RAF slang

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

The Royal Air Force developed a distinctive slang which has been documented in works such as Piece of Cake and the Dictionary of RAF slang.[1]

The following is a comprehensive selection of slang terms and common abbreviations used by British Armed Forces from before World War II until the present day; less common abbreviations are not included.

Often common colloquial terms are used as well by airmen, as well as less savory ones. In addition some terms have come into common parlance such as "I pranged the car last night".

Other slang was used by British and Empire air forces. There were a number of codes used within the RAF, not now under the official secrets act, some of which are included.

It is followed by a list of nicknames of aircraft used by, or familiar to, the RAF.

A[edit]

  • Ablutions - Area in barrack-room airmen go to for washing and/or using toilet.
  • Ablutions Orderly - Washroom/Toilet cleaner and maintainer.
  • AC Plonk - Aircraftman Second Class (AC2), was the lowest rank in the RAF (also known simply as Plonk).
  • Ace - Dating from World War I. Five or more 'kills' in fighter air combat.
  • Admiral, The - The officer in command of the former Royal Air Force Marine Branch, (previously known as Marine Craft Section prior to full branch status being granted).
  • Air Commode - Air Commodore, lowest ranking of Their Airships (also known as Air Toilet).
  • Air House - Air Ministry, or Air Force Department of the Ministry of Defence.
  • Air maids - Air-sea rescue boat crew (as opposed to mermaids).
  • AOC (abbreviation) - Air Officer Commanding.
  • Air Toilet - Air Commodore (also known as Air Commode).
  • Air Tragic - Air Traffic (also known as The Tower).
  • Airships, Their - Officers of Air Commodore rank and above. Float serenely at high altitude, buffeted by assorted winds and oblivious to the implications of, and confusion caused by, the edicts following their astral deliberations.
  • Albert Square - RAF Lyneham, home to most of the 'Fat Alberts' or Lockheed C-130s.
  • Anchor - A parachutist who waits too long to drop.
  • Angels - Altitude, given in thousands of feet (thus "Angels 13" is 13,000 feet).
  • Anvil - The sound-proofed, darkened box that Scopies sit in, staring at a screen apparently to warn of any incoming Bogies.
  • Archie - World War I term for anti-aircraft fire (Ack Ack).
  • Arse End Charlies - Evasion fighters flying at the back of a formation or rear gunners (sometimes known as Tail End Charlies).
  • Arsy Tarsy - Aircrew reception area (they keep you waiting).
  • Aspirin - Codename for jamming German navigation aids. (See Battle of the Beams.)
  • Attaboys - Air Transport Auxiliary (As used by Americans, many were women).
  • Aviate - To show off flying in the air.
  • Air Loadmaster - Or ALM. See Loadies.

B[edit]

  • Babies Heads - Steak and kidney puddings. Provided as nourishment during exercises.
  • Bag - Parachute or anti-exposure suit.
  • Bags of Mystery - Sausages, rissoles, etc. with uncertain contents.
  • Bag Up - To vomit into the sick bag provided in the aircraft.
  • Balbo - Large air formation.
  • Banana-Boat - Aircraft carrier.
  • Band Aid Technician - Medic.
  • Bandit - Enemy aircraft.
  • Bang On - To be correct, or a direct hit.
  • Bang Out - The action taken by a jockey when he has to eject: the explosive egress system bangs him straight through the canopy on his rocket propelled seat.
  • Banjoes - Fried bread with usually egg and ham in it usually served during exercises.
  • Bar Codes - The composite braid rank slides worn by RAF officers. So named from their similar appearance to one-dimensional bar codes.
  • Basher - Man, chap, fellow in a particular trade e.g. "stores basher".
  • Battle Blues - Ordinary uniform, AKA battle dress or (pre-1970s) "Hairy Mary's" (from the rough blue/grey wool construction).
  • Bay - Component servicing area e.g. "Engine Bay".
  • Ballooniacs - From World War II. The RAF Balloon Command personnel. (Now hot air balloonists who show up as a blob on radar).
  • Bean Stealers - Married Personnel of any rank of the RAF who lived in singles accommodation and received meals all for free when they were on duty and went home to their families at weekends.
  • Beasted or Beasting - To "be beasted" or "issue/receive a beasting". Increased pace of routine drills or physical training directed by trained DI's/PTI's, or to push an individual, or a group harder to improve their overall performance. Historically, in the RAF a beasting could be something as innocuous as increased shouting at recruits by a DI to teach discipline. Within regulations and NOT necessarily an unofficial method of punishment as it can mean in the Army for example.
  • Bed Pack - Sometimes called a biscuit, bed block or box bed is a squared-off assembly of 2 sheets + 3 blankets wrapped tightly within a fourth blanket which user "makes" daily before work with pillows placed on top.
  • Beehive - A close formation of bombers and fighters.
  • Beer Call - Free beer for all, a chance to settle any disputes, fighting accepted. Beer calls were for many years held in hangar crew rooms, but some adults decided that the risk of damage being caused to aircraft by a completely beeswaxed airman was too high.
  • Beer Lever - Joystick.
  • Beer Tokens - Money, Pay.
  • Bellyflop - Landing without an undercarriage (see Pancake).
  • Best Blues - Number One Uniform.
  • BENGO (abbreviation) - Baby ENGineering Officer (On first tour after training).
  • Benjamin - Jammed German bomber raid.
  • Benny - Resident of the Falkland Islands, named after the character in the soap opera Crossroads who always wore a woolly hat as most male Falklanders seem to. Later on, following an admonishment from a Rupert, changed to 'Still', as in 'still a Benny'.
  • Biffy - A latrine.
  • Bimble - To go for a walk.
  • Bimble Box - Packed lunch for the walk.
  • Big Badge - An officer who tends to outrank him/herself.
  • Bind - Not a nice job.
  • Bird Table - The conference room/table hang out for operational discussion.
  • Bishop - Chaplain (usually Anglican).
  • BINGO - Coded message that mission must be aborted and return to base (RTB) due to lack of fuel etc. Originated from the cockpit cross-hatched low fuel warning indicator that looked like a Bingo card.
  • BINGO Field - A diversion airfield for aircraft on BINGO, especially applicable to carrier borne aircraft.
  • Binding - Complaining.
  • Biscuit - The original palliasse or straw mattress. Each was a 3 ft x 3 ft canvas quilted, straw filled, grey coloured object of which three were issued to each junior rank in order to soften a wooden slatted bed frame when laid end-to-end.
  • Black-outs - Knickers worn by the WAAF, navy-blue winter-weights.
  • Blacktop, Operation - RAF airfield snow and ice clearance action, includes all operating surfaces such as runways, taxiways and hardstands. (As in - black tarmac, not white snow).
  • Blanket Stacker - The Suppliers Trade (Store-man).
  • Blarts - WAAFs and other females on station.
  • Blats - Local currency of any country you are in.
  • Blighty - The United Kingdom (from Hindi).
  • Blitz - To clean something thoroughly. Often a bed-space or barracks for a "bull night", or for a daily/weekly inspection.
  • Blitz time - The ETA for bombing.
  • Blood wagon - Ambulance.
  • Blower - Supercharger, or telephone.
  • Blowing chunks - Vomiting.
  • Blue (the) - Desert.
  • Bluebirds - WAAF.
  • Bluies - Aerogram letters usually given free to the military on detachment.
  • Body Snatcher - Stretcher Bearer.
  • Bodge Tape - Also known as Gaffer tape. Fixes anything.
  • Bogey - An unidentified aircraft, assumed hostile until proved otherwise.
  • Boggy Truck - Aircraft servicing vehicle used to empty their toilets etc.
  • Bondu - Area of waste ground inside or just out of air field for discrete activities.
  • Bone Dome - Aircrew Helmet.
  • Bone N - Rubbish Bin.
  • Bomb Dump - Explosives storage area (ESA).
  • Bomb Head - Armourer.
  • Boomerang - Aircraft returned early due to snag (originally RAF Bomber Command).
  • Bounce - A come-back maneoever in air combat to get in a counterattack.
  • Brain on a Chain - RAF Police Dog.
  • Brassed Off - Unhappy (in the extreme).
  • Brass Hats - Commanding officers.
  • Break Van - NAAFI canteen van.
  • Brown Jobs - The Army (also "pongos" and "squaddies").
  • Bubble dancing - Laundering, or washing up.
  • Bucket of sunshine - Nuclear bomb
  • Buddy Buddy - Military supportive team of two men. In the RAF usually refers to flight crew checking each other's kit before takeoff.
  • Bull Night - Usually weekly night when the aircraftsmen have to clean/polish up their accommodation/ablutions/work areas.
  • Bull or Bullsh*t - Rubbish! or to bamboozle and browbeat.
  • Bumper - Implement with broomstick handle aircraftsmen must use to make waxed floors glisten prior to inspection.
  • Bumph - Useless paperwork.
  • Bundoo - Uncivilised postings.
  • Bungalow - Stupid (nothing upstairs).
  • Bunny Suit - A one piece, knitted wool inner suit worn by aircrew operating in extreme cold or foul weather. Typically worn under aircrew cold weather trousers and jacket.
  • Burner - Afterburner on a jet.
  • Burton - "Gone for a Burton" - killed in action (from an old beer commercial for Burton Ale).
  • Bus - An aircraft.
  • Bus Drivers - Civilian airline pilots (Originally Bomber or Transport pilots).
  • Buzz the Tower - A low fly past by a throttle jockey.

