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Grunt Slang in Vietnam

Grunt Slang in Vietnam

Auld-Yin

ADC
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
Reviews Editor
Every army has its slang and way of speaking and this often changes from theatre to theatre, war to war, reflecting the social norms that the civilian soldiers have come from plus the local foreign language bastardised and reused. The US soldier or Marine in Vietnam in the 60s and 70s is no different. The author has brought together this lexicon of words and phrases used by ‘Grunts’ in The ‘Nam. Two pieces of slang there with Grunts and The ‘Nam. The second is obvious but the former has...

Click here to read the full review.....
 

Niamac

GCM
Thanks for that; good recommendation, I'll read it if boredom gets me. I found Micheal Herr's "Dispatches" the definitive book on Vietnam.

I particularly liked his tale of visiting a Marine firebase when a sudden VC attack came in; machine gun fire and mortaring. He dived into a trench followed by a large Marine who landed on him. After they sorted themselves out and while the kinetic activity was buzzing around above them the Marine remarked;

"I hate this movie"
 

Auld-Yin

ADC
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
Reviews Editor
Thanks for that; good recommendation, I'll read it if boredom gets me. I found Micheal Herr's "Dispatches" the definitive book on Vietnam.

I particularly liked his tale of visiting a Marine firebase when a sudden VC attack came in; machine gun fire and mortaring. He dived into a trench followed by a large Marine who landed on him. After they sorted themselves out and while the kinetic activity was buzzing around above them the Marine remarked;

"I hate this movie"
Just to be clear, this is not a book about VN, but a dictionary of words used there.
 


How long have I been in country? All f*cking day....

Don't mean nuthin', drive on...
 
Every army has its slang and way of speaking and this often changes from theatre to theatre, war to war, reflecting the social norms that the civilian soldiers have come from plus the local foreign language bastardised and reused. The US soldier or Marine in Vietnam in the 60s and 70s is no different. The author has brought together this lexicon of words and phrases used by ‘Grunts’ in The ‘Nam. Two pieces of slang there with Grunts and The ‘Nam. The second is obvious but the former has...

Click here to read the full review.....

Morning @Auld-Yin,
Cheers for that. Someone should do one for different eras of HMF. e.g. 'A Load of Old(Cold War)Cobblers'.
 

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The author is a prodigious writer on Vietnam, WWII, The Pacific war and all manner of miltary topics.

He also wrote a book called FUBAR about GI slang in WWII.

Anyone interested in his output and looking to fill otherwise empty self-isolation doldrums can download a lot of them here (free of charge, no credit card authentication etc. Safe and secure):

 

overopensights

ADC
Book Reviewer
They called their new recruits FNGs Fecking new guy! We called ours in Borneo YPs Young personel ; a difference in cultures displayed there!
 

AlienFTM

MIA
Book Reviewer
They called their new recruits FNGs Fecking new guy! We called ours in Borneo YPs Young personel ; a difference in cultures displayed there!
I read a book called Nam about 30 years ago. FNG was the one word/abbreviation/whatever that stuck.
 
I often hear the older generation of professional soldiers from that time use:

Beaucoup = many, lot's of, much. As in: "shit I have a hangover I drank beaucoup beer last night".

Di di mau = leave quickly, run away, lets fcek off quick. As in: "the wife is coming di di mau".

MIlitary terms and slang from the 60's: Glossary of Military Terms & Slang from the Vietnam War D-J
 

Dwarf

LE
I find that reading ficitonalised books by actual Vietnam Vets brings across the flavour and language extremely well.

Fields of Fire by James Webb being a favourite for that.

He also includes a glossary at the end.
 
"Why they call them grunts?"

Ground Reconnaissance Unit, Non-Tracked, thank you very fecking much, says the Infantry (Queen of Battles). Government Reject, Unfit for Normal Training said the fecking PoGos.

 
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overopensights

ADC
Book Reviewer
On the topic of stolen valor, it's interesting to note than a man who also wrote a lot on the Vietnam war, Shelby Stanton, was embroiled in one such scandal, having invented many parts of his biography and most of his medals.

Do a search with "Stanton" in the below pdf to get to the details of the accusations against him



Some of Stanton's books


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I think one of the best Vietnam books is 'Proud Bastards' written by a US Marine from his experience of being an 18 year old recruit thrown right into the deep end.
 
I think one of the best Vietnam books is 'Proud Bastards' written by a US Marine from his experience of being an 18 year old recruit thrown right into the deep end.

I enjoyed "Secret Commandos" by John Plaster (in spite of the title...). It's a personal account of his time in MACV SOG.


 

overopensights

ADC
Book Reviewer
This will grate on others, it certainly wound me up! and thats the US Mil system of 'day old recruits' being thrown right into the battle. During the Battle for Hui they were being sent forward as they came in country. They were arriving in a hot Battle situation whereby 25 Marines were laid out in a row dead in front of the Company Commanders position, as the new ones arrived they were also being killed off. One company Commander sent over the Radio, "Don't send me any more kids, get me some chicago Gangsters!"
Read the book Battle for Hui, you won't regret it! I reviewed it on the book reviews on the book site here.
 
They called their new recruits FNGs Fecking new guy! We called ours in Borneo YPs Young personel ; a difference in cultures displayed there!


When i joined they still called the new lads "nigs". Never bothered to find out what that actually means but i really doubt that anyone would dare say it in todays diversity and inclusion army. It's too close to Guy Gibson's dog's name for comfort.
 

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