snopes.com Post new topic  Post a reply
search | faq | forum home

  next oldest topic   next newest topic
» Hello snopes.com » Urban Legends » Military » Derogatory service names

 - UBBFriend: Email this page to someone!    
Author Topic: Derogatory service names
guywithnocleverloginname
The Red and the Green Stamps


Icon 1 posted            Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
The slang name “Jarhead” for Marines. I’ve heard two stories.

1) Marines used to man the crow’s nest (lookout) on the old masted Navy ships and had to stay up for many hours. They carried jars of water when they went up and, upon finishing the water would use the same jar to carry the result of drinking water back down with them. The Navy crews started calling them Jarheads as a result of this.
2) The Marines carried Johnson Automatic Rifles (JAR) above their heads on beach landings and the name came from that practice.

Anyone have a definitive answer?

IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Mr. Furious
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


Icon 01 posted      Profile for Mr. Furious   Author's Homepage   E-mail Mr. Furious   Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
I always thought it was because the signature Marine Corps haircut made their heads look cylindrical, like jars.

--------------------
"He's not gonna let me in, I'm Mr. Dirty Mouth!"
- Jeffrey Coho (Craig Bierko), Boston Legal

Posts: 8729 | From: North Carolina | Registered: Jan 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
megaira, monstrously cheesy
The Red and the Green Stamps


Icon 01 posted            Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Mr. Furious:
I always thought it was because the signature Marine Corps haircut made their heads look cylindrical, like jars.

Ditto that.

This page supports the theory and explains more Naval slang.

[Smile]

Oops, an alternate theory from http://frontiernet.net/~pendino/Marines.htm:

quote:
"Jarhead"

A slang term used by sailors as early as World War II to refer to members of the Marine Corps, drawing the term from the resemblance of the Marine dress blues uniform, with its high collar, to a Mason jar.


IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
D. Dodge Silver
The Red and the Green Stamps


Icon 1 posted            Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
On the subject of derogatory service names:

NAVY: Never Again Volunteer Yourself
MARINES: My A$$ Rides in Navy Equipment, Sir
ARMY: Aren't Really Marines Yet
AIR FORCE: Ain't It Really NFBSKing Obvious, Retards Command Everything?

D. Dodge "Aim High, Hit Low" Silver

IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Gordon Summer
The Red and the Green Stamps


Icon 1 posted            Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
I agree with the haircut that makes your head look like a jar background. Also the term leatherneck refers to their collars being leather.
IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Kingfish
The Red and the Green Stamps


Icon 95 posted            Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
Air Force - blue shirts
Navy - squids
Marines - bullet sponges
Coast Guard - Puddle Pirates

IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
D. Dodge Silver
The Red and the Green Stamps


Icon 02 posted            Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Kingfish:
Air Force - blue shirts
Navy - squids
Marines - bullet sponges
Coast Guard - Puddle Pirates

Blue shirts? BLUE SHIRTS! I'm incensed! Outraged! How dare you point out that we wear blue shirts!

D. Dodge "It's cornflower, actually" Silver

IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Kingfish
The Red and the Green Stamps


Icon 95 posted            Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
Actually, some of the better ones are "bus drivers" or "Our US Postal Service."

Those uniforms open so many possibilities.

IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Papa Bear
The Red and the Green Stamps


Icon 01 posted            Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
We used to call the Air Force chicks "zoomies."
IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
D. Dodge Silver
The Red and the Green Stamps


Icon 08 posted            Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Papa Bear:
We used to call the Air Force chicks "zoomies."

The Marine Corps folks in the dorm next door used to call our female airmen "Air Mattresses"

D. Dodge Silver

IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Mr. Furious
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


Icon 1 posted      Profile for Mr. Furious   Author's Homepage   E-mail Mr. Furious   Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
Checked with a Corps friend today, and he said the "jarhead" name came from the hairstyle that was worn in the WWI era, which he said is different from the current "high-and-tight" cut.

--------------------
"He's not gonna let me in, I'm Mr. Dirty Mouth!"
- Jeffrey Coho (Craig Bierko), Boston Legal

Posts: 8729 | From: North Carolina | Registered: Jan 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
bufungla
Let There Be PCs on Earth


Icon 601 posted      Profile for bufungla   Author's Homepage   E-mail bufungla   Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Papa Bear:
We used to call the Air Force chicks "zoomies."

In the Air Force itself, "zoomies" is a term used for Air Force Academy cadets/graduates. By extention, the Academy itself is referred to by cadets as the Zoo.

buf 'and they're both qute restrictive, and have plenty of keepers' ungla

--------------------
"Pardon him. Theodotus: he is a barbarian, and thinks that the customs of his tribe and island are the laws of nature."

George Bernard Shaw, Caesar and Cleopatra

Posts: 4847 | From: Washington, DC | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Sgt Otter
The Red and the Green Stamps


Icon 01 posted            Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
US ARMY backwards: Yes, My Retarded Ass Signed Up

I'm in the Air Force, and I've never heard us called "zoomies."

They usually just call us pussies.

There is another Air Force acronym, but I can't remember how it ends:

All I Remember From Our Recruiter [something something].

Little help?

IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Papa Bear
The Red and the Green Stamps


Icon 01 posted            Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
US ARMY = Uncle Sam Ain't Released Me Yet

USMC = Uncle Sam's Misguided Children

IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
pinqy
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


Icon 209 posted      Profile for pinqy   E-mail pinqy   Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
Actually, most people in the Army know that you shouldn't call Marines "jarheads." You can keep things in a jar.

pinqy

--------------------
Don't Forget!
Winter Solstice Hanukkah Christmas Kwanzaa & Gurnenthar's Ascendance Are Coming!