C[edit]

  • Cab - Helicopter.
  • Cabbage - A bomb or someone who loves the more military aspects of RAF life.
  • Cabbage Mechanic - Chef / cook.
  • Cabbage Suit - Combat Clothing.
  • Cabby - A vehicle driver.
  • Canteen Cowboy - Ladies' man.
  • CAS - Chief of the Air Staff (United Kingdom).
  • CAT (abbreviation) - Clear Air Turbulence (you don't know it's there until you hit it.).
  • Cat5 (abbreviation) - Aircraft Category five, beyond repair following a crash.
  • Carrying Carpets - The stance of some RAF Regiment Gunners.
  • Caterpillar Club - Those who survived a bail out by using their parachutes were awarded a special 'silk caterpillar badge' by the silk parachute manufacturers.
  • C Belt - Electric shock.
  • CC - Confined to Camp (official title for Jankers; renamed "Restrictions" from 1955).
  • CFS (abbreviation) - Central Flying School.
  • Chain Gang (or heavy gang) - Aircraft handling personnel.
  • Chance Light - An emergency 'stop' light at the end of a runway that could be switched on on request.
  • Cherubs - Altitudes below 1000 feet measured in hundreds of feet e.g.Cherubs 5 =500 ft.
  • Chicken Sh*t - The oil absorbent granules used on the floor by mechanics.
  • Chiefie - A Chief Technician, a technical rank between Sergeant and FS.
  • Chimp - An incompetent tradesman.
  • Chip bag - A field service cap (from its appearance).
  • Choking the chicken - Masturbating.
  • Christmas Tree - An unserviceable airframe which is robbed to keep other airframes working.
  • Chuff and Fluff - Chaff and Flare; passive, defensive countermeasures deployed by military aircraft.
  • Chuff Chart - Daily countdown to show when an individual returns to the UK.
  • Cigar - Airborne transmitter for jamming German fighters.
  • Circuits and Bumps - An exercise in landing an aircraft and immediately taking off again - usually just referred to as circuits or (more modern) TOGAs : Touch-and-go landing.
  • Circular File - The rubbish bin, as in "file that in the circular file".
  • Circus ops - (Mainly WWI) Operations designed to bring the enemy out for combat.
  • Civvy kip - Sleeping in your own bed at home.
  • Civvy street - What you did before or after you were in the RAF.
  • Clag - Playing card game invented in the RAF or acronym for Cloud Low Aircraft Grounded
  • Clapped Out - Nearing the end of useful life.
  • Clicky - Photographer.
  • Close the hangar doors - Stop talking "shop".
  • Club - Propeller, usually wooden.
  • Clusterf**k - Complete mess of situation or person. "Well! that was a complete Clusterf**k" or "he is such a clusterf**k."
  • CO (abbreviation) - Commanding Officer.
  • Cockup - A situation that has become extremely disorganized (from "cocked hat" or a typed text being in the wrong case).
  • Colly - Short for Colchester Garrison Military Correctional Training Facility aka "The Glasshouse".
  • Colonel (Gaddafi), The - The NAAFI.
  • Colonel Bird - Woman married to an officer.
  • Colonel bop - See NAAFI bop.
  • Comb out - Target sweep with gunfire.
  • Coming and going - In the early days an aircraft with a radio.
  • Compo Rations - Canned and preserved field rations given to the military on active deployment or exercises.
  • Coned - Trapped by interlocking searchlights.
  • Conning - Making cotra - contrails.
  • Controlled crash - a Landing
  • Cookie - (WWII) A special blockbusting heavy bomb.
  • Cooler - Short-term detention cell usually situated in a Guardroom, or Guardhouse.
  • Cord puller - Telephonist.
  • Corker - A mine.
  • Corkscrew - An evasive manoeuvre: a sharp dive and turn to one side followed by a sharp climb and turn to the other side. It could be repeated.
  • Corona - (WWII) Counterfeit orders to German fighters.
  • CPX (abbreviation) - Certified Paperwork Exercise - Placing a notice to show what would be done in time of war.
  • Crabbing along - Flying near ground level.
  • Crate - Defunct or obsolete aircraft.
  • Crewroom - A sort of old-folks home for Lineys. Tea, Pool and daytime TV available to while away the hours whilst your kite is on a trip.
  • Cricket - An enemy night fighter shown on airborne radar.
  • Crown (to) - To be promoted to flight sergeant (badge).
  • Crump dump - The Rhur.
  • CS95 - 1995 pattern combat kit.
  • Cu. - Cumulus cloud.
  • Cut a rug - (WWII) To Jitterbug dance furiously, usually with an airman

D[edit]

