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Down Under Military Glossary

Common Aussie and Kiwi Terms from the Vietnam War

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Down Under MilTerms
a glossary of common Aussie and Kiwi terms from the Vietnam War

Reference Notes

1st Australian Logistic Support Group, based at Vung Tau

1ATF :
1st Australian Task Force; brigade sized formation based at Nui Dat
1st Australian Task Force had its self-contained defensive base at Nui Dat, which was a hill surrounded by an old rubber plantation. It was quite a sizeable base about 2 x 3 kilometres. 1ATF was approximately 5,000 men in strength, and was commanded by a brigadier. 1ATF consisted of three infantry battalions plus supporting troops including armour, artillery, engineers, signals, intelligence, light aircraft (fixed-wing and helicopters), and all the administrative elements such as truck transport, mechanical repair, field ambulance, pay, chaplains, canteens, etc. It contained two small airstrips and helicopter pads.

1st Ranger Squadron :
name of New Zealand Special Air Service (NZSAS) platoon attached to Australian Special Air Service (ASAS) at Nui Dat

161 :
161st Battery, Royal New Zealand Artillery (RNZA); see Possum

2 (or 4 or 6) RAR / NZ :
ANZAC battalion in which NZ companies served

2IC :
Second in Command

2,4-D :
2,4 dichlorophenoxyacetic acid; component of herbicidal defoliant

2,4,5-T :
2,4,5 trichlorophenoxyacetic acid; component of herbicidal defoliant

Australian Army Training Team Vietnam

Abdul :
a Turkish soldier

Abo :
Aborigine; an aboriginal inhabitant of Australia, or any of the peoples descended from them; also called black fella

ace :
excellent; very good

ack emma :
morning; from a.m. (ante meridiem) in the phonetic alphabet that was current during the WWI-era

Adam's ale :
sardonic reference to water

adjutant :
an officer who assists a more senior officer with the organisation, administration, and discipline of a battalion or regiment

admin :
administration; preparing for and maintaining personal and unit readiness for operations (ops)

Adrian helmet :
a WWI-era helmet with a raised crest along the top, invented by August-Louse Adrian, as used by France, Italy, and other nations

adverts :
advertisements, ads, commercials

aerial pingpong :
slang for Australian rules football

afterbirth :
a dysphemism for the food served in a military mess

Australian Forces, Vietnam

Agent Blue :
water-based herbicide; a non-systematic desiccant used primarily against grasses, taking effect in 24 - 48 hours and killing leaves in 2 - 4 days

Agent Orange :
oil-based herbicide; a systematic defoliant effective against broadleaf vegetation, achieving maximum effect in 4 - 6 weeks, with a duration of approximately 12 months

Agent White :
water-based herbicide; a systematic defoliant effective against broadleaf vegetation, achieving maximum effect in 6 - 8 weeks, with a duration of approximately 12 months

aggro :
irritation or hostility, as a shortening of aggravate or aggravation; also, confrontational or troublesome, as a shortening of aggressive or aggression

AK47 :
Kalashnikov semi or fully automatic assault weapon of the North Vietnamese Army (NVA) or Viet Cong (VC) using 7.62mm short ammo in detachable magazines; see RPD, SKS

Albatross :
call-sign of Iroquois ('Huey') helicopter flown by the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF)

Alleyman :
a German during WWI-era, from corruption of French Allemand

a lot of cock :
catch-phrase for any nonsense; also represented as a lot of hot cock

Australian Logistics Support Group
ALSG was located at the port of Vung Tau where logistic supplies from Australia were landed. There was a military hospital (1st Australian Field Hospital which was a bit more up-market than M*A*S*H on TV), major mechanical repair facilities, a rest and recuperation centre (with swimming pool and amenities), and major administrative and logistic installations.

amber fluid :
beer – until it becomes (by the miracle of metabolism) that other amber fluid (urine)

ambo :
ambulance; ambulance driver

ambush :
attempt to kill from cover without warning, planned or done quickly

ammo :
ammunition, usually bullets but including grenades and other carried munitions; see tracer bullets, bandolier, OPDEM

anarchist :
WWI-era term for grenadier (bomber)

ANPRC-25 :
very high frequency (VHF) man-portable radio used at the sharp end for most variety of communications; commonly called 25 set

ANPRC-77 :
improved very high frequency (VHF) man-portable radio that gradually replaced the ANPRC-25 or 25 set; commonly called 77 set

anti-personnel mines :
mines designed for use against humans; intended to injure (as opposed to killing) as many enemies as possible, in order to increase the logistical (mostly medical) support required of such an enemy force

Antonio A Portuguese soldier

Australian and New Zealand Army Corps; designation created in First World War when both countries fought together for the first time (Gallipoli, 1915); also used to describe a common spirit of brotherhood – the ANZAC spirit

ANZAC biscuits :
a popular cookie flavoured with rolled oats, coconut, and golden syrup; commonly called Anzacs from having been sent in tins to Australian and New Zealand Army Corps soldiers during World War I

ANZAC soup :
WWI-era slang for a water-filled shell hole with a corpse floating in it

AO :
Area of Operations; terrain that ground forces patrolled and fought to dominate; see Op

Aotearoa :
Maori name for New Zealand, meaning land of the long white cloud

AP :
anti-personnel munition, as in AP mine

Armoured Personnel Carrier: M113 for troops, M125 mortars, M548 cargo, M577 ACV, M579 fitters; see PC, tracks

Apple Isle :
Tasmania, an apple growing state; formerly Van Diemen's Land

apples :
slang for fine or suitable, acceptable or satisfactory, okay or all right (e.g. She'll be apples.); also expressed as she'll be right or not to worry

A & P Show :
Agricultural and Pastoral fair, being a three- or four-day event where farm produce is displayed, prizes awarded, and visitors are entertained by vendors

Australian Regular Army; the Regular or professional soldier

arc :
area that a weapon or soldier was required to cover in an all-round protective posture

Arc Light operations :
code name for the devastating aerial raids of B52 Stratofortresses against enemy positions in South-East Asia

arctic :
tractor-trailer truck, being a truncation of articulated

arse :
butt or rear end; what Americans call ass (not a donkey)

arse bandit :
a male homosexual

arse in gear :
move quickly or make haste; also expressed a in g (e.g. Get your arse in gear!)

artillery forward observers :
artillery men attached to rifle companies; acted as middle men between artillery and soldiers, giving co-ordinates to artillery at base

arty :
artillery of any calibre, tracked or towed; most common included 105mm, 155mm, 8-inch howitzers, 40mm dusters

arvo :
slang for afternoon; also expressed afo

Australian Special Air Service, formed in 1957 as the 1st Special Air Service Company and redesignated on 4 Sept 1964, it was patterned on the British SAS; 3 Squadron deployed to Nui Dat as part of the 1st Australian Task Force in April 1966 to act as eyes and ears throughout 1 ATF's area of responsibility; nicknamed chicken stranglers

Australian Special Air Service Regiment; squadrons rotated through Vietnam on one year long deployments from 1966 through 1971; members of the ASASR (nicknamed phantoms of the jungle) conducted reconnaissance operations (for 1 ATF and MACV-SOG) as well as serving as instructors (at MACV Recondo School and FANK Training Command); a New Zealand SAS troop was attached to each Australian Squadron in both Borneo and Vietnam

Services Canteens Organisation (Australian Canteen Service)

asphalt [ash-felt] :

Army of the Republic of Vietnam (South Vietnamese government forces); see RF, PF, ruff puffs

Australian Task Force; see 1ATF (#atf)

aubergine :
eggplant, bringal; also, a dark purplish colour

Aussie :
an Australian; see Digger, Ozzie, 'roo

Aussie salute :
brushing or waving away flies with the hand

Australasia :
region of Australia, New Zealand, and neighboring islands in the South Pacific Ocean

Absent Without Leave, unauthorised absence from duty or place of assignment; see walkabout, going bush, gone troppo

awning over the toy shop :
a beer belly on a man

B52 Stratofortress :
long-range, subsonic, jet-powered, strategic bomber operated by the United States Air Force (USAF) since 1955

bach [batch] :
a holiday home or vacation house, a getaway dwelling or recreation cabin; also called crib

back pack :
load carrying back pack (or field pack) for field equipment and spare stores, dumped whenever a contact occurred; typical weight around 65lb / 30kg; see belt order

back of Bourke :
any distant place located a very long way away; the back of nowhere or the back of beyond [nb: Bourke is a town in New South Wales]

baggy (arse) :
private soldier; derived from ill-fitting baggy trousers

bail (somebody) up :
to physically corner a person

bail out :
to depart, usually angrily

bait layer :
slang for a cook in a military mess

baked dinner :
a traditional Sunday meal of chicken or lamb or beef baked with vegetables that's served hot

balls-up :
a confused mess or disastrous mix-up, being a series of mistakes or failures due to inefficiency or incompetence

banana bender :
a person from Queensland

Bandjalang :
Australian aboriginal language prevalent in New South Wales and Queensland

bandolier :
shoulder-carried ammunition pouch

banger :
link sausage

bangers and mash :
sausages and mashed potatoes

banjo :
slang for a shovel or entrenching tool

banquette :
a raised pathway or firing-step along the inside of a trench that allows occupants to remain concealed when not engaged

barbie :
slang for barbecue; known by Americans as bar-b-q or BBQ

barley water :
a drink made from a boiled mixture of water and barley

barrack :
cheers of encouragement, exhortation or acclamation, as to cheer on a group activity or team event

barrage :
artillery fire laid down in a line or in a three-sided box, so arranged as to prevent enemy forces from reinforcing or counterattacking; later, any large amount of artillery fire; as derived from barrier fire [tir de barrage]

base camp :
semi-permanent field headquarters and centre for a unit usually within its tactical area of responsibility (TAOR); usually contains all or part of a unit's support elements

base bludger :
WWI-era slang for someone who hangs around headquarters avoiding the fighting

base rat :
WWI-era slang for a soldier who stayed in the rear and never went to the front; also known as base wallah or base walloper

bastard :
a term of endearment

bathers :
swimming costume

battler :
someone who's working very hard but is only just getting by

b & d :
brandy and ginger ale [cf: B and B / B & B : the trademark for a brand of liqueur combining Benedictine and brandy] [cf: bourbon (whiskey) and branch (water)]

Beachy Bill :
a Turkish gun that regularly shelled the beach at Gallipoli

beaut :
an exclamation for great or fantastic, wonderful or terrific, approval or satisfaction; also expressed as beauty (e.g. That'll be beaut mate!)

bed sitter :
a small flat or studio apartment, where the parlor and bedroom are combined

beehive :
direct-fire artillery round which incorporated steel darts (flechettes), used as primary base defence munition against ground attack

beer-up :
a beer-drinking party; called beer blast by Americans

beetle :
slang for a landing craft that carried two-hundred soldiers ashore

bender :
a male homosexual (probably by allusion to the bent over posture assumed when coupling)

berm :
a narrow shelf cut into a trench parapet that was sometimes used as a table to hold ammo or equipment; as derived from French berme

beltman :

belt order :
personal load carrying belt and suspenders which remained on or close to the individual at all times, containing fighting equipment not otherwise carried in back pack; typical weight around 40lb / 18kg; see back pack

beyond the Black Stump :
any distant place located a very long way away; the back of nowhere or the back of beyond; as derived from the practise of lighting a campfire in a tree stump, so somewhere farther than civilisation

bhang :
marijuana, so called from the Hindi word for hemp; also known as margie, mull, dacca, and Buddha stick [aka: joint, stick, bullet, leaf (low grade), leaf and tip (medium grade), head (high grade), reefer, weed, grass]

Battalion Headquarters; see HQ, CHQ, CP

bicker :
any wooden dish or bowl, especially a wooden porridge bowl; probably derived from a wooden beaker

bickie :
slang for a biscuit [cookie], and also spelled bikkie; also, a metaphor for coins or money (e.g. That takes big bickies.)

big-note :
to brag or boast about oneself

big smoke :
slang for any large city or developed urban area; ostensibly due to its smog and industrial pollution

bikkie :
slang for a biscuit [cookie], and also spelled bickie; also, a metaphor for coins or money (e.g. That takes big bikkies.)

billabong :
a stagnant backwater formed by receding floodwater; an oxbow river or watering hole

billy :
a teapot; a pot or kettle for cooking over a campfire; also represented as billycan

billy tea :
traditionally, tea made in a metal can over a campfire

binder :
cheese; also, a hearty meal

bingle :
slang for a motor vehicle traffic accident

bint :
a woman, usually young and attractive, who's not quite a prostitute; as derived from Arabic for daughter of

bird :
any aircraft, usually helicopters; also, a woman, usually young and attractive, equivalent to American chick

bird dog :
small fixed-wing reconnaissance aircraft used to spot targets for ground-attack aircraft

biscuit :
cookie; see ANZAC biscuit

bite your bum :
be quiet, be silent, shut-up (e.g. Go bite your bum!)

bities :
generic slang for biting insects; see blowie

bitser :
slang for a mongrel dog, as derived from bits of this and bits of that; also spelled bitzer

bizzo :
slang for business, as in mind your own bizzo; known by Americans as beeswax

black fella :
Aborigine; an aboriginal inhabitant of Australia, or any of the peoples descended from them; also called Abo

Black Stump :
an imaginary place marking the supposed limits of civilization

black and tan :
a mixture of beer and stout

black velvet :
a drink made with champagne and stout; also, derogatory slang for an Aboriginal prostitute

blighter :
old fashioned or outdated slang for a contemptible person, who is more commonly called a bugger; also, a chum, chap, or mate

blighty :
military leave; also, England or Great Britain as one's homeland, as derived from country or province removed at some distance (Urdu bilati or Hindi bilayati) [nb: also alleged to derive from a wound incurred during World War I that was severe enough to get an ANZAC soldier sent to England for convalescent leave]

blimey :
an interjection or exclamation, derived as a reduction of God blind me!; also expressed as gorblimey

bloke :
chum; lad; fellow; man; guy; often used when referring to a stranger (e.g. That bloke is a really nice guy once you get to know him. or There's this bloke down the road who sells greasies from his pie-cart.)

blood house :
a pub or hotel with a reputation for fights (stoush) or brawling (open slather)

(his) blood's worth bottling :
an excellent person, a helpful bloke, a creditable human being

bloody :
an intensifier (e.g. very, entirely, truly, etc.) that's used with exclamations (e.g. Bloody hell! or Bloody oath!); derives as a contraction of the phrase by our lady

bloody-minded :
unreasonably stubborn or cantankerous

bloody oath :
an affirmative exclamation, as That's certainly true!

blooming :
an extremely mild or innocuous expletive

blowie :
blow fly; see bities

blow-in :
a stranger, an in-comer or newcomer; any outsider from tourist to immigrant

blow me down :
expression of surprise (e.g. Well! Blow me down, I didn't know that!)

bludge :
to cadge or beg, mooch or sponge; to be lazy

bludger :
slang for a lazy person, a layabout or shirker, being somebody who always relies on others to do things for him or to provide him with things; as derived from pimp

blue :
slang for a fight or row, a dustup or disagreement; also, to make a mistake, gaffe or blooper, misstep or slipup

blue pencil warrior :
WWII-era slang for a propagandist

bluey :
a traveller's bundle containing food and belongings; a swag [v: dilly bag; cf: bagman / swagman]; also, pack and equipment; also, a heavy wool felt jacket; also, Australian cattle dog with blue markings

bn :
battalion; military unit of around 500 - 1500 men, usually consisting of between 2 and 6 companies and typically commanded by a lieutenant colonel; ANZAC bn had an additional rifle coy

bobbery :
a noisy commotion or shindy; as derived from Hindi (bap re) for Oh, father!, which is a common exclamation of surprise

Bob's your uncle :
easily done or readily accomplished; to actuate, impel, or effect by an inevitable sequence; this phrase was occasioned by nepotism when Lord Salisbury (Robert Balfour), the Tory Prime Minister, appointed his nephew (A.J. Balfour) to the post of Chief Secretary for Ireland (e.g. Just push this little red button and, Bob's your uncle, the missile launches!); may be expressed as presto chango by Americans

