Whiskey Tango Foxtrot: The Real Language of the Modern American Military

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Overview

Few areas of human endeavor have produced more—or more colorful—terms than has the military. Soldiers, sailors, marines, and airmen have over centuries come up with words, phrases, and acronyms to express everything from raw emotion to complex technology. The military is both a distinctive way of life and a community, and a command of its slang is essential to admission to full membership within the group.

Most military slang is almost always familiar only to the troops. Mating ...

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Whiskey Tango Foxtrot: The Real Language of the Modern American Military

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Overview

Few areas of human endeavor have produced more—or more colorful—terms than has the military. Soldiers, sailors, marines, and airmen have over centuries come up with words, phrases, and acronyms to express everything from raw emotion to complex technology. The military is both a distinctive way of life and a community, and a command of its slang is essential to admission to full membership within the group.

Most military slang is almost always familiar only to the troops. Mating mosquitoes, for example, refers to the two-chevron insignia of the Army corporal. Gadget describes an enlisted man or woman who is temporarily promoted to a position of increased responsibility to fill an urgent need, while a panty raid is a foray into enemy territory for the purpose of gathering evidence of adversary activity.

Among the less delicate entries are the day the eagle shits, or payday, and skimmer puke, a submariner’s term for any surface ship sailor. (And then there’s the book’s title, the acronym for What The F-ck).

Many elements of military vocabulary have become part of our national speech: John Wayne, boondocks, attaboy, and hot dog. But whether the words and phrases are the exclusive property of our fighting men and women or are also in general use, the “real” language of the modern military set forth in this lively book embodies a uniquely American attitude and an exuberantly colloquial, unwaveringly honest, and enduringly American grace under pressure.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Axelrod, a prolific writer on military topics, tours modern military slang via six topical chapters, including "Cake Eaters and Chicken Guts." As the author acknowledges, the sources for some of his entries are from "official" authorities such as the Department of Defense Dictionary of Military Terms (available online at dtic.mil/doctrine/dod_dictionary/ and Stephen F. Tomajczyk's Dictionary of the Modern United States Military, (LJ 2/1/96), but Axelrod's main focus is "unofficial" terms, such as soldiers' rework of the "What the…" curse as expressed in this book's title. While highly readable, this reference would have benefited from an overall index. VERDICT A colorful reference for libraries serving veterans and veteran studies audiences.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781620876473
  • Publisher: Skyhorse Publishing
  • Publication date: 6/1/2013
  • Pages: 240
  • Sales rank: 679,471
  • Product dimensions: 5.00 (w) x 7.00 (h) x 5.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Alan Axelrod is the author of more than forty books on military history, business management, trade reference, and other nonfiction. He and his work have been featured in BusinessWeek, Fortune, Men’s Health, Cosmopolitan, Inc., Atlanta Journal-Constitution, and USA Today. He lives in Atlanta, Georgia.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 10 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 10 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 12, 2014

    Snow's Biography

    Name: -_(\ Age: Cub, 3 months Looks: Arctic Fox with large brown eyes. History: Was mistreated by family, ran away. Personality: VERY rebellious style; do not try to adopt her unless you wanna walk away with your eyes scratched out. She's a stubborn iduvidual, baby! Other: DON'T ask. I refuse to tell. Symbol: &#2792 , or my name in greek letters

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 7, 2014

    Moonlight bio

    Pure white fox with hazel eyes; she is generous, kind and stuborn; girl; family was killed by another clan of foxes; ask her about anything else.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 26, 2014

    &spades Spades's &spades bios

    I AM BASING THESE TWO OFF OF JAPANESE MYTHOLOGY DESCRIPTION OF KITSUNES/FOXES!!!!

    NAME: Spades
    AGE: Looks 20 but is really 892
    GENDER: Male
    FUR COLOR: (basing this off of japanese mythology) black and gold flecks
    EYE COLOR: Red Violet
    TAIL NUMBER: 8 (new tail every 100 years)
    LOOKS: LIKE A BLACK FOX WITH GOLD FLECKS AND 8 TAILS. He is also very well built.
    SPECIALTIES: HUNTING AND FIGHTING
    PERSONALITY: Angry, quiet, honest, caring sometimes.
    HISTORY: Doesnt like talking bout it.
    FAMILY: N/A
    MATE: Searching
    KITS: NONE
    OTHER: ASK

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 25, 2014

    Jinx's bio

    Name:Jinx<br>Gender:shefox<br>Looks:a sleek red shefox with blue eyes.<br>Talents:she moves fast and is very clever.<br>Personality:playful and quick.<br>Motto:EXTERMINATE! ((from Doctor Who))<br>Other:she knows Nemesis,but not from Foxclan.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 25, 2014

    &beta Vixen &beta

    Comming soon....

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 27, 2014

    Nemesis's bio

    Name: Nemesis
    Gender: female
    Age: young
    Species: grey fox
    Looks: silvery grey with he occasionsl red splotch
    Best attributes: cunning, loyal, serious, fierce, a 'take no prisoners' attitude
    Worst attributes: arrogant, reckless and thoughtless
    Likes: Doctor Who, CHEESE!, dragons an being in charge
    Dislikes: being ordered around and beans
    Mate/kits/crush: you wish, nope, as if
    Other info: dont ask. Unless yor life depends on it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 31, 2014

    Tail Cobwebs bio!!!!

    Name: duh! Its UP THERE!— Age: non ya bees wax— Looks: red fox with white tipped tail and VERY icey green eyes. — crush: spade— Cubs: *slaps*— Mate: how dare you!? — Gender: girl— Person.: nice, great fighter and hunter ( can hunt cas the best ) busy

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 25, 2014

    Topaz bio

    Name: topaz gender:female rank:deputy,hunter, or killer age:two years personality: fierce protective cunning loyal brave looks:reddish fur. White paws and and of tail, topaz eyes othe than tha ask!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 7, 2014

    B

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 24, 2013

    Lionsroar

    Sits and wonders what that cat wanted.

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