Mae West
Deadeye Glossary
WWII Army Jargon

Special words or expressions that are used by a particular profession or group and are difficult for others to understand "army jargon"

Most of these words came from the personal stories Deadeyes have written and posted on this site!

Click on any red letter to go to words beginning with that letter.
A–bomb   Atom bomb, atomic bomb - an explosive device based on nuclear fission, splitting of the atom, producing massive destruction  
about face
  drill movement where a person or group turns and faces the opposite direction    


  ... Baker... Charlie... the phonetic alphabet used to distinguish letters spoken over radio, and other transmissions. (Click to see the phonetic alphabets used during WWII)  

Ammo Clip CLICK


all out with full enthusiasm, determination, vigor
Allies   The countries of the world who were fighting the Axis during WWII. Some of these countries were U.S, Great Britain, Australia, Canada, and others.
Alpha Charlie To be given is to be chewed out
ammo   short for ammunition
ammo clip   a device used to store multiple rounds of ammunition as a unit.
anti-tank   weaponry and warfare specifically to fight against tanks
a small slot opening from where a weapon protruds
armed to the teeth ready and well equipped with firearms, fully prepared    
armored cow canned milk    
army   a group of corps, HQ Company and more supporting troops (see chart below) The 96th Infantry was part of the Tenth Army

Insignia of the Tenth Army

army banjo shovel  
army chicken beans and hot dogs  
armed to the teeth well equipped  
army chicken franks and beans  
artillary   Large (larger than rifles) caliber mounted cannons, usually cal.105 or cal.155, also known as Ordinance  
ASTP   Army Specialized Training Program    
attached   when a unit or soldier transfers to another unit to perform a specific duty  
attention   command to stand in a formal position, body erect, head and eyes staight ahead and arms to the side.  
AWOL Absent without Leave (permission)  
Axis The Axis of powers were the enemy to the Allies. They were Germany, Italy and Japan  
axle grease butter or oleo (margarine)  
B-A-R   Browning Automatic Rifle - automatic rifles and machine guns used by the US Army and other Services during the 20th century. Most common was the M1918

Deadeye Louis-Nickle with Browning M1918

bail out to quit, or leave a situation especially from parchuting  
barracks   a military or army dormitory - a place to sleep  
barrage   a heavy, long lasting attack of continuous fire to protect advancing troops or stop hostile attacks  
battalion   Three rifle companies plus HQ company totaling 871 men   (see chart below)
Bataan Death March   Horrendous, Brutal event where American soldiers were forced to march 65 miles to prison camps by their Japanese captors April 1942,   
battery troop or unit - usually part of the artillery
Bataan Death March
battery acid   Slang - fake lemonade made of powder and warm water not considered drinkable, used for cleaning  
M1A1 Bazooka

Betty Bomber

Bivoac at Ft Benning

About the Brownie...

bayonet   a blade that can be attached to the end of a rifle: used for stabbing  
bazooka   a small rocket weapon used by infantry
beachhead   the gained footing on enemy shores by an army
beat your gums to talk at length
Betty Bomber   the american name for Japanese bombers
big wheel anyone in authority
bivouac   temporary encampment with little or no shelter
bite the dust killed or wounded
blister foot   infantryman
boots on the ground   ground troops in a combat area or potential combat area.
bought the Farm   to die
brevet   a temporary promotion of a military officer without an increase in pay
Brownie Camera   one of the very first portable, personal film camera, affordable enough for soldiers.
brown noser   Ass kisser
bubble dancing   dishwashing duty
buck private te lowest rank in the Army often used disparaging
buck private   Lowest grade of a military rank. i.e. buck private or buck sargeant.  
bugle call   a short recognizable tune used in the military that announces a scheduled or non-scheduled event on larger military installations, played on a bugle  