Base Ordnance Depot

bodgy :
anything of inferior quality

bodycount :
term borrowed from US forces to describe the success or ferocity of engagements, i.e. there was a high bodycount of enemy killed

bogan :
someone who takes little pride in his appearance, being an untidy slacker or slovenly neer-do-well

bogey :
to bathe or swim, as in a bogeyhole

bogged :
(of a vehicle) stuck in mud, deep sand, or the like; immobilized

bog-in :
to commence eating, to attack food with enthusiasm; known by Americans as dig-in / dug-in

bog standard :
the basic or unadorned model, being anything without embellishment or accessories; ordinary or routine; known by Americans as no frills

boiler :
a tough fowl that's tenderised and made toothsome by boiling (or even pressure cooking)

bollix :
to botch or bungle something

bollocks :
testes or testicles; also, an exclamation or mild oath, typically in acclamation or approbation

bonk :
to have sex with

bonnet :
on a motorcar, what Americans call the hood over the engine; also, a cap, hat, or other headdress worn by women and children

bonzer :
an exclamation for great or fantastic, wonderful or terrific

booby trap :
improvised trap designed to maim or severely injure an individual

boohai :
awry, out of place; out of the way; any non-existant place (e.g. Off the boohai. or Up the boohai shooting pukeko's with a long-handled shovel.)

bookoo :
much; derived from the French word beaucoup

boom boom :
sex; bookoo boom boom meant much sex; also called naughty

boomer :
slang for a large male kangaroo

boomerang :
a curved piece of wood used as a throwing club by the Australian Aborigines, one form of which can be thrown so as to return to the thrower; see waddy, nulla nulla [nb: boomerang technology was independently invented by several peoples, including those in Poland, Egypt, Australia, and elsewhere; the oldest known specimen, made of mammoth tusk, is from present-day Poland and dates back 23,000 years, while the oldest Australian specimen is under 10,000 years old; known as the thinking man's Frisbee, the boomerang is now mostly used for sport (various contests), although it has historically been used in tribal duels and mock combat; stereotyped as a hunting weapon, it is only used in that role to flush game or drive the game to a point of attack for dispatch with other weapons; the best way to catch a returning boomerang is to quickly clasp it in midair between both hands, like a horizontal clap; most Australian Aborigines use the boomerang for sport or for chopping and digging, not for hunting or war; this device is widely representative of Australia, despite the fact that many Aboriginal tribes have never used it; the artistic symbols decorating some boomerangs represent dreamtime, being that ancient period when the earth was brought into existence]

boon :
derogatory term for an Aborigine as used by non-aboriginal persons; also, a native of New Guinea

boonies :
term borrowed from US forces for bush or outback (qq.v.)

boot :
the covered storage compartment on a motorcar, what Americans call the trunk

boots :
nickname for a servant who cleans and polishes footwear [cf: bootblack]

boozer :
a pub, bar or tavern

bora :
to be initiated; to undergo, or to have undergone a rite of passage; from the initiation belt worn by Aborigines

boss :
informal bush title for an officer; alternative address to sir; see skip

bottle-o :
a liquor store, or a shop that sells alcoholic beverages; derives from a man with hessian bags (or burlap sacks) of bottles who travelled around during the 1950s-60s

bottler :
something excellent

bottle shop :
liquor store

bounce :
a bully or ruffian, tormentor or intimidator

boundary :
edge of operations area (AO); to be close to or to cross a boundary required permission, called a mousetrap

box :
a protective cup worn in an athletic supporter to prevent injury to male genitalia, especially his testicles

box of birds :
cheerful, happy, in a very good mood

box of budgies :
cheerful, happy, in a very good mood

boxing day :
the first weekday after Christmas, when gifts are given to servitors and bonuses to employees; derives from the practise of distributing the contents of the church's alms boxe to the poor on the day after Christmas

Battery Quartermaster Sergeant; see NCO

braces :
adjustable straps or bands that support a garment, as worn over the shoulders and attached to the waistband of a skirt or trousers; what Americans call suspenders

brassed-off :
disappointed; annoyed

brass razoo :
a gambling chip or token, having no intrinsic value; by implication, used metaphorically for small change, representing extreme poverty, being broke or impecunious, penury or insolvency, privation or destitution

brass up :
concentrated fire into an area

breakweather :
any makeshift shelter or protective refuge

brekkie :
breakfast; also spelled brekky

brew :
hot drink, as in Want a brew?; coffee with milk and two sugar was commonly called NATO standard

brew up :
a cup of brewed tea, or any hot drink; also, slang for an exploding tank, being an armoured vehicle hit by enemy fire from which the crew cannot escape

British Advisory Mission Vietnam; advised government of South Vietnam (GVN) on hamlet programmes and counter insurgency generally; Malaya experts

brickfielder :
a dry dusty wind from the desert in southern Australia, often precedes the passage of a low frontal zone

brick shit house :
anything exceedingly well built or very well constructed, including a good physique exhibited by either a man or woman; see spunk, compare shit house

brigade :
basic military organisational unit; during the Vietnam War, a division was organised into three brigades, each commanded by a colonel; a division consists of approximately 20,000 people

brilliant :
great, splendid, wonderful, marvelous

brose :
a porridge made by stirring boiling liquid into oatmeal or other meal

brown-eye :
to flash your naked arse at others, or to be flashed by someone's naked arse, performed as a prank or gesture of disrespect; known as mooning by Americans

brown-eyed mullet :
a turd floating in the sea near where you're swimming!

brownie :
a brown coloured glass bottle of beer

Battery Sergeant Major; see NCO

bubble and squeak :
a dish of leftover meat and vegetables (typically cabbage and mashed potatoes) that have been fried together

Buckley's / Buckley's chance :
no chance at all, not a prayer of success, doomed or hopeless; as derived from an escaped convict named William Buckley, it's also expressed as Buckley's hope

Buddha stick :
marijuana compressed into stick form; also known as margie, mull, bhang, and dacca [aka: joint, stick, bullet, leaf (low grade), leaf and tip (medium grade), head (high grade), reefer, weed, grass]

budgie smugglers :
slang for men's bathing costume, after budgerigar, the Australian parakeet that's bred as a pet

bug :
crayfish; called crawdad, crawdaddy, or spiny lobster by Americans

bugalugs :
slang for a buddy or friend; chum or pal; also spelled bug-a-lugs

bugger :
an insignificant, trivial, or nonexistent amount (e.g. He knows bugger all!); an exclamation (e.g. Bugger all!); an intensifier (e.g. Bugger off!); a mild oath or expletive (e.g. Bugger it!); as derived from buggery (sodomy)

buggered :
very tired or exhausted

Buggin's turn :
promotion by seniority or rotation rather than by merit [nb: purportedly eponymous, but trace origin obscure]

bull bar :
a stout guard affixed to the front of a vehicle to protect it against impact with wildlife or vegetation; also called roo bar; compare elephant's trunk

bull dust :
WWII-era slang for nonsense or exaggeration, rubbish or persiflage; also called blarney or tosh, piffle or taradiddle, and known among Americans as bull shit or claptrap, bushwa or balderdash

bum :
butt or buttocks, behind or rear end (not a tramp)

bum-bag :
hip pack, as a medical kit worn around the waist; what Americans call a fanny pack

bumf :
a contraction of bum fodder, which originally meant toilet paper, but has been extended to include any copious amount of paper, especially required paperwork or official literature

bum nuts :
eggs; also spelled bum-nuts

bunds :
sandbagged defensive artillery positions created by small bulldozers for Royal Australian Artillery (RAA) and Royal New Zealand Artillery (RNZA)

Bundy :
short for the brand of rum made in Bundaberg, Queensland

bun in the oven :
pregnant, gravid, or parturient; being expectant, with child, in a family way; also called up the duff and knocked-up

bunya nuts :
large edible nuts from the cone of the huge Bunya pine tree, having a tough fibrous casing, with the starchy nutmeat having a texture similar to a chestnut, and a subtly sweet flavour similar to the pine nut or macadamia

Bunyip :
a mythical outback creature; see yowie; compare American whangdoodle

burst :
controlled firing of five or more rounds of automatic fire, more depending on urgency

bush :
jungle, scrub, hinterlands, or remote back country; area of densely packed plant growth; area outside the base perimeter where fighting took place; see outback

bushie :
someone who lives in the bush or outback

bushman :
a dweller in the bush

bushman's hanky :
the absence of a handkerchief; the practise of blowing one's nose without the use of a handkerchief or facial tissue, performed by occluding one nostril by pressing on the outside of the nare while vigorously blowing through the other nasal passage; this technique is widely practised by country people worldwide, and requires some finesse to avoid blowing snot onto oneself!

bushman scouts :
a Viet Cong (VC) defector who then served with Allied forces as a scout or interpreter; Americans called them Kit Carson; see Chieu Hoi

bush oyster :
slang for nasal mucus

bush pig :
an ugly woman (so ugly that she ought to be banished to the bush)

Bushranger :
call-sign for Australian AH1B Iroquois helicopter gunship, see LFT; also an Australianism for someone who subsists by robbing residents of the bush, an outlaw or highwayman, see larrikin

bush telegraph :
gossip, spread by word-of-mouth (and much faster than electronic communications!)

bush telly :
a captivating nighttime campfire in the bush or outback

bush tomato :
a small pungent berry from a tomato-related shrub found in Australia's central desert regions; also called desert raisin

bush tucker :
wilderness foodstuff, from leaves and fruits to roots and grubs

bush week :
a period of confusion or disorientation, discomfiture or trepidation, being the interval necessary for transition from a safer and more secure environment into another harsher and more hostile one; used sardonically to express suspicion or disbelief (e.g. What do you think this is, bush week?)

bust a gut :
to make an intense effort

(as) busy as Bourke Street in the rush hour :
simile for very busy; also expressed as flat out like a lizard drinking [nb: Bourke Street is a main thoroughfare in Melbourne]

butcher :
a small glass of beer, or a short beer, from the earlier practise of workers and tradesmen drinking a quick beer during a break from their job

byo :
abbreviation for bring your own [beverage or food], a widespread practise at party gatherings and unlicenced restaurants [nb: bring a plate means to bring your own food]

C130 :
US model tactical troop and cargo aircraft used extensively by United States Air Force (USAF) and Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF); known as Hercules

C4 :
type of plastic explosive, commonly found inside claymore anti-personnel (AP) mine

cack-handed :
someone who is awkward, inept, unsuccessful, or clumsy; also, left-handed, from bent backwards

cactus :
slang for dead, not functioning; also, RAAF slang for equipment that's inert or malfunctioning

cadres :
small groups of covert political organisers in villages; members helped recruit, train and support Viet Cong military wing; always competed with the South Vietnamese government structure and services

call-sign :
radio code-word to identify or summon particular organisations or people for a radio conversation

camp oven :
a large, heavy, cast iron pot with a lid for cooking on an open fire; called Dutch oven by Americans

can :
slang for jail or prison; in the can meant arrested and locked up

candyfloss :
a fluffy confection of spun sugar that's wound around a stick or cone; what Americans call cotton candy

cane toad :
a person from Queensland

canister :
anti-personnel artillery or tank round containing flechette

cans :
usually beer

capsicum :
bell pepper, sweet pepper

a Captain Cook at :
rhyming slang for look at

caravan :
small house trailer that can be towed as a travel trailer [cf: camper, wanigan, mobile home]

cardy :
a button-up-the-front woollen jersey; also spelled cardie

Caribou :
twin-engine light transport aircraft operated by Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF)

cark it :
to die, cease functioning; also expressed as carked it

car park :
the area or lot where motor vehicles are parked; called parking lot or motor pool by Americans

carpet-bombing :
heavy, indiscriminate bombing of an area by plane, usually causing widespread destruction

carraig :
rock; also spelled carrick

Casualty Evacuation of injured soldiers from the field; see dustoff, MEDEVAC

cast :
immobilised, unable to rise or maneuver

C&C :
Command and Control; title applied to helicopter (usually with extra radios) with sunray commander on board flying above operations area (AO) directing ground operations, or a person doing C & C for a task

Commander Central Region SEATO (South East Asia Treaty Organisation) Field Force

cellotape :
a transparent or translucent adhesive film of cellulose acetate or cellophane, also spelled sellotape and also known as sticky tape, that Americans call Scotch tape

Centurion :
Australian 50-ton battle tank belonging to 1st Armoured Regiment, usually operated as a troop of four, with a main 20-pounder gun and a crew of four, fully tracked and heavily protected with armour plating; see tracks

chalk :
personnel grouped together for travel on a sortie

chap :
companion or mate; buddy or friend; chum or pal

Charlie :
slang for Viet Cong (VC); from radio designation victor charlie

chat-up :
to flirt, using facile or glib pick-up lines; patter or chatter; called fast-talk by Americans

cheap Charlie :
any industrious person, especially an Asian businessman; also, a stingy or miserly person, niggardly or penurious

Cheap Charlie's :
a notorious tailor shop in Saigon that specialised in serving the needs of allied military advisors to the South Vietnamese; by extension, any tailor shop in Vietnam; compare op shop

cheeky :
sassy, impish, insolent or impudent

cheerio :
a good-bye or farewell expression, offering good wishes when leave taking; also, used as a toast to one's drinking companions

cheers :
traditionally used as a toast to one's drinking companions, it has become popular to use it when meaning thank you; see ta

chemist :
pharmacist or pharmacy; what Americans call druggist or drugstore

cheque :
a draft or bill of exchange, as a written note directing a bank to pay a sum of money; known as a check by Americans

chewie :
chewing gum; also spelled chewy

Cheyenne :
medium-sized high-speed observation helicopter

Chieu Hoi [Chew Hoy] :
South Vietnam Open Arms programme that allowed VC to defect and receive money for surrendered weapons

chilly bin :
portable insulated cooler

china :
friend or mate; also expressed as china plate

Chinook :
large twin-rotor helicopter; see Geronimo

chippy :
a store selling fish and chips, or other greasies; also, slang for a promiscuous woman or prostitute, sometimes spelled chippie; also, being irritable or ill-tempered, as derived from making ice chips fly when aggressively playing ice hockey

chips :
thickly sliced fried potatoes, French fries, or potato crisps (q.v.); also called taties

choc :
truncation of chocolate soldier, being slang for someone who's believed to be unwilling to fight

chocka :
full, full to overflowing, over-full; crowded, tight, close; also expressed chockablock or choc-a-block

chockies :
chocolate candy

chocolate fish :
a chocolate coated marshmallow in the form of a fish; often used (literally and figuratively) as a reward for a job well done (e.g. Good-o, mate – you deserve a chocolate fish!)

chocolate soldier :
slang for someone who's believed to be unwilling to fight; truncated to choc, and also known as six-bob-a-day tourist

choice :
very good; superb, select

chook :
chicken (as prepared for eating); also, an older woman or silly person

chopper :
any model of helicopter, usually US model Iroquois UH1D troop lift and utility helicopter flown by Allied forces Army aviation or Air Force units

choges :
Vietnamese people

Company Headquarters; see coy, CP, BHQ, HQ

chuck-a-sickie :
taking a day off from work by pretending to be sick; malinger

chuddy :
chewing gum

chuffed :
pleased (e.g. He was dead chuffed.)

chum :
a close companion or friend; buddy or pal

chunder :
vomit or regurgitate, upchuck or throw-up, puke or barf; also called liquid laugh or technicolour yawn

civvies :
civilians; also clothes worn when out of uniform

clacker :
slang for the electrical firing device used to detonate Claymore mine, as derived from sound made on use; also the anus (Latin cloaca = sewer), from the single orifice of monotremes (platypus and echidna) that's used for both reproduction and the elimination of body wastes

Claymore :
US model directional anti-personnel (AP) mine containing 900 ball-bearings, that's electrically fired singly or in a bank

