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Milspeak

Cutaway

LE
Kit Reviewer
#1
Every day we use words and phrases that we all understand, but are unintelligible to those outside the system.
Some, such as abbreviations, have a counterpart in Civ Div, others are of a technical nature.
A number have been absorbed into the general language of all Brits, like 'char' and 'chat.'
The origins are sometimes clear, many of the older words were nicked from other languages, the 'cuds' for example.

But where does 'stag' come from ?
 

Ventress

LE
Moderator
#2
I have no idea!

But the majority of Armyspeak comes from India and in a few cases Arabia.

Examples:

Chittie: Paper
Buchskee: Free
Bundook: Gun
Dekko: Look
Dhobi: Laundryman
Gooli: Bullet, Ball, hence testicle 8O
Jeldi: Hurry up.
Khushi: easy
Kuds: Mountains
Nappi: Barber, hence napper
Pukka: Good
Puggled: Mad
Wallah: Bloke

All link into Brit-speak today!
 
#3
Origins of "On Stag"

Many years ago when cutaway was a young lad, in a time when the Lords of the land could have their own private Regiments, his Lordship would often have hunting trips acros the thousands of acres of land he owned.

On these trips the most valued prize was always the mighty Stag.
Rather than his Lordship on constant lookout for the mighty stag, so young Pte Cutaway would often find himself on Stag Watch.
Shortened now to "On Stag". :D
 
#4
SKJOLD said:
Origins of "On Stag"
...
Rather than his Lordship on constant lookout for the mighty stag, so young Pte T Atkins would often find himself on Stag Watch.
Shortened now to "On Stag". :D
Thank you, Shield.

Next?
 

Cutaway

LE
Kit Reviewer
#5
Cheers for that Skjold, sounds convincing.

By the way, I think it should have read 'just a couple of years ago when Cuts was a young lad' !

:wink:
 
E

error_unknown

Guest
#6
Mufti - which is why Household Div say Plain Clothes as they were far to Grande to go out East, but did do Med and Africa and the land of the Yanks in wigtime.
Khaki - Dust first used by Brit Indian troops as cam.
 
#7
Ventress said:
I have no idea!

But the majority of Armyspeak comes from India and in a few cases Arabia.

Examples:

Chittie: Paper
Buchskee: Free
Bundook: Gun
Dekko: Look
Dhobi: Laundryman
Gooli: Bullet, Ball, hence testicle 8O
Jeldi: Hurry up.
Khushi: easy
Kuds: Mountains
Nappi: Barber, hence napper
Pukka: Good
Puggled: Mad
Wallah: Bloke

All link into Brit-speak today!
Can add a couple more to this:

Basha - Hindi for "makeshift shelter"

Shufti from the Arabic, Shuff (to see or look)

You also probably already know a couple of others from wider use:

Jhodphurs - trousers, ridiculous, cavalry officer type.

Pyjamas - Hindi for trousers.
 
#8
A few more :-

Dhobi - Hindi for washing
Dekko - To take a look (Hindi, deckna, to look)
Pukka - Genuine, authentic, first-class (Hindi pakka cooked, ripe, solid)
Fellah - Arabic or Egyptian peasant (Arabic fallah)
Chit - short letter, voucher (Hindi citth)
Skoff - Matebele for food
Sangar - Temporary fortification made of loose stone (India, Afganistan)
Doolali - The town in India which was the location of the military phyciatric hospital
Laager - Defensive formation of halted vehicles (normally a circle) in S. Africa
 

Cutaway

LE
Kit Reviewer
#9
While it occurs to me here's a few,

Commando - (From Afrikaans)
Imshi - Go (Arabic)
Khaki - Dust or mud (Urdu)
Panee - water (Urdu)
Yallah - Run or hurry (Arabic)

Doubtless there'll be more coming out of the ME after the present sojourn.


Disused slang
Lao - Run or hurry
Ombasha - Cpl
Doolali Tap - Mad (Apparently the BMH at Doolali included a psycolological health ward, but in those days it probably called something less PC, the 'tap' coming from the speaker tapping his head with his forefinger)
 

Cutaway

LE
Kit Reviewer
#10
Plant-Pilot said:
A few more :-

......

Skoff - Matebele for food

......
Scoff I believe comes from the restaraunt run by the surrender-monkey, L'Escoffier in the early part of the 20th century. Many Brit slang words have entered black languages in southern Africa, as evidenced by the mixed working language of Fanagalo. (And even Chilapalapa !)

