Mar 062020

As early as the 20th and 21st centuries the usage of digger slang came into effect. This is how our defense force commanders communicated. We also call it Anzac or Australian slang. Would you want to know what they are? Then follow this post to understand how they have grouped and understood meaning for each slang.

We have categorized the slangs in few types as mentioned below. It will help you to grasp them as we have listed them under each category like slangs used to name the military equipment, their devices, the common communication between the commanders and their subordinate etc. Few do not have any unique context and hence we have listed them under miscellaneous. Look for the words you require and become familiar with how our defense people communicate with each other.

Australian Slang About Military

Military Equipment

All the equipment used in the Australian defense is mentioned below. For instance, a helicopter is, in general, referred to as Helo. However, a heavy-lift helicopter is called as an angry chook. Likewise, we have different slangs for the same types of equipment as well. Quite interesting right? Read in detail to learn more.

  1. Pig        – F-111 aircraft.
  2. Jellybean dispenser      – sub-machine gun F1
  3. Helo      – helicopter
  4. Elephant gun   – a rifle that is self-loading type
  5. Clacker – Firing device hand-held
  6. Cent    – Armoured vehicle used for fighting (Centurion)
  7. Black plastic fantastic – It is the slang used to refer M16. During the times when both common service rifles namely SLR and M16 were in use
  8. Bird Gunner    – Surface-Air Missiles
  9. Bang Stick – Rifle
  10. Bang Sea – Ejection seat
  11. AusCam –        It is a piece of military equipment used as a standard mask. AUStralian CAMouflage’ in short is called as AusCam.
  12. APC – Standard is the Armoured Personnel Carrier. More colloquially it is also used to refer bathing done to clean armpits with limited water resource
  13. Angry Chook  –  A Chinook which is used in the army called a heavy-lift helicopter

Soldiers personal activity and things they use

Under this division, we have spoken about the general activity which a defense person does during their stay. It may include their eating habits, the things they use for cooking or terms they use to go to sleep and much more. They speak a secret language as they are used to do so and we are proud that they protect our nation.

  1. Back-ups         – At the time of having meals the few seconds time taken is referred to as back-ups.
  2. Banjo  – It is a breakfast made of bacon and egg provided in tin foil rolls to the people in the army who takes care of the country staying in the range
  3. Bird Bath – Taking bath not with water but with a baby wipe or other similar clothes. For example, they use Bog or date roll which is nothing but toilet tissue
  4. Bush Hat – soldiers wearing a floppy hat during training
  5. Dixie-bashing – to washing
  6. Eating irons     – Cutlery
  7. Sleeping bag – going to bed
  8. Farter bed – going to sleep
  9. Scran-bag        – the bag that contains clothes and it is lost
  10. Skippy Badge Hat
  11. Slouchie / Slouch Hat – soldiers wearing a brown coloured fur-felt hat

Military instructions

Commands issued by the higher officials to their subordinates in the ground. This also includes the words used by senior officials to scold their reporters for non performance or disobedience  

  1. Brass up – Fire at something many times
  2. Bug out – leave the area
  3. Face ripping    – one-way talk between a soldier and his subordinate
  4. Harden Up      – Commanding a person to do the job without cribbing to make them stop complaining
  5. Pineapple        – odious task delivered by a sergeant
  6. ROP    -Restriction of Privileges. A person who is guilty of a military offense is given this punishment.
  7. Tea and Sticky Buns   – senior commander talks one-way providing feedback of the team member reminding the shortcomings

Devices and items used in the army

Apart from the equipment used in the defense, the devices like goggles, surface vessels etc are separately explained in the section below.

  1. Battle Tranny  – Radio stations are accessed using this device
  2. Hoochie – plastic sheets used for making a shelter
  3. Mog     – medium transport truck
  4. NVG    – goggles used for getting night vision
  5. Pam     – doctrine manual
  6. Seventy-Seven Set      – AN/PRC-77 manpack radio
  7. Target – Naval surface vessel
  8. Yowie suit – garments that are heavily camouflaged and snipers wore
  9. Zoom bag –     Flying suit.
  10. F.R.E.D           – device which can be used to open can, bottle and also used as a spoon
  11. Fruit salad / Gongs      – Medals
  12. Gucci  – expensive kit

General terms mainly related to food and eatables

A mention of the food items and things related to cooking and eating are explained below. For eg a fruit drink is called as limer and a goffa means soft drink.

  1. Canteen Medals – stains of beer or food on the jacket close to the chest area
  2. Gomper –  Chocolate bar (gumpy bar)
  3. Bohica – Bending Over
  4. Dixies  – cooking pans small in size
  5. Drabs   – tropical dress used by airforce officials
  6. Fatcans or Fat shop     – Canteen
  7. Fat pills           – candies, sweets, chocolates or lollypops
  8. Limers – fruit drink
  9. Hot Box          – a plastic container with cooked vegetables in a small portion
  10. Juvie juice       – flavored fruit juice
  11. KFS     – Knife Fork Spoon all three built-in as one equipment
  12. Maggoty          – meat pie
  13. Q-store            – huge building stacked with all things
  14. Rat Pack          – 24 hour CRP (combat ration pack)
  15. Redders           -Tomato sauce
  16. SCRAN           – food that contains Sultanas, Currants, Raisins and Nuts
  17. Turps   – drinking alcohol in excess
  18. Goffa / Goffer –           Soft drink

People in the army

How do we call the officials in the army?? That is exactly listed below. A jube is an amateur soldier, on the other hand, a tank soldier is gun bunny and, in general, a soldier is called digger. Find more from the list given below.

