Marine Slang

If you’re anything like me, then you probably get confused by some of the words or slang your husband uses. The Marine Corps has its own terms for a lot of different things, both military related and not. I tried to compile a list of things that will hopefully help you understand what he’s saying a little bit easier:

acquire – euphemism denoting theft, sometimes jokingly referred to as “tactical”

as you were – order to disregard the immediately preceding order, often in response to a call to “attention on deck” or when the orders issued were mistaken

bag nasty –  bagged meal issued to Marines (usually recruits or in the field) that usually contains: a sandwich (ham, turkey, and bologna are common), a hard boiled egg, fruit, and a small bag of potato chips; often served with a beverage such as juice or milk

BAH – Base Allowance for Housing a pay addendum that allows a servicemember to maintain housing appropriate for his or her dependents when not living in government quarters

barracks rat – a girl who is known to date multiple Marines

beer-thirty – time of dismissal from the day’s duties (and thus allowed to drink alcohol)

big green weenie – an expression denoting that a Marine has been “fucked over” or cheated by the Marine Corps, usually in relation to an inconvenience or unfair treatment

billet – specific role or job within the unit

boot – a Marine fresh out of boot camp who’s less experienced; new to the fleet

cover – headgear

duty – sentry responsible for patrol and security of a specific area

EAS – End of Active Service, the date of discharge from active duty

fire watch – sentry on duty specifically guarding a person, place, object, or area in a non-combat area

Glow belt – a high visibility device, usually a belt, used during PT or other night activity

good cookie – Good conduct medal

Gunny – nickname for Gunnery Sergeant

haji – Arab or Middle Eastern person or object

high and tight – nickname for a common variant of the buzz cut

jarhead – pejorative term for a Marine

leatherneck – nickname for Marine

liberty – authorized free time ashore or off station

MCX – Marine Corps eXchange, a military department store, less formally known as the PX

outside – civilian life after discharge

PFT – Physical Fitness Test

pogue or POG – Marine not of the combat arms

seabag – duffel bag

Semper Gumby – colloquialism denoting tactical flexibility and the ability to quickly adapt to chaning circumstances

squadbay – living quarters with open rooms and shared head

stand by – wait, stop and wait

They may also use variations of the military alphabet in place of words; for example, sometimes I get “Tango” in a text instead of “Thank you” or “Wilco” instead of will do.


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