Dictionary of Marine Corps Terms and Words 


Lawrence Wells FLSG-A&B FLC 1965-1966


ABOARD: on base; with us. 

 ACTUAL: radio talk for unit commander.  

ALL HANDS:  everyone. 

AMTRACK:  amphibious tractor; landing craft. 

AO DAI (Viet.):  formal attire worn by Vietnamese women.  

AS YOU WERE!:  resume what you were doing; correction.  

ASSHOLES AND ELBOWS:  in a hurry; quickly.  

BA MUI BA ("33"):  Vietnamese beer.  

BAC SI (Viet.): Doctor, used for Corpsman.  

BAM:  Broad Ass Marine; derogatory name for Woman Marine. 

BARRACKS COVER:  garrison (frame) cap.  

BATTLE PIN:  necktie clip.  

BCD:  Bad Conduct Discharge.  

BELAY:  stop; quit.  

BILLET: assignment or job; place of residence.  

BIRD:  aircraft. 

BLOUSE:  n. jacket; v. tuck in, secure.  

BLOUSING BANDS:  elastic bands used to secure utility trouser cuffs.  

BLUES:  Dress Blues.  

BLT:  Battalion Landing Team.  

BOONDOCKS (BOONIES):  rugged isolated back country.  

BOONDOCKERS:  low-topped work boots issued to reservists.  

BOOT:  recruit.  

BOO-COO:  (Fr. beaucoup) much, many.  

BRAIN HOUSING GROUP:  your gourd, mind, brain, or head.  

BRASS:  officers.  

BRIG:  jail.  

BRIG RAT:  jail inmate.  

BRIG CHASER:  MP assigned to escort prisoners.   

BROTHER:  black Marine (also Splib).  

BROWN SIDE-OUT:  desert camouflage pattern.  

BULKHEAD:  wall.  

BY-THE-NUMBERS:  in sequence.  

CANNON COCKERS:  artillerymen.  

CARRY ON!:  resume what you were doing; as you were.  

CASUAL COMPANY:  unit of Marines awaiting reassignment.  

CC:  Corrective Custody; jail, the brig.  

CHUCK:  black Marine's term for white Marine.  

CG:  Commanding General.  

CHIEU HOI (Viet.):  freedom; safe conduct pass; program whereby VC who

surrendered were assured safe conduct.

CHIMPO: see choda.

CHIT:  written authorization or receipt.  

CHODA:  same as chimpo.  

CHOW:  food.  

CHOW HALL:  mess hall. 

CLICK:  one notch of adjustment on a rifle.  

CINDERELLA LIBERTY:  time off which ends at midnight.  

CO (Viet.): girl, woman.  

COLORS: n. the flag; v. ceremony of raising or lowering the flag.  

CON BIET? (Viet) do you understand?  

C-RATS:  C rations, canned field rations.  

COM RATS:  commuted rations; in lieu pay for meals eaten off base.  

CORPSMAN:  Navy medic serving with Marines.  

COVER:  hat.  

COVER ASS:  take precautions to avoid blame.  

THE CROTCH:  derogatory term for Marine Corps.  

CRUISE:  period of enlistment; tour of duty.  

DECK:  floor.  

DEUCE-AND-A-HALF:  2 1/2 ton truck.  

DI-DI (Viet.):  leave, go, move out.  

DI-DI MAU  (Viet.):  emphatic of Di-di.  

DIDDY BAG:  cloth, draw-string bag for small items.   

DIDDY BOP:  swagger; affected walk.   

DINK:  Vietnamese.  

DINKY-DAU (Viet):  crazy.  

DOG-AND-PONY-SHOW:  special presentation put on for visiting dignitaries.  

DOUBLE TIME:  quickly; at a run.  

DRY FIRE:  practice.  

DRY RUN:  practice.   

DU-DIT (Viet):  fuck you!  

EIGHTH & EYE:  Headquarters Marine Corps.  

ENTRENCHING TOOL (E-TOOL):  small folding field shovel.  

EVERY SWINGING DICK:  All hands, everyone.  

EYE FUCK:  scrutinize; inspect closely.  