Clayton's :
fake, substitute, ersatz; generic use of brand name for non-alcoholic beverages (alcohol-free spirit)

cleanskin :
any standard or generic product that can be marked or branded for sale or distribution by another, as a house label or customized gift, by extension from unmarked or untagged cattle; also, someone with an unblemished or untarnished record

click :
kilometre, as in travel 6-clicks south

clobber :
clothes or clothing

Citizen Military Forces (in Australia)

cobber :
a close companion or friend; chum or pal

cockatoo :
someone who owns and works a small farm or ranch, and is often nicknamed cockie; also, slang for a lookout posted to give warning for some illegal enterprise, as derived from Malay for older sibling

cockeyed bob :
a short, violent storm; a squall

cockie :
a farmer; derived from a similarity to the nesting habit of cockatoos, which settle on the edge of permanent water holes

cockroach :
a person from New South Wales; also called cockie

cock-up / cocked-up :
to make a complete mess of something, to create an utter disaster

codswallop :
nonsense, rubbish; anything untrue or false; as derived from the failed invention of Hiram Codd, which device was supposed to preserve the fizz (wallop) in beer, so flat beer was initially derided as Codd's wallop, then the term was generally extended as disparagement to anything spurious; sometimes misspelled cods wollop or cod's wollop

coldie :
cold bottle of beer

collywobbles :
fear or apprehension (e.g. Just the idea of parachuting gives me a dose of the collywobbles!); also, an upset stomach or intestinal cramps; coined by merging colic and wobble

combat power :
mix of weapons, intelligence, communications, and personnel capabilities brought against the enemy

come-a-gutser :
to make a bad mistake, to suffer a severe accident

comms :
communications, verbal or electronic, as in get comms with [call-sign]

conex :
Container Export (used as platform for claymore mine control posts); see claymore

contact :
engagement with enemy, often sudden; outcry or radio message used to warn that troops are engaged, as in contact front or contact fire mission 2 mortars

cooee :
figurative distance, either near or far, close or distant (e.g. They're not within cooee of winning! or We were within cooee of beating them!); also, a hail or salute, call or outcry that's used to attract someone's attention at a distance in the bush [nb: settlers adopted this prolonged shrill cry as a signal from the Aborigines because this call was clear over great distances]

coord :
co-ordination; bringing together different agencies to achieve a common task; artillery support for infantry attack with FAC available to direct air strikes; engineer support to clear mines

coppit :
to take the blame or to assume responsibility for something

coppit sweet :
to take the blame in a resigned manner

cor blimey :
gorblimey; blimey (q.v.)

corker :
something excellent

cornflour :
corn starch

corrie / corrie iron :
a sheet of corrugated and galvanized iron that's used in building to panel or roof a structure

corroboree :
a boisterous social gathering; derived from an assembly of singing and dancing Aborigines

Central Office for South Vietnam; the Viet Cong (VC) headquarters and senior echelon of the Vietnam Communist Party in South Vietnam (SVN)

cotton buds :
cotton-tipped swab, or small cotton mop; known as Q-tips by Americans

counter meal :
pub food

courgette :

cousin :
informally, a person from another member country (e.g. Briton, Scot, Canadian, etc.) in the United Kingdom; also, a person from an allied nation (i.e. American); also, the son or daughter of an uncle or aunt; also, a gullible person who is taken advantage of, or an innocent person who is easily duped; also spelled cuz

coy :
company; organisation of soldiers for administrative and tactical reasons; usually commanded by a major
Each rifle company consisted of about 120 men, and was commanded by a major. Each company comprised a HQ, three rifle platoons and a support section. There were at least two radios at CHQ, one for communicating with the platoons and one (on a different frequency) for communications to Battalion HQ and to the other rifle companies. As well, an artillery FOO (Forward Observer) had a radio (on yet another frequency) for directing artillery fire during combat, and at times the company would have a Mortar Fire Controller (MFC) with his radio on a separate frequency.

Coyote :
small high-speed reconnaissance helicopter

cozzie :
swimming costume; also spelled cossie

CP :
Command Post; see CHQ, BHQ, HQ

Company Quartermaster Sergeant; senior non-commissioned officer (NCO) responsible for stores and resupply

crack-a-fat :
slang for getting an erection

crack a tinny :
to open a can of beer

cracker :
very good

(a fair) crack of the whip :
a request for a chance or opportunity, an even break

craic :

crib :
a holiday home or vacation house, a getaway dwelling or recreation cabin; also called bach

crikey dick :
an exclamation of wonder or amazement, disbelief or awe; also, an exclamation for great or fantastic, wonderful or terrific (e.g. Gosh, that's crikey dick!)

crisps :
thinly sliced potato chips that have been baked or fried and seasoned before packaging for commercial sale

crocodile :
slang for a long line of walking people, especially school children paired in two columns

crook :
sick or ill; angry or ill-humoured; bad or wrong; out of order or unsatisfactory; derived by alteration of German krank (sick)

cross as a frog in a sock :
colloquialism for anyone or anything that sounds angry

crowdy / crowdie :
a dish of meal, especially oatmeal and water (or milk), stirred together as a gruel or porridge [cf: samp (cornmeal mush)]

crow eater :
a person from South Australia (allegedly due to a plethora of crows)

Crown forces :
those people serving in the military or government security

crumpet :
a small round bread that's served toasted; also, rhyming slang for strumpet [i.e. a woman adulterer]

crunchie :
Australian slang for infantry, from the sound made when walking on gravel; see troopie

Company Sergeant Major, senior other rank (OR) in company [warrant officer class 2 (WO2)]; right hand man for officer commanding (OC); see NCO

Corps Tactical Zone
South Vietnam (SVN) was divided into four CTZs: I, II, III and IV. Although Australia had military advisers throughout SVN from I Corps to IV Corps, the main Australian contingent was 1st Australian Task Force in III Corps, based in Phuoc Tuy Province to the southeast of the capital, Saigon. SVN forces and US troops operated throughout the country.

cubby house :
a small house, usually made of timber, used for children to play in the garden; by extension, any diminutive dwelling, as the homes built by primitive peoples

culchie :
someone who is culturally deprived by virtue of not living in a major city; any rural or backwoods denizen, an unsophisticated rube, a provincial hick or parochial hillbilly

cunning as a dunny rat :
colloquialism for exceedingly devious, wily or crafty

cuppa :
a cup of brewed tea; also, any hot drink (e.g. coffee, milo, etc.)

curry / currie :
to rebuke or criticise, to discipline or harass, as to give someone a bit of curry

cut lunch :
a sandwich, or a meal of sandwiches

cut lunch commando :
an army reservist

cuz :
informal pronunciation of cousin (q.v.)

cyclo :
a cab for hire, especially a motorized ricksha or motorscooter taxi; a jingle

dab hand :
something done well, excellent or extraordinary; someone who is skilled or proficient, an expert; also known as dab

dacca :
marijuana, so called from its source in Dacca / Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh (a former province of Pakistan); also known as margie, mull, bhang, and Buddha stick [aka: joint, stick, bullet, leaf (low grade), leaf and tip (medium grade), head (high grade), reefer, weed, grass]

dacrons :
New Zealand dress uniform in the tropics, complete with regimental belt, beret, and black rank; Australian lanyard designating the ANZAC battalion the soldier belonged to was also worn

dag :
a person with character; also, a joker or comedian (e.g. He's a bit of dag.); also, a small clot of dried dung clinging to the hindquarters of an animal

daggy :
looks bad, as from dag being a small clot of dried dung clinging to the hindquarters of an animal

dairy :
a convenience store that sells milk products and other sundries [nb: the only store authorised to operate 7 days a week (and on national holidays) without a special licence]

dairyfood :
a creamy smooth custard-like dessert that's offered in several flavours (e.g. chocolate, banana, strawberry, caramel, etc.)

daks :
trousers or pants; also spelled dacks

damper :
a simple, unleavened, outback bread made with flour and water; the dough is kneaded, formed into a round, and cooked in a pot that's buried in the coals of an open fire

danger close :
indirect fire that's deliberately adjusted to within 250 metres or closer of troops because significant numbers of enemy are within that range & posing a real danger of overwhelming the troops

dapsone :
drug used by Australians and New Zealanders as a malaria suppressant [sic: leprosy deterrent], taken in combination with Paludrine

Deputy Assistant Quartermaster General

darg :
a fixed or definite amount of work; a work quota or a day's work

The Dat :
slang for Nui Dat, base of 1Australian Task Force (1ATF) combat units, as in heading back to the Dat

date :
euphemistic slang for arse

Distinguished Conduct Medal, an Imperial gallantry medal; it was the second highest award for valour in action (after the Victoria Cross) for all army ranks below commissioned officers

dead marine :
an empty beer bottle; called dead soldier by Americans [nb: this expression may date from World War II, when U.S. Marines were stationed in Australia for refit and reorganisation; USMC shoulder patches were first displayed at this time, and together with the more attractive uniform, caused jealousy and resentment among Aussies, who were notorious for mocking the over-decorated Marines by wearing toilet paper imitations of these USMC adornments]

dead horse :
sauce, usually tomato, as on a meat pie

dead meat tickets :
nickname for identity disks; also called dog tags

deadset :
true, truth

a deal :
a problem

dear :

de facto :
informal reference to common law relationships, where couples (with or without children) live together without marrying

defoliant :
chemical sprayed or dusted on trees or plants to make leaves fall off

desert lime :
wild lime; also called tropical yellow lime

desert peach :

desert raisin :
bush tomato

DF :
Defensive Fire; usually refers to artillery fire called to land close to the Allied perimeter; can be fired and recorded in anticipation of VC attack; a silent DF target was calculated from a map (i.e. without using ranging shots) and recorded on a register for use in an emergency

Distinguished Flying Cross, an Imperial decoration awarded to officers and warrant officers for an act of valour performed whilst flying in operations against the enemy

di di mau [dee dee mau] :
Vietnamese for go away, get out, or piss off

die in one's boots :
to die while fighting, as in battle, or in some worthy cause; also, to die while actively engaged in one's work or profession; expressed as die with one's boots on by Americans

Digger :
slang for an Australian soldier; may have originated in New Zealand; see Aussie, Ozzie, 'roo

dike / dyke :
slang for a urinal; also, an embankment fence made from excavated materials

dill :
an idiot, a stupid or silly person

dilly-dally :
to waste time, especially by indecision or vacillation; also expressed as shilly-shally

ding :
a minor motor vehicle accident; not a crackup; known by Americans as a fender bender; also, the slight damage incurred in such a minor accident

dingbat :
a foolish or silly person; also, an object serving as a hand-launched missile [cf: brickbat]

dingbats :
colloquialism for the psychosomatic symptoms of drug or alcohol withdrawal, formally known as delirium tremens [D.T.'s]

dingo :
a wild wolf-like dog (canis familiaris dingo) having a reddish- or yellowish-brown coat; also, a cowardly or treacherous person [nb: the natives of Australia believe that the wild dog has the power of speech, such that whoever listens will be petrified, and a certain spot is shown where the men were turned into stones, and so the Blacks run for their lives as soon as the wild dog begins to speak ... what it said was Bones]

dingo's breakfast :
going without eating, partaking in no food at all; awakening behavior imitative of a wild dog: rouse, yawn, scratch, urinate, take a quick survey, and depart

dinkum :
genuine, authentic (e.g. That's fair dinkum!)

dinky-di :
the real thing, genuine

dinner :
tea; the main evening meal

dipstick :
a fool or idiot, loser

Div Loc Bty :
Divisional Locating Battery

Div Postal :
Divisional Postal Unit

Div Pro Coy :
Divisional Provost Company

Div Sal Coy :
Divisional Salvage Company

divvy :
idiot; as derived from divot (earth clod or piece of turf)

Demilitarised Zone

D-notice :
an official request by British Commonwealth governments that's sent to publishers and publications inviting them to withhold sensitive information for reasons of state security; also represented as D notice as a truncation of D(efense) notice, and known as a gag order by Americans

dob :
to implicate or inform upon, to divulge or disclose, to leak or tip-off

dobber :
someone who implicates or informs upon others, an informer or informant, a snitch or tattler; known as a squealer or fink by Americans

dodger :
bread; also, sausage

dodgy :
bad or wrong; inappropriate or illicit; shady or suggestive

doer :
an amusing or eccentric person; a character

(he) doesn't know Christmas from Bourke Street :
someone who's slow to catch-on, anyone confused or misguided [nb: Bourke Street is a brightly lit thoroughfare in Melbourne]

doggo :
to be in concealment or out of sight, as to lie doggo when hiding

dog's balls :
anything obvious, something conspicuous (e.g. It stands out like dog's balls.) [cf: Plain as the nose on your face.]

dog's breakfast :
messy, or a mess; hash or mishmash, jumble or muddle, disorder or disarray; also expressed as a pretty kettle of fish

dog's dinner :
anything desirable, appealing, or worthy; sometimes used in the same manner as dog's breakfast

dog's eye :
a meat pie

dog tags :
nickname for identity disks; also called dead meat tickets

doing the ton :
catch-phrase for driving a motor vehicle at dangerously high speed, especially doing 100mph

dole :
an allotment of food or money that's distributed at regular intervals by a charity or the government; as derived from share, and known as relief by Americans

Dong :
Vietnamese unit of currency

donger :
slang for penis; also represented as donga

donk :
a motor or engine

doodle :
slang for penis

doofer :
enough, sufficient, as in That will do for now.; known as lick an' a promise by Americans

doona :
diminutive of duvet, being a quilt or comforter

dork :
idiot or fool

doover :
thingumabob, thingumajig, whatsis, whachamacallit, gismo; probably a corruption of doofer

double-tap :
snap shooting technique where two rounds are quickly fired at the centre of a target before the firer changes position

Died of Wounds some time after being wounded

down the gurgler :
catch-phrase for a failed venture or foiled plan

down under :
identifying, oriented toward, or travelling from or to the regions of Australia and New Zealand, including Tasmania and the Antipodes

draughts :
the game of checkers; as derived from movement

dreaded lurgy :
an imaginary disease that's used as an excuse to get out of doing something; also, slang for a venereal disease, known euphemistically as a social disease

dressing gown :

drill :
see immediate action (IA), triangle

drink with the flies :
to drink alone, a solitary drinker

drongo :
slang for a slow-witted or stupid person, a simpleton or dope, a fool or idiot, after any of the several passerine bird species of Africa, Asia, and Australia having black plumage and long forked tails

dropkick :
a fool or idiot, loser

drum :
tip-off information, scoop or skinny; known by Americans as poop or dope, scuttlebutt or back channel

dry as a dead dingo's donger :
colloquialism for absolutely dry, entirely without moisture; also expressed as dry as a nun's nasty and dry as a pommy's towel

Distinguished Service Order, an Imperial gallantry medal to recognise officers who exhibited instances of individual meritorious or distinguished service in combat; it was usually awarded for service under fire, or under conditions equivalent, and generally given to officers in command, with the rank of lieutenant colonel or above

Division Tactical Area; a designation by the Army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN) for an area comprising two or more provinces; the DTA commander was also the ARVN division commander, and the DTA was his permanent tactical area of responsibility (TAOR)

dud :
cheat or swindle, deceive or trick, con or ripoff; often expressed as dudded

dudgeon :
a feeling of offense, slight or resentment, disgust or irritability, as in high dudgeon

duds :
clothes or clothing

duffel bag :
ground-based personnel-sensing devices

dummy :
a nipple-like pacifier for a baby

dun :

dung lai [doung loy] :
Vietnamese for Halt!

dunny :
toilet, especially outdoors; loo or lav; bog or khasi; latrine or head; bathroom or restroom

dunny budgie :

Duntroon :
the location of the Royal Military College (RMC) in Canberra; these officers graduated with the rank of lieutenant after a four-year training course; Aussie version of American West Point

dustoff :
radio code-word for removal of battle casualties from a contact, usually by helicopter; casualty evacuation helicopter fitted out with medical evacuation equipment such as stretchers, Stokes litters, winches, jungle penetrator, resuscitator and medical supplies; see CASEVAC, MEDEVAC

