Leatherneck Lingo

1 | 3 | 6 | 7 | A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | W | Y | Z
above my pay grade

  A reply: "Don't ask me; it is beyond what I'm paid to know."

acting jack

Assistant drill instructor at a recruit depot or an acting corporal.


This is an old traditional nautical greeting and also is used for hailing other boats. It was originally a Viking battle cry.

Air Force salute

To say, "I don't know" by a shrug.

all hands

Entire ship's company or unit personnel, including officers and enlisted personnel.


A large, white tablet issued for minor discomfort that is commonly, albeit mistakenly, called an "all-purpose capsule." Former Sergeant, now Dr. H. J. Lewis of Zanesville, Ohio, explained in the January 2002 issue of Leatherneck that APC "was named after its ingredients: aspirin, phenacetin and caffeine."


On the beach, as differentiated from on board ship. Any place off a Marine Corps or government reservation. Go ashore, go on liberty or leave the reservation.


Mildly deranged or eccentric as a result of too much foreign duty, or one who has missed too many boats.

ate up

Describing one who has no clue about what's going on. One who is always lazy, in disarray and unsatisfactory.


A nautical term. When an officer or enlisted Marine receives orders of instruction, the Marine replies, "Aye-aye, sir," meaning: "Yes, I understand the orders I have received and will carry them out." Never permit a subordinate to acknowledge an order by "very well," "all right," "yes" or "OK." "Aye" said by itself means one agrees. Aye-aye is generally supposed to be a corruption of the words yea, yea. The claim is advanced that Cockney (true Londoners born within the sound of the bells of St. Mary Le Bow (Bow Bells), Cheapside, in the city of London) accents changed the Yea to Yi, and from there it was a simple transition to aye.