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Top United States Marine Corps acronyms and expressions: All

Rank Topic Wikipedia views
Oct 21 2010
1 Jesus slippers or Jesus boots — government-issue sandals or flip-flops for sanitation in showers. See also shower shoes. 34009
2 Asiatic — mildly deranged or eccentric as a result of too much foreign duty, or one who has missed too many boats. 19525
3 Air Force salute — to say, "I don't know" by a shrug. 16139
4 Cinderella liberty — liberty expiring at midnight. 7607
5 Mickey Mouse boots — boots designed for extreme cold weather using an air bladder for insulation, so named for their oversized and bloated appearance. 7465
6 SOS — international distress signal; or Shit On a Shingle, creamed beef on toast. 7351
7 Disneyland East — Headquarters Marine Corps at Arlington, Virginia. 7269
8 blanket party — group assault on a service member, repeatedly striking him or her, preceded by covering the victim's head by a blanket so he or she cannot identify the perpetrators. 4152
9 FUBAR — Fucked/Fouled Up Beyond All Recognition/Repair. See also SNAFU. 3894
10 Mister — antiquated naval custom of addressing male officers lieutenants and below, along with warrant officers. 3555
11 Miss — antiquated naval custom of addressing female officers lieutenants and below, along with warrant officers. 3204
12 SNAFU — Situation Normal, All Fucked Up. A Supplement to the Oxford English Dictionary, R. W. Burchfield, ed., Volume IV Se-Z, 1986</ref> See also FUBAR. 2549
13 BB counter or BB stacker — servicemember whose duties relate to the storage, issue, or handling of ordnance. 2192
14 General — method of addressing a Brigadier General, Major General, Lieutenant General, or General. 2018
15 Chesty Puller — used in reference to Marines that have been awarded many ribbons and medals. 1994
16 GI shower — bathing with limited water (often with the use of wet wipes); forcibly bathing an individual who refuses to meet minimum hygiene standards. 1933
17 KA-BAR — fighting/utility knife first issued during World War II. 1771
18 Gore-Tex — All Purpose Environmental Clothing System (APECS), a cold/wet weather protective parka and trousers, based on the Extended Cold Weather Clothing System, usually in reference to the parka; from the fabric it is made from. 1735
19 boot camp — recruit training for enlisted Marines at Parris Island, SC and San Diego, CA; while there are several explanations for it being so named, many refer to the fact that recruits wear boots nearly every day of their training. 1676
20 CS — tear gas or 2-chlorobenzalmalononitrile, a white solid powder commonly used for CBRN defense training. 1334
21 Gung ho — Chinese phrase meaning to "work together," it became the battle cry of the Marine Raiders. 1238
22 brat — longtime dependent children. 1040
23 Ensign — colors, national flag; also the most junior commissioned officer rank in the US Navy. 666
24 deck — floor or surface of the earth; to punch or knock down with one blow. 656
25 XOExecutive Officer, the second in command of a unit, known as a Chief of Staff for a general. 653
26 C4ICommand, Control, Communication, Computers, & Intelligence. 581
27 Devil Dog or Devil — nickname for Marines, a name earned by Marines fighting at the Battle of Belleau Wood; <!-- please do not edit the spelling or voracity unless consensus at the Devil Dog article changes -->from the German word "teufelhunden". 579
28 parade ground/field/deck — area set aside for the conduct of parades, drill, and ceremonies, often paved or well-maintained lawn. See also grinder. 527
29 brigprison or place of confinement aboard ship or ashore at a Marine Corps or naval station. 501
30 foxhole — fighting hole as termed by the Army and Marines of the past, no longer appropriate for Marine use. 485
31 Fiddler's Green — imaginary afterlife; paradise. 482
32 bulkhead — wall. 463
33 red leg — artilleryman. See also cannon cocker and gun bunny. 349
34 boondoggle — wasteful project or trip on government time and/or expense that serves no purpose other than to entertain the person making it. 324
35 headbathroom or latrine, a nautical term from the days of sailing ships when the designated place to defecate and urinate was forward, at the bow or "head" of the ship. 313