The word for food in Matabele/Ndebele is 'ukudla'
 
#11
Ambulance and pundit - both Hindi (I think!)

"Freeze the balls off a brass monkey" - the "monkey" was the triangular brass frame for a pyramid of cannon balls and its contraction in cold weather would cause the pyramid to collapse.
 
E

error_unknown

Guest
#12
Cutaway said:
Disused slang
Lao - Run or hurry
Ombasha - Cpl
Doolali Tap - Mad (Apparently the BMH at Doolali included a psycolological health ward, but in those days it probably called something less PC, the 'tap' coming from the speaker tapping his head with his forefinger)
Oh I don't know, doolali is still used around here...
 
#13
wasn't Doolali a sort of giant transit camp for the raj? having to wait however many months to be posted to some fly-ridden hellhole drove you …!!
 
#15
Deolali was a large transit camp for British soldiers at the end of their service in India. Apparently, the heat there was intense and often led to sunstroke or plain madness...hence the use of the placename.
 
#17
here's some

addo - Enemy
Jaysh or gaysh - SOAF
Head Shed - Boss
Basha - Hut - shelter
Bukit - Hill
Parang - Machette
Souk - Market
 
#18
MrPVRd said:
Ambulance and pundit - both Hindi (I think!)

"Freeze the balls off a brass monkey" - the "monkey" was the triangular brass frame for a pyramid of cannon balls and its contraction in cold weather would cause the pyramid to collapse.
Pundit's were the staff of the Indian Ordanance survey. Not content with Map making in British India they also covertly surveyed the surrounding countries often disguised as holy men and the like (see Kiplings KIM) the most famous Pundits were Indians rather than heavily disguised Brits.

Ambulance is from the Latin to walk (i think!!)

Trotsky
 
#19
This example of the over use of clichés previously printed in Soldier contains quite a few phrases that I have to translate for the civvys who read it:-

I think we need to hit the ground running, keep our eye on the ball, and make sure that we are singing off the same song-sheet. At the end of the day it is not a level playing field and the goal posts may move; if they do, someone may have to pick it up and run with it. We must therefore have a golf bag of options hot-to-trot from the word ‘go’. It is your train set but we cannot afford to leave it on the back burner; we’ve got a lot of irons in the fire right now.

We will need to un-stick a few potential shit traps but it all depends on the flash-to-bang time and fudge factor allowed. Things may slip to the left and, if they do, we will need to run a tight ship. I don’t want to reinvent the wheel but we must get right into the reeds on this one. If push comes to shove, we may have to up-stumps and then we’ll be in a whole new ball game.

I suggest we test the water with a few warmers in the bank. If we can produce the goods then we will be cooking with gas. If not, then we are in a world of hurt. I don’t want to die in a ditch over it but we could easily end up in a flat spin if people start getting twitchy.

To that end, I want to get around the bazaars and make sure the movers and shakers are on-side from day one. If you can hit me with your shopping list I can take it to the head honchos and start the ball rolling. I know you’re not the sharpest tool in the box and may be a few sandwiches short of a picnic, but together we’ll be the best thing since sliced bread.

There is light at the end of the tunnel and I think we’ve backed a winner here. If it gets blown out of the water, however, I will be throwing a track. So get your feet into my in-tray and give me chapter and verse as to how you see things panning out. As long as our ducks are in a row I think the ball will stay in play and we can come up smelling of roses.

Before you bomb-burst and throw smoke it is imperative we nail our colours to the mast and look at the big picture. We’ve got to march to the beat of the drum. We are on a sticky wicket, we’ll need to play with a straight bat and watch out for fast balls.

I’ve been on permanent send for long enough and I’ve had my ten pence worth. I don’t want to rock the boat or teach anyone to suck eggs. We must keep this firmly in our sight picture and not under our hats or it will fall between the cracks. If the cap fits, wear it, but it may seem like pushing fog uphill with a sharp stick.
 
#20
Trotsky said:
MrPVRd said:
Ambulance and pundit - both Hindi (I think!)

"Freeze the balls off a brass monkey" - the "monkey" was the triangular brass frame for a pyramid of cannon balls and its contraction in cold weather would cause the pyramid to collapse.
Pundit's were the staff of the Indian Ordanance survey. Not content with Map making in British India they also covertly surveyed the surrounding countries often disguised as holy men and the like (see Kiplings KIM) the most famous Pundits were Indians rather than heavily disguised Brits.

Ambulance is from the Latin to walk (i think!!)

Trotsky
correct on 'ambulance', Trotsky. ambulo, ambulare, ambulavi.
 
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