Regimental nicknames of the Canadian Forces

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

Many regiments have over the years earned nicknames; some laudatory, some derogatory, but all colourful. Sometimes, the nicknames themselves have overshadowed the actual regimental title, e.g. the "Van Doos" for the Royal 22e Régiment. In some cases the nickname actually replaced it: in 1881, the 42nd (Royal Highland) Regiment of Foot became officially known by its nickname, The Black Watch.

What follows is a list of nicknames of Canadian regiments, arranged alphabetically by regimental title. A brief explanation of the origin of the nickname, where known, is included.

Regimental nicknames[edit]


  • 5 Service Battalion
    • 5 Battalion, No Service: from '"5 BN S"' and soldiers' beliefs their individual needs cannot always be met. Can be applied to any service battalion.
  • 5e Régiment d'artillerie légère du Canada
    • 5 Rounds All over La Country - from the units '5 RALC' designation[6]
  • 7th Toronto Regiment, RCA (7 RCA)[7]
    • 7 Guns or 7 Toronto
    • 7 RCA used to be known as the Royal Chinese/Cantonese Artillery (Due the fact that a certain Asian Capt. placed an ad in the local Chinese language paper, informing immigrants that they could be fast tracked to citizenship if they joined 7 RCA. They were flooded with Asian recruits, and had 105 dets that only spoke Cantonese )
    • Seven Tor (shortening of the regiment's name)
    • Seven RCA[citation needed]
  • 10th Field Regiment, Royal Canadian Artillery
    • 10 People Regiment, due to chronic shortages of soldiers
  • 30th Field Regiment, Royal Canadian Artillery
    • The Bytown Gunners (Founded in 1855, they are the oldest serving Artillery regiment in Canada, likewise at a time when the Nation's Capital was named Bytown after Col. By)
    • The Dirty Thirty
  • 33 Service Battalion
    • The Dirty Thirty: Also refers to any service battalion in 5th Canadian Division
    • Circus Battalion
    • Ottawa School for the Blind (from when the unit was known as "OSB" for "Ottawa Service Battalion" (now fallen into disuse)
  • 48th Highlanders of Canada (48 HIGHRS)[12]
    • The Dirty Four Dozen:[13] most likely a play on The Dirty Dozen, where “48” equals four dozen
    • The Forty-Eighths
    • The Glamour Boys:
      • According to Farley Mowat's The Regiment, the Hastings and Prince Edward Regiment were known as "Ploughjockeys" due to their rural recruiting area, while the 48th Highlanders—who recruited from Toronto—were known as "Glamour Boys." This origin is also cited by The War Amps.[14]
      • An alternate explanation comes from the blue puttees they wore; during an inspection by King George VI in World War II, the regiment wore blue puttees due to a shortage of khaki material. The king reputedly liked the blue puttees better than the khaki ones worn by the rest of the brigade, and authorized the regiment to keep them. This is the origin cited by the regiment itself.[13]


  • The Black Watch (Royal Highland Regiment) of Canada
    • 'the Ladies From Hell' - A name given to them by their German adversaries (Die Damen aus der Hölle) as they fought in kilts in World War I (and continued to until 1940)
    • The Black Jocks
    • The Black Crotch
  • Canadian Special Operations Regiment
    • Canadian Soldier on the Run
    • Double-doubles, from the similarity in colour between their tan berets and coffee with cream (a double-double is a Tim Hortons coffee with two measures of cream and two of sugar)
    • ISOR-Eye Sore
    • C-Sort of: from the pronunciation of "CSOR" as "See-Soar."
  • The British Columbia Regiment (Duke of Connaught's Own)
    • The Dukes
    • Big Chinese Restaurant[9] based on the large number of Asians in Vancouver
    • Billion Chinese Regiment
    • The Barely Canadian Regiment
    • The Blackguards based on the 4th Armoured Division -The Foot Guards, The Grenadier and the Blackguards (BCR)
    • The Black Bastards of Beatty Street.
  • The British Columbia Dragoons
    • Apple Knockers
    • Better Class Drinkers[10]
    • Best Canadian Drunks"
    • British Columbia Baboons
    • British Columbia Buffoons
    • British Columbia Discharges
    • Big Cocky Dickheads
    • Big Chicken Dinners
    • The second, third and fourth letters of the alphabet, in response to the question, 'What a BDC?'.
  • The Fort Garry Horse
    • The Garrys[17]
    • Fugahwees, informally, from the initials FGH, as in "where the fugahwe?"
    • Fags, Gays, and Homos, from the initials FGH
    • F***In' Goo Heads, from the initials FGH
  • Les Fusiliers de Sherbrooke
    • The Fuzz de Sher [12], from Fus de Sher, or just the Fuzz, particularly by cross-town rivals, the Sherbrooke Hussars. The regiment's newsletter is also titled Fuz.
    • The Fuzzies
  • The Governor General's Foot Guards
    • Guards.
    • Foot Guards.
    • Googoo Foogoos[13], from “GGFG”.
    • God's Gift to Fat Girls, from “GGFG”.
    • Gustav Gone for Good or Good God, Forgot the Gustav! Used after the regiment left an 84 mm Carl Gustav anti-tank weapon by the side of a road after a weekend exercise and then drove off. When the mistake was realized, and a party sent to retrieve it, the weapon had vanished.
    • Gods Gift For Gays
    • Drug addicts
  • The Governor General's Horse Guards
    • God’s Gift to Horny Girls[14], from “GGHG”
    • Gugga Huggas[15], from “GGHG”
    • Gee Gee H Gees[16], from "GGHG"
    • Gee Gees[17], from "GGHG"
    • the Horse Shit[6]
    • Gooneegoogoos. After an Eddy Murphy skit regarding a large and unkempt feral black woman.
  • The Grey and Simcoe Foresters
    • Farmer Johns[18]
    • The Gay and Simple Farmers[18]
    • The Gay and Simple Chorus Girls<regimental member pre WW2>
    • The Green and Slimy Foreskins[citation needed]
    • Ground Attack Nuclear Defence Special Forces (from G AND SF title on combat uniform rank slip-ons).
    • Goat and Sheep F***ers


