The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > The Conference Center > General Discussion Forum

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old June 29, 2021, 06:45 AM   #1
ligonierbill
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 20, 2007
Posts: 2,115
Slang, jargon, and misused words

Jargon in particular is interesting, it's use signifying the user as an insider (or wannabe). It is at least irreverent and can be downright mean. When Christian Slater referred to the weapons they were carrying in Broken Arrow as "crowd pleasers", I realized I had heard that term before at work. Except that fellow said "thermonuclear crowd pleasers". Sort of flippant, but that's jargon.

We use a lot of these, and some of them set some folk's teeth on edge. (There, I used some slang without even thinking about it.) We also get somewhat hung up on definitions. In my youth, I was a "clip" offender. Until I actually used some stripper clips. Now, I shorten "magazine" to "mag". But I don't get angry if someone uses the common misuse. Now, some I just don't understand. "Shottie" referring to a shotgun. You type the same number of letters or utter two syllables. The old slang is "scatter gun". Much longer and terribly inaccurate.

I admit to sometimes referring to my autoloading handguns as "bottom feeders". There's a derogatory term, though I don't mean it as such. I've been called lots of things, but never a bottom feeder. (Maybe I will be if I call a 257 Roberts "Bob" again.) But I do not insist on calling guns with a rotating cylinder revolvers and not pistols. They're all pistols. Long Colt - there's one to start an argument. No, there never was an official "Short" Colt, but there was the 45 Schofield that the Army adapted and used in arms chambered for 45 Colt. Practically, I have more than once been handed 45 ACP when I asked for 45 Colt, back when they had ammo for sale. Ask for Long Colt, and they get it right.

Mostly, I think it's interesting, and I try to save my ire for more important things, like people garmouthing my favorite round. What's your "favorite" slang, jargon, or misused word?
ligonierbill is offline  
Old June 29, 2021, 09:53 AM   #2
10-96
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 19, 2005
Location: Tx Panhandle Territory
Posts: 4,138
I can't say I have a favorite. However, I believe I'm one of the few who believe language should be colorful. At the risk of being labeled any sort of derogatory Southern hick terms, I humbly remind that Jerry Clower, Lewis Grizzard, Patrick McManis, Will Rogers, and whole host of others have done quite well with their jargon and probably regard their distractors much the same as I.
Anyway, two of my favorite terms are: Gaposis and Floposis. Now one might think those are one and the same, but I opine they are not. Gaposis is used to describe tolerances such as slide fit, trigger bar clearance, clearance for revolver hands, hammers, triggers, and various other openings. Floposis is more general wherein various parts are worn, wrong, or improperly fitted where the offending part just flops around.
Yes, at times- maybe even most times- language should be precise. But life is too short to get wrapped around axles over mundane issues. To me, language ought to be colorful, fun, and unoffensive to the ear. But, I also concede that rests solely upon the 'ear' of the beholder.
I'll admit. I'm a bit (can't think of the word- condescending? maybe that ain't it)... Anyway, there are words I can't stand such as "Winny, Shottie, Remmy", etc. I haven't heard it in a while but "9 Mike Mike" sounds totally atrocious. But for some reason, I don't mind if the caliber description is "20 Mike Mike" or larger if it's kept in the metric department. I think I'd lose my goober if someone ever mentioned a "14 India November Charley Hotel" or an old "3 Papa Oscar Uniform November Delta Echo Romeo".
__________________
Rednecks... Keeping the woods critter-free since March 2, 1836. (TX Independence Day)

I'm going to use the words "clip" and "Long Colt" every chance I get. It grinds my gears to see new members attacked when we all know dang good and well what's being refered to.
10-96 is offline  
Old June 29, 2021, 10:07 AM   #3
Geezerbiker
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 20, 2011
Location: Willamina, OR
Posts: 1,861
I was once at a gun shop where the guy behind the counter had a fit about me using the word "silencer." Telling him that's what it was called in the original patent didn't help much... Some people are too invested in terminology.

Tony
Geezerbiker is offline  
Old June 29, 2021, 10:53 AM   #4
SIGSHR
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 13, 2005
Posts: 4,625
My English teachers drummed into my head that you don't use slang when writing except to describe character, create color or atmosphere because:
1. It's usually so vague and ill-defined that it is used and overused till it has no meaning.
2. It goes in and out of fashion.
3. It's usually very local or regional, ethnic or generational.
4. And, as my teachers would point, it often sounds very crude and illiterate.
SIGSHR is offline  
Old June 29, 2021, 11:38 AM   #5
Geezerbiker
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 20, 2011
Location: Willamina, OR
Posts: 1,861
I get your point about slang can be regional. In my youth (more or less) I spent a year in Eastern Idaho. I had a hard time wrapping my head around your outfit was what you drove not what you wear...

