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  • Hi, everybody. Welcome back to www.engvid.com. I'm Adam.

  • In today's lesson we're going to look at some military expressions

  • and slang that are used in everyday English. So, in

  • many situations, when there is a war and there's obviously going to be a military all the time,

  • many words that are used by the soldiers eventually become common in everyday English and are

  • used all the time. Now, especially if you watch war movies, you're going to hear some

  • of these words. Actually, you're going to hear a lot of these words, so it's a good

  • idea to know what they mean. But we also use them in everyday situations,

  • and I'll explain some of these as we go.

  • So, first we're going to look at the actual words and expressions. "AWOL", this means

  • Absent WithOut Leave.

  • Okay? Although... So, I'll explain that in a second. "MIA" means

  • Missing In Action.

  • Okay? Now, you can "have someone's 6", "copy/roger", I'll explain these.

  • These, similar. A "dud", "snafu", "alpha, bravo, charlie, x-ray, yankee, zulu",

  • "Uncle Sam", "collateral damage", "coup de grace", and "FUBAR" or "soup sandwich".

  • Okay, let's start with "AWOL". Absent WithOut Leave. So, in the military, if you leave your

  • base or leave your post without permission... So, "leave" basically means permission. If

  • you leave... If you go away from your base or your post and you don't have permission,

  • then you are considered AWOL. If you're gone long enough, then you will go to jail. Okay?

  • The military... In the military, you can't leave your post, you can't leave jail. But

  • we use this in everyday situations. So, I planned an organization, like I'm helping

  • some people, I'm a volunteer, and I got a group of people to help me, and at our meeting

  • one person didn't show up. And I say: -"Where's Mike?" -"Ah, he's AWOL." It means nobody knows

  • where he is. He left, he didn't show up. Sometimes we call it a "no-show".

  • A "no-show" means the person didn't appear where he was supposed to be. He didn't come to the meeting, he didn't

  • come wherever. In an office, somebody is supposed to get all this work done, but the boss is

  • asking: -"Where's the work? Where is this person who had to do it?"

  • -"I don't know. He's AWOL. He's gone AWOL." It means he's disappeared. Okay?

  • It's not very dissimilar from "missing in action". So, in a war, sometimes soldiers,

  • they're fighting, everybody's working together, but one soldier, nobody knows where he is.

  • Maybe he got killed, or maybe he got injured, or maybe he's making his way back. But right

  • now, I don't know where he is. He is missing in action, in the middle of the battle. So,

  • it's the same thing in everyday life. If somebody is MIA, it means he's disappeared. So, it's

  • very similar to absent without leave, but MIA means he was here but then disappeared.

  • I don't know where he went. So, we had a meeting and in the meeting we had a break, and we

  • come back from break and one person didn't return. -"So, where is he?" -"I don't know. He's MIA."

  • He's missing. He's gone somewhere. Maybe he'll come back later. Just in case

  • you're wondering: "killed in action, KIA" is another expression.

  • Now, to "have someone's 6", you've seen this on police shows or in war movies all the time.

  • In a clock: 12 is forward, 6 is behind you, 3, 9, all the numbers of the clock. Okay?

  • So, to "have someone's 6" means to have someone's back, to watch out for them or to support

  • them, or to make sure that nothing bad is going to come where they can't see it. Okay?

  • So, 6, behind; 12, ahead.

  • "Copy" and "roger". When you're talking on a walkie-talkie or on a telephone these days,

  • however way you communicate, "copy" means message received. So, your boss or your commander

  • sends you the message: "Copy", means I got it, I understood. "Roger" if an order comes

  • in: -"I want you to do this." -"Roger." It means I got the message, and I will do what

  • I've been asked to do. And we use this in everyday life. On the phone your boss says:

  • -"This is what I need." -"Copy. Roger. No problem."

  • "Dud", a dud. So, think about a grenade, like the little thing, you pull the pin, you throw

  • it, it blows up. Or a shell, you fire it, it goes, lands, "bloop", nothing. It doesn't

  • blow up. Or the grenade, you pull the pin, you throw it, "dud". That sound: "dud". It

  • falls, it doesn't explode. So, a "dud" means something that didn't work or like a failure.

  • You can... We even say this about people. Okay? So, this guy, we hired him to do a particular

  • job or a girl went out with this guy on a date, and: -"How was it?" -"Oh, he was a dud."

  • It means he's no good. He didn't do what he's supposed to do. He's a bit of a failure. So

  • we use this word as well.

  • A "snafu" is a big mix-up or a big confusion. So, somebody was supposed to do something,

  • but it didn't happen and everybody got confused, nobody knows what happened - it's a snafu.

