Lingo - Jargon -Terms


In the Nam, we used words were like we were in a secret club. We used phrases made up by from French, Vietnamese and us in a bastardized lingo that we spoke.

We didn't like FNG's or Cherry's and we made fun of the people and called them, gooks, slants, chinkos, dinks, charlie, hoichanh and arvns. We made fun of ourselves; we called our friends bro's, brothers, splibs, chucks and honky's. We were known as ground pounders, grunts, FO's, FAC's, RTO's, S-1's, S-2's, S-3's and REMF's to name a few.

We would BS on a bummer day in the bush picking up crispy critters after they ate napalm. We used E-tools, to fill sandbags, and K-bars to shave with. We pissed in tubes and used honey dippers and jet fuel to clean the latrine drums or the four-holers. We would drink Ba Ma Ba, 33 tiger piss, and bac si de, not to be confused with bac si (doc's). We would get dink khe dua and this would cause us to didi mau in the duce-and-a-half through chucks territory back to HQ. There might be boo coo dinks in the bush and one might trip on a bouncing betty and become a zulu on the list. We ate C-Rats, hated ham and mothers, swallowed salt tabs, and M-11 pills, and there was boo-coo boom boom if you looked.

We got rides in hueys, jolly green giants, chinooks, egg beaters and C-130's. We landed in hot LZ's, cold LZ's, and operated out of firebases, patrol bases, and combat bases. We set up ambushs, reconned, reconnoitered and patrolled. We went of operations called Deckhouse, Dewey Canyon, Napoleon, and Buffalo, in places called Mutter's Ridge, Leatherneck Square, the DMZ, the Trace, Khe Sanh, Ashau Valley, Arizona Territory, and the Mekong Delta. We struggled up hills, slide down valleys, and humped in the boonies. We called in called in arty, 81's, 60's, phantoms and cobras, to deliver snake and nap, HE, willy peter and smoke. We had puff or spooky come overhead and spit out its lethal red tail of destruction. We watched B-52's wreck mass destruction that felt like earthquakes and sounded like rolling thunder.

We would help the butter bars to read the maps, talk on the radio and keep them from wondering off in the elephant grass, not to be confused with koon sa or elephant leaf that was smoked in a shotgun.

We loved fires; we had fire fights, fields of fire, friendly fire, free fire zones, fire missions, we fired for effect and got fired up. We used church keys to open food, not the church. We learned no sweat meant it was surely to get hotter. We had grease guns, shot guns, M-60's and selector switches to make the M-14's, and M-16's rock and roll. Usually when thing went bad your pucker factor went up, or you were in deep s--- or you had your s--- wired tight. We were all gung ho though and called bird dogs when boo coo slopes were in the ville.

We thought of home, mom, dad, and the girl back home. And in the end, if we were the lucky ones to survive a tour to our Deros date, we would jump on the big bird back to the world across the pond.

Hey if I missed something, cut me a huss!

Thanks to Jimbo

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