Battle of Britain pilots developed their own slang/terminology that would have been incomprehensible to others even in the military. However, this slang became part of the lifestyle of members of Fighter Command and was used in everyday conversation as well as in written correspondence. Some of this slang has become reasonably common in general use today (such as ‘binders’) but during the months of the Battle of Britain when the ‘King’s English’ was more dominant it was language commonly associated with the men from Fighter Command.


Binders – People who are always grumbling and moaning.


Bin – Killed as in ‘He’s been bin’


Blood Wagon – Ambulance


Booze-wine – drink, usually beer


Brolly – Parachute


Brown Job – Soldier/Army Officer


Beat-up – To dive at an object with the purpose of frightening them


Bogle – A woman


Cotton Wool – Clouds


Deck – The ground or an aerodrome


Double Top – A good shot (from double 20 in darts)


Erks – Airman’s rank if below a corporal


Forced Lob – Forced landing


Grappling Hooks – Making a big effort


Grease Monkey – Mechanic


Head in the Office – Office refers to the cockpit


Jim Crow – an aircraft on a reconnaissance mission


Nabble – To catch up


Peelow – Pilot


Putting on the horses – giving more throttle to gain more speed


Poking Charlie – Making fun of someone


Ring Twitch – To anticipate danger; a feeling of fear and excitement


Squirt – To shoot at


Stooge – Someone who does all the dirty work


Stooge Patrol – A patrol on which you do not expect to see the enemy


Stooging Along – Going on patrol without taking much notice of anything


Tits – The trigger or firing button on the joystick


Vic – Aircraft flying in a V formation


Walking Out – To bale out of your aircraft


July 2010