  • The Nova Scotia Highlanders
    • Ladies from Hades: from the First World War; a jocular reference to their kilted battle dress and their fierce fighting.[23]
    • Highlanders: This name can also be applied to other highland regiments, but is used mainly for this regiment. They could also be derived from the common name (highlander) of the unit's cap badge.
  • The Ontario Regiment
    • Ontars[27] from “OntR”
    • Scaredy Cats: from the unit's cap badge, a cat with an arched back
    • The Pissing Cats, as above
    • Screaming Pussies, as above
    • Meow!
  • Princess Louise Fusiliers
    • Flaming Testicle: taken from grenade with flames on the regiment's cap badge.
    • Pretty Ladies F*** Us: from their shoulder flashes that read PL Fus. Used by members of the regiment when asked what it stands for.
    • Please Ladies F*** Us Soldiers
    • Poorly Lead Followers
  • Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry
    • The Patricias:[25] the preferred nickname among soldiers actually serving in, or who have served with, the regiment.
    • The Pats[21]
    • Princess Pat's[28]: generally used only by the media.
    • The Picklies[21] or Picks[29], from “PPCLI”
    • Dirty Patricias
    • Ping Pong Champions of Long Island[30]
    • Ping Pong Champions of Lulu Island
    • Pud-Pulling Cowboys Learning Italian[31]: extremely derogatory name that is both a mockery the Patricias' geographic location in Western Canada and an allusion to them being D-Day Dodgers.
    • Peanuts, Popcorn, Candy, Licorice and Ice Cream
    • Please Protect Canada's Little Idiots
    • Piss Pot Cleaners and Latrine Inspectors
    • The Mickey Mouse Brigade - this may be a reference to a popular insult that was sung to members of the regiment to the Mickey Mouse Club theme music: "M-I-C-K-E-Y P-P-C-L-I"
    • Princess Pocahontas' Cute Little Indians
    • Poor Pricks Can't Leave Italy - From WW2, the PPCLI was fighting in Italy and was not present for the Normandy landings
    • VP: from Victoria Patricia, original colonel-in-chief. Often preceded by battalion number.
    • Vicious Patricias: from the VP on the dress uniform's buttons, which from above actually stand for "Victoria Patricia"


  • Régiment de Hull
    • 'Are Dull' English pronunciation of "R de Hull'
    • Blackfrogs, alluding to the unit's official status as a French-Canadian Regiment and the colour of their headdress (armoured units wear black berets)
    • Reg de Hull (pronounced "Reg" like Reginald), from their shoulder tabs
  • The Rocky Mountain Rangers
    • Rim Rangs[34]
    • The Rocky Mountain Ram F***ers - The unit cap badge of the big horn sheep
    • The Rocky Mountain Rabbit Rapers
    • The Rocky Mountain Retards
    • The Rocky Mountain Rim-jobs
  • Royal 22e Régiment
    • The Van Doos: from an English corruption of the French vingt-deux or “twenty-two”. This name dates back to the Great War where the 22e was the first battalion raised in which French was used as the language of command and the only French speaking unit that served in the front-lines.
    • Les hosties de queues plates: (literally, "the communion wafer flat-tails". Better translated as "the damn flat-tails": hostie is a mild and common Canadian-French curse) from the beaver on the regimental badge. Seldom used within the regiment or the 5 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group anymore. Considered vulgar.
    • Les Vingt-Deux: the Twenty-Twos.
    • Régiment Canadien Français: literally, "French Canadian Regiment."
    • " Van Goons."
    • The Mafia: from their alleged reputation of taking anything not nailed down and bringing it back to Valcartier.
    • The Van Donts

