Tag Archives: Terms

10 phrases Airmen say

By Capt. Victoria Hight
Air Force Public Affairs Agency

Everywhere you go, people use words and phrases that give away their origins. Those from the South may insist “ya’ll” is a legitimate contraction (which it is!). Midwesterners tend to refer to their favorite bubbly drink as pop, rather than soda. A dear friend of mine from Minnesota sneaks a very Canadian-sounding “eh?” at the end of her sentences.

The military is well-known for its distinctive jargon and unique phrases. Here’s our list of the top 10 military phrases we’ve heard you use on and off base.

1. Standby


This standby phrase (see what we did there?) originated from the old days of radio correspondence. It most often means “pause for the next transmission.” It’s also used frequently in phone conversations to put the other person on hold.

2. Voluntold and mandatory fun


A combination of the words volunteer + told = a phrase many in the military can relate to. Most of the time you are voluntold to attend mandatory fun. In everyday lingo, these phrases make their appearance during discussion of events you aren’t looking forward to attending. Continue reading 10 phrases Airmen say