Dutch rise / Dutch raise :
an increase in salary or wages that is effectively useless to the recipient

duvet :
quilt or comforter, often with a removable cover

dux :
top of the class; most outstanding or superior performance

earbashing :
ceaseless talk or non-stop chatter

Ebony :
call-sign for switchboard at 1 Australian Task Force (1ATF); could indicate specific offices or officers, e.g. Ebony 12 as reference in correspondence

eejit :
pronunciation of idiot

eh [a] :
a suprasegmental form of paragoge wherein this sound is appended to a sentence (not a question) when a response to the statement is expected (e.g. This would be a better choice eh.) [nb: not spoken with a rising inflection]; this speech pattern is also common in Canada

Eketahuna :
the archetypal small country town that lacks all amenities; an obscure locale about which nothing is known and nobody has ever heard; not as exotic as Timbuktu, but easily as remote and distant! [nb: this NZ town does actually exist]

elephant's trunk :
a line-cutter securely mounted on the front bumper of vehicles to prevent injury (especially decapitation) to the driver and passengers from booby traps and tripwires, as derived from similarity of appearance to a raised elephant's trunk, but also called cobra due to its resemblance to an erect King Cobra; compare roo bar

enfilade fire :
raking fire along the length of a road or line of trenches, or firing at enemy from their flank, so as to maximise combat power and increase effectiveness; distinct from firing directly across them

engr :
engineer; support troops used for construction, demolition or battlefield mine / booby trap clearance; see sapper, splinter team, mini team, satchel charge

entree :
appetizer, or starter; a dish served at a formal dinner between the fish and meat courses; also spelled entrée

evils :
to stare intimidatingly or hostilely at someone; to give someone the evil eye

extraction :
withdrawal by helicopter of troops from area of operations (AO); see hot extraction

F4 Phantom :
jet-powered fighter-bomber with a 6000lb capacity and a speed of 500 - 1250mph that was operated by the United States Air Force (USAF) against enemy personnel and fortifications

Forward Air Controller, usually airborne, who could call for and direct air strikes; fixed-wing FAC call-sign was Jade

face fungus :
beard, especially the several days' outgrowth from not shaving while in the field or bush

fag :

fagged-out :
very tired or exhausted; buggered or knackered

fair go :
a chance or opportunity, an even break

fancy :
inclination or preference, attraction or interest; also, an idea or opinion, judgement or taste, with little or no basis

FANK Training Command :
Forces Armees Nationale Khmer (or Forces Armee Nationes Khmeres) which was a combined advisory training programme, conducted from 1970 to 1973, that was designed to replenish Cambodian forces

fanny :
female genitalia [nb: not bum or arse, butt or buttocks, behind or rear end, as used by Americans]

farter :
the soldier's bed; usually a narrow pneumatic mattress, with a lightweight nylon-type blanket (i.e. silk); the inflated mattress would sometimes make a sound when you turned over, thereby giving rise to the name

fella :
a man or person, as an informal diminutive of fellow [cf: feller]

feral :
a hippie; also called wilding

Free From Infections; routine medical inspection to check for skin and other medical problems

Free Fire Zone; an area where Vietnamese civilian access was prohibited, such that any activity there was that of the enemy

field dressing :
large cotton pad with strapping that soldiers carried for emergency first aid to stop bleeding, usually taped to equipment such as rifle butts

slang acronym for Fuck I'm Good, Just Ask Me!; a boast or vaunt

finger stalls :
the back or remote seats at the movie theatre, where adolescents indulge in petting

firebase :
semi-permanent defensive location in an area of operations (AO) from which a unit supports operations (ops) with artillery and logistics

firefight :
skirmish or battle; see hook into

firetrail :
land clearing of bush to provide better observation of likely enemy (NVA / VC) routes

fizz boat :
a small fast motorboat or powerboat

fizzy :
soft drink or soda pop

flagon :
a large 2l container for holding wine or liquor, as for use at table, having a spout, handle, and cover; origin related to flask

flake :
shark meat

flannel :
washcloth or facecloth

flash :

flat :
residential apartment; also, a deflated tire

flat out like a lizard drinking :
colloquialism for busy or busily

flechette :
individual dart from either flechette artillery or tank round; each round contains several thousand individual flechettes designed to break up massed infantry assaults

flick :
slang for a movie or motion picture film; by shortening of flicker; also to get rid of something or someone

floater :
a meat pie sitting in a pool of sauce, gravy, or soupy peas

flog :
to steal or rob, burgle or purloin, filch or swipe, pinch or five finger discount

fly wire :
gauze flyscreen covering a window or doorway

artillery Forward Observation Officer, usually a captain, who travelled with infantry to co-ordinate artillery support

FOO(A) :
artillery Forward Observation Officer Assistant; an NCO or gunner (gnr) who travelled with infantry as fire support co-ordinator in place of mortar fire controller (MFC)

footbag :
a juggling game played by an individual or group using a beanbag that's manipulated by a person's feet, knees, elbows, shoulders, or head in a manner similar to soccer; also called footbagging, and known in America by the brand name hacky sack

football :
Australian rules football [nb: probably an outgrowth of earlier Aboriginal games, it's played on an oval field (200yds by 150yds) between two teams of nineteen members each that advance the egg-shaped ball by kicks, dribbles, or punches past a set of goal posts] [cf: American football, Canadian football, Gaelic football, rugby, soccer (association football)]

footbrawl :
derogatory reference to Australian rules football

footy :
slang for soccer (association football), rugby, or Australian rules football

footpath :
pavement for pedestrians; a paved walkway for people, especially bordering a road; what Americans call a sidewalk

form :
a record of behavior or performance, especially a criminal record

fortnight :
a period of fourteen nights and days; two consecutive weeks

forward scout :
soldier in front of platoon, seeking out likely enemy ambush sites and booby traps

fossick :
to seek, rummage, search around, prospect, or ferret out; derived from bustle about

fragging :
assassination of unpopular officers by Allied soldiers, often by means of fragmentation hand grenade; there are no recorded incidents of NZ troops fragging officers during the Vietnam War

franger :
condom; also represented as franga

frankfurt :
a cooked hot dog; also, smoked sausage of beef and pork; also called frankfurter

freckle :

free fire zone :
an area free of civilian population, or an area in which the population is known to be hostile; the rules of engagement (ROE) allowed any target to be considered enemy and could be fired at without clearance

Fremantle doctor :
a cooling seabreeze in western Australia, often noted during hot summertime cricket matches; so-called because of its supposed healthful properties

frenchie :
condom; also called French letter

friendlies :
Australian troops, Allies, or anyone not on the other side

friendly fire :
air, artillery, or small arms fire from own forces mistakenly directed at own positions

fringe :
bangs; hair that's been cut or combed to fall over the forehead

frock tart :
seamstress, dressmaker, couturier, garment maker, or wardrobe mistress, especially a costumer or clothier in film or theatre production

front :
to encounter or challenge, face or dare, as a truncation of confront

Fire Support Co-ordination Centre; artillery command post (CP) to manage fire from all deployed guns

Fire Support Patrol Base followed by a particular name, usually of a woman; a defensive position (sometimes just called FSB), with two-man weapon pits manning the perimeter, that contained the command and control (C&C) centre in the Command Post (CP), provided mortar and artillery fire support for operations (ops), and a helipad for battle control and observation from a small Bell Sioux helicopter ('Possum'); see firebase

full on :
intense, intensively

full tit :
catch-phrase for maximum speed or ultimate effort, using all power or resources; nothing held back or reserved (e.g. He was running full tit!)

funk hole :
a two-man weapon pit situated on the perimeter of a unit

Forming-Up-Place; an area suitable for an attacking force to spread out into the formation to be used during an attack on the enemy position; preferably it was in dead (concealed) ground such as a re-entrant or gully from which the attacking troops would begin the attack at H Hour from the forward edge (called the Start Line) of the FUP

furphy / furphys :
gossip shared among soldiers, especially a false or unreliable rumour, as derived from the water-wagons manufactured by Furphy & Sons [cf: scuttlebutt]

Free World Military Assistance Forces (US, NZ, Australian, South Vietnamese and other Allied forces)

slang acronym for Great Australian Fuck All, referring to any vast emptiness or great nothingness, especially the outback

gaffer :
the foreman, overseer, or boss; as derived from governor (guv'nor)

galah :
a silly person or fool; after the Australian cockatoo

Gallipoli gallop :
rhyming slang for dysentery

gander :
look; also, a silly or foolish person

garter :
a band or other device that's worn to hold up a shirt sleeve, sock or stocking; as derived from the bend of the leg [cf: Order of the Garter]

gat :
slang for a rifle

g'day :
hello; truncation of good day greeting; also spelled gidday

German sausage :
bologna, a smoked sausage of finely ground beef and pork [nb: Bologna is a city in northern Italy]; called baloney / boloney by Americans

Geronimo :
nickname for US CH47 I Chinook helicopter; based on aircraft call-signs

get off the grass :
an exclamation of disbelief; equivalent to Stop pulling my leg! or No way!

get up (somebody) / got up (somebody) :
to rebuke, reprove, or reprimand someone

GI :
Nickname for American soldiers; from the term Government Issue which was stamped on all equipment used by U.S. military personnel

gibber :
small rocks, as a gibber plain in the desert

gimme :
pronunciation of give me

git :
a friendly insult that expresses envy or jealousy for another's (undeserved) good luck, fate or fortune (e.g. You lucky git!)

give it a burl :
try it, have a go

give over :
catch-phrase for stop or quit, give it a rest or give me a break, let it go or let it alone

give the game to the blacks :
a catch-phrase expressing unhappiness with the army or the war

give way :

give your ferret a run :
a euphemism for the sex act

gizza :
pronunciation of give us a

gnamma hole / namma hole :
a hollow in bare rock, narrow at the opening and wider at the bottom, into which water collects

gnr :
gunner, being an artillery assistant; see Pte, OR

gob :
mouth, in the most vulgar sense (e.g. Shut yer gob!); also, to spit, as derived from refuse and sewage that's expelled from a drain aboard ship

gobful :
worthy or warranted abuse, as a scold or tongue-lashing

gobshite :
nonsense, lies, or exaggeration; figuratively, excrement extruded from someone's mouth, or the person making such utterances; called bullshit or horseshit by Americans

gobsmacked :
surprised, astounded, taken aback, shocked or startled, as if having been suddenly struck in the mouth

goffer :
a can of soft drink; Naval slang adopted by troops on board HMAS Sydney and used widely in Vietnam

going bush :
to take a break; to get away; become withdrawn or reclusive; compare walkabout, see AWL [v: dreamtime]

gollock :
issue machete, rarely used except in fire support patrol base (FSPB) as the noise of its use attracted enemy attention; see secateurs

gone troppo :
having escaped into a state of tropical madness; to have lost the veneer of civilisation after spending too long in the tropics; compare walkabout, see AWL [v: dreamtime]

gone walkabout :
something lost, anything that cannot be found, irretrievable or irrecoverable; based upon the outback (q.v.) trek by Aborigines that lasts indefinitely

good as gold :
a simile representing approbation or commendation, affirmation or agreement, satisfaction or pleasure

good-o / good-oh :
well done, congratulations; also expressed as good-on-you [v: mazel tov]; also, agreed, affirmative

good oil :
useful information, a good idea, the truth

good-on-you :
well done, congratulations; also expressed as good-o [v: mazel tov]

googie :
egg; also represented as goog; from the northern English slang word (goggie) for an egg

gook :
slang for Viet Cong (VC); see nog

General Purpose Machine Gun, used at section level for fire support; see M60

greasies :
fried food, such as fish and chips or shark and taties

green one :
a bottle of Victoria Bitter

greens :
green uniform designed for field wear; also, green vegetables

grid square :
a 1000 x 1000 metre squared division of military maps for plotting locations; see POO

grinning like a shot fox :
colloquialism for very happy, smugly satisfied

grog :
liquor or beer; originally watered rum, after the grogram cloak worn by Admiral Edward Vernon, who ordered the dilution served instead of pure spirits from 1740

ground clearance :
permission given by land force commander for air or artillery clearance to fire or fly into or over his area of operations (AO)

grouse :
great, terrific, very good

grunt :
US slang for infantry soldier, as in The only answer you get from a foot soldier is a grunt; see crunchie, troopie

Gun Shot Wound, as distinguished from shrapnel; see WIA

gubbah / gub :
pidgin for a white person, representative of a government man

gummies :
waterproof rubber or water-repellent leather boots, also called gumboots or wellies (Wellington boots)

gun :
the best, outstanding or superlative, as He's a gun tracker.

guns :
artillery; see arty

gunship :
an aircraft, fixed-wing or helicopter, armed for close air support of ground troops engaged with the enemy

gunyah :
an aboriginal hut; also, any crude bush shelter

gurgler :
slang for drain, as derived from throat

a gutful of piss :
slang phrase for drunk or intoxicated; also expressed as full as a goog, full as a boot, got the wobbly boot on, and off his face

gutser :
to suffer from a mistake, or be hurt in an accident; also spelled gutzer or gutza; expressed as come-a-gutser

guts for garters :
threatening expression for impending trouble (e.g. I'll have his guts for garters!)

Government of [South] Vietnam

half (the hour) :
half past the stated time [#:30], as Be there at half seven.

handle :
a pint of beer

handsel :
a gift or token for good luck, as an auspicious inauguration; also, any new experience or initial trial of something; also, a first installment of payment

as happy as Larry :
colloquialism for exceedingly happy, very pleased; perhaps originating as a diminutive of larrikin (i.e. prankster or hoodlum)

happy pills :
anti-malarial tablets

harbour :
bush location where field troops rest and protect themselves; see triangle

hard case :
comic or comedian; an amusing or funny person

hard dinkum :
a difficult task or hard work

HE :
High Explosive; destructive force in artillery shells, mortar bombs, and aerial bombs

head :
American term for a bathroom or restroom, a lav or loo; a room aboard ship equipped with sinks, toilets, and showers; also called latrine

heap :
a large quantity or great amount; an abundant mass or multitude; also represented as heaps (e.g. Give it heaps.)

hepatitis roll :
bread roll or loaf baked locally

Hercules :
C130 transport aircraft

hexie :
hexamine or solid kerosene; British-made cooking tablet used mainly in Malaysia

H&I :
Harassment and Interdiction; unobserved artillery, mortar, or air bombardment on locations which might be used by enemy forces, usually fired at night

hide :
impertinence; impudence

hissy fit :
an emotional outburst or tantrum; a paroxysm of hysterical passion, either excitement or anger; called a conniption fit by Americans

Her (His) Majesty's Australian Ship

Her (His) Majesty's Canadian Ship

Her (His) Majesty's Ship; also, Her (His) Majesty's Service [cf: Her Majesty's Forces (HMF)]

Ho Chi Minh sandals :
Viet Cong (VC) foot-ware made from old tyres, which left a distinctive and recognisable trail

Ho Chi Minh Trail :
a network of roads and smaller trails, extending from North Vietnam through Cambodia and Laos, used by communist insurgents for the infiltration of troops and supplies into South Vietnam

Hoi Chanh [Hoy Chan] :
a Viet Cong (VC) or North Vietnamese (NVA) soldier who defects to and ceases fighting the government of South Vietnam (GVN) forces; see Chieu Hoi

hokey-pokey :
a kind of chocolate covered candy; also, a kind of ice cream sold by street vendors; as derived from hocus-pocus

holiday :

Hollywood :
an extremely exaggerated act, as to magnify a minor injury or to embellish a trifling event

Holy dooley! :
an exclamation of surprise, similar to Good heavens!, Goodness gracious!, Goodness sakes!, or Gracious sakes!

hoochie :
house, tent, or other living space; from US slang; also known as hutchie

hook into :
to attack aggressively

hoon :
any person who misbehaves, who acts-out or acts-up in an irresponsible manner; as derived from Hun, and originally referring to a pimp or procurer

hooray :
goodbye; also expressed as hooroo

hooroo :
goodbye; also expressed as hooray

hosing down :
raining very heavily; a heavy rain

hot extraction :
withdrawal of troops from area of operations (AO) via helicopter while under enemy fire

hot LZ :
a Landing Zone under hostile fire

hottie :
diminutive of hot water bottle

HQ :
headquarters, at any level, describes the command / staff structure; see CHQ, BHQ, CP, base camp

Huey :
nickname for US model Iroquois helicopter flown by Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF); utility model had Albatross call-sign and gunship model had Bushranger call-sign

humpie :
a rough shelter in the bush; also spelled humpy

hunky-dory :
fine or satisfactory, about as well as one could expect; also spelled honky dory

hutchie :
shelter provided by small nylon sheets rigged up to branches

IA :
Immediate Action; automatic response or instinctive drill performed as a response to enemy contact or ambush

Infantry Combat Badge, the revered badge awarded to all infantrymen who have served in combat; worn on the left chest of the uniform, immediately above medals; depicts an upright SLR bayonet surrounded by a wreath

ice block :
an ice cream bar [e.g. Tip Top (TT2)]; also spelled iceblock

icy pole :
flavoured ice frozen onto a stick; called Popsicle by Americans

identity disks :
pair of personalized tags used to account for soldiers killed in combat; also called dead meat tickets and dog tags

in country :
within the territorial limits of Vietnam

inf :
An infantry battalion has about 800 men, commanded by a lieutenant colonel. It consisted of a headquarters (BHQ), four rifle companies, a Support Company (with mortars, trackers (men and dogs), signals, assault pioneers and on the first tour: a reconnaissance platoon), and finally an Administrative Company (with stores, ammunition, and equipment supplies, as well as medical services and stretcher bearers).

