Dichroic (dichroic) wrote in linguaphiles,

slang question

After explaining a US military expression to my Taiwanese colleagues, mentioning it on my LJ and being asked about it by a Dutch friend, I've now gotten curious.

The US military (and maybe others) have a few expressions based on the International Radio Alphabet. I know of two: when something is all fouled up, they call it a "charlie fox" (euphemism for cluster fuck, because C = charlie and F = foxtrot in the radio alphabet). When a system or organization has gone dead it's "tango uniform" (tits up => TU => tango uniform).

Are there other similar expressions?

What about other similarly convoluted slang? The one that comes to mind is Cockney rhyming slag, which is much more extensive, e.g. apples => apples & pears => stairs, trouble => trouble & strife => wife, dead horse => tomato sauce => ketchup. (I heard that last in Australia, actually.)

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