Some great Slang words Used in the Australian Army

Hi guys, this post is mainly for our non military visitors. Ever wondered when a Soldier, Airman or Sailor said something and you had no idea what they meant? A Comment of ” I was out on patrol the other week and whilst having a bird bath this new lance corporal come long who is a complete oxygen thief was carrying on about his NVG’s. We found out that he is SWAT and only has to be on patrol for 2 days before going home.

Civilian Term – I was out on patrol the other week and whilst having a bird bath (Soldier attempting to wash their body in the field utilising any available resource such as baby wipes or a small basin of water) when this new lance corporal come a long who is a complete oxygen thief (Person who is so useless that their existence deprives the rest of the human race of oxygen) by the way was carrying on about his NVGs'(Night Vision Goggles) We found out that he is SWAT(Reserves. Abbreviation for Some Weekends And Tuesdays) and only has to be on patrol for 2 days before going home.

As you can see many military terms are hard to comprehend but when you are in the military you soon pick up on the talk.This list is Just some Army ones I will be uploading Air force and Navy soon.Thank you to all that have forward me some of these great military slang words.If you have got some more and you would like to put forward please set yourself up with an email account on the right hand side of the page and send us an email.

I will not however publish any foul language as we do have kids on this site too.

Thanks Jenko


Angry Chook – Army Chinook heavy lift helicopter

APC – Armoured Personnel Carrier

APC – Type of bath taken in the bush with limited water: Armpits and Crotch

Bang Stick – Rifle

Banjo – Bacon and Egg breakfast roll wrapped in tin foil and delivered in Hot Boxes typically to troops staying overnight at the range

Battle Tranny – Portable device used to access FM/AM radio stations.

Bird Bath – Soldier attempting to wash their body in the field utilising any available resource such as baby wipes or a small basin of water. It replaces the normal daily showering or bathing at home

Bird Gunner – Air Defence Regiment (Surface-Air Missiles) member, division of the Royal Australian Artillery

Black Hat – Refers to either Armoured Corps personnel (Black Berets) or to non-SAS personnel (who wear very dark blue berets that look black) posted to the SAS regiment

Black plastic fantastic – M16 when the SLR and M16 were the common service rifles

Boffin – Army electronics/communications technician

Bog roll or Date roll – Toilet paper

Boots  – A suck up. Refers to somebody who is so far up somebody else’s backside that all that you can see is his/her boots.

Brass up – To fire a lot of rounds at something

Bug Out – Leave an area

Bush Hat – Floppy hat worn by soldiers in the field or in non-barracks training.

Cams – Disruptive Pattern Combat Uniform (DPCU), working dress for Army and Air Force and worn on exercises / deployment. Also used in the British Armed Forces.

Canteen Medals – Beer or food stains on the breast of a shirt or jacket

Chicken Strangler – SAS soldier; refers to their ability to live off the land

Cloud Puncher – Air defence branch of Artillery.

Comms – Short for communications

Cent – Centurion Armoured Fighting Vehicle.

Clacker – Hand-held firing device for a ‘Claymore’ anti-personnel weapon.

Crump in – To have a relatively bad landing when parachuting.

Cockroach – Ordnance Corps (Supply) person, also referred to as a ‘ROACH’.

Digger – Soldier in the Australian Army, for example Look after your diggers, Lieutenant. Term comes from the Anzacs

Dixies – Small aluminium cooking and eating pans used by individuals in the bush

Drop Shot – Artillery soldier

F.R.E.D – Small device which is a combination of a can opener, a bottle opener and a spoon. Officially named a “Field Ration Eating Device”, but more popularly known as a “F–king Ridiculous/Retarded Eating Device”. In the Air Force this acronym can also denote a ‘F–king Ridiculous Electronic Device’

Farter – Bed or sleeping bag. Normally refers to going to bed. For example “Hit the Farter”.Fitter and turner – Army cook. It means “to fit good food into a pot and turn it into sh-t”.

Face ripping – One-way discussion, usually between a soldier and a subordinate, where the “face ripper” gets so close that subordinate can see the pores on his forehead. This usually occurs on the drill square or in the CSM’s office

Free Balling /
Free Snaking – 
Going without underwear. Often done in the field for hygiene and comfort reasons. Known also as “going commando”.

God Botherer – Padre or anybody remotely religious. (sometimes called “sky pilots”).

Goffer / Goffa – Soft drink. Slang thought to come from name of the drink manufacturer Goffe & Sons

Harden Up – Standard response to whinging or complaining, telling a person to shut up and get on with the job. Often provided in imaginary consumable form, e.g. here’s a harden-up pill or have a can of harden-up

Koala Bear – Someone who is generally considered a protected species and useless in the greater scheme of things. Usually accompanied by the phrase “Not to be exported or shot at” was used to refer to Armoured Corps.


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