  • The Royal Canadian Dragoons
    • The RCDs: taken directly from their shoulder titles.
    • Bambi: taken from their cap badge.
    • Dancing (Prancing) Goats: their cap badge.
    • Dragoons: Shortened title.
    • Drags: reference made to the RCD in early (1920s–30s) editions of the regimental journal of The Royal Canadian Regiment, which shared the Toronto and ST. John's, Que., garrisons with the RCD
    • The Dragons: common non-service mispronunciation of the word. Known to irritate RCD troopers to no end, and thus, is sometimes used deliberately for that purpose.
    • Deer-Jumping Fairies: derogatory term for the springbok in their badge. Usually used by Strats.
    • The Goons or Da Goons[35]
    • Retarded Coyote Driver (RCD)
    • Re-Conditioned Drunks (RCD)
  • The Royal Canadian Regiment
    • The RCR: the official short title of the regiment
    • Royal Canadians
    • The Royals[36] (incorrect, but often used colloquially by those who do not know this is more properly used to refer to The Royal Regiment of Canada)
    • Pukkas: Second World War, 1st Division, 1st Canadian Infantry Brigade was an Ontario brigade with the 48th Highlander ("The Glamour Boys"), the Hastings and Prince Edward Regiment ("The Plough Jockeys"), and the RCR. A longtime Permanent Force regiment with an impeccable reputation for high professional standards, correctness, and reliability, The RCR came to be known as the "Pukkas." Pukka was an Anglo-Indian term current in the British Army that meant genuine, permanent, or solidly built.[26]
    • Shino Boys: a First World War nickname given to The RCR by soldiers of other units, noting the regiment's high standards of dress and deportment [27]
    • Run Chicken Run[37]: A widely repeated but highly apocryphal story has the nickname resulting from a romantic liaison between a member of the regiment and a chicken. In reality, it probably stems from the fact that the chicken is jokingly referred to by envious others as "the regimental bird." Which explanation is offered usually depends on whether or not the person asked is a member of the regiment. Chickens feature greatly in derogatory nicknames assigned to The RCR, such as Rubber Chicken Regiment, RCR Soup on Dining Hall menus, etc.
    • Coop: Used by military members to refer to the unit's battalions, i.e. 1 coop, 2 coop, 3 coop.
    • Rocking Chair Rangers[38]
    • Chicken F***ers
    • Retards Carrying Rifles
    • The Brasso Kings: First World War nickname mentioned in 1935 Connecting File, the regimental journal of The Royal Canadian Regiment
    • The Royal Cleaning Regiment
    • Rubber Chicken Rapers
  • The Royal Montreal Regiment
    • Run Monkey Run
    • Royal Montreal Rejects: meaning that they could not get into a "better" unit.
    • Royal Minority Regiment: used to illustrate the ethnic diversity within its ranks.
    • Russian Montreal Regiment: a joke popular among the many Russian speaking members of the regiment.
  • Royal Newfoundland Regiment
    • The Blue Puttees: name actually limited to the first 500 volunteers of the Newfoundland Regiment in 1914, as there was only blue broadcloth available to make puttees
  • The Royal Regiment of Canada
    • Royals (also used, incorrectly, to refer to The Royal Canadian Regiment)
    • The Royal Refugees of Canada
    • The Fugees: used to illustrate the high number of members of different ethnicities. Two subcategories are eastern European (Winter battalion) and African-Canadian(Summer Battalion)
  • The Royal Winnipeg Rifles
    • Little Black Devils: Infantry of the line usually wore scarlet tunics, while rifle units wore dark green—almost black—tunics. After the Battle of Fish Creek during the Northwest Rebellion of 1885, a captured Métis asked, "The red coats we know, but who are those little black devils?"—hence also the Latin motto: “Hosti Acie Nominati”, “named by the enemy in battle”
    • Little Nigger Boys: Another name after the before mentioned battle.

