From going through bootcamp together, fighting in wars, and leading as drill instructors, Marines seem to have their own language in terms of slang that only they know about. Here are 10 Marine sayings that you may have heard but don’t know what it means.
10 Marine Sayings
- “Ooh Rah”- If said properly, this sounds less like an “ooh rah” and more like a grunt from the back of a Marine’s throat. This is a cry of celebration that’s origins are rather unknown but continue in the Corps to this day.
- “Boot”- These are the newbies to the Marine Corps. If you’ve never been deployed into combat or have been in the Marines less than a year, you’re a boot. This stems from having only gone to boot camp so far.
- “Jarhead”- This Marine saying dates back to WWII and refers to the Marine Corps dress blues Uniform. The uniform has a high collar that sailors thought resembled a mason jar.
- “The Few. The Proud”- This refers to the high caliber of men and women that are accepted into the Marines and those that choose to join the Marines. Marines hold themselves and their fellow mates to a high standard of conduct.
- “Skating”- Skating is a term for slacking off. It even has its own acronym for “SKATE” that’s S: Stay out of trouble / K: Keep a low profile / A: Avoid higher-ups / T: Take your time / E: Enjoy yourself.
- “SITFU”- This term is an acronym for complaining Marines. It stands for “Suck It The ___ Up.” You can fill in the blank.
- “Field Day”- Unlike the fun days of Sports and play in elementary school, field day in the Marine Corps happens once a week where all the Marines clean the Barracks that they live in top to bottom. Not as fun as relay races.
- “Semper Fi”- You’ve probably heard this term before. It’s a shortened version of Semper Fidelis, the Marine Corps honor code or mission statement. The Latin roots cumulate to mean dedication and loyalty to your country and your fellow Marines serving beside you.
- “Devil Dogs”- The German gave the Marines this name during WWI. The unmatched fighting ability in various terrain, weather, and situations made the Marines known as the fighting Devil Dogs, stronger than anything seen before.
- “First to Fight”- Marines have always been the first to fight in any war. Before sending in the Army, Navy, Air Force, the Marines are sent in as the strongest force to reckon with.