Posts: 8671 | From: Washington, DC | Registered: Feb 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
SmartKitty
The Red and the Green Stamps


Icon 01 posted            Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
How about the term used to describe all new recruits: GRUNT (Generally Retarded, Usually Not Trainable)?

Real boost to the ol'self-esteem there.

IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
BlackForge
We Three Blings


Icon 01 posted      Profile for BlackForge     Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
The only time I heard the word zoomies was by a Navy friend of mine. He worked on a Nuclear Sub. He would say something along the lines of "I had to spend the day counting zoomies". He was refering to the reactor and the zoomies were the radiation particals.
Posts: 1152 | From: Somewere | Registered: Oct 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
megaira, redhot fiery fury
The Red and the Green Stamps


Icon 209 posted            Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
They usually just call us pussies.
[Laughing out loud]

quote:

Real boost to the ol'self-esteem there.

Remember, there is no "I" in team... "self" is not part of a Marine's esteem (oh yeah, I guess that's supposed to apply to those OTHER guys too. *ducks a swipe from pinqy and Sgt. Otter*).

Hub's input: "Grunt? Self-esteem? LOL We weren't allowed to call our *selves* anything... we were worthless scum up until we graduated."

[Wink]

IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
cei
The Red and the Green Stamps


Icon 501 posted            Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
In the UK the ground pounders are known as "Pongos". Mind you they then go and call the Air Force "Pigeons", so fairs fair

Cheers Al

IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
geekgrrl
The Red and the Green Stamps


Icon 04 posted            Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Kingfish:
Air Force - blue shirts

What about "Fly-boys"?...that's the one I've always heard.

geek "Fly boy fan" grrl

IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Sgt Otter
The Red and the Green Stamps


Icon 01 posted            Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
In the Air Force, cargo plane crews who don't fly into combat are called "Trash Haulers." I find this hilarious, because it was given by Army troops going into battle overseas and getting a ride from the Air Force, which implies they are also calling themselves trash. D'oh!

I've also heard "Hair Force" due to our less-restrictive haircut regulations, "Chair Force" due to a lot of our troops working in offices, opposed to in the field. "Air Farce" is obvious.

C-5 Galaxy pilots are called Freddies or Freds, because the C-5 is nicknamed the FRED, for NFBSKing Ridiculous Expensive Disaster. The smaller C-17 Globemaster III is called Barney, for being Fred's little buddy. I've also heard the C-17 called Buddha, because it's short, fat, sits on its ass doing nothing and everybody worships it.

The F-16 Fighting Falcon was given the really bad nickname "The Lawn Dart" for crashing a lot when it was introduced.

The A-10 Thunderbolt II is nicknamed the Warthog, although affectionately. I've heard ETACs & TACPs (US Air Force personnel who deploy with Army ground units to provide a ground radio contact with USAF air support) called Hog Callers.

I've heard in the Army, getting caught with your hands in your pockets in uniform, a no-no, is called caught wearing your Air Force gloves, due to our supposed lack of discipline and military bearing.

IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Sawduck
The Red and the Green Stamps


Icon 503 posted            Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
At the Defense Language Institute, where all branches of service are represented, I heard "Zoomies" a lot. I also heard "Pukes" (Army) and "Jarheads." I can't remember the nickname of the Navy personel.
IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Sgt Otter
The Red and the Green Stamps


Icon 01 posted            Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
I've always heard the Navy referred to as Squids.
IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Sawduck
The Red and the Green Stamps


Icon 503 posted            Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
Yes, "Squids!" Thanks, that would have bothered me all night.
IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
ZenKnight
The Red and the Green Stamps


Icon 01 posted            Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
"Swabbies."
IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Silas Sparkhammer
I Saw V-Chips Come Sailing In


Icon 504 posted      Profile for Silas Sparkhammer   Author's Homepage   E-mail Silas Sparkhammer   Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
Do you know about "Jyreens" or something similar? I heard it from a Marine.

Silas ("Si, son Napoleon-a-i.") Sparkhammer

--------------------
When on music's mighty pinion, souls of men to heaven rise,
Then both vanish earth's dominion, man is native to the skies.

Posts: 16801 | From: San Diego, CA | Registered: Sep 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Ursa Major
The Red and the Green Stamps


Icon 01 posted            Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Silas Sparkhammer:
Do you know about "Jyreens" or something similar? I heard it from a Marine.

Silas ("Si, son Napoleon-a-i.") Sparkhammer

"Jyreen"(sp?) is a very common name for Marines in the Pendelton area (I used to surf with a few of these guys). The explaination I remember is that it refers to Marines stationed on land (as opposed to ship-based) and is a combination of GI and Marine.
IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Sgt Otter
The Red and the Green Stamps


Icon 01 posted            Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
I've heard the Coast Guard referred to as:

Coasters
Coasties
Baby Navy

IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
   

Quick Reply
Message:

HTML is enabled.
UBB Code™ is enabled.

Instant Graemlins
   


Post new topic  Post a reply Close topic   Feature Topic   Move Topic   Delete topic next oldest topic   next newest topic
 - Printer-friendly view of this topic
Hop To:


Urban Legends Reference Pages

Powered by Infopop Corporation
UBB.classic™ 6.7.2