36 FNG — Fucking New Guy, derogatory term for a Marine recently graduated recruit training and new to a unit. 312
37 scullery — place where dishes are washed. 284
38 Iron Mike — originally a nautical term for a gyrocompass; name for various memorial statues, such as at Parris Island, SC, Quantico, VA, and Belleau, France; nickname bestowed on Marines who score a perfect 300 points on the Physical Fitness Test; nickname for a company or battery named "M or "Mike" in NATO phonetic alphabet. 268
39 port — naval term for "left"; opposite of starboard. 207
40 Remington raider — a typist or clerk in an administration billet. 199
41 CNN effect — fascination or disruption created by extensive, live television presence in a combat zone. Belknap, Margaret H. [link] (PDF). U.S. Army War College Strategy Research Project. 2001.</ref> 168
42 skipper — nickname for captain (whether Marine or Navy rank), derived from the Scandinavian word for ship, "schiffe", and the Dutch word for captain, "schipper". Inappropriate to refer to a commanding officer that is not your own or without permission. 162
43 squid — pejorative for sailor. 133
44 watch — formal tour of duty of prescribed length, usually a guard-related task. 115
45 Captain's Mastoffice hours afloat. The term "Captain's Mast" is almost universally negative, implying non-judicial punishment. The modern Navy and Marine Corps use the term "Meritorious Mast" to announce any ceremony involving the meritorious award of a higher rank or of a particular recognition or honor. 99
46 brown-bagger — a servicemember (usually married) who lives off base with his family, termed because he or she does not eat at the mess hall and must bring his/her meals with him. 87
47 chalk — squad of servicemembers in an aircraft that will or have been deployed to the ground (rappelling or parachuting). 72
48 Red Patch — device worn on the uniforms of landing support Marines to distinguish the shore party from landing troops. 72
49 China Marines - those United States Marines from the 4th Marine Regiment who were stationed in Shanghai, China during 1927 - 1941 70
50 catwalk — walkway constructed over or around obstructions on a ship or building. 68
51 detachment — a portion of a unit sent independently of its parent organization, usually in support of a larger headquarters; or a small stand alone unit isolated geographically from its parent command. 67
52 geedunk — candy and other sweets, or a location where such items are obtained (such as a store or vending machine); borrowed from the comic strip Harold Teen. See also pogey bait. 58
53 dog — small metal fitting used to secure watertight doors, hatches, covers, scuttles, etc.; also, to close/secure such door/hatch; also, slang for Marine, from the term Devil Dog. 42
54 binnacle list — sick list, a list of men excused from duty; traditionally, it was posted on or near the binnacle. 26
55 Rocks and Shoals — Articles for the Government of the Navy, the pre-UCMJ code of law for the United States Department of the Navy. 20
56 Long War — term for the War on Terrorism favored by senior military leaders. 14
57 chevron — symbols of enlisted ranks above private, usually not acceptably called "stripes" unless describing the rank insignia itself. 5
58 staff NCO or SNCO — Staff NonCommissioned Officer, Marines in the rank of E-6 or above: Staff Sergeant, Gunnery Sergeant, Master Sergeant, First Sergeant, Master Gunnery Sergeant and Sergeant Major. 5
59 scrambled eggs — gold oak leaf embroidery found on an officer's barracks cap visor and mess dress cuffs. < 5
60 ahoy — traditional nautical greeting, used for hailing other boats. < 5
61 downrange or down-range – dangerous area, from the portion of a shooting range that receives impacts; also the execution of a plan. < 5
62 weekend warriorreservist. < 5
63 blood stripe — scarlet trouser stripe worn on the blue dress trousers, awarded to Marine officers and NCOs due to their high fatality rates in the Battle of Chapultepec. Also a form of hazing where fellow NCO's inflict damage to the outer thighs of a newly promoted Corporal. < 5