Tony
Geezerbiker is offline  
Old June 29, 2021, 11:57 AM   #6
Pahoo
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 16, 2006
Location: IOWA
Posts: 8,510
My new "Toy"

I guess my least favorite is when folks refer to their new purchase as; "my new little toy".

Then there are valid terms such as; Muzzle, Ball-Bag. Pr**k, Ram-Rod, B**L-Lube. ......

Be Safe !!!
__________________
'Fundamental truths' are easy to recognize because they are verified daily through simple observation and thus, require no testing.
Pahoo is offline  
Old June 29, 2021, 12:23 PM   #7
ligonierbill
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 20, 2007
Posts: 2,115
Geezerbiker, I thought it was your rig. Were you born on a sidehill? Now I know why my English teacher didn't like me!
ligonierbill is offline  
Old June 29, 2021, 12:29 PM   #8
Aguila Blanca
Staff
 
Join Date: September 25, 2008
Location: CONUS
Posts: 17,080
Quote:
Originally Posted by 10-96
Anyway, two of my favorite terms are: Gaposis and Floposis.
The purpose of language -- and words -- is to communicate. I'm 77 years old and I've been shooting for approximately 67 of those 77 years. I have never before encountered either of those terms. Whether you consider them to be slang, jargon, or something else, if you use them and most of your audience has no idea what you are talking about -- communication has failed.
__________________
NRA Life Member / Certified Instructor
NRA Chief RSO / CMP RSO
1911 Certified Armorer
Jeepaholic
Aguila Blanca is offline  
Old June 29, 2021, 12:55 PM   #9
44 AMP
Staff
 
Join Date: March 11, 2006
Location: Upper US
Posts: 24,989
I accept some slang, and some just sets me off. For me, I think the most obvious dividing line is slang that was in common use when I learned the subject, vs. slang that has come into use, since then.

Wheel gun was a term used by gun writers decades before I was born. "Wheelie" wasn't, and in fact, "wheelie" was what we said when a car or a bike pulled the front wheels off the ground from torque. Much different things.

Winnie, Remy, shotty, wheelie, and similar terms just strike me as overly juvenile, and imply a lack of respect or discipline or call it what you will, treating the names like kids toys just doesn't sit well with me.

Clip/magazine? some similarity of function, very different mechanic designs.

Tires/wheels? similar in casual conversation (particularly down south, where you can get "mud in your taars..." but not remotely the same when it gets precise.

What kind of motor do you have in your car??? (the parts guy will ask which motor?) People often say motor when they mean "engine". Doesn't make much difference when chatting casually, but makes a hell of a difference if you need parts....

And there's where we run into the problems, not in casual chat, but in specific technical matters, where proper and precise terminology MATTERS.

Firearms terminology abounds with a plethora of VERY similar sounding terms, where saying things the right way makes the difference between getting something that works and something that doesn't.

One of the (many) places I draw the line is at proper names and standard abbreviations. Making up "new" ones is not just poor taste, it can actually create confusion and reduce effective communication.

I do rather like the term "bottom feeder" as a pun, a play on words, since other than a handful of designs, nearly all magazine fed repeaters do feed from below the barrel (rounds move up into the barrel from the "bottom" of the gun). The Lewis gun, the Sten gun and the Bren gun (and derivatives) are the only exceptions that come readily to mind, though there are probably a Hotchkiss design or two that also qualify...belt fed guns are another matter..

It trips one of my personal triggers when people shorten, change or use cutesy nicknames (and in particular, first names) in place of proper names.
We don't call Colts "Sam" nor Brownings "John", or Winchesters "Olly"...

Now, if you want to name your rifle "Bob", I'm fine with that. One of my rifles is "Killdeer" and a friend calls one of my pistols "Alice". But their calibers are .308Win and .45ACP..

There is way more than enough confusion possible even when we stick with precise terms, I think adding to it is simply irresponsible.

Go into a shop and ask for a box of ".38s" for your pistol. If the clerk just hands you something, shop elsewhere, the clerk is ignorant, and might be an idiot. There are a half dozen cartridges that I can think of right off the top of my head that start with ".38", and probably a few more I can't recall right now.

