Under the Radar

9 Military Terms That Will Make You Sound Crazy Around Civilians

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BY TEAM MIGHTY — WEARETHEMIGHTY​.COM

The military has its own language of insider phrases and slang terms, and if you use these unique phrases when you are out, civilians around you are probably not going to know what you are talking about.

It can be challenging to transition from the military to civilian life, but you should probably leave these phrases behind when you leave the military. Otherwise, you’re going to get some crazy looks and eye rolls.

1. “Drug Deal”

You can acquire a new piece of gear from a buddy at supply through a “drug deal,” but if you get an awesome new red Swingline stapler like this, Milton may look at you funny.

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2. “Make a hole!”

When people are in your way, it’s no longer acceptable to yell out “make a hole,” “gangway!” or “look out.” Just try “excuse me” from now on.

3. “High speed, low drag” 

This term sums up a really great piece of equipment that you use while in uniform, but civilians are going to be like:

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4. “No impact, No idea”

You may not have any clue how to answer a question, but no one outside of the military is going to have any clue what you mean with this phrase.

5. “Nut to butt”

Let’s just not use this one, mmkay?

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6. “Pop smoke”

Now that you are no longer a ninja, you gotta drop this one.

7. “Roger that”

This one is sort of on the fence, and you may be able to say it and not confuse people. But then again, you’re probably not talking on a radio anymore.

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8. “Oohrah/Hooah/Hooyah”

Just don’t.

9. “Kill”

Troops can use “kill” for its literal meaning or just as a way of saying “got it,” or “hello.” But if you say this in civilian life, they are only going to hear the literal version and you are going to scare the crap out of people.

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(h/t Task & Purpose, Business Insider, and Military.com)

What would you add to the list? Let us know in the comments.


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We Are The Mighty (WATM) is dedicated to serving the military community with authentic entertainment and original content. With a team of military veterans and civilian military supporters, WATM features premium original and curated video programming of all genres as well as photography, stories, quizzes, lists and much more. For more, visit the We Are the Mighty site.

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