Glossary of Terms

Vietnam, like many wars had its own terms and expressions. Some of the words are what is classed as 'Nam Speak'. These are slang words used by the Grunts in the field. I have added an asterisk * to these. Vietnamese words denoted by § . French words by ±. Use the Navigation Bar above to go to other pages of the glossary.


G: Refers to staff positions. Example G-1 would relate to a staff member responsible for personnel
Gallery: Kitchen
Gang Way: Stand back, out the way
Gear: Equipment
Gen: General
Get Some: To kill*
Golden Fleece: Rice protection operations started in 1965
G**K : Racist term from the Korean War. Used in Vietnam by US Troops to describe the enemy or the locals*
Grab Ass: Messing around*
Greased: Killed*
Grids: Grid Squares on a map
Grunt: Slang for infantry*
Green Machine: Marine Corps*
Grenade Launcher: M-79, single shot weapon. Fires 40mm projectiles. Known as a Blooper*
Guidon: Pennant on a pole bearing unit designation
Gun Ship: Helicopter or aircraft equipped for ground attacks
Gung Ho: Work together * Korean War origin
Gunny: Gunnery Sergeant* Term used in many wars
GVN: Government of Vietnam (South Vietnam)



H: Slang for heroin *
Ham and Mothers: C-Ration Lima beans and ham. Also known as Ham & Mother F**kers*
Hanoi Hannah: Trinh Thi Ngo,Broadcaster of propaganda for North Vietnam.She followed in footsteps of Tokyo Rose a broadcaster Marines from WWII would remember*
H&I: Harassing and Interdiction. Random artillery fire into unknown enemy areas
H&S Co: Headquarters and Service Company
Halazone Tablets: Chlorine-based tablet used to purify water in the field since WWII
Hard Back: Name used for a South East Asian hut (SEA Hut). Barrack with tin roof, screen and ply sides*
Hard Charger: Motivated Marine
Hatch: Door
HAWK: Mobile surface to air missile
Hawk: Someone who supports the war in Vietnam
HE: High Explosives
Head: Rest room or someone who smokes Marijuana*
Heat Tab: Smokeless chemical block used to heat C-Rats or water*
H-Hour: The time an operation starts
High & Tight: Marines hair cut*
HLZ: Helicopter Landing Zone
HMM: Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron
Ho Chi Minh Sandals: Worn by NVA, made from old tyres*
Ho Chi Minh Trail: North Vietnamese supply route to SVN via Loas and Cambodia
Hog: Huey that carries rockets and machineguns*
Hollywood Marines: A Marine train in San Diego*
Horn: Radio*
Hump: To walk the bush*
Hunter Killer Teams: A small team of Marines used to hunt down VC/NVA
Hootch: Tent, hardback, barrack*
Honcho: Boss man*
Hotel: Phonetic for H and local time for Vietnam often seen in ComdC at the end of a date and time. Example 13113H
Howitzer: 8 inch (M55) self-propelled heavy artillery. 105mm (M-101 A) light artillery towed. 155mm (M-114A) towed and M-109 self-propelled medium artillery
Howtar: 4.2 inch (107mm) mortar tube mounted on the frame of a 75mm pack howitzer
Huey: Name for UH1e Bell helicopter after the U H 1 E, huey


ICCC: I Corps Coordinating Council. U.S. and Vietnamese officials in I Corps
I-Corps: Military and administrative subdivision of Vietnam was in four Corps. Know as well as CTZ, Corps Tactical Zone. I-Corps known also as (Eye-Corps*).
In-Country: In Vietnam*
Incoming: Incoming rounds
Indian Country: Places in the bush were NVA or VC are*
It don't mean nothing: A saying used to keep one from going mad. Hides the truth and buries things. The stuff PTSD comes from*




Copyright Alan Waugh & Respective owners 2014