  • Daisy Cutter - Perfect landing.
  • Dalton - Early air navigation computer.
  • Darby - System of radio signal guidance for lost aircraft.
  • Darkie - Radio homing at night.
  • Day Ranger - Daylight ground and air engagement over a wide area.
  • DE - Direct Entrant. DE programs have varied over time and for the applicable trades or roles. Typically, applied to a pre-qualified recruit/candidate, or entry into the RAF on a fast track promotion scheme, (subject to satisfactory service and a minimum time in). Examples, (ground trades) - 1) DE (Technician) - Significantly longer trade training meant remaining at AC rank throughout, ultimately skipping the ranks of LAC and SAC. Upon completion, immediate promotion to JT rank, (also eligible for early promotion to Cpl). 2) DE (non-technical trades) - A recruit for a given trade already possessing the equivalent qualifications that the relevant RAF trade training course would provide. Upon completion of a significantly shorter DE course, immediate promotion to SAC rank, (often with just 2 – 4 months total service, rather than the normal requirement to have served for a minimum of 12 months). 3) DE (PMRAFNS (Nurse)) - A long-standing DE program has existed for candidates already possessing the required civvy qualifications. Immediate promotion to A/Cpl rank upon completion of RAF basic training, (substantive rank is immediately attained following completion of "JMLC" and "TMT".
  • Dead stick - Engine failure leading to a glided deadstick landing.
  • Deck - The ground.
  • Desert Lily - Urinal made from a tin can.
  • Diggers - Cutlery - eating irons or KFS.
  • Dits - A story. Can be used genuinely, sarcastically, or to take the mick. I.E. "Cheers dits" - meaning "thanks for telling me your pointless story that nobody cares about".
  • DF - Dog F**ker. A humorous badge of honour worn by, and slang for Aircraft Electrical tradesmen in remembrance of an airman of the same trade "allegedly" doing just such a thing to a poor canine friend. (However, no official action was ever taken, the alleged parties were never named, and to date even the RAF station of origin remains unsubstantiated). Nevertheless, whilst unsavoury "DF" stuck, it remains in common usage, and all RAF Aircraft Electrical tradesmen have been collectively known by the unfortunate nickname since.
  • DFC - Distinguished Flying Cross: medal for officers and Warrant Officers.
  • DFM - Distinguished Flying Medal: Other ranks.
  • Dhobi - One's laundry (from Hindi).
  • Dhobi Dust - Washing Powder.
  • Dhobi Wallah - The guy who did your laundry.
  • DI - 1) Drill Instructor, (it's rumoured that DI's have over 50 words to describe an object or a person as "dirty", such as "gopping" or "minging"). 2) Daily Inspection, (usually applies to the required inspection of a vehicle or complex machinery that everything is fully serviceable before use each day). 3) Duty Instructor.
  • Ditch - To perform a landing in the "drink" - usually when one's aircraft was unable to fly any more.
  • Dog fight - Air combat between fighters (like dogs chasing each other's tails).
  • Donk - Aircraft Engine.
  • Door slammers - Mechanical Transport Drivers on VIP duties.
  • Dope - Aircraft dope: a smelly tightening varnish used on airframe fabrics.
  • Dope On a Rope - Dog Handler or Search & Rescue (SAR) Winchman (The person who is winched down from a helicopter to rescue people).
  • Double Gen - 100% Definite factual information, usually said with both fists touching temples and alongside a punishment; which will be enforced if found out to be incorrect. See "Queens Eyebrows" and "Robocop".
  • DR - Dead reckoning navigation - without landmarks.
  • Drem lighting - Early approach landing lights, used at RAF Drem.
  • Drink - An ocean, sea, river or lake.
  • Drone - Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) originally military slang from the similar sound of a male bee.
  • Duff - Bad or not accurate, as in "duff gen" (inaccurate intelligence or incorrect information).
  • Duffs - Ear defenders.
  • Dumpie or Dumpy - Someone who works in a Bomb Dump or Explosive Storage Area.
  • Dunlops - Aircraft tyres usually on the wheels.
  • Duppel - German code-name for Window.
  • Dustbin (the) - Mid gunners position.
  • DZ (abbreviation) - Drop Zone, area where parachutists or gliders are to be inserted.

E[edit]

  • Egg - A Bomb.
  • Egyptian P.T. Sleep or rest prone on a bunk, possibly masturbating
  • Eight eighths - Overcast in modern system of octas (see ten tenths).
  • Eleven - Carmichael Scammel MK XI Fire fighting vehicle.
  • Elsan - Trade name chemical toilet that was carried on many large aircraft.
  • Endex - End of Exercise or a particular task.
  • Envelope - The performance parameters of an aircraft.
  • Erb - Any airman (not just erks).
  • Eric - Helicopter run by Bristows in the Falkland Islands (a reference to the late darts player Eric Bristow).
  • Erk (or Irk) - Aircraftman (from cockney erkraft).
  • Eureka - A radio guidance system that was used for bombers.

F[edit]

  • F&F - Fire and forget missile. Can also be file and forget.
  • FAC (abbreviation) - Forward Air Controller.
  • Fairies - Aircraft avionics tradesmen (and women)). Those highly skilled and heroic engineers who understand the magical workings of airborne radio, radar and navigation systems. Also applied to trade group 3 ground electronics tradesmen.
  • Fan - propeller.
  • Fanny bowser - The bus bringing females from local towns and villages to the NAAFI bop.
  • Fatigues - Tedious work airmen have to do, which is not part of their trade skills, also any clothing required.
  • File 13 - The rubbish bin. "Place in File 13, please.".
  • Fire Picket A week long duty assisting the RAF Fire Section often on a bright red bike.
  • Fireproof - Innumerable.
  • Fireworks - Heavy anti-aircraft fire.
  • Fist and Sparks - the official insignia of the ground electronics trade group.
  • Five Finger Spread - The action of using an open palm to try and stop vomit.
  • Fella - An insult that comes from basic training where PTI's and Rock Apes would shout this.
  • Fish Heads - The Royal Navy.
  • Fizzer - Disciplinary charge.
  • Flag it - Being told by an officer that your confessed offence doesn't matter.
  • FLAK - From the German FLugAbwehrKanone. Heavy flak was anti aircraft fire from weapons with a LARGE caliber, and light flak from weapons with a SMALL caliber e.g. machine guns. It had nothing to do with the intensity of fire.
  • Flamer - Shot down in flames.
  • Flaming onion - World War I German Anti-aircraft tracer shells.
  • Flap - A chaotic event.
  • Flare - The final landing posture (e.g. the landing flare angle) for an aircraft.
  • Flem - RAF Flight Line Mechanic.
  • Flare path - Kerosene or sometimes electric landing lights each side of a runway.
  • Flicks - Searchlights.
  • Flunkey - RAF "Catering & Hospitality Specialist", (trade formerly known as "Stewards"). Also known as "Air Flunkies" or "Trolley Dollies" when carrying out the duties of cabin crews in RAF aircraft.
  • Flying Brevets - The wing badges on the breast of aircrew uniforms: double wings for pilots and a single wing for other crew.
  • Flying Fish Heads - The Fleet Air Arm.
  • Fold up - Sudden crash.
  • Football feet - Using too much rudder (in addition over designed rudders cause 'Dutch yaw').
  • Frozen to the stick - To be scared stiff in flight.
  • Frozen List - Being reserved on the same place on a list for allocations - usually married quarters.
  • FNG (abbreviation) - Falklands New Guy; somebody in first week of tour down south.
  • FOG (abbreviation) - Falklands Old Guy; somebody in last weeks of tour down south.
  • Foggles - Wrap around glasses used in pilot training which are frosted except for a section at the bottom, so as to restrict the pilots view to the instrument panel.
  • FOD (abbreviation) - Foreign Object Damage/Debris; often caused by Gash on a runway.
  • FPV (abbreviation) - First Person View. The view shown by a drone camera on the operator's monitor
  • FUBAR - F*****d Up Beyond All Recognition/Reason (borrowed from the US Military)
  • Full Bore - Flat out. Fast as possible
  • Full Chat - Maximum revs- As in 'there I was, engine at full chat...'
  • FUNG (abbreviation) - F***ing Useless New Guy.
  • Fruit Salad - Medal ribbons on a uniform.