Intelligence Report on enemy locations, movement, and intentions

J [jay] :
jungle; see bush

jackaroo :
an inexperienced leader given the responsibility of command, being someone with more authority than expertise; also a know-it-all apprentice (cf: offsider); as derived from the young male kangaroo; also spelled jackeroo [cf: jillaroo]

Jacko / Johnny Turk :
a Turkish soldier

Jack system :
a phrase denoting the pursuit of one's own interests and welfare at the expense of others ["It's Damn you, Jack -- I'm all right! with you chaps." in Brassbounder by David Bone (1910)]

Jack Tar :
the universal byword for a common British sailor, from the specimen name used on sample forms

jaffle :
a toasted sandwich

jaffle iron :
the cast alloy holder for toasting sandwiches over an open fire

jam :
jelly (with or without preserves); also, figurative for good or easy [cf: difficult or bind by Americans]

jammy :
good, pleasant, easy, desirable, as to have real jam or pure jam on it

jandal :
thongs, sandals, shower shoes or flip-flops

jar :
measure of drink

jelly :
a semisolid or rubbery dessert made from a mixture of gelatin, sugar, and fruit flavouring; known by Americans as Jell-O

jersey :

jingle :
a roofed two-wheeled carriage or hackney coach; also called jingly

jocks :
men's underwear

Joe Blake :
rhyming slang for a snake

Joe Bloggins :
the universal byword for a common Canadian soldier or sailor, from the specimen name used on sample forms, and when designating someone (incompetent or unfortunate) in precautionary examples; also cited as Joe Bloggs

joker :

jolly :
a sailor's nickname for a MARINE; a militiaman was a tame jolly

judder bar :
speed bump

jug :
electric kettle

jumper :
woolen sweater

jumping jack :
a two-stage anti-personnel mine that explodes at waist level; known by Americans as a bouncing betty

jungle penetrator :
heavy bulb device with fold-away seats that's lowered by winch from a helicopter to extract people where a landing is not feasible

just down the road :
an expression representing any relative or indefinite distance, but always farther than expected; and always represented as down, even if the land rises in elevation

kakadu plum :
a round, tartly sweet, green plum that's extraordinarily high in vitamin C

police procedural acronym for Keep A Look Out For (someone or something); represented by Americans as BOLO [Be On (the) Look Out (for)]

knife, fork, spoon; being the eating utensils used with mess tins, preferably plastic to reduce noise in the bush

someone Killed in Action during enemy contact; see WIA

kia ora :
Maori for hello

kil :
church; also spelled kill

kirk :
church, especially Presbyterian

Kit Carson :
US term for a Viet Cong (VC) defector who then served with Allied forces as a scout or interpreter; Australians called them bushman scouts; see Chieu Hoi

Kiwi :
New Zealander; nickname used nationally and internationally to describe people from New Zealand; derived from flightless bird native to that country [nb: Many US service people queried the reason a New Zealand unit would display on their vehicles a stylised fat arsed chook ... it is not k1w1!]

kiwifruit :
a climbing shrub cultivated for its edible fruit, its egg-sized berry has fuzzy brownish skin and green flesh; also called Chinese gooseberry or zespri

knackered :
very tired or exhausted; as derived from the person (knacker) who slaughters and renders livestock

knickers :
underpants, bloomers, shorts, and more generally, pants (e.g. Don't get your knickers in a twist!) [cf: knickerbockers]

knock :
to criticise

knock back :
a refusal; to refuse

knocker :
somebody who criticises, who is critical of others or things

knuckle sandwich :
catch-phrase for a fist in the teeth or a punch in the mouth

kootchar :
any of several small, stingless Australian honeybees (Trigona)

kumara :
sweet potato, yam

Light Aid Detachment

lair it up :
to behave in a brash and vulgar manner, to do something in bad taste

Lamingtons :
sponge cake cubes dipped in chocolate icing, then coconut; reputedly named after the popular nineteenth century governor of Queensland, Baron Lamington; often sold in Lamington drives to raise funds for some worthwhile project

larrikin :
a prankster or hoodlum; see bushranger

latrine :
American term for a bathroom or restroom, a lav or loo; a room equipped with sinks, toilets, and showers; also called head

laughing gear :
mouth, especially lips (e.g. Wrap your laughing gear around this.)

lay-by :
a little parking area off the side of a main road (usually motorway) for travellers to stop, known as a rest area or truck stop by Americans; also, to pay for something over an extended period, also spelled layby and also known as on the never never

Landing Craft Medium; a flat-bottomed troop-carrying craft with a ramp for beach landings

lemon aspen :
small, pale yellow fruit with a tart citrus flavour

lemon myrtle :
lemon-flavoured leaves and stems of a native rain forest tree

lemonade :
clear soda (i.e. 7-Up) or any similar soft drink

Light Fire Team; comprised two UH1D helicopter gunships armed with forward firing mini-guns and 2.75-inch Zuni rocket pods with twin-M60s in each door; Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) call-sign was bushranger

lift :
elevator; a moving platform or cage that's used for carrying passengers or freight from one level to another in a building, ship, or other structure

lilo :
Australian model air mattress with inner air tubes

Liverpool kiss :
a strike or blow with the head; a head butt

Left Out of Battle; personnel routinely rested from operations (ops); see pogo, pogue

lobbies :
lobsters (as prepared for eating)

statement of location of a force or activity, typically a coded grid reference

lolly :
sweets or candy [also boiled sweets, candyfloss, hokey-pokey]

lolly scramble :
a festive search for candies

long drop :
euphemism for an enclosed outdoor toilet; an indoor toilet that empties waste through a shaft into a hole in the ground; a dunny or shit house

longneck :
a 750ml bottle of beer; also called tallie

loo :
a toilet, bathroom, or lavatory; bog or khasi; latrine or head

loose metal :
gravel, as spread on a roadway

lorry :
large motor truck

lough :

lounge :
living room

LP :
Landing Point; single helicopter pad, or area in bush capable of allowing only one helicopter to land

L&P :
brand name of popular fizzy soda water [nb: originally a lemon flavoured spring water from the town of Paeroa, NZ; the label representing Lemon and Paeroa]

lucky dip :
anything that depends on chance or fortune, such as a drawing or speculation

lurgy :
flu or influenza

lurk :
any illegal racket, especially a furtive or underhanded one

LZ :
Landing Zone; capable of landing and moving multiple helicopters

M16 :
US designed anti-personnel (AP) bouncing mine; also known as a jumping jack

M16-A1 :
US model 5.56mm lightweight individual rifle; see SLR

M18-A1 :
designation for claymore anti-personnel (AP) mine

M60 :
US model general purpose machine gun

M72 :
US model shoulder-fired, 72mm shaped-charge, single-shot, disposable rocket launcher; used to attack bunkers and light tanks

M79 :
US model single-shot 40mm grenade launcher

M113 :
armoured personnel carrier (APC); designed to move and position troops and supplies

M125 :
self-propelled armoured personnel carrier (APC) with 81mm mortar firing through large, circular roof hatch in hull rear; an M113 variant

M548 :
unarmoured cargo carrier; an M113 variant

M577 ACV :
Armoured Command Vehicle used as a mobile tactical operations centre (TOC); includes command and control (C&C) equipment and long-range communications through hand-cranked extendible antenna system; an M113 variant

M579 fitter :
repair and recovery vehicle fitted with crane attachment; an M113 variant

Military Assistance Command Vietnam

Military Assistance Command Vietnam - Special Operations Group; cover named Studies and Observation Group

mad as a cut snake :
colloquialism for extremely angry, very upset

mad as a meat axe :
colloquialism for very angry, upset or crazy

main :
a meal's main course; the principal dish of a meal; known as entree or entrée by Americans

routine supply to field troops of essential items, like food and water; see OPDEM

Manchester :
household linens, such as sheets and towels

Maori :
a member of the Polynesian people who are the aboriginal inhabitants of New Zealand

marge :

margie :
diminutive of marijuana; also known as mull, dacca, bhang, and Buddha stick [aka: joint, stick, bullet, leaf (low grade), leaf and tip (medium grade), head (high grade), reefer, weed, grass]

Marmite :
a dark-brown concentrated yeast-extract paste, having a salty flavour and a slightly sweet undertaste; a trademarked product of Australia

mash :
mashed potatoes

Military Assistance Team; Australian personnel who were temporarily stationed with SVN military posts for liaison and training

mate :
buddy or friend; chum or pal

Matilda :
bedding or sleeping roll [v: bluey, swag, dilly bag; cf: bagman / swagman]

MC :
Military Cross, an Imperial award to recognise commissioned officers for distinguished, courageous, and meritorious service in combat

meat pie :
an individual serving of meat-and-gravy filling that's completely enclosed in a cup-shaped or turnover-shaped crust; also called dog's eye

Medical Civil Aid Programme (or Medical Civic Action Programme); normally conducted in a secure area, and could involve psychological operations to display humanitarian treatment and improve the image of occupying forces

Medical Evacuation; nominally a medical emergency rather than a battle injury; see CASEVAC, dustoff

medic :
medical orderly or trained soldier who would provide medical support

mess :
dining hall; barbeque area

mess tins :
metal dishes used to cook and eat meals; container for shaving water, etc.

metal road :
a country route covered by gravel

Mortar Fire Controller, attached to infantry; mortar sections often accompanied companies in the bush; MFC directed artillery fire in absence of forward observation officer (FOO)

MG :
machine gun, such as General Purpose Machine Gun (GPMG)

Mentioned in Despatches, lowest form of Imperial award presented as high praise to all ranks for bravery or outstanding duty, represented by a bronze oak leaf on the campaign medal

middy :
slang for a medium-size (about 9-ounce) glass of beer

milk bar :
a corner shop or convenience store selling takeaway food; also called dairy

milk stout :
a sweet dark ale enriched by milk sugar [i.e. lactose]

mini-gun :
a Gatling-type machine gun, comprising 6 or more rotating barrels firing up to 6000 rounds per minute

mini team :
two engineer Sappers, specially trained in demolitions and mine warfare, were allocated to each rifle company to assist the infantry in detection and neutralisation of mines, booby traps, and tunnels; see splinter team, engr

Min Min lights :
mysterious lights that have been reputedly and inexplicably observed in the bush or outback

mission :
an operational task to be performed, especially one specifically assigned to a person or group; also, any difficult undertaking

MM :
Military Medal, an Imperial award to NCOs and private soldiers for individual acts of valour

mob-handed :
performed by a large number of people, more than necessary; executed en masse; activity that draws a crowd or attracts a horde (e.g. They arrived mob-hand.)

Mohawk :
US OV1 observation aircraft

mongrel :
a despicable person

moo-juice :

mortar :
an infantry indirect-fire support weapon that fires bombs in a high trajectory which plummet onto the target

mossie :
mosquito; also spelled mozzie

motorbike :
a bicycle propelled by an attached motor; also, a small, lightweight motorcycle, variously configured; also known as motor scooter

motorway :
expressway or freeway; a toll-free thoroughfare

mouldy :
slang for a self-propelled torpedo; as derived from Scots dialect for a mole (moudie)

mousetrap :
permission to cross a boundary out of one operational area (AO) into another

Military Provisional Currency (or Military Payment Certificate); had a face value of US currency but only valid for use by service personnel at Allied facilities; issued to control the local black market

muck about :
to waste time; also called muck around or piss around

mudbug :
crayfish; called crawdad, crawdaddy, or spiny lobster by Americans

muddie :
a large crab

mudfat :
said of animals that are very fat, from the phrase: as fat as mud

mug :
field cup used to heat food and drink; also a gullible person, offered as a friendly insult (e.g. Have a go your mug!)

mulga :
the bush, the scrub, hinterlands or outback

mull :
slang for marijuana; also known as margie, dacca, bhang, and Buddha stick [aka: joint, stick, bullet, leaf (low grade), leaf and tip (medium grade), head (high grade), reefer, weed, grass]

mum :
mother, mom, or ma

muntries :
small, crunchy, apple-flavoured berries found in South Australia; also called native cranberries

murphy :

mushie :

muster :
a gathering together or roundup

mystery bag :

naff off :
an interjection directing others to go away or get lost; a declaration equivalent to Leave me alone!

nana :
grandmother or grandma [cf: nanny]

nandy :
grandfather or grandpa [cf: pap]

napalm :
an explosive mixture of gasoline and detergent, which sucks oxygen from the air, either killing people through asphyxiation or burning them alive; often used during firefights

nappy :
diaper; being a diminutive of napkin, a piece of absorbent material worn as underpants by an infant who is not yet toilet trained

nasho :
slang for Australian national serviceman or a two-year conscript; also refers to the compulsory military service itself, adapted from National Service [nb: NZ troops were all professionals]

NATO standard :
coffee with milk and two sugar, based upon typical military ration issue in North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO)

naughty :
a euphemism for the sex act, or to engage in sex

Non-Commissioned Officer; section commander or platoon sergeant type ranks, including the warrant officer, staff sergeant, sergeant, corporal, and lance corporal ranks; see OR

Night Defensive Position; a small temporary base for supporting arms like tanks

Neptune :
P2 US Navy aircraft

netball :
game similar to basketball

nice day for travelling :
a euphemism for you're fired, a form of dismissal used with migrant workers

nick :
slang for steal; also, slang for cheat or defraud; also, slang for capture or apprehend; also, slang for prison; also, a small dent or slight wound

night hunter :
co-ordinated radar, artillery, and air cavalry operation (Op)

night raid :
operation (Op) planned against an intelligence target

NiteCAP :
integrated Civic Action Programme during darkness, with particular emphasis on psychological operations

National Liberation Front, a communist front organisation that sponsored the Provisional Revolutionary Government and the People's Liberation Armed Forces; commonly known as Viet Cong (VC)

nog :
slang for Vietnamese; also expressed as noggie; see gook

no-hoper :
somebody who'll never do well or get ahead

noisy as a dunny door in a storm :
colloquialism for very noisy, from the sound made by the door of an outdoor toilet slamming in the wind

