Wednesday, February 27, 2019
The Vietnam Experience....and slang
whoa! Mistake. Did not mean to publish yet, not finished!
So, a disclaimer for all the Vietnam War posts. I am aware that there are many different experiences, and that my posts reflect a middle class white upbringing. The African American and Native American experiences were different, as are individual experiences. Movies tend to portray bias, which is important to keep in mind. There are a few that address the Black experience (I love Marvin Gaye's "What's Going On") and the film Dead Presidents. Others show mixed platoons and sometimes try to illustrate dynamics. I've not seen or read of anything dealing with the Native American experience. Feel free to enlighten me....but the concept of "warrior" is important.
Meantime history has erased things we'd prefer not to remember, but please let's not go into romanticizing and hero-izing that war. There is much to be learned still.
I'm gonna just focus on the slang I like best, since there is so much of it!
bird dog -- forward observer, often in small fixed wing aircraft
blooper -- M-79, grenade launcher, for the sound it makes?
body count -- well, it wasn't about taking territory so it must have been about killing....
boonie hat -- soft, OD, remember Gilligan? worn by boonie rats out in the boonies
boo-coo -- many or much (from French)
boom-boom -- sex
brown water navy -- Navy ships, Mekong River
charlie -- the enemy
cherry -- new guy in unit AKA FNG, fucking new guy, newbie, fresh meat
CIB -- combat infantry badge, earned by being in combat. THE Vietnam badge to have
cluster fuck -- see FUBAR
C-rats -- C rations, food usually canned, eaten in field. Peaches!
crispy critter -- burn victim
DEROS -- Date of Expected Return from Overseas Service; most army soldiers served for one year in Vietnam and knew the date they would be leaving.
deuce & 1/2 -- 2.5 ton truck. Fun to say, right?
di di -- go (from Vietnamese)
di di mau -- go quickly, get out of here
dinky dau -- crazy
ditty bopping -- walking without paying attention
expectants -- those expected to die, triage term
fragging -- killing an officer
free fire zone -- presumably a place where civilians have been removed or have left, so that only enemy soldiers remain Kill at will.
friendly fire -- killing your own troops, by accident
FUBAR-- fucked up beyond all recognition
gook -- an Asian (Korean)
grunt -- soldier
heads & juicers -- grass vs alochol
hump -- carry on march, like the over 70 lbs of equipment commonly issued
in country -- in Vietnam
Indian country -- controlled by the other side
jet jockey -- fighter pilot
jody -- person at home who's taken your girlfriend
John Wayne -- doing something macho & stupid, also a can opener
Kit Carson scout -- former enemy, now guide
klick -- kilometer
LBJ -- Long Binh jail, military jail
lifer -- career military, usually derogatory
little people -- ARVN, South Vietnam army soldiers. AKA Marvin the Arvn
LZ -- landing zone
MACV -- military assistance command, Vietnam (I just like saying it. Mack-V)
MASH -- mobile army surgical unit, used in Korea
NCO -- non commissioned officer, eg sergeant. Contrast with lieutenants, often arriving in country directly from military training,.
number one, number ten -- best, worse
number ten thousand -- really really bad!
OD -- olive drab
over the fence -- crossing into Cambodia, Laos
prick 25 -- PRC 25 radio
REMF -- rear echelon motherfucker
Remington Ranger -- like REMF, behind the lines at a typewriter
ROK -- Republic of Korea. Yep, we had Korean, Australian, and other allies in country
saddle up -- get ready to march
shake & bake -- soldier in country after finishing NCO training, ie non-commissioned officer
shit hook -- Chinook helicopter (two blades)
short, short timer -- soldier nearing end of tour; see DEROS
sit-rep -- situation report, useable in all sorts of life situations
slant -- Vietnamese person; see gook, dink
slick -- Huey (UH-1) helicopter used in combat
snake -- Cobra attack helicopter
strac -- prepared, by the book (Strategic Air Command)
t & t -- through and through wound
taking point -- in platoon, the person going first in line, danger of mines]
tee-tee -- very small
track -- a vehicle on tracks, not wheels
tunnel rats -- those unfortunate smaller soldiers sent into tunnels built by VC
VC -- Viet Cong, enemy in the south (North Vietnam Army -- NVA)
Zippo raids -- lighting the thatch roofs in a village, burning it down, crispy critters
101 -- Hundred and worst, screaming eagles, puking pigeons
82nd Airborne -- AA -- Almost airborne alcoholics anonymous
1st Infantry -- Big Red One, watch where you put the accent
9th infantry -- psychedelic cookies
feel free to contribute more....