G[edit]

  • G suit - Anti G-force pressure suit.
  • Gallopers - Warrant Officer rank badges.
  • Gardening - Sowing mines in water from a low height.
  • Gash - Scrap material on the ground, usually metal, and general derogatory term.
  • Gash Job - Not up to standard.
  • Gat - Slang for personal/individual weapon as per N.W.A lyrics. No one says Gat anymore....
  • Gate - Maximum power.
  • GEE - An early ground control radar.
  • Geoffrey - A person who works in the General Engineering Flight (G.E.F).
  • Gen - Factual information.
  • Gen app - General application Form to apply for something that has no specific form (often misused as a form asking permission to fill in a form).
  • Gen office - Place where you can find information from staff usually on the right to claims.
  • Gherry - Wheeled transport, originally animal drawn.
  • Gibbon - Alternative slang term for RAF Regiment personnel due to the fact that their arms seem to drag on the floor like a gibbon. See "Rock Ape".
  • Gimpy - Standard issue belt fed General Purpose Machine Gun (pronounced Jimpy).
  • Gimbal - The rotating camera mounting on a drone or similar.
  • Gizzit - Item acquired by legal or illegal means as a souvenir.
  • Glasshouse - Alternative name for "Colly".
  • Gravelbasher - A PE instructor.
  • Goolie Chit - A scrap of cloth issued when flying over hostile territory, which a downed aircrew would offer as a reward to the natives to return them to the nearest Allied unit unharmed. Also known as a blood chit.
  • Gone in - An aircraft Crash.
  • Gong - Service medal.
  • Gonk - Sleep.
  • Gopping - Dreadful.
  • GPTN (abbreviation) - Global Private Telephone Network. (Commonly misidentified as the General Purpose Telephone Network).
  • Grand Slam - The 10 ton earthquake bomb designed by Barnes Wallis.
  • Gremlin - A mythical creature that lived on certain aircraft and caused mechanical failures at the most inconvenient times and then could not be located as the source of the problem.
  • Get the green - An OK for take off sometimes by a green flare. Green lights on aircraft instruments showed the systems were functioning properly.
  • Gravy (the) - The Atlantic.
  • Greens Standard work/flying clothing now worn by airmen.
  • Gripper - Ground Equipment mechanic or technician.
  • Grocer - Equipments officer.
  • Gronk - Defecate
  • Gronk board - A board where amusing rubbish may be pinned up, like pictures of ugly women.
  • Ground Wallah - An officer who did not fly.
  • Groupie - Group Captain.
  • Grow Bag - Flying Suit. From NCO Aircrew who join up and are promoted to sergeant on completion of training. Take a flying suit, fill with trainee, add water = Instant Aircrew.
  • Greenhouse - The cockpit with its windows.
  • Gubbins - Equipment (After the man who invented the lawnmower).
  • Gucci - An impressive item: "That new laptop you have looks well Gucci.".
  • Guinea Pig Club - Those who were badly burned on ops and went to the East Grinstead hospital for experimental plastic surgery.
  • Gunk - Oily engine goo, also its proprietary cleaner.
  • Gussie - Officer.
  • Gym Queen - Physical Training Instructor.

H[edit]

  • Hack - General purpose communications aircraft (like the horse).To hack it also means to have figured out how to be able to do a task.
  • Hairy Legs - Aircraft undercarriage which fails to retract as requested after take-off.
  • HALO (abbreviation) - High Altitude Low Opening - a combat sky-dive. Also refers to someone who leaves everything to the last minute and then rushes around in a blind panic. Also refers to someone who makes a big deal out of ordinary tasks.
  • Half section - Mate.
  • Handbrake House - Station Headquarters
  • Hangar Bash - A big party in a hangar.
  • Hang up - Bomb failed to release.
  • Hangar queens - Aircraft that are always U/S and often end up being used for spares.
  • Harry Staish - The Station Commander.
  • HAS (abbreviation) - Hardened aircraft shelter, supposedly attack proof.
  • Heavies - Generally Engines and Air-frame trades.
  • Head Shed - Station commander.
  • Hedge hopping - Evading radar by very low flying.
  • Highly Paid Help - Air Staff officers
  • Hip flask - Revolver.
  • HLS (abbreviation) - Helicopter Landing Site.
  • Hockey stick - Bomb loading hoist (RCAF?).
  • Hooker - A qualified auxiliary helicopter crewman, or on site qualified ground crew. "Hookers" are usually DLPC's (Defence Landing Point Commanders) whose duties include the hooking of heavy, awkward, or oversized under-slung loads onto rotary wing aircraft hovering directly overhead.
  • Hoop Snogger - A brown nose, a sycophant.
  • Hoosh - High speed landing.
  • Hoover - Fighter sweep.
  • Hopter - Single rotor helicopter.
  • Hot & cold running urinal - A sink installed in a single occupancy (single man) room in a barrack block or other single living accommodation.
  • Hot Refuel - To refuel an aircraft, usually a helicopter, with the rotors still turning.
  • Huffy - Unfriendly WAAF.

I[edit]

  • Irons - Knife, Fork and Spoon.
  • Iron lung - Nissen hut.
  • Irving Jacket - Trade name for leather fleece lined flying jacket.
  • Instant Sunshine - WE.177 tactical and strategic nuclear weapons.
  • It'll do a trip - When an aircraft has a problem but is assessed as ok for one more flight, and the problem isn't recorded in the aircraft documentation. A useful term, especially if the fault can then be handed over to the next shift for rectification.

J[edit]

  • JAFAD (abbreviation) - Just Another F***ing Air Defence in deference to L Tech/Mech AD Radar Systems tradesmen.
  • Jankers - Punishment after being put on a charge for a service violation.
  • Jelly Tots - Junior technicians.
  • JENGO - Junior Engineering Officer on a squadron.
  • Jink - Sharp evasive manoeuver.
  • Jippo - A gravy or stew also called Jollop.
  • JMLC (abbreviation) - Junior Management and Leadership Course.
  • JNCO (abbreviation) - Junior Non-Commissioned Officer. A corporal (acting or substantive). Additionally, since 2010 includes the rank of lance corporal (RAF Regiment Gunners only).
  • Jockey - Fast Jet pilot, also called a throttle jockey.
  • Jollop - Any sticky mess.
  • Jolly - A free trip at public expense, normally hot and sunny with little required work.
  • Julie Andrews - Contents of a tea/coffee. White none.