64 scuttlebuttgossip; or a drinking fountain, from "butt" (cask) and "scuttle" (make a hole in a ship's side, causing it to sink), a cask that had an opening fitted with a spigot used to contain fresh water for drinking purposes. Because people gathered around a scuttlebutt, gossip, rumors, and sea stories are also known as scuttlebutt. [link] Retrieved 2008-03-16</ref> [link]</ref> < 5
65 starboard — naval term for "right", opposite of port. < 5
66 goat rope or goat rodeo or goat screw — chaotic and messy situation. See also cluster fuck. < 5
67 frock — to be authorized to wear the next higher grade before promotion, confers authority but not pay grade. < 5
68 beer garden — area set aside for the social consumption of alcohol and smoking of tobacco; may contain barbecue or picnic facilities. < 5
69 grunt or ground pounder — infantryman, formerly a pejorative that has taken more neutral tones. < 5
70 gangway — ship's passageway; also used to order juniors to give way to seniors in passageways, and particularly when going up and down ladders. < 5
71 garrison cap or garrison cover — soft green folded cap worn with the service uniform. See also fore-and-aft cap and piss cover/cutter. < 5
72 leatherneck — nickname for Marine, so named for legends stating that stiff leather collars were once worn to protect the throat from sword-blows (also thought that high stocks were worn for discipline, to keep Marines' heads high and straight). The dress blue uniform still bears a high stock collar today. Also, Leatherneck Magazine. < 5
73 pay gradeDOD system of designating a U.S. serviceperson's pay (E-1 through E-9, W-1 through W-5, and O-1 through O-10), not to be confused with rank (though the two usually correspond) or billet. < 5
74 dry fire – practice firing of a weapon without using ammunition in order to refine body position and other shooting fundamentals. < 5
75 quatrefoil — four-pointed embroidered pattern stitched on to the top of a Marine officer's barracks cover, from the tradition of wearing it to be identified as friendly to Marine sharpshooters during boarding actions in the era of wooden sailing ships. < 5
76 first shirtcompany or battery First Sergeant. < 5
77 field day — day or portion of day set aside for top-to-bottom cleaning of an area; also as a verb for the act of conducting a field day. < 5
78 swabmop; also pejorative for sailor, so named because sailors of wooden ships had to swab the decks to keep them from warping. < 5
79 pogue or POG — Marine not of the combat arms (infantry, armor, and artillery), etymology is disputed: possibly "pogue" derived from the Tagalog word meaning "prostitute" or the Erse Gaelic word meaning "to kiss [link]", while "POG" could be from the acronym Persons Other than Grunt, but could be a backronym. < 5
80 laminated — perceived semi-permanent state of issue for a normally temporary status. < 5
81 clusterfuck — chaotic and messy situation; multiple mistakes or problems happening in rapid succession. See also goat rope / goat rodeo / goat screw. < 5
82 hajjiArab or Middle Eastern person or object, from the Arabic term for one who has completed a pilgrimage to Mecca, or "hajj" < 5
83 MOS — Military Occupational Specialty, a job classification. < 5
84 trousers — pants. < 5
85 sick bayinfirmary or other medical facility aboard ship, can also refer to aid stations ashore. See also BAS. < 5
86 deep six — to dispose of by throwing overboard ship. < 5
87 military time — the time of day on a 24-hour clock. General Wallace M. Greene forbade the practice of suffixing the unnecessary word "hours" after each indication of time of day ("1330" or "thirteen-thirty" instead of "1330 hours"); the practice of saying "oh" instead of "zero" for hours before 1000 has diminished as well. < 5
88 flak jacket — antiquated term for ballistic vest or body armor. < 5
89 garrison — in addition to the traditional meaning, an adjective referring to not being deployed or deployable, such as buildings at a unit's home base. < 5
90 spud locker — place where fresh vegetables are stored, after the nickname for potatoes. < 5
91 hatch — door; more specifically, the watertight cover over an opening between compartments or that leads to the ladder wells between decks of a ship. < 5