Next of Kin; the person registered to receive bad news about a soldier

nor'wester :
a very warm wind that comes in from the Tasman Sea, drys as it rises over the Southern Alps, heats as it decends, crosses the Canterbury Plains, then blows through Christchurch, often for several days

nosh :
a snack; also, to eat (a snack)

nosh-up :
raid the refrigerator; also, an excellent meal

note block :
a bound stack of paper used for writing, which separate sheets may be removed individually; also known as scratchpad or notepad

Casualty Notification, an abbreviated radio message about injured or deceased soldiers that used a standard format; also NOTICAS Fatal

not my bowl of rice :
something unwanted or disliked, anything not pleasing; also expressed as not my cup of tea

not to worry :
an expression of reassurance or encouragement, of forbearance or forgiveness; also uttered as no worries, no drama, and she'll be right

nought :
cipher or zero; nothing or worthless

nuddy :

nulla nulla :
a heavy wooden club of the Australian Aborigines; see waddy, boomerang

nut out :
to work out the details, hammer out arrangements

North Vietnamese Army; regular army of North Vietnam; a capable and well armed enemy who is usually highly skilled and motivated

NZ :
New Zealand or New Zealander; see Kiwi

New Zealand Army Training Team Vietnam

New Zealand Special Air Service group, formed 1955 and patterned on British SAS; based in Nui Dat, the NZ SAS served under the Australian SASR from November 1968 through October 1971, where it was named 1st Ranger Squadron; most tasks involved conducting recce missions and ambush of enemy forces; a New Zealand SAS troop was attached to each Australian SAS squadron in both Borneo and Vietnam

NZV Force :
New Zealand Army Force (Vietnam)

OC :
Officer Commanding; also known as the company commander or sunray

ocker :
any unsophisticated person, especially the stereotypic Aussie male, who is reputedly an uncultured lout, fond of swilling beer and gobbling food, indiscriminately following sports and politics, recklessly gambling and womanising

the Officer Cadet School at Portsea in Victoria; an eighteen months officer training course

OE :
overseas experience; compare OS

off-licence :
liquor store

off like prawns in the sun :
colloquialism for leave quickly, to depart with haste (e.g. He went off like prawns in the sun.)

offsider :
an assistant or helper, apprentice or confederate (cf: jackaroo); known as a sidekick by Americans

O Gp :
Orders Group; meeting of personnel to be tasked for future operations (ops)

old bomb :
an old, decrepit or dilapidated vehicle; a mechanically unsound jalopy; also called rust bucket

old fella :
euphemism for penis

oldies :
parents or elders

on my hammer :
putting pressure on me

on the never never :
catch-phrase for using layby to pay for something over an extended period; not paying outright or straightaway; known as will-call or layaway plan by Americans

Op(s) :
operation (usually followed by a name); see AO, FSPB

urgent supply of ammunition and weapons to field troops; see MAINTDEM

open slather :
a free-for-all; a disorderly fight or contest without rules

op shop :
opportunity shop, being a store where secondhand goods are sold; also called thrift shop; compare Cheap Charlie's

OR :
Other Ranks; soldiers who are not commissioned officers; see Pte, NCO

Orion :
P3 US Navy aircraft

OS :
overseas; abroad; in foreign land on foreign service

One Time Letter Pad; a code book system, each page of which would be used only once by patrols in the field

the Officer Training Unit at Scheyville near Windsor NSW; a six months officer training course for National Servicemen

Ouc Da Loi [Uc Da Loi / Uc Dai Loy] :
Vietnamese for an Australian; see Tan Tay Lan

outback :
the back country or remote settlements; scrub or bush; also called never never after the Never-Never Land (originally Never Land), where lost boys and red indians lived and pirates sailed up the lake, in Peter Pan by James M. Barrie (1904)

Oz :

Ozzie :
an Australian; see Aussie, Digger, 'roo

pack-a-sad :
bad mood, touchy, morose, dour, crestfallen, grim, downcast, glum, despondent, ill-humoured, out-of-sorts (e.g. She packed a sad.)

pack-a-wobbly :
to become angry or snotty

pad :
a helipad, see Landing Point (LP); also a narrow footpath, like an animal trail through a paddock

paddled :
to suffer ill fate or misfortune, mischance or bad luck

pakaru [puckeroo] :
Maori term for break or broken, buggered or dysfunctional

Pakeha :
any non-Maori person

Paludrine :
drug used by Australians and New Zealanders in Vietnam as a malaria suppressant, taken in combination with dapsone

panel beater :
slang for an automobile repair shop, or auto body shop; also called panel shop

pannikin boss :
disparaging slang reference for an overseer of a small group of workers, for someone with minor authority; what Americans call little prick or ramrod

paracetamol :
(para-acetamidophenol) a mild analgesic and antipyretic drug used like aspirin; known as acetaminophen by Americans

party pooper :
a person whose negative attitude or aloof conduct ruins everyone else's enjoyment; spoilsport

Pat Malone :
rhyming slang for being on your own

patrol :
activity by a selection of soldiers, from three to company size, on task in the bush

pavement :
a paved walkway for people; a pedestrian footpath; what Americans call a sidewalk

pawpaw :
papaya, a yellow melon-like fruit

PC :
slang for APC, an Armoured Personnel Carrier, as in mount that PC

PE :
Plastic Explosive, such as C4

pedicab :
a three-wheeled cab for hire, peddled by its operator and provided with a bench seat and folding cover for its passengers; a ricksha or jingle

people sniffer :
electro-chemical device to detect humans

pepper-pot :
advance to contact in an irregular or unpredictable manner, using small groups who cover movement with observation and aimed fire; pattern in appearance like shaking pepper from a pot

perve :
exhibiting salacious, lustful, lubricious, lewd or lascivious behavior; adapted from pervert / perversion

Peter Collins :
an alias for any unknown or unidentified person, being a euphemism for anyone or anybody; known by Americans as John Doe, Joe Blow, Joe Doakes, John Q. Public, and Richard Row

petrol :
petroleum fuel, especially gasoline, naphtha, kerosene, paraffin oil, and the like

PF :
Popular Force, a South Vietnamese territorial militia of platoon size that were under the control of village or district chiefs; see RF, ruff puffs, ARVN

picket duty :
sentry duty; see stag

pick the eyes out :
to select the best parts or to choose the preferred items; such fastidiousness may be expressed as cherry picking by Americans

pie cart :
affectionate term for a road-side or side-show food seller's converted mobile caravan, from which fast-food takeaways (such as meat pies, burgers, hot-dogs, fish and chips, and other tasty treats) can be bought

piece-of-piss :
easily accomplished; not hard or difficult to do; an easy or simple task

pikelet :
a small pancake, usually served with jam and whipped cream

pike out :
to quit when things become difficult, to give up when the going gets tough

piker :
someone who gives up easily; contemptibly cautious; slacker or quitter; social misfit; as derived from petty thief

pillock :
idiot; possibly derived as a contraction of pillicock, a medieval description of the male member; alternatively, a corruption of bullock

pillow-biter :
a male homosexual [cf: ankle-biter]

pinky bar :
a chocolate-covered marshmallow confection

piss :
slang for beer

piss around :
to waste time; also called muck around or muck about

pissed :
drunk or inebriated

pissed-off :
annoyed, angry, upset

pisshead :
a heavy drinker; someone who consumes a lot of alcohol, especially beer

pissing down :
raining heavily; a drenching or pouring rain

piss-up :
a party or social gathering, being an excuse for drinking alcohol

pit :
hole dug or scraped in the ground as protection from incoming fire

pituri :
a stimulant made from the dried leaves and twigs of this solanaceous shrub or small tree (duboisia hopwoodi), used by the Aborigines as a narcotic

pl :
platoon; military unit typically composed of two to four sections or squads, and containing 30 - 50 soldiers
A rifle platoon consisted of 34 men; a platoon HQ of 4, plus 3 rifle sections of 10 each. At Pl HQ were the platoon commander (a Lt or 2Lt), the platoon sergeant, a batman, and the radio operator. Each platoon had a radio set for communicating to Company HQ and to the other two platoons.

People's Liberation Armed Forces; the armed forces of the communist National Liberation Front (NLF), or Viet Cong (VC)

pl comd :
platoon commander; usually an officer of lieutenant rank

plod :
friendly term for local policeman

plonk :
cheap or inferior wine

pl sgt :
platoon sergeant, responsible for platoon administration and deputising for commander (pl comd); see NCO

pogo :
any soldier who is farther from combat action than the speaker; a relative term commonly used to describe the logistics and administration staff

pogue :
derisory slang for someone permanently left out of battle; see pogo, LOB

polly :

pom :
truncation of pommy (q.v.)

pommy :
slang for a Briton; as derived from an excess of pomade, or for a florid complexion resembling pomegranate; also spelled pommie [nb: an alternative origin alleges a corrupt pronunciation of the abbreviation for Prisoner Of Mother England (POME)]

pommy shower :
using scent in an attempt to mask body odor; using deodorant instead of washing; also known as a whore's bath [nb: the colloquial expression dry as a pommy's towel is based upon the canard that Britons rarely bathe]

pong :
a bad smell or disagreeable stench; malodorous stink

pongo :
slang for a soldier or Marine; probably after its primary meaning of monkey

Point of Origin; map referencing system in which prearranged grid references on a map were used as a point of origin by jungle patrols

poodle-faker :
said of a newly commissioned army officer who is young and fawning, as being imitative of an odious lap dog; also, a man who cultivates women (ladies' man) for prestige and promotion

poof / poofter :
a male homosexual

Pooh-Bah :
a nickname for a pompous official who holds numerous offices simultaneously out of self-interest, as derived from the Gilbert and Sullivan character [Pooh-Bah, The Lord-High-Everything-Else] in The Mikado (1885)

pop smoke :
to throw a coloured smoke grenade to assist helicopters identify the correct landing place

porky :
a lie or untruth; also called pork pie

porridge :
a thick cereal of boiled oatmeal

port :
a suitcase that opens into two halves; truncation of portmanteau

Portsea :
the location of the Officer Cadet School (OCS) in Victoria; these officers graduated with the rank of 2nd Lieutenant after an eighteen months training course

possie / possy :
slang for position, a fighting position; also, a job of work or employment situation, as derived by shortening and alteration of position

Possum :
call-sign for aircraft or helicopter of 161 Reconnaissance Flight

pot :
a 285ml beer glass, or any large mug for beer

poteen :
illicitly distilled whisky; also spelled poitin, and known as moonshine by Americans

pottle :
a small container for liquids; also, a pot or tankard with a two quart capacity

power cut :
outage or stoppage; an interruption in electrical service, or a failure in the supply of electricity

pozzy :
position; place to set up

prac :
practise, practicum, or practical experience

pram :
baby carriage, stroller

prang :
a small dent from a minor collision; an insignificant injury from a physical encounter or confrontational episode (e.g. He got pranged a bit.)

President of the Jack Club :
a nickname given to someone who excels in the selfish pursuit of his own interests (v: Jack system)

pretty kettle of fish :
messy, or a mess; hash or mishmash, jumble or muddle, disorder or disarray; also expressed as a dog's breakfast

Pte :
Private, the lowest grade of trained soldier; also Gnr (gunner - artillery), Sig (signaller - Corps of Signals), Spr (sapper - corps of engineers), Tpr (trooper - armoured corps); see OR

pub :
a bar or tavern, as a truncation of public house (inn); also, a hotel with facilities for eating and drinking

advisory message with details of a significant event that's of interest to the general media, such as NOTICAS

pudding :

Puff the Magic Dragon :
C47 aircraft equipped with three mini-guns; see Spooky

pukka / pucka :
genuine, reliable, good or proper; being an Anglo-Indian conversion of ripe or mature

pull up the ladder, Jack, I'm inboard :
the nautical equivalent of I'm all right, Jack, which denotes the pursuit of self-interest and the complete disregard of the interest of others [v: I'm All Right, Jack, a satirical film starring Peter Sellers (1959)]

punji :
sharpened stick; see booby trap

punt :
to kick a falling ball before it hits the ground, as in rugby; also, to bet in certain card games (as in faro) by laying a stake against the bank, wherein this term originally meant point

punter :
a gambler, especially one who wagers on sporting events

push bike :
a peddle-powered bicycle (with or without gears); not a motorbike or scooter

pussyfoot :
a teetotaller or prohibitionist

put on jam :
slang expression for adopting a self-important manner or for using affected speech

PW :
Prisoner of War; American reference is POW

PX :
Post Exchange; retail stores operating on United States military installations worldwide. Known as Base Exchange (BX) on Air Force bases, and Navy Exchange (NEX) on Navy bases

Q bastard :

Q store :
quartermaster store; reserve stores in base area

quack :
medical doctor (used ironically); in its sense of fraud, cozener, impostor, charlatan, or mountebank, its derived from quacksalver

quandong :
an outback fruit that's high in vitamin C, having a bright red skin and a flavour reminiscent of a tart or acidic peach; also called native-, wild-, or desert peach

quarter flash :
said of an ignorant newcomer who exhibits about a quarter flash and three quarters foolish, a little show and alot of no go, or a bit of dash and a great deal of crash

quay :
waterfront, as a landing place, dock or wharf

quencher :
ice cream bar

queue :
a file of people awaiting their turn in a line; also, a single plait or braid of hair

quite nice [quoite noice] :
very good, exceptional; also, a diplomatic euphemism used by anyone too polite or tactful to baldly utter the rude unvarnished truth

quirly :
a handmade or hand-rolled cigarette, as rhyming slang for twirly; also called rollie, and known as roll-your-own or pigtail by Americans

Royal Australian Artillery

Royal Australian Armoured Corps; more commonly represented as Rob All Affluent Comrades

Royal Australian Air Force; helicopters and transports supporting 1Australian Task Force (1ATF)

rack off :
a verbal injunction directing someone to leave or depart, as to Get out of here!, Get lost!, Push off! (e.g. Rack off hairy legs!)

rage :
dysphemism for a party [v: Bachelors' and Spinsters' Ball, buck's night]

rage on :
catch-phrase for merrymaking or revelry, as at a party; also expressed as going off

Royal Australian Navy

Ranch Hand :
tactical military project for aerial spraying of herbicides in South Vietnam

randy :
sexually excited or aroused; lustful or horny; also, rude and aggressive, as derived from rant

rank :
designation of experience and authority; see Pte, NCO, CQMS, CSM, RSM, OC

Regimental Aid Post; first level medical facility

rapt :
pleased or delighted, as from enraptured

Royal Australian Regiment; Australian infantry structure of nine battalions, three of which were designated ANZAC and had New Zealand companies

rark-up :
telling somebody off

rasher :
a serving of thinly sliced bacon or ham that's been fried or broiled

ratbag :
an obnoxious person, being a mild insult; also spelled rat bag

rats :

rattle your dags :
catch-phrase for hurry up, get moving; as derived from the clattering sound that sheep make when running, caused by the striking together of dried dung stuck to the fleece of their hindquarters

Raven :
US model UH23 observation helicopter

razoo :
a gambling chip or token [nb: not to be confused with razzoo, an Americanism used to exhibit ridicule or indignation, to provoke scorn or contempt, as razz, raspberry, or Bronx cheer]

R&C :
Rest and Convalescence; a 5-day leave for NZers outside South Vietnam

recce [recky] :
reconnaissance; US abbreviation was recon

Recondo School :
training course for reconnaissance techniques operated by MACV in Nha Trang

reffo :

re-entrant :
any gully or low ground between two spurs, as a creek-line

Reg :
slang for a Regular or full-time soldier who had signed up for at least three years of military service; see ARA

reinstoushment :
slang for reinforcement, as derived from stoush for fight

rellies :
diminutive of relatives, family members

reserve :
a public recreation area, often including a cricket pitch or soccer field; called a park by Americans

resup :
resupply; see MAINTDEM

RF :
Regional Force, a South Vietnamese territorial militia of company size that were under the control of province chiefs; see PF, ruff puffs, ARVN

ridgy-didge :
original, genuine, authentic; also spelled ridgie didge

right as rain :
perfect, especially being fit and well after an injury or illness; an allusion to rain being good for growth