  • So, here, we also use this in everyday language. Again, let's get into a corporate situation.

  • I'm suing somebody and my lawyer was supposed to put the paperwork into the courts. But

  • when he went down there, he handed it into them, and then they lost it or they misplaced

  • it or nobody knows. There's a big snafu, and now my court trial is delayed because of this

  • snafu, because of this mix-up, confusion. Okay?

  • In the military, they don't use everyday words or even letters. So, when they want to say

  • something, they want to use letters, they use a different alphabet. A, b, c, x, y, z,

  • and all, of course, all the words in between. So, on the phone, if they want to give a code

  • or they want to give a message, they're going to use this language. So sometimes if you're

  • watching a movie, you'll hear: "Alpha, bravo 29", whatever, that's the company name and

  • the group and position, and all that. But if you hear: "Whiskey Tango Foxtrot",

  • "Whiskey Tango Foxtrot", I think everybody knows what this expression means, you use it on your

  • text all the time: "What the...?" etc. But in the military, they're going to say: "Whiskey Tango Foxtrot".

  • "Uncle Sam". Now, this is everybody's favourite uncle, he brings you toys, he brings you candy.

  • Oh, no, sorry. That's not what I meant. Uncle Sam is the US Military. That's their nickname

  • for the US Military, Uncle Sam or the US Government. Okay? This is a very common expression. Now,

  • if you're thinking: "What does Uncle Sam look like?" Think about those... The old posters,

  • the guy with the blue hat and the American jacket, he has a beard and the white hair,

  • and he goes: "I want you." That's Uncle Sam, the US Military.

  • "Collateral damage". So, now, when the army, when the military sends a guided missile...

  • They want to blow up this particular building, so they send in their missile and it's a big

  • missile, and the whole thing blows up. The problem is that all the pieces, all the fragments

  • of the bomb, of the shell, they fly everywhere and sometimes they destroy people's houses

  • or they kill people. And those are innocent people, they weren't targeted, but the bomb

  • was so big that all the pieces went laterally, to the side. And that's the collateral damage.

  • So with the target, there's other damage. So, but we use this in everyday life, so you

  • do something, even... Even in like a corporation. I buy... I have a company, I buy your company,

  • and unfortunately, all my staff is going to get priority in terms of positions. So, some

  • of the collateral damage of this buyout is that some of the staff from that company have

  • to be let go. It's collateral damage, innocent people get hurt, but that's what happens when

  • you do a strike.

  • "Coup de grace", this is a French word. "Coup" means like stroke or cut in some cases.

  • "Coup de grace" means like the final or the graceful ending. So, somebody is injured, especially

  • when you're talking about your enemy. Your enemy is on the ground, he's injured, he's

  • suffering. Now, you want to be nice. Well, you don't want to be nice, I mean, you shot

  • him, but you don't want him to suffer. He's still a human being. You shoot him in the

  • head and he's out of his misery. So, the "coup de grace" is the final blow. If you do it

  • with a sword, you cut off his head; with a gun, you shoot him in his head. You finish

  • him off. But in any battle, you're having a stiff battle, you're just about to win,

  • now all you need to do is deliver the coup de grace. You need that final strike, that

  • final blow, and you finish your opponent, you finish your enemy. And we use this very

  • regularly. Keep in mind: not "grace", "gra". "Coup de grace", and no "p" either.

  • Lastly, now this you'll see in a lot of the older war movies. It's not that common anymore,

  • but: "FUBAR", F'd Up Beyond All Recognition. So, a really bad situation. Everything's gone

  • wrong, people are dying, things are blown up, maybe you're losing. Very, very, very

  • bad situation. So, this is the old expression. Modern soldiers don't use "FUBAR" anymore.

  • Now they call it a "soup sandwich", because imagine, you take a piece of bread, you pour

  • your soup on to it, put another piece of bread and try to eat that - it's a bit messy. Not

  • a very good situation. But soon enough, this will probably be part of everyday language.

  • For now, it's "FUBAR". It's a really bad situation.

  • Okay, so I hope you understand these expressions. When you watch your war movies, you'll understand

  • what they're talking about a little bit at least. So, I hope you enjoyed it.

  • Please subscribe to my YouTube channel if you liked it. If you have any questions, go to www.engvid.com.

  • There's a forum, you can ask all the questions you have there. There's also a quiz to test

  • your understanding of these words and expressions.

  • And, of course, come back again, watch more videos, and we'll see you soon. Bye-bye.

Hi, everybody. Welcome back to www.engvid.com. I'm Adam.

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B1 military coup everyday uncle sam grace uncle

Common MILITARY expressions & vocabulary in everyday life

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    Summer posted on 2021/05/03
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