92 half-mast — position of the ensign when hoisted to one flag/ensign height below the top, usually done in respect to a deceased person; also called "half-staff" amongst non-naval forces. < 5
93 lawn dart — pejorative for various aircraft, possibly from the lawn dart effect. </ref> < 5
94 swagger stick — antiquated symbol of authority long out of style. < 5
95 snap in — conduct sighting in or aiming exercises with an unloaded weapon. < 5
96 SOTGSpecial Operations Training Group < 5
97 battle buddy — sarcastic euphemism deriving from orders for Marines to not go on liberty alone when stationed overseas. < 5
98 deuce — reference to the number two in various unit or equipment names. < 5
99 aye-aye or aye — nautical term used as a response to orders meaning "I understand the orders I have received and will carry them out"; aye (descended from Middle English yai) dialectical for 'yes', once common in the regions from which the Royal Navy drew its sailors. < 5
100 leggings — leg coverings made of canvas with eyelets and laces or buckles to secure the trouser legs over boots. < 5
101 snot locker — nose. < 5
102 billet — specific role or job within the unit (for example, the billet of Company First Sergeant is held by the senior enlisted advisor, usually a First Sergeant, but could be a Master Sergeant or Gunnery Sergeant); not to be confused with rank, though some billets have a traditionally-held rank associated. < 5
103 TRAM — Tractor, Rubber-tired, Articulated steering, Multi-purpose. < 5
104 dog and pony show – any display, demonstration, or appearance by Marines at the request of seniors for the pleasure of someone else, such as a ceremony or parade; also, pejorative for the requirement for over-perfection of such a venue. < 5
105 high and tight — nickname for a common variant of the buzz cut, where the hair is clipped very close. < 5
106 gouge — information or news. See also word. < 5
107 hillbilly armorimprovised vehicle armor. < 5
108 busted or busted down — reduced in rank, from the term meaning "caught in the act". < 5
109 scrounge — appropriate, borrow, or acquire (possibly by doubtful means); derived from "scringe," meaning to search about, rummage, or pilfer. < 5
110 honcho or head honcho — person in charge, from the Japanese word for "boss', "hanchō"; also a nickname for Okinawan taxi drivers. < 5
111 wetting-down or wet down — celebration in honor of one's promotion as an officer or to the SNCO ranks, so named for the tradition of wetting the recipient and/or the promotion warrant. < 5
112 bean counter — servicemember more concerned with fiscal policy and accountability than operations; also as a pejorative for any person whose primary duties deal in money and budgeting. < 5
113 padrechaplain, usually Catholic, from the Spanish and Italian terms for "father". < 5
114 thousand-yard stare — unfocused gaze of a battle-weary servicemember. < 5
115 fire for effect — indicates that the adjustment/ranging of indirect fire is satisfactory and the actual effecting rounds should be fired; also a euphemism for the execution of a plan. < 5
116 portholes — military issue eyeglasses, or the wearer of glasses. See also BCGs & RPGs. < 5
117 oorah or ooh rah or Urah — spirited cry used since the mid-20th century, comparable to Hooah used in the Army or Hooyah by Navy SEALs; most commonly used to respond to a verbal greeting or as an expression of enthusiasm. The origin is often disputed. <!-- if you want to add more to this, please edit the oorah (Marines) article instead/first. --> < 5
118 jarhead — pejorative term for a Marine. Jarhead has several supposed origins: the regulation "High and Tight" haircut resembles a mason jar (to add insult, some note that the jar is an empty vessel, also therefore a Marine's head an empty vessel); the Mason Jar Company stopped making jars and made the helmets for Marines during World War II. < 5
119 hump — carry or lift a load, originally an Australian term meaning "to carry one's swag,"; also a forced march carrying full equipment loads. < 5
120 Sayōnara — Japanese for "goodbye". < 5

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