Disbanded or inactive regiments[edit]

  • The Canadian Airborne Regiment (Disbanded 6 March 1995)
    • The Regiment: the precise origin is unknown, but may come from the fact that the British 22nd Special Air Service Regt is also called familiarly "The Regiment", although the Airborne was never affiliated with the SAS, but rather, The Parachute Regiment. However, that use of "The Regiment" to refer to one's own regiment amongst members is not unique, it was presumed by members of the CAR that all others would 'know' which regiment they meant.
    • The Stillborn (As the rest of the Army knew them)
    • Meat Bombs
    • Lawn Darts
    • Calling All Retards
  • 4th Princess Louise Dragoon Guards (reduced to nil strength 1964)
    • The PLUGS (As they kept plugging away)
    • Pretty Little Dancing Girls
  • the 42nd Battalion - the Royal Highlanders of Canada, CEF (WWI) (perpetuated by the Black Watch of Canada)
    • The Forty-Twas[28]
  • the 75th Mississauga Battalion CEF (WWI) (perpetuated by the Toronto Scottish Regiment (Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother's Own), who still wear the 75th's flash on their collar dog and dress belt buckles
    • the Jolly 75th[29]
    • Chair Borne
    • The Borne
    • The Six Bits (25 cents = 2 bits; hence six bits)


^ : Shortening of the regiment’s name
^ : Malapropism on the regiment’s name
^ : Humorous pronunciation of the regiment’s official abbreviation
^ : Redefinition of the regiment’s official short title. Each regiment's official short title appears in correspondence as well as on embroidered titles on combat clothing. These abbreviations are often utilized to comic effect in the creation of nicknames.

Corps, branch, and nonspecific nicknames[edit]