Bugle First Call

bunker   an underground shelter, especially one built for troops, with a fortified gun position above ground    
bullet catcher infantryman    
butt can   a hanging can used for extinguishing cigarettes  
C-Rations   Food in cans that WWII troops carried; six for a day. The C was for "combat" The meal was known officially as Field Ration, Type C (also called C Rats)
C-2 or C-3   paste explosive in satchel charge.  
cadence   the beat used to keep a unit marching in precision: may be kept by a drum beat, or drill chant  
cantonment military garrison or camp  
cadre   the staff of skilled military who train and/or assume control of new recruits.  
cantonment temporary quarters for troops

M1 Carbine USA .30

cat's beer milk  
carbine   small rifle used in the US Army in WWII and beyond  
casualty   any person who is lost by having been declared dead, duty status - whereabouts unknown, missing, ill, or wounded  
chaplain   a member of the clergy who gives spiritual support to troops  
chest candy   slang for ribbons and medals worn on a uniform can be insulting or applauding    
chicken s***   Slang - strict adherence to rules by a superior officer. Also known as BS  
"Leyte Chow Time"
chow hound person who always gets ahead of the line in the mess hall.

Chow time in Leyte

chow time   a time to have food  
civies   clothes civilians wear  
CO   Commanding Officer  
coconut log bunker   a reinforced underground shelter made from coconut logs often used in tropical climates  
camaraderie feeling of beloning in a group, sharing experiences    
Cosmoline   a greasy substance applied to guns and other equipment to keep them from rusting, a very smelly waterproofing


company   three rifle platoons plus weapon platoon totaling 193 men (see chart below)  
conscientious objector   a person who claims the right to refuse to do something that is against their belief system.  
corn plaster   infantryman
corps   a group of divisions (see chart below) also refers to many soldiers as a group
creed   he strong belief that guides one's life
crud   fungal infection of the skin also called jungle rot
D-day   landing day   H-hour: landing hour  
Daily Pacifican publication for the troops serving in the Philippines  
Dear John   a letter from a wife or girl-friend from home telling the serviceman that she hashim and has dropped him for someone at home.  
Deadeye   a member of the 96th Infantry in the US Army - a sharpshooter, marksman, crack-shot: a name given tothe 96th Infantry by General Easley, who valued excellent marksmanship

General Claudius Easley

Dexter vx Sinister

WWII Army Dogtags

debark   to get off a vehicle, most often a shipa military position protected from fire
defilade   a military position protected from firing
depot   a storage place
devil's piano   machine gun
dexter   to left side from the front
ditty-bopper radio operators using Morse Code
division   a major ground combat unit of WWII totaling 14,253 men (see chart below)
do one's bit to serve in the military in time of war
dogfight   the activity of fighter planes engaged in combat
dog food   corned beef hash canned
dog robber   personal orderly for an officer
dogtags   a soldier's identification tags  

"Dogface Deadeye"

Dogface   Dog Face or Dog-Face: an Army Infantryman WWII  
dog show foot inspection for infections  
dose   the acquisition of a venereal disease  
Draft   "The Draft" also called Selective Service, is when the government mandates young men over the age of 18 to serve in the military. They have no choice. During WWII more than 60% of soldiers were draftees.  
dry run   to practice without weapons
Duck   + Nickname for a DUKW -a 2 ½ ton amphibious truck
duck soup an easy task to accomplish

Duffle Bag

duffel bag   a large cylindrical bag made of heavy water resistant cloth (with a drawstring closure at the top often used in the Army.  
eagle day   payday  
egg in your beer   too much of a good thing  
Eisenhower Jacket   a short, fitted jacket made popular by General Eisenhower during the war
Eisenhower Jacket
embark   to go on board a ship, or to be put on a ship

