Are you offended by being referred to as a Squaddie?

Are you offended by being referred to as a Squaddie?

  • Bloody right I am!

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • I am not bothered one way or the other

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • I've been called a lot worse

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • It's what I am

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
A Retired Officer of my aquaintance has suggested that the term Squaddie is a perjorative term (i.e. expressing contempt) for an inexperience soldier dating back to National Service days, used by Regulars to describe National Service recruits who were untrained, incapable of thinking for themselves and who could only be herded around in squads. He is rallying against its use and is trying to stop the likes of Soldier Magazine from referring to our brave boys as mere 'squaddies'.

I assert that this meaning has fallen by the wayside and it is now a general, if not affectionate term, one that is used by everyone to refer to a soldier, both within the Army and by onlookers; Dermot Moynahan coined the expression only the other day on Breakfast Time!

What is your view? Are you offended by the term? Do you care? State your view here.
I am not offended.

I think alotof terms used in days of yore have fallen by the wayside. May I bring to your attention the word "Gay". I'm sure alot of Arrsers are very gay to be here. ;)
The jury has been out on where the "squaddie" thing originated from. One of the more plausible is that its a corruption of the Hindi word "sawadee" or soldier. Anyhoo, the use of the term by those outside the game often appears (and I'm not too sensitive a wee soul) to have a perjorative overtone as in "How would you expect him to understand, he's only a squaddie". It also seems to be, for some folk, a shorthand for crude and licentious soldier and not for gangling, effete member of the officer class. So, in general terms, I'm agin it when its used in a disparaging way. Come to think of it, I'm getting pretty hacked off with it whenever the press use it, either as a stick to beat us ("Crazed squaddies in night rampage") or in an oleaginous attempt to appear to support us("We're going in with our hero squaddies"). Don't start me on the use of the word "elite" in a military context...........


Book Reviewer
The Mrs Goat said to me the other day

" Squaddie? Is that how you think of yourself then?...I never wanted to be a squaddie's wife! "

So I think SHE believed it to be , as you say, a perjorative term......I don't particularly - but I suspect she's in the majority, certainly amongst the chatterati....

I was a jack before I was a squaddie, so when I got khaki-ised being called JACK was something I puzzled over - not an insult where I'd come from :)

Squaddie is at least a straight forward British term....Tommy is a bit , er, Mister Cholmondely-Warner....TOM is a bit Grant Mitchell....Grunt is a bit Full Metal Jacket....what the hell else are you going to call British soldiers?

Be proud gents.....( not sure what female squaddies are called these days ! )

Le Chevre


Book Reviewer
Warrior_Poet said:
There is one word that I find far more offensive than Squaddie and that is "Civvie"
I dunno...STAB runs it a close second ;-)...especially to those about to receive their SECOND call-up for the Sandbox.....
Yes deeply offended, I was and still am a bootneck, but what would mere civvies know!!

Similar to a cmt being called a nurse!! he he he

Squaddie is pejorative indeed and replaced the imperial term "swaddy" in the lexicon. I will accept squaddy from other soldiers but not from chi-iking, gobfaced civilians or crabs. I am not sure how I feel about Pongos, because in my opinion having lived cheek by jowel with sailors on Fearless (oops sorry, "in" Fearless) they are quite as foul smelling as their myths would have us be! :twisted:
I think a word or term can be turned around to mean a positive.

In america, the black population now use the N word as a term of enderment. Although you are still seen as racist if you are a pasty whie caucasian if you say it to them.

The term Split Arrse is a bit contentious aswell. Some women are insulted by it but the gals in the forum think it is a very apt term to describe female arrsers.

Well, it makes me titter anyway :wink:
Offended? no as it's been already been said....that's what I am and proud of it! however, it's a term of pride when I use it, when the gutter press (the scum and the like) use it it used as a derogoritory term. I am and will continue to be a 'squaddie' and BO****KS to the journo scom!!!!
Recent example of current usage - "Don't blame the squaddies" - Andrew Gilligan (defence and diplomatic editor of the Spectator and staff writer on the London Evening Standard) says the British soldiers who beat up Iraqi rioters have become surrogates for our deep moral worry about Iraq. The Spectator, 18 Feb 06.
It depends in what context it's being used. Nothing worse than being sterotyped as a stupid, ignorant, arogant, womanising twat, especially by some second rate hack trying to get a story.
plant_life said:
It depends in what context it's being used. Nothing worse than being sterotyped as a stupid, ignorant, arogant, womanising t**t, especially by some second rate hack trying to get a story.
quite agree plant, i think it is vulgar term to use, professional soldier i like.
This sounds like more PC silliness. If a squaddie gets offended at being called a squaddie then he's in the wrong job. I do not want someone 'campaigning' on my behalf with the notion that I may be offended. A bit like some white middle class busy body campaigning 'for' various ethnics just in case they are offended at this, that and the other. There are far more important issues at large than this twoddle.

(Is this RO after a Knighthood or MBE per chance?).
Swaddy as mentioned in more than one traditional songs:

The Trooper Cut Down in His Prime

As I was a-walkin' down by the Royal Arsenal,
Early the morning though 'warm was the day,
When who should I see but one of my comrades,
All wrapped up in flannel, and cold as the clay.

Then beat the drum slowly and play your fife slowly,
And sound the dead march as you carry me along;
And fire your bundooks* right over my coffin,
For I'm a young trooper cut down in my prime.

The bugles were playin'; his mates were a-prayin',
The chaplain was kneelin' down by his bed;
His poor head was achin', his poor heart was breakin',
This poor young trooper cut down in his prime.


Get six of my comrades to carry my coffin,
Six of my comrades to carry me on high;
And six young maidens to carry white roses,
So they won't smell me as they pass me by.


Outside of the barracks you will find two girls standin',
And one to the other she whispered and said:
"Here comes the young swaddy** Whose money we squandered,
Here comes the young trooper cut down in his prime."


On the cross by his grave you will find these words written:
"All you young troopers take warnin' by me;
Keep away from them flash-girls*** who walk in the city;
Flash-girls of the city have quite ruined me."


*-bundooks - from the Hindustani banduk, a rifle or musket
**-swaddy - English slang for soldier
***-flash-girls - street girls (probably prostitutes)
I see some things dont change.
plant_life said:
It depends in what context it's being used. Nothing worse than being sterotyped as a stupid, ignorant, arogant, womanising t**t, especially by some second rate hack trying to get a story.
yeah I'm not arogant :twisted:

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