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