GLOSSARY OF LANGUAGE USED BY

AUSTRALIAN SOLDIERS IN VIETNAM


'AWOL'

Commonly known as 'Absent Without Leave'; but really meant that young

soldiers, wishing for a bit of time off, had forgotten to advise their superiors of their

travel plans.

'ALBERTROSS'

Call sign for RAAF(HUEY)

'ARTY'

Artillery .

'BA MOl BA'

A type of local beer brewed in villages -- almost undrinkable.

'BAIT LAYER'

Cook.

'BANGERS'

Bangkok: (For Rest & Recreation Leave).

'BLACK DUCK'

Swan Lager: A beer brewed in Perth, Western Australia - often suspected for the water

having been scoured from the upper reach of the Swan River- in an area populated by

dairy farm run off and swamps.

'BLOWFLY'

Hygiene representer of cleaning and maintenance of latrines and showers

'BLANKET FOLDER'

Store man

'BOMBS'

Last course of anti-malarial tablets. They went through the system as the name

suggests.

'BOOZER'

A place in which to purchase alcohol in each company area. ( A Company

was approximately 110 men). The express purpose of this facility was to get as full as

possible, as quickly as possible ..

'BRASS UP'

Concentrated fire into an area.

'BREW

A drink of tea or coffee, made with muddy or chlorinated water.

'BUKU'

A word derived from French 'beau coup, meaning plenty. The Vietnamese often

used this term and it was adopted by the Yanks, Kiwis and Aussies.

'CHEAP CHARLIE'

Vietnamese discription on some one not spending money on them.

'CHARLIE'

Viet cong .

'CONTACT'

Fight with the enemy.

'CSM'

The Company Sergeant Major: A warm, compassionate, caring person, often

misunderstood by young soldiers, especially when placed on a 'Fizzer' (see below).

'DAPSONE'

Not a town west of Dubbo in outback New South Wales. It was an antimalarial

pill, taken twice daily. (See ,also Paludrine).

'DAT DO DOGS'

Dat Do was a nearby village, never frequented by Aussie troops.

Reinforcements were told upon arrival in the unit that there were regular dog races, in

an attempt to advise them that non-existent entertainment was available.

'DEAD HORSE'

Sauce: Also known as ketchup. Used as a flavouring agent or to camouflage the taste of various meals.

'DROP SHORT'

Artillery personnel

'DIDI MAU'

Vietnamese for "go away", "get out", or "piss off".

'DUSTOFF'

acronym for: "Dedicated Unhesitating Services To Our Fighting Forces".

'EATING IRONS'

Knife/Fork/Spoon Set. Shorter and dirtier than those at home.

'FANG'

Loves a feed

'FARTER'

The soldier's bed: usually a narrow pneumatic mattress, with lightweight

nylon-type blanket or "silk". The inflated mattress would sometimes make a sound when you turned over, thereby giving rise to the name.

'FITTER & TURNER'

Cook. Fits perfectly good food into a pot & turns it into shit.

'FILLER'

A charge sheet: These were for the express purpose of ensuring that young soldiers

knew who was running the show.

'FURPHY'

Not to be confused with the early-style water carts of Australia. A real furphy

was a rumour which spread like wildfire within the ranks.

'GAT'

Rifle .

'GETTERS'

Thongs/Sandals.

'GOFFER'

A soft drink.

'GINGER BEERS'

Army Engineers.

'GRUNT'

infantry

'GONK'

Sleep.

'HEAD'

Navy talk for 'pissaphone' (see below).

'HEPPO ROLL'

Also known as Hepatitis Rolls. These were meat and salad-filled bread rolls purchased

from street stalls in Vung Tau. Their effect on the body is evidenced by their name.

'HEXI STOVE'

A small collapsible metal frame designed to hold a cup or food container for heating for the soldier's individual use. A hex amine tablet was placed in the base, and ignited. If no hex amine was available, a small piece of plastic explosive did the same job.