FARTSACK:  mattress cover.  

FIELD DAY:  general cleanup of barracks.  

FIELD SCARF:  necktie.  

FIELD STRIP:  disassemble; take apart.  

FIRE IN THE HOLE!: warning that explosives are about to be detonated.  

FIRST SHIRT (ALSO TOP):  First Sergeant.  

FLOAT PHASE:  sea deployment of a Marine unit.  

FMF:  Fleet Marine Force.  

FOUR-BY:  light truck.  

FRONT LEANING REST POSITION:  pushup position ("the Position"). 

GALLEY:  kitchen.  

GANG WAY!: stand back! move away!  

GEDUNK:  sweets or a store that sells sweets.  

GEAR:  equipment.  

GI CAN:  garbage can. 

GIZMO:  gadget; anything that defies description.  

GOURD:  head; where you hang your cover.  

GREEN SIDE-OUT:  woodland pattern camouflage.  

GRAB A HAT:  leave.  

GRINDER:  parade ground.  

GUIDON:  pennant bearing unit designation.  

GUNG HO:  lit. work together; (from Chinese) highly motivated.  

GUNGY:  gung ho.  

GUNNY:  Gunnery Sergeant.  

GRABASS (ORGANIZED GRABASS):  play; sports, frivolous activity.  

GREEN MACHINE:  Marine Corps.   

HAM:  Hairy Assed Marine; male Marine.  

HAM AND MOTHERS:  "Ham and Motherfuckers;" generally detested C-ration

meal posing as ham and lima beans.  

HATCH:  door.  

HARD CHARGER:  motivated Marine.  

HEAD:  toilet.  

HIGH-AND-TIGHT:  standard Marine haircut; shaved sides and short on top.  

HOLLYWOOD MARINE:  San Diego MCRD graduate.   

HOOCH (Jap.):  any kind of shelter, residence.  

HONCHO (Jap.):  boss; man in charge.  

HOUSE MOUSE:  Drill Instructor's go-fer.  

HUMP:  to march; to carry; to be burdened with.  

HUSS:  a favor; a break e.g., "gimme a huss;" archaic name for HU34D helicopter.  

INCOMING!:  hostile fire being received!  

IRISH PENNANT:  string dangling from clothing indicating unkempt appearance.  

ITR:  Infantry Training Regiment.  

JARHEAD:  Marine.  

JIBS:  teeth, esp. front incisors, e.g., "I'll bust your jibs."  

JING (also jing-wa, Jap.): change; money.  

JOE SHIT THE RAGMAN:  bad example, un-squared-away Marine,

boyfriend of Rosy Rottencrotch.  

JUNK-ON-THE-BUNK:  complete clothing and equipment inspection

(also Things-on-the-Springs) laid out on the rack.  

K-BAR:  Marine-issue fighting knife.  

KLICK:  kilometer.  

LADDER (or ladder way):  stairs.  

LAI DAY (Viet.):  come here!       

LEAVE:  authorized absence of more than 24 hours.  

LIBERTY:  authorized absence of less than 24 hours.  

LOCK AND LOAD:  arm and ready your weapon; get ready!                 

MAKE A HOLE!:  stand back! gang way!  

MAGGIE'S DRAWERS:  red disc used on the rifle range to signify missing the target.       

MOS:  assigned job specialty.  

MUSTANG (Mustanger):  enlisted man who becomes an officer.  

NON-QUAL:  Marine who fails to fire a qualifying score at the rifle range.  

OFFICE HOURS:  summary court marshal, official inquiry or reprimand.     

OFFICE POGUE:  desk-bound Marine.  

ONTOS:  armored tracked vehicle mounting six 106 mm recoilless rifles.  

OUTSTANDING!:  exceptional; well done!  

OVERHEAD:  ceiling.  

OVER THE HILL:  absent without authorization.  

OVER THE HUMP:  more than halfway through enlistment.  

PASSAGEWAY:  corridor; hallway.  

PIECE:  rifle.  

PISS CUTTER:  envelope-shaped overseas cap.   