K[edit]

  • Kipper kite - Fisheries protection aircraft.
  • Kitchen pass - A night when married men are allowed out alone by their wives.
  • K site - Airfield with deceptive dummy aircraft.
  • Kite - An aircraft.
  • KFS - Knife Fork and Spoon, also known as "irons" in Halton Aircraft Apprentice Speak pre-World War II.
  • KNOCKER - (RAF) SNCO Aircrew
  • KRS - King's Regulations, the rules and regulations governing the Royal Air Force. Eventually replaced by "QR's - Queen's Regulations".

L[edit]

  • Ladybird - WAAF Officer.
  • Leccie - Ground Equipments Technician.
  • Left right and centre - All at '6s and 7s'.
  • Letdown - Cloudy descent.
  • Lindholme Gear - Equipment dropped to downed airmen by air-sea rescue planes.
  • LMF - Lack of Moral Fibre (term stigmatising refusal to fly operations).
  • Liney - Tradesman employed on 1st line servicing (flight line).
  • Liz - Affectionate nickname given to Her Majesty The Queen Elizabeth II. Used when staying in a hotel or eating in a restaurant paid for by the RAF; i.e. "Dinner on Liz".
  • Luger - An involuntary 'volunteer'.
  • Lumpy Jumper - A member of the WAAF/WRAF, or any female in uniform.
  • Loadies - Air Loadmaster or ALM. SNCO/WO aircrew responsible for passengers and freight on an aircraft.

M[edit]

  • Mae West - Inflatable life vest (that resembled the actresses' ample breasts).
  • MAFL - Manual of Air Force Law.
  • Main Drag - The main approach road to, or through, an airfield.
  • Maggot - An issued sleeping (Gonk) bag.
  • Mantress - Someone that spends most of their spare time in bed. Join of the two words "man" and "mattress".
  • Matelot - Royal Navy bod.
  • Mahogany Spitfire - Desk "flown" by Penguins and Ground Wallahs.
  • Mars Bars - The red and black 'RAFP' ribbons worn below the rank slide on RAF Police epaulettes.
  • Maxcident - A nasty outcome caused by the incompetence of someone who refuses to listen to good advice, often related to aircraft maintenance.
  • MC - Medium capacity 500 lb bomb.
  • MDK (abbreviation) - Commonly used to shorten 'Murder Death Kill' on the radio.
  • Mechanical dandruff - Hair lice or pubic lice (crabs)
  • MERT (abbreviation) - Medical Emergency Response Team, typically helicopter-borne.
  • Mess - Dining room. Also where SNCO's/officers live, eat and get drunk.
  • Mickey Mouse - Bomb aiming panel that resembled a Mickey Mouse watch.
  • Minesweep / Minesweeping - Drunken airmen deliberately seeking out and consuming other peoples leftover alcoholic drinks, usually after everyone else has gone home. (Various nasty surprises were frequently left behind for known or habitual "minesweepers".)
  • Minging - Awful, dirty, smelly or ugly, similar to "Gopping".
  • Mishcrit - A demand for spares or having a vehicle back that is undergoing maintenance.
  • Mixed Death - Different kinds of ammunition on the same belt.
  • Mod Plod - Ministry of Defence (MOD) police officer, usually found patrolling establishments like Fylingdales and Porton Down.
  • Monkey Spunk - Thick white Molycote grease used to seal things up, like Aircraft Radomes.
  • Moonie - New arrival at RAF Gan (Not yet acquired a tropical tan)
  • Movers - RAF Movements Trade. (Passenger handling, baggage handling, freight loading, aircraft paperwork handling and aircraft trimming dudes that make "Loadies" look good.) Also known as "Muppets".
  • MU - Maintenance unit.
  • Muppets - RAF Movements trade. See "Movers".
  • Murk - Low visibility on the ground or in the air.
  • M & V - Meat and vegetable stew.

N[edit]

  • NAAFI - The Navy, Army, and Air Force Institute. A now defunct service, usually civilian staffed, organised by all three services for offering servicemen and women home comforts.
  • NAAFI bop - An evening gathering/dance in the NAAFI.
  • NATO Potato - Airman who delights in wearing DPM and typically believes himself to be a potential Special Forces operative.
  • NATO Standard - Tea or coffee with milk and two sugars.
  • NCO IC (abbreviation) - Non-Commissioned Officer In Charge.
  • Nickels - Airborne leaflet propaganda, leaflet dropping is called nickelling.[2]
  • Nimrod - A nickname mainly applied to, or given within the ranks of the RAF police to denote a "Snowdrop" who is desperate for promotion, (sometimes used within other trade groups when/where applicable). An "acting" corporal displaying desperation to make the full "substantive" rank of corporal earns themselves the nickname "Nimrod", (Nimrod MR/ASW aircraft being well known as "sub" hunters).
  • No Duff - Actual, or genuine situation/ information as opposed to an exercise.
  • Noddy Suit - NBC Suit, personal protective equipment (clothing). Some generations (marks) of the upper body NBC smock had a pointed hood resembling the hat worn by the fictional character "Noddy".
  • NOK (abbreviation) - Next Of Kin.
  • Nothing on the clock but Smiths - Fuel and other such dials down to zero leaving only the instrument makers name.
  • Nose Bags - The cold meal packs that are provided on transport aircraft for military passengers.

O[edit]

  • OBOE - (WWII) Ground controlled bombing flare release system.
  • Odd Bod - Someone transferred from a defunct unit to a new one.
  • OC (abbreviation) - Officer Commanding.
  • O Club - The officers' club.
  • Office - The cockpit or a rear crew station for the various RAF aircrew roles. Such as, Pilot/Co-Pilot, Navigator, Air Electronics Operator, Radio Operator, Air Signaller, Weapon Systems Operator, Aerospace Systems Operator, Air Loadmaster, and Air Gunner.
  • Oggie - Auxiliary airmen/women (sometimes called weekend warriors).
  • Oggin - Any sea or large lake.
  • Old Folks Home - The Sergeants mess.
  • Old Man - The Squadron Commanding Officer.
  • On the Beam - In line with the Instrument Landing System.
  • Oppo - Mate or Colleague.
  • Oranges - Vitamin C tablets.
  • Ops - Operations.
  • Opsum - Operational summary by intelligence officer.
  • Orderly - Performing admin responsibility on that day which is different from normal duties e.g. "Billet Orderly" or "Orderly Officer".

