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Fighter Pilot Slang A-F (US Navy Version)

Posted by rowdy on October 24, 2013

Fighter pilots all over the world have a very unique language and slang that allows them to communicate quickly among themselves. Many of the words and jargon that they use are universal across the globe; bogey, bandit, speed jeans, fangs out, padlocked, SAM and much more. Whatever the language, those words are used in just about any military fighter or attack organization. Obviously, within different militaries and different branches there are words and phrases that have developed which are exclusive to that particular organization.
Here’s a list of some of the terms and expressions that are, for the most part, unique to the US Navy. Of course, there are lots more but these are particularly amusing or clever. Today’s list is A-F. We’re givning you the list in snippets two reasons. First, by parceling this list out we can create multiple daily entries and have more kickass pictures. Second, if we put the whole A-Z list here today you’d get bored with it, quickly scan the list, read three or four and then move on. See this very smart tactic accomplishes both of our objectives. We’re basically lazy, one idea, multiple entries. You want the rest of the list, then come on back.

US Navy F/A-18C Hornet
Photo by Scott Rathbone

Admiral’s Doorbell
The yellow button in an F/A-18 cockpit that jettisons all the external stores in an emergency. If you hit it, you’ll be “ringing the admiral's doorbell” to explain why

Beaded Up
Worried or excited.

Bend over, here it comes again.

Bought the Farm*
Died. Originated from the practice of the government reimbursing farmers for crops destroyed due to aviation accidents in their fields. The farmers, knowing a good thing when they see it, would inflate the value of lost crops to the point that, in effect, the mishap pilot “bought the farm.”

This is a pretty common term but we like the explaination.

Altitude less than 1,000 feet, measured in hundreds of feet (“cherubs two” means 200 feet).

Combat Dump
A bowel movement before flying; also called “sending a Marine to sea”

Students, short for coneheads: also called nurkin heads, or studs.

Drift Factor
If you have a high one, you aren’t reliable.

Fighter Attack Guy; derogatory term for F/A-18 Hornet drivers.

Slang term for shipboard TACAN station. There is a Father on most Mothers.

Unauthorized low-level flying and stunting--thrilling, sometimes fatal, usually career-ending if caught. 

US Navy F-14D Tomcat
Photo by Andreas Zeilter

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