PISS-AND-PUNK:  bread and water punishment.  

PISS TUBE:  field urinal; rocket launcher (bazooka), which resembles one.  

POGUE:  lazy individual, also office worker.  

POGEY BAIT:  candy, sweets.  

POLICE CALL:  time allocated to clean up an area.    

POLICE UP:  clean up.    

POOP (also dope, scoop):  information.  

POP-FLARE:  hand held and launched aerial illumination flare.  

PT:  Physical Training; exercise.  

QUARTERS:  living space.  

RACK:  bed, bunk.  

RAPPEL:  descend from cliff or helicopter by rope.  

RECON  (also Force Recon):  Force Reconnaissance Marine.  

ROMP 'N' STOMP:  to drill, march.  

ROUND:  bullet or artillery or mortar shell.  

RUBBER LADY:  inflatable air mattress.  

SALT:  experience; an old-timer Marine.  

SALTY:  smart-mouthed; opinionated.  

SCOPE OUT: look at.

SCOSHI (or scosh'): small, short, a little bit.  

SCUTTLEBUTT:  rumors; a drinking fountain.  

SEABAG:  duffle bag.   

SEA DUTY:  billeted aboard a ship.   

SEA GOING BELLHOP:  derog. for Marine, from Marines assigned to the bridge of a vessel.  

SEA STORY:  a lie or an exaggeration.   

SEA LAWYER:  self-appointed expert.       

SECURE:  tie down or make fast; also to recycle or dispose of; to put something

in its proper place; to desist.                    

SEVEN-EIGHTY-TWO GEAR:  field equipment; canvas web gear.  

SHIT BIRD:  messy or undisciplined; a fuck up.                 

SHIT CAN:  (v) to dispose of; (n) garbage can.  

SHORT:  nearing the end of a tour of duty or enlistment.  

SHORT ROUND:  ordnance which is landing short of the intended target.  

SHORT TIME:  a very brief love affair.

SHORTTIMER:  Marine nearing the end of an enlistment period.           

SICK BAY:  clinic or hospital.  

SIX-BY (six-by-six):  standard three-axle truck.  

SIX-SIX-AND-A-KICK:  The ultimate General court marshal punishment consisting of

six months forfeiture of pay, six months hard labor, and a

dishonorable discharge.  

SKIPPER:  captain; commanding officer.     

SKIVVIES:  underwear.  

SKIVVIE HONCHO:  a lothario; a ladies man.  

SKIVVIE HOUSE:  brothel.  

SLOPCHUTE:  diner; restaurant.  

SMOKING LAMP:  authority to smoke when it is lit.  

SNAP IN:  practice, esp. on the rifle range.  

SNOOPIN' AND POOPIN':  reconnoitering.  

SNOT LOCKER:  nose.                  

SOUND OFF!:  assertively voice.            

SORRY 'BOUT THAT!:  assertion of mock apology.  

SPLIB: white Marine's term for black Marine.  

SPUD LOCKER:  pantry.  

SQUAD BAY:  barracks.  

SQUARED AWAY:  neat, orderly, organized.  

SQUID:  (derog.) sailor.  

STACK ARMS!:  command given to place 3 rifles in a pyramid.  

STACKING SWIVEL:  appendage near muzzle of rifle allowing stacked arms; neck.      

STAND BY!:  prepare.  

STANDBY:  waiting status.  

STARCHIES:  starched utilities.  

STROKE BOOK:  porno magazine.  

SURVEY:  dispose of; recycle.  

SWAB:  mop.  

SWABBIE:  sailor.  

TI TI (Viet.) (pron. tee-tee):  little, small.  

TOP:  Sergeant Major.  

TOPSIDE:  upstairs; on deck.  

TROPS:  khaki tropical summer dress uniform.  

TURN TO:  begin work.  

UA:  Unauthorized Absence.  

UD:  Undesirable Discharge.  

UTILITIES:  olive drab field uniform.  

WILLIE PETER:  white phosphorus.  

THE WORD:  confirmed official information; the straight scoop.  

ZERO-DARK-THIRTY:  pre-dawn; early.