewhat negative view of the Corps. I won't add it to the list because I don't know how, but maybe someone who agrees with me can do it.Trucker11 (talk) 10:34, 18 October 2011 (UTC)

To add to the list you need a reference. FieldMarine (talk) 11:30, 18 October 2011 (UTC)


In the "ranks" part of this list, it stated that it is acceptable to call a master sergeant OR a first sergeant as "top". When I served in the Marines, I remember explicitly learning on a memo that you DO NOT address a first sergeant as "top". That is a term reserved for master sergeants, out of respect of the rank once being the highest enlisted rank in the Corps. It would be akin to calling a warrant officer a "gunner" just because he is a warrant officer, despite not earning the bursting bomb. I have edited the first sergeant part out.

StrangeApparition2011 (talk) 08:17, 11 November 2011 (UTC) (talk) 04:19, 11 November 2011 (UTC)

Presently, "Top" is only for Master Sergeant in the USMC. Semper Fi! FieldMarine (talk) 12:07, 11 November 2011 (UTC)
When I was on active duty with the Corps (1998-2003), we were taught that "Top" was supposed to be used only for Master Gunnery Sargeants, although it was common to also refer to Master Sargeants by "top" as a gesture of respect. Similarly, "gunner" was often used as slang for any Chief Warrant Officer, although again we were taught that it was incorrect for any but an actual gunner (0306). — Preceding unsigned comment added by Dunerat (talkcontribs) 23:15, 9 March 2012 (UTC)

Magic show?[edit]

The Short-Timers contains the text "Sunday. Magic show. Religious services in the faith of your choice..." Similarly the film adaptation, Full Metal Jacket, contains the line "Today is Christmas! There will be a magic show at zero-nine-thirty!" Every time I watch that film I wonder exactly what the hell is meant by the term "Magic show". I find it hard to believe grown men would be given an actual magician show at Marine basic training lol. My best guess is it is marine slang for Church? Can one of you lads put me out of my misery and tell me what it means? I came to this article looking for answers and found none. Freikorp (talk) 01:19, 20 April 2013 (UTC)

Sexism removed[edit]

Female Marines do NOT have an official nickname and never have. Those who keep putting the rude nicknames are full of it. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:42, 14 July 2013 (UTC)

Who said official? Thanks for chopping some of the insulting junk. Vsmith (talk) 19:24, 14 July 2013 (UTC)
   "Who said official", indeed: if verifiable, it should be included, insulting/sexist or not. The IP's removals are detailed by this diff.
   These edits account, respectively, for the introductions of "BAM" (from a low-count contributor), "Susie R." (1-time IP), (In this case i pasted in the wrong link and the term has probably appeared here longer than the edit i pasted in. I'll replace it soon. "WAM" (IP w/ 4 sessions over abt 16 months), strong version of "WM" (IP w/ 2 sessions over 31 days).
   IMO, these terms deserve verification more than the rest, but the list has long stood with no refs, and it is explicit that they were singled out for removal as "rude" or "insulting", even tho crude sexism is terrifyingly real in the military, and any reader who infers they were included because we believe they are "official" is a fool. I assert that the page should be tagged as a whole for {{Norefs}}. And that the removed items should be restored and individually tagged for {{fact}} to acknowledge the special urgency of documenting them, since it will be a more demanding task: the clearly unofficial (and more than plausible but almost surely not, one by one, specifically disowned) would make it very hard to achieve confidence in them even if each were universally understood by individual Marines.
   (Perhaps the most efficient way to proceed toward that confidence is to seek sources not by Marines with first-hand knowledge, but by advocates of action against the abuse of American female military personnel.)
--Jerzyt 12:42, 1 October 2013 (UTC)

ASVAB waiver[edit]

   ASVAB#Standards for enlistment seems to indicate there is no such thing as waiving the standard, and the entry was vague. I rewrote it to imply specifically a sarcastic suggestion that so-and-so is so far from plausibly having been able to meet the standard that one must infer that a waiver provision exists and had been applied to them. Still, a ref would be a good thing.
--Jerzyt 12:42, 1 October 2013 (UTC)