The details MATTER. At least, they do, to me.
__________________
All else being equal (and it almost never is) bigger bullets tend to work better.
44 AMP is offline  
Old June 29, 2021, 01:12 PM   #10
10-96
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 19, 2005
Location: Tx Panhandle Territory
Posts: 4,138
Quote:
Originally Posted by 10-96
Anyway, two of my favorite terms are: Gaposis and Floposis.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aguila Blanca
The purpose of language -- and words -- is to communicate. I'm 77 years old and I've been shooting for approximately 67 of those 77 years. I have never before encountered either of those terms. Whether you consider them to be slang, jargon, or something else, if you use them and most of your audience has no idea what you are talking about -- communication has failed.
As far as I know, I'm the only one I've ever heard use those terms. I'm guessing I came up with them all by myself, and I've used them here before. Lack of Humor- That one would be hard to work into a discussion on TFL I suppose, guess someone could kick me out of here once humor is officially banned.
__________________
Rednecks... Keeping the woods critter-free since March 2, 1836. (TX Independence Day)

I'm going to use the words "clip" and "Long Colt" every chance I get. It grinds my gears to see new members attacked when we all know dang good and well what's being refered to.
10-96 is offline  
Old June 29, 2021, 01:45 PM   #11
DaleA
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 12, 2002
Location: Twin Cities, MN
Posts: 5,062
Not all folk, but SOME folk want to turn things into a "competition" so that they can "win".

This can happen in guns, cars, motorcycles...anything.

Calling someone on some supposed misuse of a term let's these folk "win". They think it marks them as the "Alpha Male".

Magazine/clips, suppressor/silencer, pistol/revolver, heck even using the word "gun" to describe a rifle can set some folk to having a military flashback.

It's just a human thing that will PROBABLY be corrected in the next version.

(Old joke: scientists have discovered the link between primitive man and civilized man...it's us.)
DaleA is offline  
Old June 29, 2021, 02:09 PM   #12
Geezerbiker
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 20, 2011
Location: Willamina, OR
Posts: 1,861
Quote:
Originally Posted by ligonierbill View Post
Geezerbiker, I thought it was your rig. Were you born on a sidehill? Now I know why my English teacher didn't like me!
I suppose you could say that. I grew up on the South Face of Mt, Scott on the edge of Portland, OR. Actually our home was the last house in Portland going south on our street.

Portland used to be a nice place not at all like it is now...

Tony
Geezerbiker is offline  
Old June 29, 2021, 02:18 PM   #13
Mal H
Staff
 
Join Date: March 20, 1999
Location: Somewhere in the woods of Northern Virginia
Posts: 16,707
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaleA
(Old joke: scientists have discovered the link between primitive man and civilized man...it's us.)
I like that!
Mal H is offline  
Old June 29, 2021, 02:22 PM   #14
DaleA
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 12, 2002
Location: Twin Cities, MN
Posts: 5,062
Another note on the "Alpha Male" thing.
And this applies to most special interest areas, not just firearms.

Some people make a post asking for help/advice and then shoot down every suggestion that comes their way.

I think they view each suggestion as a chance to "fight" and a chance to "win".
They "win" if they can demonstrate they can't use the suggestion or the advice given to them.

Recently I suggested to a friend that he could get his father's social security number from one of his father's tax returns, the infamous 1040. Rather than take my suggestion for what it was worth, turned out not much, he had to go get a copy of his Dad's latest tax return emailed from his Dad's tax preparer and sure enough only the last four digits of the SSN was on the 1040, the rest of the digits were asterisks. He was RIGHT, I was WRONG, he won. Ho Hum.
DaleA is offline  
Old June 29, 2021, 02:26 PM   #15
Jim Watson
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 25, 2001
Location: Alabama
Posts: 17,590
A recent inversion of meaning for "dropped."

A TV show has "dropped."
A product has "dropped."

The current meaning is that new episodes are to be shown; that a new product is coming to market.
In my youth, "dropped" meant "discontinued," just the opposite.
Jim Watson is online now  
Old June 29, 2021, 03:13 PM   #16
mehavey
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 17, 2010
Location: Virginia
Posts: 6,361
Quote:
2. It goes in and out of fashion.
Or like Mark Twain... it gets "canceled"

My own misused favorite, of course is "fully automatic assault rifle w/ a 30 bullet clip"

Even when you use "magazine" correctly, My ALL TIME favorite of the rest of the lunacy is:
>
>“If you ban them in the future the number of these high-capacity
> magazines is going to decrease dramatically over time because
> the bullets will have been shot and there won’t be any more available,”
> said DeGette.
>
mehavey is offline  
Old June 29, 2021, 03:22 PM   #17
Pahoo
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 16, 2006
Location: IOWA
Posts: 8,510
100-round magazines.

Quote:
My own misused favorite, of course is "fully automatic assault rifle w/ a 30 bullet clip"
Our Commander in Chief, recently stated that we are using 100-round magazines. .......

