RM Speak… (Service Slang)


Royal speak (Service Slang)


Aimer A military driver
All Clips Swear a dit/story is true
Anchor Faced To be totally intoxicated by the Royal Navy
Ankle biters Children
The Andrew The Royal Navy


Bang-box The gun turret (on big ships)
Bag-rat Packed lunch invariably containing salt & vinegar crisps and a can of bitter lemon!
Bandy A Musician
Bandy The Bandmaster of a Band
Banjo A sandwich, usually egg or bacon
Banyan An impromptu beach party
Barracks A military camp and the Royal Marines mess deck on board ship
Belay To cease doing something, cancel what you were told
Bezzy Best as in “Bezzy oppo”
Bish Chaplain or Padre
Bite To fool somebody into doing or believing something stupid
Bivvy Bivouac. A temporary shelter in the field, usually made from branches, foliage and a personal poncho
Bimble To walk at a casual pace
Bin liner job Very ugly gronk who requires a bin liner to cover her entire body
Black maskers Thick black masking tape that is the all in one answer to service DIY
Bone A stupid thing to do or a stupid person
Bonedome Helmet (climbing or Kevlar)
Bootneck A Royal Marine
Boss The Director of Music
Brag-rags Medal ribbons
Brown job Army
Bubbly Bosun One who collected and issued the Rum
Bundy A curry or Indian meal/restaurant
Bugles A Bugle Major, a collection of Musical Instruments
Bunting tosser Signaller of any rank
Buzz A rumour, sometimes true though usually not
BZ Bravo Zulu – well done usually sent on a signal


Chad valley Describes a piece of equipment that is prone to failure
Chad as yer dad See Chad Valley
Chateau Crappers Wine, preferably cheap, always nasty
Charlie-G The Carl Gustav 84mm anti-tank weapon
Chicken on a raft Egg on toast
Chief Loafer Chaplain or Padre
Chinese Wedding Cake Rice pudding
Chins Hard luck
Chin straps Tired, “I’m on my chinstraps”
Chippy A carpenter
Chit Request form
Chop-chop Move quickly
Church key A bottle opener
Civvy Civilian
Club swinger PTI (Physical Training Instructor)
Cockie Cockroach
Colonel / Colonel Gaddafi The NAAFI shop
Colours / Colour Stripey Colour Sergeant
Corps pissed To be totally intoxicated by the Royal Marines
Crabby Dirty
Crash out Go to sleep


Damager NAAFI manager, always a civvy, even in war-time
Dark and Dirty Pusser’s rum and Coke
Devil Dodger Chaplain or Padre
Dhoby – Dhobi To have a wash or wash your clothes
Dhoby dust Washing powder
Dhoby marks Rank badges
Dhoby run A trip to the launderette
Dhoby waller Person who gets pinged to do the Dhoby
Dig out, Dig out Blind To make an all out effort
Dipped To miss out on something: To dip out
Dip stick Idiot
Dit Story
Divs An attractive woman (Divine)
Divs or Divisions A Naval Parade
Doc A Doctor, Medical assistant or any sick bay staff
Dockyard Cavalry Ships Marines
Dockyard omelette/Pizza Vomit
Dockyard tortoise Cornish pastie (oggie)
Dog watch Two 2 hour watches to equalise the roster, also a derogatory term for short length of service
Doofer A bit that goes on something
Double-bagger A particularly ugly woman or man: Put a bag on your own head in case the one on theirs falls off
Drip To moan incescently, usually a sign that the troop are happy
Dropping a sprog To give birth to a baby
Drummy The Drum Major of a band
Duff any pudding
Duffer Someone who is Bone/stupid
Duty Beauty Duty person


Egyptian PT A nap in the afternoon where you get into bed and adopt the position of a Pharaoh
Endex the order given to end an exercise or end it early, also used to halt a conversation, lesson or activity
Eric the red Rust on a weapon
Essence Gorgeous woman or man
Eyebrows Offering something as Genuine and offering your eyebrows to be shaved off if you are found to be lying. “Drummy wants you”, “Don’t lie”, “Eyebrows that he wants you”