The Seal of the United States Department of the Army

Maede Encarpment Okinawa

embed   when a reporter stays with military for journalism
emblem   a representative symbol like a trademakr or a badge or logo
    an insignia is a medal is a patch or other object that indicates a person's official or military rank, or member in a group.
encarpment   a long, steep slope at the edge of a plateau.  
enfilade   A formation is "efilade" where weapons can fire at their highest axis. It is a position for troops to send fire, or receive enemy fire.  
fart sack   Slang - a canvas cot or sleeping bag

For a 3D revolving image Click Image

fatigues   army uniforms with metal buttons and bulgy side pockets - worn in combat or work assignments
first light twilight - first thing in the early morning
field strip   1. the way a cigarette is broken down into bits  2. how a weapon is torn down and cleaned.
fitty an M2 .50 caliber machine gun


flagship   the ship where the commander is running the operations
flank   the right or left of a command in line, also a type of attack from the side.
flyboy   any pilot
force march   a fast long hike with packs and weapons with little rest

Two Deadeyes in a Foxhole

foxhole   a small dugout with a pit for individual shelter against enemy fire
French leave   going AWOL absent without leave
fruit salad decorations, medal, ribbons worn on the chest
FUBAR   fouled up beyond all recognition
furlough   an official leave of absence from duty
garrison   the post, or position where troops are stationed, a contonment or camp
garrison belt   a webbed belt with sliding amunition pockets - worn byArmy soldiers as part of their uniforms  
Garrison cap   A soft military cap without a visor. usually with colored piping that identifies
the group. i.e. infantry, artillery

Garrison Cap in HBT Olive Drab


The Geneva Convention

The subdued double diamond patch of the 96th Infantry

gasoline cowboy   tank driver
Geneva Convention  
Very important international agreement that established civilized rules of war including protection of the injured, civilians, captured during, and other situations during and after a war.            GO TO Geneva Convention
get crackin' get started, to get a move on
Geronimo   word yelled when jumping off of something
Ghostriders   the HHC 191st Combat Sustainment Support Battalion deployed in Kuwait wearing the Double Diamond Patch
GI   Government Issue - anything making reference to a government item. All troops were GIs.
Gibson Girl emergency hand crank radio

This G.I. Joe toy represents the American soldier during the Battle for Okinawa

G.I. Joe   any American service man. Ernie Pyle is often credited with coining the term G.I. Joe. There have been many toys made to exemplify the military  
Got Your Six   soldier is told he is covered from the back, "Watch your Six" that they need to watch out for an enemy attacking from behind  
gopher match   book matches- When you light one and it goes out, you GO-FER another  
gravel agitator infantryman  
grease gun   a lightly constructed fast shooting .45 cal weapon  
gremlin mythical creature who causes mechanical failures or other mishaps    
gun mortar artillery piece - NEVER to be used within the military for a pistol or rifle  
A B C D E F G H, I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
H-hour   landing hour etc. D-day: landing day

Army Herring-Bone Twill design

Higgins boat

Honorable Discharge Certificate

The "Ruptured Duck" Honorable Service Pin.

Crossed Muskets are an Army Insignia representing the Infantry.

Halazone tablets   bitter pills used to water to make it safe for drinking  
hashburner cook  
haywire equipment in need of repair  
HBT Herring-Bone Twill - the pattern of the fabric of the WWII U.S. Army uniform, which were often called "HBTs."  
Hero of Hen Hill   Nickname given to Deadeye Medal of Honor recipient Clarence Byrle Craft.  
head   the toilet  
Higgins boat  