  1. Bean Counter  –  A person who pretends to understand but knows hardly anything
  2. Black Hat  – professionals in the armor corp department
  3. Bagger – A married member who comes from home and is married. He has home lunch and not eats at the canteen.
  4. Boffin  – Technicians who take care of electronic things in the army.
  5. Boggy – Also called as bograt, a Pilot Officer
  6. Boots   – A person who is out of reach for vision and hardly his boots can be seen
  7. Cams   – DPCU – Disruptive Pattern Combat Uniform (DPCU), dress used by army and air force officials during exercise.
  8. Chicken Strangler       – soldiers who are capable of living off the land
  9. Cockroach       – supply person in the ordnance corps department
  10. Craftie – Royal Australian Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (RAEME) private corps
  11. Dargon            – Non-Commissioned or warrant officer at a senior level
  12. Digger – army soldier
  13. Drop shorts/ Gun Bunny – tank soldier
  14. Dirt Dart         – army parachuting soldier
  15. Emu Bob or Parade     – soldiers forming a line and walk to pick up litter
  16. Handbag          – Cops who operate the signals. Also, medical kits are referred to as the handbag.
  17. Jube     – amateur soldier
  18. Fang Farrier    – dental doctor in the army
  19. Koala Bear      – a person fit for nothing is called this way
  20. Light / Half Colonel – Lieutenant
  21. Lobster            – physical training teacher
  22. Mango – Army Reservist
  23. Morale Vampire         – goal-oriented officer
  24. Numpty           – a person who is fit for nothing
  25. Off Cut / Oci dot – officer cadet
  26. Oxygen thief   – useless person to the core who is thought of wasting oxygen being alive
  27. Packed lunch commando        – army reserve member
  28. Retread           – trade changing soldier
  29. Reg      – solider
  30. Q         – Quartermaster
  31. Q-blokes or Q-waller or Quey – a person working in the Q-store.
  32. Pusser  – Sailor
  33. Quarmbie        – a person with a lack of motor skills
  34. Ration Assassin – a person who cooks for the defense personnel
  35. Rat-Catcher    – hygienists
  36. Rupert – Army Officer
  37. Sally Man        – Army Officer.
  38. SAS     – short form of Special Air Service
  39. Trash haulers /trash –  Transport aircrew
  40. Tanker/Tanky – belongs to the armored corps team
  41. Tooth Fairy     – a member of army dentists
  42. Trucky – Soldiers
  43. Turret-head      – armored corp member
  44. Two-dads         – a person with a hyphenated surname
  45. Fish head          – aircrew in maritime patrolling
  46. Fitter and turner          – cook in an army
  47. Flight Lewie    – Flight Lieutenant
  48. Flogg Off – Flying Officer
  49. Grunt(s) – infantry soldier.
  50. Gunny/Gunnie Air Force term for an armaments fitter. No relation to the US Marine Corps rank of Gunnery Sergeant.
  51. Gun Plumber   Fitter/armourer, usually those attached to artillery units.
  52. Ginger Beers- flight engineers
  53. Gaz      – a person with great skills


The remaining slang used by people in the army are listed below

  1. Pig Pen            – Officer’s mess
  2. Snake Pit         – Sergeants Mess
  3. COMMS – a short form of communication. Talk or discussion related to any topic.
  4. EX       – short form of exercise
  5. Cloud Puncher – Artillery air defense branch
  6. CRP     – Combat Ration Pack
  7. Crump in – bad parachute landing
  8. Door kicker     – trained SAS professional to gain forcible entry
  9. Head Shed        – unit level headquarters
  10. House on the back        – soldiers will pack everything in a pack and hold it on their back
  11. Hook in – perform a task with vigor
  12. KFF      – slouch hat
  13. Kip       – nap
  14. Nard roll           – Toilet roll
  15. O Group           – Order distributing meeting
  16. OP        – operation
  17. One-ers – preparing coffee for self and not offering to others
  18. Redders medal -a stain occurred on one’s uniform of tomato sauce.
  19. Red Tabs         -red tabs are worn on the collars of Senior Officers in the Army these red tabs are used to differentiate the official. They are used by Colonel and above.
  20. Resup  -in terms of food, water and ammunition resume is used. It means resupply.
  21. Rock show      -it is used to describe a plan which has not been planned and managed well.
  22. Sad-on – being unhappy
  23. Sads     – whining
  24. Space Cadet    – Staff Cadet
  25. Sparky – Electrician
  26. Spook  – Intelligence Officers.
  27. Subbie – Lieutenants, Pilot, Flying Officers
  28. Snake  – Sergeants
  29. Tail-end Charlie          – he is the soldier who protects the rear of a platoon
  30. S.W.A.T          Reserves. Abbreviation for Some Weekends And Tuesdays
  31. Tailor-made – Mass-produced
  32. TIC      – short form of Troops In Contact
  33. TOC    – defense canteen service
  34. Tubbin – short form of Thumb Up Bum Brain In Neutral
  35. Two-way rifle range   – Battlefield
  36. Up there Cazaly          – infantrymen battle cry
  37. UXO    Unexploded Ordinance. This either has not been fired or failed to detonate or explode when it was fired.
  38. Webbing         A system of pouches worn by a soldier as his or her basic belt kit carrying water, ammunition and sometimes food.
  39. Wombat gun   – Waste Of Military Budget And Time M79 grenade launcher
  40. Free Balling or snaking – going commando means without underwear.
  41. Full-track – substituted for rank corporal.
  42. Gammas – go to the upper deck and expose to the sunlight
  43. Gedunk Machine – dispensing machine for drinks and candy
  44. Go fast –  airforce members wearing a baseball cap
  45. God Botherer/sky pilots – remotely religious
  46. Goffa   – navy salute
  47. Gonk     – To sleep

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