Fang farrier Dentist
Fast back Taxi
Fat knacker A not very fit person
Father Ship’s captain
Flag flapper Signaller
Flannel Waffle, Bull
Flapping Panicking, (Flapping around like a headless chicken)
Flat Open space between mess decks on board ship
Foo Foo Pusser’s foot powder


Galley The Junior Ranks Dinning Hall
Gannet Any individual with a large appetite for food
Gash Rubbish
Gash-hand One who is left over after the working party has been detailed off
Gen The truth, genuine
Gen dit Genuine story
Gig A band engagement
Gizzit Any item that might be worth having that someone else no longer needs
Gizzit Presents brought back from a trip “Oh, I like that… gizzit”
Globe & Buster The Corps Crest also the journal of the Royal Marines The Globe and Laurel
Gobshyte Someone who is vocal and often speaks out of turn with little knowledge on the subject
Gobbling rods Knife fork and spoon
Goffers 1) Cold fizzy drinks 2) A big wave 3) to punch someone
God Squad Chaplain or Padre
Gongs Medals
Gonk bag sleeping bag
Gonking Nodding off, snoozing
Go Outside To leave the Corps
Gopping Something that is really horrible “That kebab was gopping, it made me ill”
Grease Pit Washing up duty
Green Naive, gullible, not very knowledgeable
Green lid Green Beret
Green rub rotten job/duty, to be seen off
Grey funnel line Ships of the Royal Navy
Grippo Someone who latches on to a free run ashore, drink or a meal. Usually in a foreign port
Gronk An ugly woman
Grot Your room in the accommodation
Gucci A piece of kit that is really good and new
Gulpers A quantity of drink somewhere between ‘Sippers’ and ‘Sandy Bottoms’
Guz Plymouth, from the WW1 radio ID letters for the port GUZ


Hanging out Mental or physical tiredness, exhausted
Hank / Hank Marvin Starving
Harry Used before certain words to increase their magnitude e.g. “Harry Icers”, “Harry Roughers”
Heads Toilets, from the old sailing ships where the toilets were directly beneath the figure head
Honkers Hong Kong
Honking Very dirty
Hoofing Fantastic, brilliant
Horse box The Sergeants Mess on board ship


Icers Very cold
In the rattle In serious trouble


Jack / Jolly Jack A sailor
Jack dusty Royal Navy supply rating
Jenny A female sailor (comes from Jenny Wren (WRNS))
Jimmy the one First Lieutenant
Joe RM commanding officer on board ship
Joss Man The Master At Arms


KFS Knife fork & spoon
Kit muster A personal kit inspection, also describes vomiting


Lash up To treat someone, also describes a cock-up
Limers Lime juice or any none fizzy cordial
Loafing Hanging around aimlessly, to leave something out that should be put away
Lovats Royal Marines number 2 uniform


Make and mend Early finish on Wednesday or Friday afternoons
Mankey Dirty
Minging Very drunk
Mortal To be very drunk, “I was mortal last night”
Mudhook Ship’s Anchor
MUFTI Civilian clothing


Neaters Undiluted pusser’s rum, difficult or hard
Nelson’s blood Rum
Nelson’s eye Jammie Dodger biscuits
Neptune’s Bodyguard Ships Marines
Ninja Something that is very difficult or hard, A Ninja PT session
Nod A recruit in training
Nutty Sweets and chocolate


Oggin The sea or any stretch of water
Old Joe Captain in charge of RM detachment on board ship
Old man Captain of the ship
One eyed steak A Kipper
Oppo Friend, Buddy
Outside Life after leaving the Corps