Landing Craft Vehicle Personnel, or LCVP

Honorable Discharge   official discharge from the armed forces with a commendable record - given as a release from the obligation to serve
Honorable Service pin
  Button awarded to US military service members who were discharged under Honorable Discharge. Worn on the lapel Also called the "Ruptured Duck."
Hooah   Oral response used for anything: showing motivation, demonstrating that you are understand, or that one has no idea what was just said, yet look like you did. This is the informal motto of the US Army!
In the trenches stuck in a drawn out, tough fight
Infantry   Infantry are land based soldiers who are specifically trained for the role of fighting on foot to engage the enemy face to face and have historically borne the brunt of the casualties of combat in wars. From Wikipedia
    The Infantry is the oldest branch of the US Army
Insignia   a medal such as patch or other object that indicates a person's official or military rank, or member in a group. An Emblem is a representative symbol like a trademakr or a badge or logo  
IRTC   Infantry Replacement Training Center
Island hopping   strategy of taking important islands tht were not well fortified. "Leapfrogging" rather than just going through one island at a time.
A B C D E F G H I J, K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
JANFU Joint Army/Navy Foul Up    
jane a woman    
Japs   a derogatory term for the Japanese Enemy durying WWII    

Deadeye Huber in a Jeep

Willy's and Ford both made Jeeps

jawbreaker army biscuit  
jeep   a small four wheeled vehicle used extensively in the US Army name comes from the sound of Goverment purpose or General purpose
Joe   coffee, or a soldier
K-rations   Like C-rations but heavier and had more protein.
kamikaze   a Japanese suicide bomber (View in Newsreel below)
KIA   Killed In Action
knee mortar   a very small mortar used by the Japanese


knob   a round-topped hill
knuckle buster   a crescent wrench
KP   workers in the mess hall, chow hall - also "Kitchen Patrol," "Kitchen Police," -also "Kill Privates" Often thought of as peeling potatoes - mountains of potatoes!
L Day   Landing Day on Okinawa, also called Love Day

96th Infantry Lapel Pin


lapel pin   specially designed Deadeye double diamond pin to be worn on the lapel of their Army uniform or other garment  
latrine the toilet: may be a hole in the ground, with little privacy  

Lyster Bag

lay an egg drop a bomb
lost his cookies vomited
Lyster bag   a large rubber bladder used for water storage to use for drinking, that is usually hung from a tree or a frame - Water tastes like rubber (also Lister)
LST   Landing Ship Tank
LVT   Landing Vehicle with Tracks
LCVP   Landing Craft Vehicle Personnel. Or Higgins boat
M1918   most common of the Browning Automatic Rifles - automatic rifles and machine guns used by the US Army and other Services during the 20th century  
Mae West
an inflatable life jacket which bulged at the chest when enflated.
Maggie's Drawers   a red flag meaning that you have missed the target  

Medal of Honor

Missing in Action

MI Garand (grr-and)

Deadeye DeClay in front of mortar

maneuvers   the placement of forces in a position of advantage over the enemy
Medal of Honor   The Medal of Honor is the highest award for valor in action against an enemy force which can be bestowed upon an individual serving in the Armed Services of the United States. Generally, it is presented to its recipient by the President of the United States.
mess hall   the place where food is eaten, the troups who share a meal together, or the meal shared are all referred to as "mess."
M1 Garand   the standard US Army rifle used by riflemen (grrr-And')
MIA   Missing In Action

As of 2007 there are still 32 Deadeyes Missing In Action.

Mickey Mouse movies instructional films about hygiene
midnight req   an operation where objects are stolen.  
million dollar wound   a wound that takes a soldier out of combat, maybe to be treated in the US
Morning Report   Daily document accounting for the location of all personel
mortar   a small cannon 60mm, 81mm or 4.5 chemical. A smaller weapon than artillery, has a base plate, a tripod with adjusting rods and a tube. It is for closer range.
MOS   a military designation for a serviceman’s job specialty
mudeater infantryman
nambu   a fast air-cooled Japanese machine gun (numbu)
NCO   Non-Commissioned Officer
newsreel   a short film about recent events, During WWII, were often shown before a feature film; a major form of communicating about the events of the war and recruiting public support
Newsreel: Invasion of Okinawa
Nip   slang for the enemy Japanese soldier- short for "Nippon"    
No man's land dangerous ground or a topic that is dangerous    
nomenclature   the names of the parts of any weapon    
Officer and a Gentleman a misnomer for a demanding officer who doesn't deserve respect.  