  • The Corps of Royal Canadian Electrical and Mechanical Engineers
    • Wreck Me:A pun on the name and their jobs
    • Part Changers: Seen as only changing parts, not making repairs.
    • The Maintainers
    • Gun Plumbers: Weapons Technicians
    • Dirty eemees: jocular reference to the technicians' having the dirtiest and greasiest jobs in the army. Later reclaimed by RCEME technicians to refer to being "dirty" in another usage of the word.
    • Les mécanos: French term for any RCEME technician, mechanic or otherwise.
    • Wrench Benders
    • Grease Monkeys
  • CF Intelligence Branch
    • Green Slime: green formerly being the corps colour of the Royal Canadian Intelligence Corps.
  • CF Logistics Branch
    • The Logs: taken directly from their shoulder titles: both English and French.
    • Blanket Stackers: derogatory slang taken from the British Army nickname for the Royal Logistics Corps.
    • The Paperclip Badges: from the resemblance of the two chain links in their cap badge to two linked paperclips. Sometimes referred to as "Crossed Paperclips" in reference to crossed rifles, a marksmanship badge once issued in the Canadian Army (and still issued in Army Cadets and at RMC).
    • Bin Rats: referring to the general assumption made by members of other branches that Logistics members root through the boxes of the newest and shiniest kit available, leaving the remainder for the front-line soldiers.
    • Circus Battalion[54]: (derogatory name for any service battalion, regular or reserve). Usually employed by members to refer to the lack of organization that traditionally plagues these units, i.e. They bring big tents and are staffed by clowns. "Fall in the Clowns."
  • Royal Canadian Medical Service
    • Pecker Checkers: as soldiers tend to put things where they should not.
    • Canker Mechanics: Compares the Medical Branch to other Service Trades.
  • Military Police
    • Thunder Chickens: from the branch cap badge a thunderbird.
    • Meatheads: general nickname for Military Police. Based on World War I terminology. MPs would be deployed forward and dig a personal trench at an intersection. Directions would be given to convoys to travel on a certain path or route until [you] "...meat the head...". This transitioned into "go till you hit the meathead", and so on. Also considered a reference to the MP's red beret.
    • Missing Pride, used within the branch referring to low morale, from the MP on the uniform buttons.
    • Truffle Hunters: Highly derogatory nickname for Military Police Officers. Makes reference to the method of extractingTruffles utilizing specially trained "pigs" based on their natural abilities.
  • Royal Canadian Artillery
    • Herbies: Originally this epithet was applied only to the regular Royal Canadian Horse Artillery, it has lately been applied more broadly. It was perhaps after William Garnet "Bing" Coughlin's Second World War cartoon whose lead character was a soldier named Herbie. This seems doubtful, as Herbie was generally depicted as a member of a manoeuvre unit. Another theory is that the name was taken from the source of the regiment's service and patrol dress caps, Herbert Johnson. Now fallen out of common usage.
    • Thirty-Mile Snipers: a derogatory reference to their location on the battlefield
    • Mud Gunner
    • Drop shorts- A disparaging term used in reference to artillery rounds falling short of their intended target on friendly troops
  • The Royal Canadian Armoured Corps
    • Tankies
    • Tin Can Commandos
    • Zipperheads (referring originally to the stitches common to gunners in early model tanks and later a reference to the fact armour crew boots had the laces replaced by lace-in zippers, which other soldiers were not allowed to wear)
  • The Canadian Military Engineers
    • Chimos: from the Corps greeting, chimo
    • Thumper Heads: From the Beaver on their Cap Badge)
    • Shovel Techs: A play on words of specialist technicians. Combat Engineering is a general trade.
  • The Royal Canadian Infantry Corps
    • Crunchies: from the sound they make when vehicles drive over them. Also known as Speed Bumps for the same reason.
    • Knuckle Draggers
    • Gravel Technicians for the American penchant for specialist grades with no meaning beyond private, and the belief infantry privates should be recognized as specialized in something.
    • Body Disposal Technicians for the same reason above.
    • Death Technicians or Death Techs
    • Ground pounders for the amount of marching they do
    • Grunts
    • Infantards
    • Pongos
    • SPUTS: from Self-Propelled Pop-up Targets
    • Trigger pullers
    • Bayonets: From their weapon of last resort
    • Boots: From their primary mode of transportation.
    • Ditch Monkeys: Due to sleeping in trenches or actual ditches.
  • The Communications and Electronics Branch
    • Jimmys: nickname for signallers, from the figure of Mercury on their cap badge, commonly referred to as "Jimmy".
    • Sigfantry (What signallers call themselves when they try to be "hardcore")
  • Generic or universal nicknames.
    • Blade: Highly derogatory. A backstabber, someone who betrays the trust of another individual or group.
    • Buddy: anyone, anytime, anywhere in the CF, is buddy.
    • Buddy Fucker: Another iteration of 'Blade'.
    • Buds: a Royal Canadian Regiment insult i.e. "Look here Buds" Used by the RCR to insult the not infantry trades. 1 RCR will use it against members of 2 and 3 RCR too.
    • Bloggins: The generic Canadian Forces member, used as example name on forms within the Canadian Forces. Also used when referring broadly to any member of a specific, usually junior, rank; Cpl Bloggins, Lt Bloggins.
    • The Mob: The Canadian Forces, implying that joining is like becoming part of the Mafia. Also referred to in retirement introductions "He joined 'The Mob' in 1989 as a Zipperhead."
    • Numpty: Another iteration of Bloggins.
    • Shitpump: Any Canadian Forces soldier who is utterly useless. Interchangeable with 'thudf**k' and 'ass-napkin'.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Shoulder title: 1 Combat Engineer Regiment
  2. ^ Shoulder title: 1st Hussars
  3. ^ Shoulder title: 4th Air Defence Regiment, RCA
  4. ^ Shoulder title: 4 Engineer Support Regiment
  5. ^
  6. ^ a b c Ships' Nicknames
  7. ^ Shoulder title: 7th Toronto Regiment, RCA
  8. ^ Shoulder title: 8th Canadian Hussars
  9. ^ 8th Canadian Hussars[dead link]
  10. ^ Shoulder title: 12e Régiment blindé du Canada
  11. ^ a b 12e Régiment blindé du Canada[dead link]
  12. ^ Shoulder title: 48th Highlanders of Canada
  13. ^ a b Army website: 48th Highlanders of Canada[dead link]
  14. ^ The War Amps Military Heritage Series - A War of Their Own
  15. ^ Shoulder title: The Algonquin Regiment
  16. ^ The Essex and Kent Scottish[dead link]
  17. ^ The Fort Garry Horse[dead link]
  18. ^ a b The Grey and Simcoe Foresters[dead link]
  19. ^ The Hastings and Prince Edward Regiment[dead link]
  20. ^ Regimental website: The Hastings and Prince Edward Regiment
  21. ^ a b c d The Lincoln and Welland Regiment[dead link]
  22. ^ Lord Strathcona's Horse (Royal Canadians)[dead link]
  23. ^ Wilcox, Jack. "When kilted Bluenoses helped forge a nation". The Halifax Herald, 5 June 2004.
  24. ^ The Princess of Wales' Own Regiment[dead link]
  25. ^ Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry[dead link]
  26. ^
  27. ^ Cited in Fighting the Hun From Saddle and Trench by Sgt. William R. Jones
  28. ^ Will Bird, Ghosts Have Warm Hands
  29. ^ Pierre Burton, Vimy


  • Mowat, Farley (1955). The Regiment. Toronto: McClelland and Stewart.