R in C :
Rest-in-Country; a 48-hour recreational break at Peter Badcoe Club in Vung Tau

ring :
a telephone call; to place or receive a telephone call (e.g. I'll give you a ring.)

ring-in :
an impostor or poseur, pretender or cozener

ripper :
an exclamation for great or fantastic, wonderful or terrific

ripsnorter :
great, fantastic; something powerful or exciting

the Royal Military College at Duntroon in Canberra; a four-year training course; Aussie version of American West Point

Royal New Zealand Artillery

Royal New Zealand Air Force; pilots were attached to 9 Sqn RAAF and flew resupply from Singapore

Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment

roadway :
a paved street or asphalt-covered thoroughfare

roast dinner :
a dish of beef or lamb roasted with potatoes and other vegetables that's served hot

rocket :
arugula, pungent leaves of the mustard family

rockmelon :

rock up :

Rules of Engagement; the laws of war that imposed restrictions on Allied soldiers as to where and when they could shoot

rollie :
a cigarette rolled by hand; also called twirly or quirly, and known as a roll-your-own or pigtail by Americans

Rolling Thunder :
US air campaign against North Vietnam

'roo :
slang for kangaroo, representative of an Australian; see Aussie, Digger, Ozzie

roo bar :
a stout guard affixed to the front of a vehicle to protect it against impact with wildlife or vegetation; also called bull bar; compare elephant's trunk

root :
synonymous with fuck in all its senses

rooted :
tired or feeling tired

root rat :
somebody who's constantly looking for sex; philanderer or libertine, rake or roué

ropeable :
very angry; also expressed as spewin'

rort :
to cheat, swindle, defraud or defalcate, especially public funds by a politician; bilk, hoodwink, bamboozle, cozen, purloin, mulct, embezzle, peculate, misappropriate, misfeasance, malfeasance

rotten :
drunk or intoxicated

rough as guts :
an unpolished or unsophisticated person

roundabout :
rotary or traffic circle; also, carousel or merry-go-round

rounds :
ammunition; see ammo, tracer bullets, bandolier, OPDEM

round the bend :
very busy; going crazy

the Soviet model 7.62mm light machine gun, having many parts interchangeable with the AK47

Soviet or Chinese model shoulder-fired Rocket Propelled Grenade; used as local firepower by VC

R&R :
Rest and Recreation sponsored by US forces; 5-days off-duty outside South Vietnam; each soldier was entitled to one R&R break during a 12 month tour, which could be spent in Australia, Hong Kong, Singapore, Bangkok, or Taipei

Returned and Services League, which attends to veterans' affairs and interests; its clubhouse is known as The RSL

Regimental Sergeant Major, the senior soldier within a battalion who is responsible for advising the commander (OC) on all matters affecting the troops, and directing the company sergeants major (CSM); see NCO

Return to Australia from an overseas posting

Return to New Zealand from an overseas posting

rubber :

rubbish :
to criticise; also, a declaration of untruth or an assertion of falsity; also, garbage or trash

ruff puffs :
slang for the South Vietnamese Regional Force (RF) and Popular Force (PF) territorial militia; see ARVN

rugby :
a form of football that's played between two teams of fifteen members each who may not be substituted, is characterised by the freedom to carry the ball, to block with the hands and arms and to tackle, while requiring continuous play; also called rugby football [cf: American football, Canadian football, Gaelic football, Australian football, soccer (association football)]

RV :
rendezvous; a designated meeting place

Republic of Vietnam, official name of South Vietnam

saddle up :
directive to get your gear on and let's get ready to move

salty doodle :
a man with a foot in two worlds with the consequence of dipping his penis in the vast sea dividing those distant lands; initially applied to British colonialists (in North America, South Africa, and elsewhere) who were oriented to their mother country, but later applied to Aussies [v: blighty]

acronym for Salvation Army volunteer

sambo :
sandwich; also represented as sammie

sandgroper :
a person from Western Australia, from the abundance of desert sand

sanger :
a sandwich; also spelled sanga

sapper :
lowest grade of field engineer; special force Viet Cong (VC) or North Vietnamese Army (NVA) soldiers who penetrated bases to destroy infrastructure

sarnie :

Special Air Service, either Australian or New Zealand; lived on SAS Hill, the highest point in Nui Dat

satchel charge :
a pre-constructed 10lb / 4.5kg demolition charge of double-primed TNT that's enclosed in a canvas bag and used on fortifications and tunnels; see engr, splinter team, sapper

sat cong :
Vietnamese for kill communists

sav :
diminutive of saveloy; a highly seasoned dried pork sausage, originally containing pig's brains

scarfie :
a university student, from the wear of a distinctively patterned neckcloth, particularly from universities of the South Island

Scheyville :
the location of the Officer Training Unit (OTU) near Windsor NSW for National Servicemen; these officers graduated with the rank of 2nd lieutenant after an intensive six months training course

school :
informal reference to a group of people gathered together, especially for gambling or drinking

schooner :
a large tall glass for beer

scone :
a light, sweet, quick bread that's often baked on a griddle

scout :
first and second soldier in patrol; role to give early warning of danger

scroggin :
an edible mixture of nuts, dried fruit, rice crisps, unwrapped lollies, chocolate bits, and selected seeds; this mixture is consumed as a source of high-energy food, and known as gorp or trail mix by Americans

scull :
to rapidly drink beer; also spelled skull or skol

sealed road :
paved road, roadway or motorway

South East Asia Treaty Organisation

secateurs :
hand-held pruning shears used to remove bush during movement; see gollock

secondment :
the transfer of a military officer to another post for temporary duty

sect :
section; a subunit of a platoon (pl) or company (coy), as a mortar section or support section
The rifle section was the smallest of sub-units in the infantry organisation. The section consisted of 10 men, commanded by a corporal, and had three distinct groupings: the two scouts, the machine gunner and his number 2, and the riflemen. There were three sections to a platoon.

seppo :
slang for an American

serjeant :
British spelling of sergeant, a non-commissioned officer

serviette :
table napkin

servo :
petrol station, derived by shortening of service station

shandy :
a drink composed of beer and lemonade

sharp end :
directly involved in the action, up where the danger is greatest

sheepshagger :
a New Zealander

sheila :
a girl or young woman; see wahine

she'll be right :
an expression of reassurance or encouragement, of forbearance or forgiveness; also uttered as no drama and no worries or not to worry

shickered :
slang for drunk or intoxicated; also known as rotten or wankered

shiny arse :
WWII-era slang for someone with a desk job at headquarters; also known as fountain pen fusilier

shippie :
a prostitute working the passengers and crew of ships docked at international ports; on the model of chippie (chippy)

shit a brick :
an exclamation of surprise or annoyance

shit house :
toilet, especially outdoors, also called dunny; loo or lav; bog or khasi; latrine or head; bathroom or restroom; also, anything of poor quality, something inferior; compare brick shit house

shivoo :
a boisterous party or celebration

shonky :
dubious or suspect, underhanded or unscrupulous

shoot through :
catch-phrase for leave suddenly, to depart with haste

short :
small amount of time still remaining to serve in a tour of duty

short black :
a single espresso

shout :
turn to buy, as a round of drinks; also, treat, as to provide or bestow (food, drink, entertainment, etc.) as a compliment or gift (e.g. Lunch is my shout.)

show pony :
someone who tries hard to impress others by his dress or behavior

shufti :
look, peer, notice, or examine, as Have a shufti at this.

sickie :
taking time off work due to illness; compare chuck-a-sickie

side-valving :
to speak surreptitiously from the corner of the mouth so as to be undetectable and inaudible at any distance farther than near, as when commenting sotto voce while in formation; also called side-mouthing

Sig :
signaller or radio operator (Corps of Signals); see Pte, OR

sign :
evidence of enemy presence, from footprints and disturbed undergrowth to blood trails and enemy bush symbols (e.g. crossed sticks on a track)

silk :
a lightweight nylon-type blanket used on a soldier's bed (farter)

silverside :
corned beef

silvertail :
an affluent or influential person

singlet :
undershirt, tank-top

sinker :

Sioux :
US model OH13 observation helicopter (a plastic bubble with an open grid tail)

Situation Report, usually a coded radio message using a standard format

six-bob-a-day tourist :
the daily wage (six shillings) of a World War I ANZAC soldier, as applied to someone who's believed to be unwilling to fight

skanger :
a low-class person who is prone to petty criminal acts

skint :
short of money

skip :
short for skipper, informal bush title for an officer; alternative address to sir; see boss

skite :
boast, brag, or vaunt; show-off or flaunt

Simonov Soviet-made or Chinese-made semiautomatic rifle had a built-in 10-round (7.62 x 39mm) magazine with attached bayonet; was highly accurate, and used primarily by local Viet Cong (VC) forces; see AK47, RPD

skull :
to drink a beer in a single draught without taking a breath; quaff or chug-a-lug; also spelled scull or skol [cf: skoal]

Sky Crane :
see superhook

slab :
a carton of 24 bottles or cans of beer

slag :

slapper :
a woman of loose morals

slick :
single helicopter movement; slang for an individual troop carrying Iroquois UH1D helicopter, with radio call-sign Albatross

slouch hat :
traditional broad brimmed hat worn in the bush; worn by Australians with a central fore-and-aft bash in the crown, while New Zealanders shaped the crown into a lemon squeezer peak (like American Montana Peak) that sheds rainwater; one side of the hat brim is pinned-up only when under arms, so as to clear the rifle at the shoulder or on its sling

British model 7.62mm / .308cal semi-automatic self-loading personal rifle; see M16-A1

sly grog :
an alcoholic beverage that's been illegally prepared in violation of licencing restrictions

smoko :
to take a break or rest period from work, especially for smoking; also, to take a break from work for tea and smoking; also, to attend an informal evening gathering of men for companionship and entertainment, who share tobacco and beverages with conversation, which is also spelled smoke-o, and known as a smoker by Americans; also, to smoke marijuana

snaffle :
to quickly grab something, especially something to eat

snag :

snake pit :
slang for the sergeant's mess

snarky :
a blend of sarcastic and nasty

snarler :

snatch :
a rapidly planned and executed operation (op) to exploit information that's obtained from enemy

snatch-and-grab :
takeaway food or food to go, such as greasies

sneakers :
athletic shoes made of canvas and rubber

snog :
to kiss, fondle, and caress each other; unconsummated foreplay (without copulation) (e.g. We were snogging on the couch.)

Snoopy :
US aircraft tasked to scan jungle with a range of human detecting sensors

snorker :

snotty :
snooty or snobbish, arrogant or supercilious

soccer :
a form of football played between two eleven member teams in which the ball may be advanced by kicking or by bouncing it off any part of the body but the arms and hands (except goalkeepers may use their hands to catch, carry, throw, or stop the ball); also called association football [cf: American football, Canadian football, Gaelic football, Australian football, rugby]

sod :
a chum, chap, or mate; also, a friendly insult or mild oath, widely used to intensify or vulgarise any other word or phrase by its addition; as derived from sodomy or sodomite (not turf)

song :
Vietnamese for river, as in Song Rai

sook :
any soft or tame animal, hence its application to any inoffensive or unthreatening person; a scaredy-cat or crybaby, milksop or milquetoast, mollycoddle or pantywaist, wimp or twit; also spelled suk, and also represented as sooky

Standard Operating Procedure; agreed way to do certain actions or reports; see SITREP, NOTICAS

sortie :
the flying of an airplane on a combat mission; also any sudden attack or raid.

spag / spog :
an Italian immigrant, by allusion to spaghetti

spag bol :
spaghetti bolognese (a stew of veal and pork, garlic and onions, wine and spices in tomato sauce over pasta); also abbreviated spog

spanner :
a wrench with fixed jaws [i.e. crescent or box wrench, not monkey wrench]; also, a mild insult for someone who interferes or messes things up

spare :
exasperated or aggravated, irked or riled, vexed or perturbated (e.g. It's driving me spare!)

sparkie :
slang for an electrician

sparrow fart :
very early in the morning, as at dawn or sunrise (e.g. We were up before sparrow fart.); what Americans call the crack of dawn

spew :
hurl or vomit; to violently eject the stomach's contents through the mouth; also called liquid laugh or technicolour yawn

spider holes :
shoulder-deep hole, often covered by a camouflaged lid and linked to a tunnel system; the Viet Cong (VC) stood and fired a weapon, then closed the lid to disguise the hole and conceal the tunnel entrance

spiffy :
great, excellent; smart, spruce, fine

spinner :
someone (typically female) who's eccentric or irrational, odd or wacky, flakey or scatterbrained; possibly related to dizzy; what Americans call an airhead

spit chips :
very angry

spit the dummy :
slang phrase for getting very upset at something; throwing a tantrum

splinter team :
small group of field engineers attached to rifle units for mine, booby trap, or obstacle clearing tasks; see mini team, engr, sapper, satchel charge

splintex :
term for round filled with flechettes

Spooky :
call sign for C47 gunship; see Puff the Magic Dragon

spot on :
exactly right

Spr :
sapper (corps of engineers); see Pte, OR

sprog :
a child, an ankle biter or crumb cruncher; also, to give birth to a child

sprung :
caught in the act of doing something wrong

spud :

spunk :
an attractive person of either sex; see brick shit house

spurtle :
a stick used to stir porridge

sqn :
squadron, military subunit of a size equivalent to a company, except in the Air Force, where it's a battalion (bn) sized unit

squiz :
quick look or short examination; also spelled squizz

stag :
rostered sentry duty; see picket duty

stands out like a shag on a rock :
colloquialism for very obvious, conspicuous [cf: Plain as the nose on your face.]

stand-to :
period at dusk and dawn when all activity ceases; change from day to night routine or vice versa

Start Line :
the forward edge of an attacking force formation; see FUP

Steinie :
a bottle of Steinlager, diminutive of the brand name

stick :
group of men ready to board helicopters

stick book :
a fictional paperback book with a higher than usual proportion of explicit sexual content

sticking plaster :
a small adhesive bandage with a gauze pad affixed centrally; known as a Band-Aid by Americans

stickybeak :
a nosy person; snoopy or prying, inquisitive or intrusive

sticky tape :
slang for cellotape

sticky wicket :
slang for being disadvantaged, to be at a disadvantage, as derived from yield

stirrer :
troublemaker or mischief-maker, agitator or fomenter, instigator or inciter, provoker or provocateur

stoked :
very pleased

Stokes litter :
rigid stretcher with straps to immobilise a casualty before winching (either vertical or horizontal) aboard a dustoff helicopter; see CASEVAC, MEDEVAC

stonkered :
beaten, defeated, cornered, perplexed

stoush :
slang for fight; see reinstoushment

stout :
courageous, brave; also, resolute, determined; also, forceful, vigorous; also, sturdy, substantial; also, a dark sweet ale having a higher percentage of hops than porter

straightaway :
promptly or right away; immediately or forthwith

strapped :
needy or wanting (e.g. strapped for cash)

strewth :
an exclamation or mild oath; also, honestly, reliably; as derived from God's truth

strides :

strine :
denotes Australian pronunciation and slang usage

strop :
rash, reckless, impetuous, heedless, headlong

stroppy :
bad tempered or ill-humoured; bellicose or antagonistic; provocative or protective

stubby :
a squat 375ml bottle of beer; also called short

stuffed :
tired or feeling tired; also, an expression of surprise, as an exclamation of disbelief (e.g. Well, I'll be stuffed!)

stupid as a two bob watch :
colloquialism used to describe an irrational person

suck hole :
vulgar allusion to someone who curries favor with others, an obsequious sycophant

(a fair) suck of the sav :
an exclamation of wonder, awe, or disbelief

suck the kumara [sweet potato, yam] :
to die or otherwise cease

sunbake :
to sunbathe

sundowner :
shirker; from the tramp or hobo who arrives too late to work at a homestead, but early enough for a meal

sunnies :