Olive Drab, the color of WWII Army uniforms called Shade 44, a mixture of gray, brown and green. Uniforms we often called "brown jobs."There were many shades of Olive drab.

olive drab the color of the standard army uniform
On the double   moving at twice the normal speed at completing a task
OP   Observation Post
"Operation Iceberg"   the military codename for the WWII Battle of Okinawa, Japan. Considered the bloodiest and most bitterly fought battle of the Pacific, it was also the last great battle in the Pacific. The 82-day-long battle lasted from April 1 until June 22, 1945
orderly room office where company business is performed
ordnance   Military weapons, ammunition and equipment used in connection with them. also a branch of the Army
over -the-hill same as AWOL - Missing in Action or missing from their post
P-38 portable canopener developed for the Army

The P-38 Canopener

Pineapple Grenade

Deadeye in front of a Pup Tent

Purple Heart Medal


padre   chaplain
parry right   a defensive physical fighting technique used in rifle/bayonet combat (also parry left)
patrol   to keep watch, or guard over a place or people
piece   rifle
pineapple   hand grenade - the Mk2 Grenade
pinks and greens Nickname given to WWII Army uniforms by the soldiers because one of the sets of pants had a pink hue to them
pin-up   a picture of a woman for a soldier to "pin up" on his wall Marjorie Main was the Deadeye Pin Up Girl
piss pot Slang - standard Army helmet
pith helmet   protective hat - strong, lightweight, and comfortable Similar to a safari hat but made of pith (cork)
platoon   three squads totaling 41 men (see chart below)
pocket lettuce paper money, often military currency
pogey bait   candy
podunk   hometown of low prestige
popcicle motorcycle
pup tent   a small triangular tent with a pole at each end with room for one or two people.
Purple Heart   a medal awarded to a soldier for having received injuries while serving in combat.
put that in your mess kit
  think it over
PX   a store where servicemen can buy supplies usually not far from their location
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q, R S T U V W X Y Z
quarters   the building or rooms where troops live


Infantry - the Queen of Battle

Queen of Battle   The Infantry - see this link
QM   QuarterMaster = a place where supplies are stored
quonset hut   a structure used for housing in both world wars - made of curved corrugate steel sheets and shaped like a semi-circular. Used for a variety of purposes


Quanset hut

retread   a soldier from WWI also fightin in WWII
    means that a message has been received - can mean just "yes"
raincoat parade   a "parade" of men in raincoats on the way to an examination, also known as a "short arm inspection."
reconnaissance   exploration of an area, especially to gather information about the strength and positioning of enemy forces  
recruits   new soldiers who have recently enlisted

The Red Apple Bill

Red Apple Bill   an incentive program to lure re-enlistment in 1945
regiment   three battalions and support troops total 3,113 men
register   almost all male citizens and male immigrants must "register" for Selective Service - also known as "The Draft."
re-up   to reinlist in the army - to sign up for more service
repple-depple   replacement depot - a spot were replacements assemble for assignment  

Reveille Bugle Call

reveille   the bugle call for the start of the official duty day
req   short for requisition = an official triple page request in document form  

soldiers trained to provide support for troops with general supplies, food, petroleum, water and mortuary affairs supply deliveries by parachute.

The 421st Quartermaster Company are Riggers

Rigger Emblem

roll up your flaps   shut up, stop talking  
rooster tail   a high arching spurt of water following an object in the water    
RSC   one of 96th Division serving today - the Regional Support Command

Ruptured Duck Pin

Ruptured Duck   nickname for the Honorable Service Lapel Button. It was awarded to United States military service members who were discharged under honorable conditions during World War II.  
Ryukyu   (rhee-You-cue) a chain of islands in a row (an archipelago) including Leyte and Okinawa  
satchel charge   an explosive devise packed in a cloth satchel to blow open and/or close caves or apertures where enemy weapons are firing from  

