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Learning to 'embrace the suck' in Iraq

January 28, 2007|Austin Bay

Rummy's Dummies: A derogatory name for the U.S. military under the leadership of former Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld.

Semper I: Pejorative Marine lingo for being overly concerned with one's own personal interests.

Single-digit midget: A member of the armed services who has nine days or less remaining on his tour of duty.

Speed bumps: A tanker's derogatory term for infantry soldiers. Operation Desert Storm-era slang still occasionally used.

Terps: Slang for interpreters

Tread head: A soldier serving in an armor (tank) or armored cavalry (armored recon) unit.

Turkey peek: To glance around or over an object or surface, such as a corner or wall.

Waxed: To get hit hard or get killed.

Weekend warrior: U.S. reservist or National Guard soldier.

Yalla: GI adaptation of Arabic word for hurry up or run.


AUSTIN BAY is an Army Reserve veteran of the Iraq war who blogs at He is the editor of "Embrace the Suck: A Pocket Guide to Milspeak," published by the New Pamphleteer (, from which these definitions are excerpted.

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