Be Safe !!!
__________________
'Fundamental truths' are easy to recognize because they are verified daily through simple observation and thus, require no testing.
Pahoo is offline  
Old June 29, 2021, 03:47 PM   #18
DaleA
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 12, 2002
Location: Twin Cities, MN
Posts: 5,062
Quote:
Our Commander in Chief, recently stated that we are using 100-round magazines.
Well to be fair, if you woke ME out of a sound sleep I might say some goofy stuff too.
DaleA is offline  
Old June 29, 2021, 04:12 PM   #19
44 AMP
Staff
 
Join Date: March 11, 2006
Location: Upper US
Posts: 24,989
am reminded of the Farside cartoon with 2 bears one holding a rifle, standing over a downed "hunter" and the other pointing to the rifle, saying...

"Boomstick??!! THAT is a Winchester .30-06!!"
__________________
All else being equal (and it almost never is) bigger bullets tend to work better.
44 AMP is offline  
Old June 29, 2021, 07:54 PM   #20
vito
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 20, 2004
Location: IL
Posts: 846
Be careful. Insisting on using proper English and using it with correct grammar will result in you being called a "White supremacist". Not kidding.
__________________
People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.”
― George Orwell
vito is offline  
Old June 29, 2021, 08:31 PM   #21
SIGSHR
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 13, 2005
Posts: 4,625
Then there's our old friend "The Saturday Night Special."
The version I heard was a magazine was a fixed location, in a fort or a ship, a clip was a small easily inserted and removeable piece.
And how about "carbine". As in M-1 Carbine.
Then there's military terminology. We say submachine, the British sub-machine or machine carbine, in German it's Maschinenpistol-"machine pistol".
SIGSHR is offline  
Old June 29, 2021, 08:38 PM   #22
101combatvet
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 25, 2011
Posts: 565
Quote:
Originally Posted by vito View Post
Be careful. Insisting on using proper English and using it with correct grammar will result in you being called a "White supremacist". Not kidding.
I was called a racist for winning a civil argument with a black girl; go figure.
__________________
Special Operations Combat Veteran
Gunsmith, BS, MFA - I can outsmart you!
Competitive Shooter - and out shoot you!
NRA Certified Firearms Instructor [8 Courses]
101combatvet is offline  
Old June 29, 2021, 09:00 PM   #23
jonnyc
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 20, 2009
Location: PA
Posts: 1,666
The one I hate the most..."boolit". Makes me want to vomit/hurl/chunder/lose it/gaack/heave/retch/puke/up-chuck/hurl/spew!
__________________
2020 PA Cartridge Collector Show has been cancelled. See us next August 20-21, 2021!!!
Buy...Sell...Trade All Types of Ammunition & Ordnance
Details: http://thefiringline.com/forums/show...75#post6228275
jonnyc is offline  
Old June 29, 2021, 10:19 PM   #24
TXAZ
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 5, 2010
Location: McMurdo Sound Texas
Posts: 4,316
Boomer = .50 cal
Ear buster = Boomer with no hearing protection
__________________

Cave illos in guns et backhoes
TXAZ is offline  
Old June 29, 2021, 10:19 PM   #25
jmr40
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 15, 2008
Location: Georgia
Posts: 10,545
Colorful language can be entertaining and local jargon interesting to hear. It reminds me of reading Huckleberry Finn or The Adventures of Tom Sawyer.

In different parts of the county a creek, stream, brook, branch, crick, are all the same thing, and probably many other names for the same thing I haven't heard. How many different names for a pump action shotgun or rifle. Pump, slide action, trombone action, Amish machine gun?

In the part of the south where I live every soft drink is a Coke. It doesn't matter if it has Pepsi, Double Cola, or RC Cola on the bottle, everyone calls it Coke. A large portion of the people here refer to all refrigerators as a "Frigidaire". It might have been made by GE, but it is still a Frigidaire. All adjustable wrenches are "Crescent" wrenches. Even if it was made by Craftsman.

But I do prefer to see things be technically correct. Clip vs magazine is the classic example. They really are 2 distinct, different things. But during WW-2 the 2 terms were used interchangeably so often that the meaning has been forever blurred. It's just a lot easier to say a 1 syllable word than a 3 syllable word. The military is good at shortening things like that. A High Mobility Multi Purpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV) became a Hummer.

It doesn't really bother me if someone uses the word "clip" when they really mean magazine, but if I feel it was a mistake made simply because of a lack of knowledge I will try to tactfully inform them. It is good to know there is a difference.
__________________
"If you're still doing things the same way you were doing them 10 years ago, you're doing it wrong"

Winston Churchill
jmr40 is offline  
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 10:03 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2022, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2021 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent: thefiringline.com
Page generated in 0.09854 seconds with 10 queries