A Deadeye Salute (Unknown)

salute   a precision ritual performed by members of the military when in uniform: a sign of respect for an officer's rank, a courteous exchange of greetings  
shave-tail   A brand new 2nd LT. Came from the days of mule skinners in the Army. A brand new untrained mule was a dangerous and unpredictable creature so they shaved the tail to identify it  
shelter half   ½ of a pup tent  
shingle   toast  
s**t on a shingle   dried beef gravy on toast for breakfast  
short arm inspection  

a parade of men in raincoats on the way to a personal examination, or a "rainbow parade"

shrapnel   metal shard from an explosion of an artillery shell, or hand grenade  
Shuri line   a significant battle line which was the path of the Deadeyes, made up of a series of successive ridges across a huge part of southern Okinawa.

Ruins of the Shuri Castle 1945

A Deadeye squad

"Stovepipe," "Baby Doll" Mortar

"WWII, a war won with Spam"

sinister   the right side from the front perspective- opposite of dexter See above
"Smoking and Joking"   group of soldiers standing around and not doing anything useful
SNAFU   military term defining chaos - ”Situation Normal: All Fouled Up”
spuds   potatoes
squad   the smallest ground unit of 12 men (See Chart Below)
SOL   S*** Out of Luck
soup   clouds, rain and most of all fog
soupee soupee soupee   the bugle call for mess (see Mess call)
Spam   the unapealing canned meat which was served to soldiers up to 2-3 times per day.
spuds   potatoes
spuds with bark on   unpeeled potatoes
spigot mortar   large mortar used by the Japanese Army
stateside   usually a military term meaning in the United States
stovepipe   a mortar also called a Baby Doll
sugar report   letter from a sweetheart
swagger stick   a short cane carried by a miitary officer
the bugle call for lights out, bedtime or death
taxi up   come here  
“Tell it to the Chaplain"   warding off a gripe, a TS card came from this complaint  
“Tell that to the Army"   "Tell it to the Navy, and tell it to the Marines” - a subtle public reference about how our military forces would respond to a statement that is an absolute lie or an oversimplification  
That's all she wrote   that's all    
tiger meat   beef, sometimes raw    
tracers   every third or fifth bullet fired by a machine gun that leaves a fiery trace so that the trajectory will prove where bullets are going  
trench monkey   derrogatory term for members of the army    
trip ticket   an signed authorization to use a vehicle from the motor pool  
troops   a body of soldiers, also refers to the count of soldiers with each soldier counting as one  
TS   Tough Stuff - Tough Shit    
TS Card   a card taken to the chaplain who punches it whenever a person has been treated unfairly, in jest. Print you own TS card. Link from the Musette Bag  

the same thing as an hurricane, except it originates in the tropics. Can be more fierce than a hurricane.

"Typhoon of Steel"   an alternate name for the Battle of Okinawa  
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U, V W X Y Z
Uncle Sam's Party   payday

Victory Mail

v-mail   letters sent overseas that are photographed to save space "Victory" mail  
vectored   Precicely located for target
W, X, Y, Z

The Weasel

WAC   Women's Army Corps - pronounced "Wacks"
walkie talkie   a portable radio
Weasel   The M29 Weasel was a tracked vehicle, built by Studebaker designed for operation in snow, and the the M29C Water Weasel was the amphibious version with buoyancy cells and twin rudders. This version was very useful in Okinawa during the times when even jeeps couldn't get around.
Western Pacific Patch   unique patch worn by the Deadeyes who are entitle to wear on their uniforms, as they fought in Leyte and Okinawa in the Western Pacific region

WWII US Army Forces Western Pacific Shoulder Patch

Wildcat   fighter airplanes used at Leyte
wilco   I will comply
yardbird   troublemaker soldier, also called a "goldbrick"
zombie   a soldier in the lowest class of the army classification test