British Slang For Soldier (10 Examples)

Written by Gabriel Cruz - Foodie, Animal Lover, Slang & Language Enthusiast

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The word soldier can sometimes be intimidating, so we gathered British slang to replace the word. Read on to learn about them!

British Slang For Soldier (In Alphabetical Order)


  • Meaning:
  • (Noun) The word ‘bootneck’ is British slang for ‘soldier’. The Brits call their marines ‘bootneck’ because of the way they use the leather on their boots, cut them, and wrap the leather around their neck to avoid their throats being cut. 
  • Example: That bootneck saved a drowning lady a while ago.


Cabbage Heads

  • Meaning:
  • (Noun) Cabbage heads are used to call a person who is stupid but, it is also British slang for ‘soldier’. It is not a popular slang today. 
  • Example: They told me that the cabbage heads are moving to the palace to protect the queen.


Cherry Berets

  • Meaning:
  • (Noun) The cherry beret is what paratroopers in the UK wear. Therefore, people use cherry beret as British slang to identify a paratrooper. 
  • Example: A cherry beret is coming our way!



  • Meaning:
  • (Noun) The word ‘crab’ is used to identify the Royal Army. There was a time when the Royal Army had a lice problem, which looked like crabs. The British slang then became popular due to that incident.
  • Example:  A group of crabs is going to be placed in our city.


Hairy Fairies

  • Meaning:
  • (Noun) The British called their Fleet Air Arms the ‘hairy fairies’. Unfortunately, there are no Fleet Air Arms today, and the British slang ‘hairy fairies’ is not commonly used anymore.
  • Example: I heard he was one of the best hairy fairies back in his days.



  • Meaning:
  • (Noun) Pongo is British slang used to call a member of the Royal British Army that has a lower ranking. It is also a term used to call any of the Canadian armed forces.
  • Example: Those pongos look scary even if they’re still new.



  • Meaning:
  • (Noun) The word ‘rupert’ or ‘ruperts’ is British slang for a junior officer in the British Army. It is also a famous slang that’s well known in British countries.
  • Example: Show respect when a rupert comes our way!



  • Meaning:
  • (Noun) A squaddy or squaddies is a term used to describe a person in the lowest military rank. It is British slang that’s popular and is sometimes used as an insult.
  • Example: We are not scared of some squaddy!



  • Meaning:
  • (Noun) The word ‘tom’ is derived from the famous Tommy Atkins and is British slang for a common soldier. Today, the slang is not that used to like before but can still be heard, especially when pointing out a member of the British Army’s Parachute Regiment.
  • Example: Did you know that my uncle was once a tom?



  • Meaning:
  • (Noun) The word ‘woodentops’ was 18th-century British slang for soldier. The name caught on and is still sometimes used to describe a soldier in the UK.
  • Example: Woodentops are passing through our city, so there must be something serious going on.

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