Paraffin pigeon Helicopter
Party Girlfriend
Pash Girlfriend/Boyfriend
Pavement pizza Vomit
Percy Percy pongo, someone from the Army
Phys PT of any form
Picturise To put in the picture, informed, to receive an explanation
Pig Officer, (see also Rupert, Rodney)
Piglets Midshipmen
Pig sty Officers Mess
Pinged To be spotted, to be picked for a particularly dirty job
Pipe Used on naval ships in place of the bugle, also the tannoy system on board ship
Piso Careful with money, tight
Pit Bed, bed space or bunk
Planters Polo/smart shirt and trousers
Pompey Portsmouth
Pongo Anyone from the Army, ‘Where the army goes the pong goes
Port & Starboard Scran Spanners Knives and Forks
Poltice Walloper Medical Assistant
Power nap A short intense sleep when a short time is allowed i.e. on a coach to a gig, after or before a field exercise
Proffed Goods acquiring by dubious methods from the establishment rather than another marine
Pusser The Royal Navy/Royal Marines
Pussers threes 3 pack of biscuits
Pusser’s charger/chariot service issue bike
Pusser’s planks service issue Skis


Quaffer Posh sounding officer
Queens Used to convince someone that you are not getting them on a bite


Rabbits Presents or souvenirs
Racing snake A very fast runner
Redders Very hot
Rembrant / Rembranted To be in the picture / put in the picture
R.M.R. Royal Marines Reserves, see rubber daggers
Rock ape A member of the RAF Regiment
Rodney Officer
Roughers Stormy weather
Rubber dagger A Royal Marines Reservist
Rug rats Children
Rum Rat One who enjoyed his rum, a lot!
Run Ashore To go out for a few drinks, a night out
Rupert Officer, (see Pig, Rodney)


Sad on To be unhappy or annoyed
Safeguard Swear a dit/story is true
Sandy bottoms To drain the whole glass/can or bottle
Scab Lifter Medical Assistant
Scran Food or a meal (Breakfast, Lunch or Dinner)
Scran bag A scruffy individual who looks like his clothes have never been ironed
Scran bag Also a collection point for loose bits of kit on a ship. A small fine is paid before retrieval
Sea daddy An experienced Marine or sailor who looks after a younger recruit to show him/her the ropes
Sea Dust Salt
Secure To finish for the day or after a watch
Sick Bay Royal Navy Medical Centre
Sick Bay Ranger Someone who spends a lot of time off sick
Sin bosun Chaplain or Padre
Singers Singapore
Sippers A sip of a drink
Skivver One who hides from work. A workshy person
Sky Pilot Chaplain or Padre
Slide Margarine / Butter
Slug Sleeping bag
Sneaky Beaky A member of the SBS or Special Forces
Snotty Historic nickname for a midshipman in the Royal Navy
Snurgle To sneak or creep on out of sight
Sods opera A show that is put on by the ships company or unit to entertain themselves
Soup Jockey Officers Steward or Ward Room Attendant
Spin To tell or explain as in ‘Spin a dit’
Spithead Pheasants Kippers
Sprog A child
Standeasy A tea break taken during the morning and the afternoon
Sticks or Sticky Blue Royal Marines bugler
Strawberry/Raspberry Mivvy Civilian
Stripey Sergeant
Swamp To wet something (Swamp the bed, Swamp the table), to urinate – go for a swamp
Sweating neaters To be worried


Three badger A Marine with 3 good conduct stripes
Threaders To be seriously upset
TUBBIN Thumb up bum brain in neutral


Uckers A game loosely based on ludo
Up Homers Invited round to someone’s house for a meal or drinks



Waggon A lorry
Wardroom Officers mess on board ship or in a Naval establishment
Weather guesser The met officer on board ship, also known as Professor Fog
Wet A drink
WREN A female sailor
WREN Repellent Aftershave
Winger A close friend
Wooly pully The green issue jumper



Yaffle To eat
Yaffling irons/spanners Knife, fork and spoon
Yeti A spectacular crash while skiing or to fall over
Yodel in a bucket Vomit also Pavement pizza, dockyard omelette and technicolor yawn
Yomp To force march with a heavy load
Yonks A long time.
Yoyo A young officer in training


Zap To shoot or be shot
Zeds/(ZZZZZZZZ’s) To get some sleep
Zulu Greenwich meantime, also Z company, 45 Commando Royal Marines
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