P[edit]

  • Packet, to catch a - To be on the receiving end of offensive fire.
  • Pan (the) - Aircraft parking and servicing area.
  • Pancake - Hard landing, with or without undercarriage.
  • Passion wagon - WAAF transport vehicle.
  • PBX (abbreviation) - Private Branch telephone eXchange.
  • Penguins - RAF Regiment slang for RAF personnel in any other role or trade to their own, frequently shortened to "Guins".
  • Peanuts - The Telecoms operators trade, which paid very little. (Pre amalgamation into Trade Group 4). Now known as cashew nuts, posh peanuts.
  • Pear Shaped - originally the shape of hole a crashed aircraft made. Later used for anything that had gone wrong.
  • Pebble Monkey - RAF Regiment Officer.
  • Peel off - Break off formation to attack.
  • Peeping Tortoise - Desperate for a poo. The nose of the turd is making a break for freedom, so the airman/woman needs a toilet soon.
  • Pencil Pushers - Admin Staff.
  • Percussion - Coastal Command anti-submarine circuits
  • Phil the Greek - Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh.
  • Piccadilly PORs - The "News of the World".
  • Piece of nice - Entertainment.
  • Pit - Barrack-room bed.
  • Planters - Dress down day at a mess.
  • Play pussy - Take evasive action by hiding in clouds.
  • Plonk - Aircraftman second class (AC2), formerly the lowest rank in the RAF (also known as AC Plonk). Lowest rank is now aircraftsman.
  • Plop Jockey - The driver of the smelly boggy truck.
  • Plug away - Keep firing.
  • Plumber - Armourer and Supplement 2 friends with the RAF scuffers and Muppets
  • PODL (abbreviation) - Post Operational Detachment Leave.
  • POETS (abbreviation) - Piss Off Early Tomorrow's Saturday.
  • Pond (The) - The Atlantic.
  • Pongo - From the Latin for Orangutan, genus Pongo, somebody in the Army (from where the Army goes the 'pong-goes' too).
  • Poodle Pusher - RAFP Dog Handler
  • PORs - Personnel Occurrence Reports (Admin/Accts Document)
  • POSBIE - Someone who is 'tight' with money (from Post Office Savings Book)
  • Prang - Crash, from the Malay word meaning 'war'.
  • Prune, (Pilot Officer) - Accident prone fictional airman in World War II safety training manuals.
  • PTI (abbreviation) - Physical Training Instructor. (Paid far too much money to go to the gym, and stand and look at themselves in the mirror.)
  • Puddle - Air portable four-wheel drive often painted yellow used for run arounds.
  • Pukka Gen - Good general Information.
  • Pulpit - Cockpit in larger aircraft.
  • Pundit - Morse Navigation lights.
  • PVR (abbreviation) - Premature Voluntary Release. (Only applies to other ranks and NCO's, (including Non-Commissioned Aircrew)). An application by a Serviceman or woman for early self termination of Service to their normal fixed retirement date, (can involve a lengthy and complicated set of proceedings). A significant penalty fee is also usually assigned.

Q[edit]

  • Q site - Flashing light deception airfield.
  • Queen Bee - Highest ranking WAAF on the station.
  • Queen Mary - Large trailer used to transport aircraft or their parts.
  • Queens Eyebrows - You will shave your own eyebrows off as a punishment. Used in conjunction with "Double Gen" and similar to "Robocop".
  • QFE, QNH - Codes for altimeter settings. (examples of the Q code system, originally morse for ships).
  • QFI (abbreviation) - Qualified Flying Instructor (fixed wing). (A rotary wing instructor becomes a QHI). RAF QFI's are above average experienced pilots who have completed the relevant advanced courses with the RAFs' CFS. QFI's earn a specific instructor category (cat), ranging from the lowest of B2, to B1, A2, and the rarely awarded A1 cat.
  • QR's - Queen's Regulations
  • QSL - Coded request for acknowledgement of message sent - usually teleprinter.

R[edit]

Included are the World War II 'R code' flight and attack designations:.

  • Ramrod A specific target bomber, fighter escorted raid.
  • Rang the bell - Got good results.
  • Ranger - A deep penetration opportunity target raid.
  • Reveille - Time in early morning airmen are woken and must get up.
  • Rhombus - A meteorological flight.
  • Riggers - Airframe trades, not systems or engines. From rigging vital flying control cables. Or RAF Aerial Erectors who continue to this day to use rigging in their day-to-day role.
  • Roadstead - An anti shipping strike.
  • Robocop - A receding hairline or punishment. Whole front half of head completely shaved imitating the film "Robocop". Usually the tag of a liar.
  • Rock Apes/Rocks - RAF Regiment ranking personnel. In the past the nickname "Rock Ape" has been attributed to their traditional role guarding areas of Gibraltar,[43] but this is not so. The term came into use after an accident in the Western Aden Protectorate in November 1952. Two RAF Regiment officers serving with the Aden Protectorate Levies at Dhala decided to amuse themselves by going out to shoot some of the hamadryas baboons (locally referred to as "rock apes"). The officers drew rifles and split up to hunt the apes. In the semi-darkness one of the officers fired at a moving object in the distance. When he reached the target he discovered he had shot the other officer. After emergency treatment Flight Lieutenant Percy Henry Mason survived to return to service a few months later. When asked by a board of inquiry why he had fired at his friend the officer replied that his target had "looked just like a rock ape" in the half light. The remark soon reverberated around the RAF and it was not long before the term was in general use.[44]

Another version of the nickname rationale was that the German Minister of Propaganda Goebbels heard the legend that, if the barbary apes on the Rock of Gibraltar ever left, the British Empire would crumble. At that stage of the war, when things were not going well for the Axis forces, he decided that a propaganda coup was required and reportedly sent a commando raid to eradicate the apes. The story goes that Winston Churchill heard of the mission and immediately tasked the RAF Regiment with protecting the apes, and thus the nickname was born.[45]

  • Rockette - WAAF of the Auxiliary RAF Regiment.
  • Rodney - Ground crew name for commissioned officers, the Army call their junior officers "Ruperts" often pronounced Woopert and Wodeney.
  • Rolling Goat - An ongoing confusing or disorganised situation; a debacle.
  • Rook - Boy Entrant term for a new entrant.
  • ROP - Restriction of privileges (post 1955 official name for Jankers).
  • Rover - Coastal Command armed patrol for opportunity attacking of shipping.
  • RTH (abbreviation) - Automatic system built into a drone which allows it to safely Return to Home on mission completion orany problems
  • Ruddy - Common euphonism in the 1940s for 'Bloody'.
  • Run Around - A vehicle being used for non-official purposes.

S[edit]

