Jack, Bone and Threaders. When Ally was Warry.

Right first of all this is not a wah. (However "wah" would be a suitable word for inclusion in this topic!)

When I was in first time round - 1987-92 many of the terms used today were unheard of.

Furthermore they seem to have no obvious origin in more common terms. For example:

Bone idle is a common term in civilian life but has no obvious connection to the army slang use of "bone" meaning of "stupid."

In more common parlance someone might be on their "Jack Jones" (Rhyming slang for "own"), he might "jack something in" (give it up, pack it in) but neither seems related to the army slang adjective "jack" meaning idle, lazy etc.

Threaders? My best take on this given the context it's used in is from rhyming slang: Threadbare = Spare. Going spare = going Threadbare which has evolved into going or being Threaders.

Back in the dark ages, having lots of fancy warlike kit was the "warry" look, we would have "warry" exercises although I recall that this wasn't universal. It was well established in the Midlands in the late 80s but was a new term in the North West in the early 90's. Now it has been superseded by Ally for which there are various suggested origins, mainly pointing towards "Ally Airborne".... wherever that started!

Any thoughts on the origin of these or other slang words or uses?
Jack, in my day meant some selfish twat who only thought of himself.


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It's funny that in the RN 'Jack' is a term to describe someone who loves the mob just a little to much. i.e someone with an anchor tattoo on their forearm and white ensign flying from their 3 bed semi would be described as 'Jack as fcuk.'

In many cases it is used as a complement and is not deemed insulting as is the case with the Army.

Also the concept of 'warry' or 'ally' is entirely alien to the RN. The idea of paying for kit that you need to carry out your job is just plain stupid.

In fact quite the opposite is true of the RN in that if you were to turn up for work in non issue boots and with a shiny new Leatherman strapped to your belt, everyone would think you are an utter cock. Although I suppose having older issue kit that is a little tatty is still thought of as advantageous, mostly because it marks you out as an old timer and not a sprog.

Edited because I can't tell the difference between plain and plane. It's been a long day.
Along with "Warry" there was "Battle Bowler" & "Warry Hat" neither of which seem to be in use at present. I recently used the terms "BOHICA" and "Issue him a rubber gun chit" at a meeting. Narry a glimmer of recognition in most of those at the table though one elderley Major did grin.

Incidentally what ever happened to "Dim as a TOCH lightbulb"

Happy days.
FourZeroCharlie said:
Always thought it was 'as bright as a TocH bulb'?

...........went the same way as 'Ooh-shut that door!'.
A curious one dating from the First World War in fact. Should be a lamp not a bulb. The Toc H lamp was/is a rushlight so wouldn't be very bright.


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**** Off Fire At Donington - a storemans' refrain for years after the great blanket fire of '88
My understanding of the word ally is that it originated with airborne forces and signified that a bit of kit was a bit gucci or special.

5 AB Bde was issued lots of kit not on standard issue, many items designed to be of a lighter weight than their non air portable alternative.

Lots of this kit was manufactured from lightweight aluminium rather than heavy steel, hence the word ally for a special bit of kit.
'Tin Lid' was a term used for 'battle bowler' obviously referring to the originally issue steel helmet. I still use the term "anyone seen my lid" and get blank stares from most of the young un's.

'Jack' was defo a term used for a selfish tw@t.

'Warry' was used for anyone who overdid things like cam cream or scrim. Or had so many pouches you'd need a ratchet strap for a belt to keep them on.
I remember my brother (a crab) used the term 'Cabbage' to mean someone who took being in the forces too seriously.]
Belive it was directed at Raf Regiment type's quite a lot! :D
'Jack' - not always used as a term of outright abuse.

Can also be used in admiring tones for someone who engineers an entire 10 point plan of chess grand master style ingenuity, ruining the life of an entire brigade just so he can grab the only one that hasn't got a hole in it, or whatever.


Where did Screech come from?
chamooooone said:

as in "I am fcuking chin-strapped", I take this to mean something similar to "threaders" but I don't know why

It just means knackered, as in your head is hanging on your chinstrap.
napier said:
* Off Fire At Donington - a storemans' refrain for years after the great blanket fire of '88
...........and which superseded (in some quarters) OTC=On The Conveyor, an excuse that every tent, jerry can, DPM jacket and trouser, lightweights, KFS, etc ever produced up to April 1982 was crammed into that sad ship.
chamooooone said:

as in "I am fcuking chin-strapped", I take this to mean something similar to "threaders" but I don't know why

The version I remember was '.....he was hanging off his chin-strap' meaning completely ball-bagged.

Edit: wot Spaz said.

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