'HO CHI MINH' SANDALS'

VC foot-ware made from old tyres; they had a distinctive tread, recognisable in the dirt.

'HONKERS'

Hong Kong (For Rest & Recreation Leave).

'HOOK IN'

Attack aggressively.

'HOOTCHIE'

Another term for free accommodation -- four men in base camps, one man

in field situations. The description sounds good, but in reality it was a four-man leaky

tent, surrounded by sandbags.

'HOMER'

Return to Australia: (Usually after being wounded).

' J' 

Jungle.

'JACK RATIONS'

A supplementary food supply, purchased by the individual soldier, for

his personal survival.

'JOOBIE JUICE'

A name given to the awful cordial powder supplied by the USA to our

troops in an attempt to flavour our water. Varieties included raspberry, lime and grape. I knew of one digger, the late David Fazackerley, who mixed the grape cordial with

Scotch. He shared his brew with nobody, because nobody dared help him drink it!

'KLICK'

short for kilometre .

'LAMBRO'

A three-wheeled motor scooter fitted with an enclosed seating area over the

rear wheels. Used as taxi cabs in Vung Tau. The carrying capacity of these machines

was usually dictated by the amount of soldiers in any group, and the amount of

lubrication that these soldiers may have consumed. Extra passengers have been known to have been carried on the roof of the passenger area.

'LINES'

Our canvas homes. (See Hootchie, above).

'L.O.B.'

Left Out Of Battle??? (See POGO below).

'LZ'

Landing zone.

'MOB 3'

A soldier's movement or transfer order.

'MEATHEADS'

Our military police friends. Lovely people really. When they found young soldiers after curfew in Vung Tau, they would give them a lift back to base, and even accommodate them overnight. They were very security conscious ... even their walls had bars.

(NASHO)'NATIONAL SERVICE'

The Australian Government's recognition of young

men growing up in the '60s, and granting them to a free overseas trip.

'NINE MILE SNIPERS'

Artillery Personnel.

'NUMBER TEN'

A term used by Vietnamese Nationals to express their feelings of Australian troops, when they were not given gifts. When gifts were provided, Aussie soldiers were suddenly NUMBER 1!

'NUMBER TWELVE'

Real bad ,off the scale

'PADDY FIELD'

An open rice field: These were known to raise the sweat of even the coolest soldierpatrolling

across these, completely open, no protection; frightening. Also could be a name for a soldier of Irish heritage

'PALUDRINE'

Not to be confused with the 1960's TV show Paladin, starring Richard Boone. This was an anti-malarial drug, taken once daily.

'PISSAPHONE'

A urinal: fashioned by the use of a semi-circular drum dug into the ground, allowing troops to urinate in open spaces within base camps. Specifically designed for Vietnam Troops.

'POGO'

Personnel On Garrison Operations? In any case, those assigned this name were not at the 'sharp end'.

'POGO STICK'

Weapons used by our military police friends.

'PULL THROUGH'

A means of cleaning the interior of a weapon's barrel / a very skinny person.

'QUEENSLAND SAND'

Sugar.

'RAT PACK'

Our food supply, courtesy of the USA. Included delicacies such as dog biscuits.

'RATION ASSASSIN'

Cook

'REG'

Full time soldier.

'REO'

Soldier, reinforcement.

'RSM'

Regimental Sergeant Major

'SAME SAME'

Vietnamese slang, six of one half dozen of the other

'SHINY-ARSE'

Clerk. "

'SINGERS'

Singapore: (Rest & Recreation Leave).

SCHMICK.

Hard to explain how the brain operated, but it worked this way: It takes a

million Schmicks to make half a Schmoo. It takes a million Schmoos to make half a

clue. And some people wouldn't have a Schmick. Loosely translated, one could hear

through the ranks: "So and so wouldn't have a schmick".

'SPLINTEX' A

nti personnel round fired from 105mm.

'STAND DOWN'

Period of rest and refitting.