Sunray :
radio term for officer commanding (OC)

Sunray Minor :
slang for Second-in-Command (2IC)

suoi :
Vietnamese for creek, as in Suoi Tam Bo

super :
truncation of superannuated, being a pension paid to a retired person

superhook :
slang for CH54 cargo helicopter; also known as Sky Crane

supper :
any light meal, especially coffee and dessert, consumed during late evening or nighttime

suspenders :
an arrangement of adjustable straps used to support socks or stockings; what Americans call garters

suss :
to figure out

South Vietnam

swag :
bedding rolled with other possessions; a traveller's bundle containing food and belongings; a bluey [v: dilly bag; cf: bagman / swagman]

swaggie :
an itinerant who travels from place to place, living rough and working occasionally, with his possessions secured in a swag or bluey [aka: bagman / swagman]

swede :

sweep :
tactical move through an area to check for enemy sign, bodies, wounded, equipment, etc.

sweet-as :
slang expression of approval, as when impressed or delighted (e.g. That ride is sweet-as!); equivalent to American cool

sweets :
dessert, or candy

ta :
thanks or thank you

tabbie / totty :
a woman, usually young and attractive; as derived from Arabic

tail-end Charlie :
the last person in a patrol, responsible for covering tracks and for backwards observation

tailor-made :
a commercially manufactured cigarette, instead of handmade or hand-rolled; compare rollie, twirly, and quirly

take a hike :
an angry expression of disregard and dismissal; a contemptuous or hostile rebuff, meaning go away or get lost

takeaway :
takeout / take-out food to be consumed elsewhere or off the premises; also spelled take-away; also, an establishment selling such fare, as a fast-food outlet

take the piss :
to ridicule

tall black :
a double espresso

tallie :
a 750ml bottle of beer; also called longneck

tall poppy syndrome :
criticism of successful people; the tendency to blame the success of others for one's own lack; masking envy or jealousy with complaints of inequity and discrimination

tame jolly :
slang for a militiaman

tank :
Centurion battle tank; see tracks

Tan Tay Lan :
Vietnamese for a New Zealander; see Ouc Da Loi

Tactical Area of Responsibility; unit's operating area (AO); the area around Nui Dat and other firebases

Tarmac :
trademarked name for a bituminous binder (similar to tarmacadam) that's used for surfacing roads, runways, and the like

tarmacadam :
a paving material consisting of crushed stone covered with tar and bitumen

tasty cheese :
sharp cheddar, a hard aged cheese

Taswegian :
derogatory term for a person from Tasmania

ta-ta :
goodbye, especially when addressing a child

tatie :
diminutive of potato; also represented as tater or chips (q.v.)

2,3,7,8 tetrachlorodibenzodioxin

tea :
generic term for dinner, the main evening meal; also, the beverage, as a nice cup of tea, see cuppa

tea towel :
dish rag

Tet :
Vietnamese annual celebration of the lunar New Year

that'd be right :
an expression denoting the acceptance of bad news as inevitable

thick :
not very intelligent; dense or dull, not smart

thingo :
wadjamacallit, thingummy, whatsit, jigger

thongs :
cheap, rubber, backless sandals; also called jandal

thunderbox :
toilet, from chamber pot, stool or commode; known by Americans as thunder mug or thunder bucket

tickets on oneself :
to have a high opinion of oneself, as in betting on one's self to win

tights :
nylon pantyhose (one-piece stockings and panties) for women's wear; derived as a truncation of skintight

tiki tour :
to buy a ticket for the scenic tour; used figuratively to mean taking the roundabout route or going the long way; to travel without urgency [cf: milk run]

till :
a box, drawer, or tray that's used for keeping money or valuables, as in a cash register

tin-arsed :

tinned goods :
canned goods

tinny :
a can of beer, also spelled tinnie; also, a small aluminium boat

titch :
a tiny amount; smidgen, bit, particle, scruple, trifle, dollop, morsel, dram, modicum, dribs and drabs

tits off :
a colloquialism for extremely cold, as truncated from the expression: It's cold enough to freeze your tits off!

Tour of Duty (usually one year); period of time for a task or posting

togs :
swimming costume

tomato sauce :
ketchup, catchup or catsup, being the spiced tomato and onion condiment; derived from Malay fish sauce (kechap)

Tommy :
the universal byword for a common British soldier, from the specimen name of Tommy Atkins as used on sample forms since 1815

tommyrot :
nonsense, bosh, balderdash, utter foolishness; derived from Tommy (the) simpleton [cf: tomfool]

toodle pip :
good-bye, often uttered in a slightly jocular manner with an English affectation

too right! :
an emphatic expression of confirmation or assurance, as Definitely!; unambiguous substantiation, unequivocal corroboration, or unqualified affirmation

torch :

totty / tabbie :
a woman, usually young and attractive; as derived from Arabic

townie :
urbanite, suburbanite

Tpr :
trooper (armoured corps); see Pte, OR

tracer bullets :
special bullets containing a phosphorous that burns brightly while in motion to show where they are going; see ammo, rounds, bandolier, OPDEM

trackie :
sweatsuit or sweats, being a long-sleeved jacket and pants worn during workouts before competition; also represented as tracksuit

tracks :
slang for APC; as in moving in the tracks down the coast; see tank

tracker :
infantryman with scout dog proficient at trailing enemy sign or trace

tracksuit :
sweatsuit or sweats, being a long-sleeved jacket and pants worn during workouts before competition; also represented as trackie

trad :
rigidly traditional

tramp :
to hike or trek; also, a vagabond or hobo

tramper :
someone who walks steadily, as to march or trudge; also, a hiker or trekker, especially one embarked upon a walking excursion; also, one who goes about as a vagabond or tramp

treacle :
molasses syrup

triangle :
easily understood shape of a harbour position; adapted as a drill for ambushes and halts

trolley :
shopping cart

troopie :
slang for an ANZAC soldier; see crunchie

trots :
horse racing with a buggy; also, slang for diarrhea

trough lolly :
the solid piece of perfumed disinfectant in a men's urinal

true blue :

trundler :
shopping cart

tucker :

tucker-bag :
a bag used to carry food; see swag, bluey [v: dilly bag; cf: bagman / swagman]

tucker box :
a refrigerator, icebox, or other container for food

tuckshop :
a canteen or cafeteria, especially one that's part of a business or institution

twig :
notice or perceive; understand or comprehend

twink :
white-out visibility condition

twirly :
a handmade or hand-rolled cigarette; also called rollie and quirly, and known as roll-your-own or pigtail by Americans

twit :
an insignificant or bothersome person, probably by association with twerp and nitwit; also, to taunt or tease, reproach or upbraid; also, to dither or be excited, as to twitter; also, a weak or thin place in yarn caused by uneven spinning

two up :
a gambling game played by calling the result of spinning two coins simultaneously

tyre :

UH1D :
model of US utility helicopter operated in Phouc Tuy province by 9 Squadron Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF), called Iroquois or Huey

Uncle Ho :
nickname for Ho Chi Minh used by his supporters during the war and still widely used in Vietnam

unit :
a flat or apartment

unwaged :
without income or livelihood; unemployed

uphill gardener :
a male homosexual

up oneself :
to have a high opinion of oneself

upter :
a contraction of up the shit or up the shitter

up the duff :
pregnant, gravid, or parturient; being expectant, with child, in a family way; also called bun in the oven and knocked-up

United States Air Force

useful as an ashtray on a motorbike :
colloquialism for a useless or worthless thing, an unhelpful or incompetent person; also expressed as useful as tits on a bull or useful as teats on a boar hog

ute :
a pick-up truck, by a contraction of utility vehicle; an admirable or handsome specimen is called a beaut ute [nb: not a brand or model name]

valet :
a male servant [manservant] who attends to the personal needs of his employer; also, a person who cleans vehicles [nb: not, as in America, an attendant who parks the cars of patrons at a restaurant or hotel]

VC :
Viet Cong; the common name for the South Vietnamese communist guerrillas, called the People's Liberation Armed Forces (PLAF), the fighting arm of the National Liberation Front (NLF)

Viet Cong Infrastructure; the political arm of the National Liberation Front (NLF) that installed covert cadres in SVN villages

Vegemite :
a vegetable extract used as a flavouring or spread; a thick, dark-brown, intensely salty yeast-extract paste that's flavoured with a variety of ingredients, including celery and onions; an advertising slogan promoted to be a happy little Vegemite, equating consumption with pleasure or contentment; a trademarked product of Australia

veges :

vejjo :

verge :
a narrow strip of turf bordering on a pathway, sidewalk, or roadway; also, the edge or rim, strip or belt, margin or border; also, a rod, wand, or staff carried as an emblem of the authority of an office

vest :

Very High Frequency; radio frequency between 30-300 megahertz (MHz)

Victor :
V Company RNZIR; there were successive company replacement drafts, each with a numeral to indicate order – V5 Coy was the fifth V Coy to arrive in Vietnam; see Whisky

Victoria Cross :
an Imperial gallantry medal; it was the highest award for valour in action for all army ranks

Viet Cong [VC] :
armed forces of the communist National Liberation Front, more formally known as the People's Liberation Armed Forces (PLAF)

Viet Minh :
national liberation movement formed by Ho Chi Minh in 1941 to seek independence from France for Vietnam, as well as to oppose the Japanese occupation

Vietnamese Information Service, responsible for interpretation and dissemination of South Vietnamese government programme and information

Vung Tau Special Zone

Vungers :
slang for Vung Tau; located 30 km south of Nui Dat, this large busy town, which had wide boulevards and buildings of French colonial architecture, was a beautiful holiday resort called Cap Saint Jacques during the period of French occupation

waddy :
a wooden war club of the Australian Aborigines; see nulla nulla, boomerang

wag :
to skip training or work; to be absent without permission

wahine :
a Polynesian woman; see sheila

Waikikamukau :
the name of a mythical town that's so remote that nobody can find it! ... the quintessential middle-of-nowhere or back-of-beyond; its name is a jocose misspelling of Why kick a moo cow?

waistcoat (weskot) :
a close-fitting, waist-length, sleeveless garment that opens in front and is designed to be worn under a jacket; as derived from a man's body garment, often quilted and embroidered with sleeves, that was worn under the doublet in the Middle Ages; known as a vest by Americans

wakey :
the final day of service in Vietnam; from wake up and go home

walkabout :
leave from or absence from work; also called yondering or roving, roaming or wandering; compare going bush, gone troppo; see AWL [v: dreamtime]

Wallabee :
a small, lightweight, twin-engined transport aircraft (C-7) flown by Australians; called Caribou or 'Bou by Americans

wallaby track :
to travel in search of work, as He's gone on the wallaby track.

wally :
a clownish or silly person; an irresponsible or incompetent person; diminutive of wallaby

wank :
to masturbate; also spelled whank

wanker :
a contemptible or objectionable person; also spelled whanker

wankered :
slang for drunk or intoxicated; also spelled whankered, and also known as rotten or shickered

wardrobe :
clothes closet

warrigal :
wild, ferocious, savage; as derived from wild dingo

wattle seed :
a small, oval, black variety of the Acacia seed; after being dry-roasted and ground, the seed's colour changes to a mustard-brown, and its naturally nutty flavour becomes rich and coffeelike; used to accent foods, including rice, soups, meat rubs, and baked goods

webbing :
see belt order

wee cracker :
fine, superb, excellent (e.g. Wee cracker of a day, isn't it?)

weekend warrior :
an army reservist

wellies :
rubber boots (i.e. gumboots or gummies) that are worn when walking in wet or muddy terrain; diminutive of Wellingtons

the wet :
the summer season of tropical rains

wet blanket :
someone socially inept or who spoils the fun of others whacker :
an idiot or dickhead; somebody who talks drivel; somebody who makes others impatient; also represented as whacka

wharfie :
longshoreman or stevedore

whinge :
carp, cavil, complain

whinger :
someone who utters feeble whines or peevish complaints

Whisky :
W Coy RNZIR; there were successive company replacement drafts, each with a numeral to indicate order – W3 Coy was the third W Coy to arrive in Vietnam; also spelled Whiskey; see Victor

whiteant :
to criticise something so as to deter or dissuade somebody from pursuing or obtaining it; to discourage or persuade against

White Mice :
derogatory name for South Vietnamese national police; derived from their uniform of white helmets and gloves

white pointers :
topless female sunbathers

Wounded in Action; see GSW

wicked :
cool, as in excellent or adept

wicket :
an opening, often closed by a grating, as in a door or ticket booth or teller's cage, as used for communication; also, a small door or gate, especially one beside or forming part of a larger door or gate; also, a small gate by which a flow of water is regulated, as when a canal lock is emptied; also, slang for being at a disadvantage (e.g. sticky wicket)

wild lime :
small round citrus fruit, in a colour range from pale yellow to pale green, with a flavour reminiscent of lime and grapefruit; also called desert lime or tropical yellow lime

willies :
nervous tension or fright, dismay or distress, misgiving or foreboding; to shake, quiver, shiver, or fidget with uneasy apprehension or anxiety; to be jumpy, jittery, or skittish with uncertainty; also known as the creeps, heebie-jeebies, butterflies, whim-whams, and jim-jams

willy-willy :
a tropical cyclone with winds blowing 33 knots or more, especially in southwestern Australia; also, a common referent for a dust devil

windscreen :
on a motor vehicle, what Americans call a windshield, positioned above and before the instrument panel in the dashboard

wing :
on a motor vehicle, what Americans call a fender, being the part mounted over the road wheels as a mudguard or splash guard

witchetty (witjuti) grub :
a large white grub (the thick wormlike larva of certain moths and beetles) that's typically barbecued, and sometimes eaten raw, by those who prize its acquired taste

wobbly :
excitable behaviour; also, a tantrum

wonky :
crooked; unreliable; shaky, unsteady

Woop Woop :
invented name for any unimportant small town

wop-wops :
situated in an out of the way location, being off the beaten track

worry :
a vexatious person or troublesome event, as a bit of a worry

Wouldn't it?! :
a rhetorical expression of restive dissatisfaction or of disgruntled malcontentment, as an abridgement of Wouldn't it root ya?!, Wouldn't it rotate yer?!, or Wouldn't it rot yer socks?!

wowser :
an excessively puritanical person; a straight-laced person, prude, puritan, killjoy or spoilsport; known as a straight arrow or straight shooter by Americans

wuckas :
worries, troubles, difficulties, as got no wuckas

wuss :
a coward; any nervous person or animal

XXXX [four eks] :
a brand of beer made in Queensland

yabber :
rapid or profuse talk; indistinct or incoherent speech; derived by probable alteration of jabber

yabby :
crayfish; also spelled yabbie; called crawdad, crawdaddy, or spiny lobster by Americans

yak :
slang for gab, chatter, or talk; to idly converse with a friend; also spelled yack

yakka :
work or labour (e.g. bloody hard yakka)

Yank :
an American, by truncation of Yankee

yarn :
to tell a humourous story or tall tale (e.g. spin a yarn)

yippee :
a paperback book with a fictional cowboy or Old West theme

yobbo :
an uncouth person; lout or hooligan; also represented as yob

yondering :
wandering or travelling to any more distant place, typically without an itinerary or schedule; equivalent to American hooky or hookey

yonks :
a long time ago; so long ago as to be out of mind; ages or eons, forever; also expressed as donkey's years

yoo-hoo :
an informal greeting, essentially meaning Hello, I'm here; can I come in?

you ain't wrong :
a catch-phrase for yes, correct, affirmative; that's right

you can't help bad luck :
a catch-phrase for congratulations; also, used contrarily to express a lack of compassion or sympathy, as a dismissive phrase for too bad or Who cares?

yowie :
a mythical creature; see Bunyip; compare American whangdoodle

zack :
sixpence (5 cents), as used in the context of dire poverty, being flat broke (e.g. He didn't have a zack to his name!); also spelled zak

zed :
the letter z [Gk zeta]

Zippo :
US model Cigarette lighter