A short observation on British influence

It really dawned on me recently how many British terms have infiltrated the US military, especially the SOF community…and that I have fallen victim to it as well.

We now find ourselves using terms like ‘kit’…’dodgy’….’cheers’ and ‘mate’.

And the ubiquitous ‘no worries’. Are we trying to emulate the cool kids, or is this a natural occurence?

I’m not really sure what has driven this state of military ontology….but I find it interesting nonetheless.


5 thoughts on “A short observation on British influence

  1. I think it is because we have a broad international exposure, Americans with friends in foreign countries sure seems to be a minority. It is only natural to pick up the expressions of those you are exposed to, work, and socialize with or from other compatriots who have been and use those terms. Hell it took me a year to stop saying Hooah after a combat comm assignment with the Army (I'm AF).


  2. During my career, I spent some time on occasion with the Brits and their wonderfully realistic approach to operations. My first big exposure was being assigned for an all-too-brief experience with the Royal Marines back in the 1970s. I still pop off with typically British expressions, off the cuff, as if I were born to the culture.

    Interestingly, once my RM cohort soon discovered that I was from Texas, they were fascinated by our colloquialisms and insisted that I impart some native wisdom. By the time I left after a few months, they were rolling off phrases like “Oh, I say, Jeeves, would you be so kind as to close the cotton-pickin' window?” And they were far more familiar with “reckon” and “yonder” than were my Yankee compatriots.


  3. Finn – There certainly may be something to that, though in my operationa experience, the Brits and other FVEY partners have always been the minority [at least in US owned battlespace]. I hope you've fully recovered from the bout of Hooah. I was Army, and still not a big fan of a term that can be used for everything from Yes Sir, to Fuck You.

    Nicholas – I use No Worries and Cheers as if I were born and bred in Brighton. Makes me feel a bit silly sometimes when I really think about it, but it's become habitual. I believe I've witnessed that fascination by the Brits with southern aphorisms.


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