  • Sandbag (pull up) - Going to tell a story.
  • Sardine can - Any torpedo plane.
  • Satan's sister - A slanderer or libeler of either sex
  • SASO (abbreviation) - Senior Air Staff Officer. (Pronounced "SASSO").
  • SBC (abbreviation) - Small Bomb Container, containing up to eight incendiaries.
  • Scaley - Married person (from 'Pay Scale E' which married men received).
  • Scaley Brat - Married person's child.
  • Scarlet slugs - Bofors gun tracer fire.
  • Schräge Musik (German: Jazz Music) - The use of upward firing guns on Luftwaffe fighters to get under the belly of bombers.
  • Schooly - Education Officer.
  • Scopies - Aerospace Systems Operators / ABMs.
  • Scrambled Egg - Gold braiding on a Group Captain or Air Officers' hat.
  • SCRAN (abbreviation) - Sultanas, Currants, Raisins, and Nuts. Also means breakfast, lunch, or dinner.
  • Scream downhill - Power dive.
  • Screened - Period after a tour of operational duty when airmen could not be recalled for operational flying.
  • Scuffers - RAF Police (they scuff their boots).
  • Screech - Citrus Lemonade drink made from a powder or small crystals included in Compo rations. Other flavours were also available but not quite as sour or harsh, (all were still referred to as Screech). (So named from the severe involuntary reaction of the mouth and face puckering up, or the high pitched 'screeching' noise made immediately after consumption).
  • Scribbley - Administration personnel, also known as a "Shiney" or "Pencil Pusher".
  • Second Dickey - Co-pilot in on board training.
  • SENGO (abbreviation) - Senior ENGineering Officer. (A designation that's usually only applicable to the senior engineering officer of an actual flying squadron or independent flight).
  • Senior Scribe - NCO in charge of orderly room.
  • Shed - Hangar.
  • Shedded - Drunk.
  • Sheddey - Aircraft tradesman employed on second line aircraft servicing.
  • Sheriff - Senior Provost Officer, or NCO IC RAF Police on station.
  • Shiney or Shiney Arse - Administration personnel (they tend to shine their bottoms on bulled up chairs).
  • Shreddies - Long cotton underpants woven in a pattern that resembled the Shreddies breakfast cereal. May also be used for any type of underwear).
  • Shuftie - To look at (from Arabic).
  • Shuftie Kite - Reconnaissance aircraft.
  • Shuftiscope - Radar monitor, or an endoscope used to inspect the internal components of engines etc. for wear/damage.
  • Signal - A written message or order sent between bases.
  • Signals - Department and Personnel involved with all ground communications.
  • Singley - RAF personnel who aren't married and usually live on station in barrack blocks or other single living accommodation.
  • Skipper - The aircraft master, usually the pilot.
  • Sky Piece - Smoke trails.
  • Sky Pilot - Chaplain.
  • Slop Jockey - RAF Chef.
  • Smelly - A RAF Police Dog Handler.
  • Smugger - SMG Sterling submachine gun.
  • SNAFU (abbreviation) - Situation Normal, All F***ed Up. (Borrowed from the US military and thought to have originated from the USMC).
  • Snake charmers - Dance band.
  • Snappers - Enemy fighters (see dog fight).
  • Snek - A dilapidated SNCO. Or, a generalisation referring to any SNCO, (see "SNCO"). (Taken from pronouncing the "SNC" from SNCO as "Snek" or sometimes "Snecko").
  • SNCO (abbreviation) - Senior Non-Commissioned Officer.
  • SOP (abbreviation) - Standard Operating Procedure.
  • Snowdrops - RAF Police (from white trim on caps).
  • Sooty - Ground tradesman responsible for maintaining aircraft engines. Usually applied to tradesman working on jet engines. Those working on piston powered engines were known as 'Sumpies', taken from the oil sump.
  • Soup Jockey - Steward.
  • Spacey - Air Cadet, a member of the Air Training Corps.
  • SPAM (abbreviation) - Spastic Plastic American Mouth - a derogatory term for gobby Yank.
  • Sparks - Electrical maintenance or radio operator.
  • Spats - Fairings on airframe.
  • Split - A female; from the term split tail.
  • Spoof - A diversionary raid or operation. Also a game played with three coins, usually on the back of the bus on the way home from an away game.
  • Sprog - A "new boy" fresh from training.
  • Square bashing - Basic training course for new entrant recruits.
  • Squabbling Bleeder - squadron leader.
  • Squaff - A WAAF/WRAF Squadron Leader.
  • SQINTO (abbreviation) - SQuadron INTelligence Officer, (pronounced squinto).
  • Squipper - Survival Equipment fitter.[3]
  • Squirt - A short machine gun burst.
  • SRO's (abbreviation) - Station Routine Orders.
  • SSO's (abbreviation) - Station Standing Orders.
  • Stack (the) - RAF station cinema.
  • Stack (to) - Finish work for the day.
  • Stacker - Supplier/Storeman - See Blanket Stacker.
  • Staish - Station Commander.
  • STANEVAL (abbreviation) - STANdards and EVALuation or STANdardisation and EVALuation. (Either variation is, or has been in common usage with the RAF).
  • Starfish - Decoy sites that simulated cities by use of fires.
  • Stills - What Falklanders were called when we were told to stop calling them Bennys. (Because they were still Bennys).
  • Stag on - Armed guard duty in greens usually accompanying the RAF police.
  • States - Various states of numbered emergency hopefully just put on as a sudden exercise.
  • Station Bike (the) - Derogatory term for a particular WAAF, WRAF, or civvy female with station access who develops a reputation for frequent sexual activity with many different Airmen. As in - "The whole station has ridden it".
  • Stinky - A WAAF.
  • Stooging - Patrolling around.
  • Stringed Fellows/Stringfellows/String vests - RAF fire fighters of the Defence Fire and Rescue Service - they wear string vests with or without a shirt and jacket.
  • Sumpy - Mechanical aircraft engineer
  • Sunshine - Munitions or explosions.
  • Swamp - Wetting yourself or your bedding, (the latter occurring typically when "proper shedded" and asleep).
  • Swamping - To "swamp" a roommates bed or locker, or otherwise fail to use the appropriate ablutions. (Generally only occurs with inappropriately drunk personnel in multi-occupancy accommodation, but can also occur as a result of sleep deprivation/sleep walking).
  • Swampy - Local yokel, (usually of the East Anglian region).
  • Swede - Local yokel or rustic unintelligent recruit.
  • SWO (abbreviation) - Station Warrant Officer, the highest ranking NCO on a station reporting to the station commander.

T[edit]