'STAND TO'

Period where troops where on full alert weapons at the ready, first light and

last light.

'SUNRAY'

Call sign of the commander of each unit.

'SWAN' A

patrol.

'THE HILL'

Part of the leisure resort at Vung Tau. To gain entry, all a soldier had to do

was the wrong thing, and be sentenced to a period of time filling sandbags and then

emptying them. He got to do this every day. Better than any fitness camp.

'TRUE BLUE'

Loyal friend, good mate.

'TUCKER F*****'

Cook

'TURRETHEADS'

Armoured Corps Personnel.

'TV SHOW'

Smile -- you're on Candid Claymore!

'UC DAI LOI'

Vietnamese for "Australian".

'VB'

Victorian Bitter, also known as 'vomit bomb', 'Vitamin B', 'Vietnamese beer' etc. Probably better than Swan Lager.

'VUNG TAU FERRY'

HMAS Sydney: This ship, an aircraft carrier which had been

converted to carry troops, was remodelled on the cork-in-the-ocean principle. The ship

behaved in the same way when sailing to and from Vietnam.

'VUNG TAU WORRIOR'

Personnel posted at (Blunt End) VUNG TAU

'VUNGERS'

The city of Vung Tau: Used by Aussie soldiers for 'Rest & convalescence'.

'VUNGERS'

The city of Vung Tau: Used by Aussie soldiers for 'Rest & convalescence'.

'WALLABY'

RAAF Caribou

'WAKEY'

Last sleep before return to Australia.

'WARBURTONS'

Nick name for Nui Dinh and Nui Thi Vai Hills.

'WEDEVAC'

A system where young soldiers, surprised to learn of their impending fatherhood, were able to take leave to return to Australia for matrimony, and to get to meet the new in-laws.

'WHITE MICE'

South Vietnamese police: dressed in white, vocal on the whistle and with a reputation for shooting first and asking questions later. Young soldiers tended to respect these people.

'WIRE'

Similar to a suburban fence, identifying boundaries, but also allowing close contact with some neighbours.

'YIPPEE'

A western/cowboy paperback book.

'YIPPEE SHOOT'

An unauthorized, illegal, discharge of multiple weapons into the

bush.

'XXXX'

Beer from Queensland, Australia - some blokes couldn't spell Queensland





HOW GOOD IS YOUR MEMORY?

for nicknames



The Black walked into the canteen and said "Who's shout is it?" to which Cheesey replied with a grin "It must be Chomper's".

"I'll drink to that" said Fortescue, who at the time was talking to Magoo and Sleepy.

Bollocks said to Tex "Well one thing's for'sure you can't have one 'cause you've got to

drive Tosca tonight". Not likely he replied, Fritz owes me one so he can do it.

With that in came Bugsy and Shacka, having just been let off the leash by Bulby. The Kid said to no one in particular "Someone had better go and find Doc and arrange an

operation to get that hand out of his pocket, I'm dying of thirst".

Bags, being the gentleman that he was, offered to buy a round, with Pee- Rat's money.

This was greeted with raucous applause from Moot, Midge and Lofty who were sitting in the comer playing the guitar.

Woollies, the duty officer, said to Dutchy and Herbie in particular, "If you don't keep the noise down I'll get Tosca to can tonight's movie". "You've got no chance" said Pommy.

"Yeah" said Bluey "There's no way he'd miss the cartoons".

Then someone said "Have a Squizz at this" as Jack walked in with a breach block on his arm and said to Sheepman, "Mind this will you while I use the 'phone". Everyone could see that this upset Lumpy, as Tas had promised him that he could mind the breach block next time, if Wally wasn't available. Darkie, as usual, was very sympathetic.

Matt rocked up and said he felt a bit Dusty. Dickyboo suggested that he not be Dozy and furthermore, that he should Beetle around to the bar and shout his HQ mates Spider and the General a drink.. Wacka and Tonks left before they also became involved.