Language U.S. Military Slang To Know If You Want To Avoid A "Soup Sandwich"  

Donn Saylor
732 votes 114 voters 7.9k views 20 items

List Rules Soldiers and veterans only: vote up the slang terms and phrases that are actually used in the armed services.

Anyone who has spent time in the armed forces can attest to the fact that it feels like a separate world. Soldiers even have their own language, full of military slang and terms that seem largely foreign to the rest of us. Soldier slang is nothing new; it's been employed as far back as the American Revolution, and some terms have made their way into mainstream vernacular. "Boots on the ground," "in the trenches," and "no man's land" are all soldier phrases that either come from the Marines, Army, Navy, or another military branch.

Given that serving in the military is such a exclusive experience, having a common, coded language inspires camaraderie. Military code words and slang are especially useful when describing military training programs or what it is like to endure unusual military hygiene regulations. Language is a unifying resource for U.S. servicemen and women.

1 53 VOTES

Barracks Rat

Meaning: Military personnel who choose not to leave the barracks during downtime. Often they will stay in, watch TV, and play video games. 

Use It In A Sentence: "Don't bother asking Jenkins to come along. He's a barracks rat and has a hot date with his PlayStation."

48 5
Is this real soldier slang?
2 51 VOTES

Fart Sack

Meaning: A sleeping bag. The name likely derives from the fact that if a soldier has to pass gas, it will become trapped in the insulated sleeping bag.

Use It In A Sentence: "It's 0500! Get out of your fart sack!"

45 6
Is this real soldier slang?
3 48 VOTES


Meaning: A bathroom. On ships, the toilet was often placed at the bow, or head, of the vessel. The term "head" is used primarily by the Navy and other maritime forces, while the Army calls it a latrine.

Use It In A Sentence: "Winters chugged three Diet Cokes and then made a beeline for the head."

41 7
Is this real soldier slang?
4 55 VOTES

Alpha Mike Foxtrot

Meaning: So long, farewell, auf Wiedersehen, goodbye. It's the polite way of saying "adios, motherf*cker," most often used as a friendly "see you later" among troops who are stationed together.

Use It In A Sentence: "Alpha Mike Foxtrot, I'm done for the day."

45 10
Is this real soldier slang?