  • TACEVAL (abbreviation) - The dreaded annual station TACtical EVALuation which lasted up to five days.
  • Take it on - Do a rapid climb.
  • Tallboy - The five ton Barnes Wallis earthquake bomb.
  • Taps and tits - Control switches.
  • TAT's (abbreviation) - Trade Ability Tests.
  • Tate and Lyles - Warrant Officer rank badges.
  • Tatered - Bored by constant tedious patrols.
  • Taxi - Small short range air transport, sometimes by a taxi driver.
  • Taxi Driver - Air Navigation instructor.
  • Tail End Charlies - Rear gunners (also known as Arse End Charlies).
  • Tanker W****er - Mechanical Transport Driver on Aircraft Refueling Duties.
  • Tape Ape - Telecommunications Operator, formerly of trade group 11, now amalgamated with trade group 3 technicians into a decisive artifice known as trade group 4.
  • Tear a strip off - A severe reprimand that may lead to demotion for aircraftsmen.
  • Ten Tenths - Fully overcast. The sky was divided into decas or tenths of cloud cover. It is now measured in octas or eighths.
  • Ten Pegged - A head-on crash into the ground
  • Target for tonight - Girlfriend.
  • Their Airships - Air Staff Officers
  • Three Banana - A sergeant, from the number of stripes.
  • Throw Up - To make excessive salutes to passing officers, usually because you don't like them and they have to salute you back.
  • Thum - Weather reporting flight.
  • TI - Target Indicator.
  • Ticket - Pilot's license.
  • Tin basher - (1) Sheet metal worker. (2) Historically, a punishment duty for "defaulters" (see "Jankers"), or a routine duty for personnel of the now defunct "General Duties" (GD) trade assigned to an Officers', SNCOs', or Junior Ranks Mess kitchen to scrub various cooking utensils clean, (therein "bashing tins").
  • Tits Up - (1) An aircraft undergoing maintenance or in trouble. (Thought to have originated (in part) from the various control switches in an aircraft's cockpit being known in the RAF as "taps and tits". Prior to maintenance, servicing, or systems testing, aircraft techs/mechs would first check that certain "taps and tits" were "up" (in the off/safe position). A verbal safety call/response was required for confirmation, (such as "tits up"). (2) Plans or circumstances that have gone completely wrong.
  • Tits up, on sticks, dunlops dangling - Unserviceable aircraft on jacks, with undercarriage down.
  • TISWAS (TSW) (abbreviation) - Tactical Supply Wing - they do hot refuels etc. After the kids TV show.
  • TMT (abbreviation) - Trade Management Training.
  • Toasters - The dangerous back end of a jet.
  • TOET's (abbreviation) - Test of Elementary Training. Typically, applies to the weapons proficiency testing (small arms) of RAF personnel. (Pronounced - Toe-wets).
  • TOGA - Take Off and Go Around. Also known as 'circuits and bumps' or simply 'circuits'.
  • Tool along - To fly about aimlessly.
  • Totem Pole - Multiple light aircraft landing standard.
  • Touch bottom - Crash.
  • Touching cloth - See Peeping Tortoise.
  • Tower, the - Air traffic control (also known as Air Tragic).
  • Toy - Link Trainer.
  • Triple A - The modern term for anti-aircraft fire.
  • TRAMED (abbreviation) - The main hot refueling hazards: Tail rotor, Radio, Air intake, Main rotor, Exhaust, Down wash.
  • Trapper(s) - Unaffectionate nickname primarily applied to CFS examiners, (highly qualified flying instructors (QFI's) of the RAFs' CFS Exam Wing, (see "CFS")). Additionally, applied to localised squadrons/units, or individuals also conducting assessment and evaluation of the currency, pure flying skills, standardisation testing/checks, knowledge, and professionalism of RAF flying instructors, and aircrew. Historically, the term also became more widely used throughout the RAF for a number of different ground standards and evaluation ("STANEVAL") teams assessing personnel in ground roles or trades.
  • Treader - bicycle
  • Trumpton - RAF Fire Section.
  • Tuppeny all off - Popular cheap postwar haircut acceptable to the military.
  • Turnip Bashing - Drill outside the station on fields.
  • Twelve Fifty - RAF ID Card. from RAF Form 1250 (Now called MoD Form 90)
  • 23.59 - Midnight in military speak as there can be no zero time.
  • Twilights - WAAF underwear, light coloured, summer-weight.
  • The Bell - Usually found in most section bars, once rang the person that rang the bell bought a round of drinks for everyone in the bar.
  • Twin Man/Fan - A jet with two toasters.
  • Twitch - Body tremors caused by operational stress.
  • Two Banana - Corporal (from the stripes).
  • Two Five Two Action - To initiate disciplinary action putting somebody on a Charge.
  • Two Six Heave - Used to co-ordinate pushing aircraft or hangar doors; this comes from the Army Gun Team numbering system where men 2 & 6 lifted and loaded the round and charge into the gun breech with the order 2-6 Load!.

U[edit]

  • UAVS (abbreviation) - Unmanned Arial Vehicle Systems - Both the drone and the remote operator.
  • U/S (abbreviation) - Un-serviceable, not working or needing maintenance.
  • U/T (abbreviation) - Under Training.
  • Uckers - Uckers boards can also be found in every RAF Section crewroom, where the game is an integral part of crewroom life.
  • Umbrella - Parachute.
  • Undercart - Undercarriage.
  • Upstairs - In the air.
  • Up top - Flying high.

V[edit]

  • Valley commandos - A particularly scary group of women from the valleys in South Wales who would descend upon RAF St. Athan on NAAFI Bop night. They would abduct any young airman they chose for use in dignity-robbing acts.
  • Vegetables - Acoustic or magnetic mines.
  • Vic - V shaped flight formation.

W[edit]

  • Waffling - Out of control.
  • Wagon - Mechanical Transport. Green vehicle, usually a Land Rover.
  • W**king Chariot - Bed (also known as 'Scratcher').
  • W**king Spanners - Hands.
  • Walt - A pathetic deluded psychotic who imagines he has served in some elite unit like the SAS when he has probably no military experience to speak of. (After the James Thurber novel Walter Mitty).
  • Walt Disney - The War Department.
  • Washed out - Failed in training for chosen role.
  • Weaving - Gentle Corkscrew.
  • Whats The Odds - What are the chances.
  • Whiff - Oxygen.
  • Whistler - Incoming HE bomb.
  • Window - Radar jamming cloud of aluminium foil strips.
  • Wingco - wing commander.
  • Windmill - Freely rotating propeller or an autogyro.
  • Wind Up - To bring an aircraft to its maximum speed.
  • Wobbly Orange - Warrant Officer.
  • Wobbly Orifice - Warrant Officer.
  • Wom - Wireless operator/mechanic.
  • Woof (to) - to suddenly open the throttle.
  • WopAg - Wireless Operator/Air Gunner.
  • Working your ticket - Using (or misusing) the system to effect an early discharge from the RAF on administrative, compassionate, or medical grounds.
  • Works and Bricks - Air Ministry Ministry of Works department, responsible for airfield construction and infrastructure. Post war became the MPBW - The Ministry of Public Buildings and Works, later taken care of by the DOE.
  • Wrap up - Crash.
  • WX - Weather.

Y[edit]

  • Y service - Signals monitoring operatives who speak the enemy languages.
  • Yanking & Banking - Performing aircraft manoeuvres to avoid being shot down by the enemy.
  • Yellow doughnut - Uncollapsed air-sea rescue dingy.
  • Yellow peril - Training aircraft (usually yellow).
  • Ying Yang - Very much all over the place in a mess - at sixes and sevens.

Z[edit]

  • Zobit - An Officer.
  • Zulu - Greenwich Mean Time (25 of 24 hour clock).

Aircraft Nicknames[edit]

Many aircraft were known by diminutives e.g. "Spit" for Spitfire, "Lanc" for Lancaster. In addition Allied air forces may have their own nicknames for British or British built aircraft, as did the enemy. For example, the Luftwaffe called the Sunderland flying boat Der fliegende Stachelschwein ("The Flying Porcupine"). There are also NATO code names for Russian aircraft e.g. "Bear". Aircraft may also be referred to by their enumerated designations: F fighter, B bomber, C Transport etc. e.g. B-52 bomber.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Coleman, Julie (28 October 2010). A History of Cant and Slang Dictionaries: Volume IV: 1937-1984. OUP Oxford. p. 54. ISBN 978-0-19-956725-6.
  2. ^ Brooks, Tim (2007). British Propaganda to France, 1940-1944: Machinery, Method and Message. Edinburgh University Press.
  3. ^ Telegraph, Coventry (10 January 2014). "Red Arrows pilot inquest: Colleague tells how he watched tragedy unfold". Coventry Telegraph. Retrieved 24 August 2017.

External links[edit]