English Language & UsageWhat does "Roger" mean in war movies?
[+33] [4] John John Pichler
[2011-06-28 19:14:54]
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Is "roger" equivalent to "Ok"? I hear it in war movies, movies like Star Wars Clone Wars, and in war games.

related:… - Matt E. Эллен
(1) This can be definitively answered by looking at the wikipedia article for roger - Matt E. Эллен
[+42] [2011-06-28 19:20:35] nico

It's not necessarily military, it's more radio slang.

In certain radio alphabets [1] Roger stands for the letter R, which in radio communications stands for received.


(3) I didn't know this - I actually thought it meant "Ok" (and I am a native english speaker). Thanks! - BlueRaja - Danny Pflughoeft
(1) @BlueRaja: The meaning is similar, and because of the common use of this in war movies etc. it has also been quite popular to use it in daily speach as a synonym to "OK". - awe
(5) + 1 roger that = received that - b.roth
It's not really radio 'slang', it's radio terminology. - DJClayworth
@DJ: OED defines slang as The special vocabulary or phraseology of a particular calling or profession so I think it's not particularly wrong to use. - nico
@nico: that's actually the definition of jargon, not slang. But who are we to argue with the mighty OED? :D - Marthaª
@Martha: I'm not a native English speaker, so it's very likely you guys are right and I am wrong... but I've always considered slang and jargon as synonyms.... - nico
(4) @nico: Certainly 'slang' is slang for 'jargon', but I don't think 'slang' is jargon for 'jargon'. - Peter Shor
[+32] [2011-06-28 19:21:34] KeithS

"Roger" is from WWII-era radio code for the letter "R", and was used as a more-understandable shorthand for "Received", an acknowledgement of the message. More recently, radio shorthand has moved to "copy" (an exact synonym) or "wilco" (short for "will comply" and appropriate for commands).

(6) Also: "roger wilco" for "understood and will comply." - The Raven
(3) Also "roger roger" if you're a cool Star Wars patois-speaking robot. - Fattie
@Joe Blow — I love the parallel evolution of "roger roger" in the prequels and "kk" online. :-D - Ben Blank
Don't forget "Roger, Roger. What's our vector, Victor?" from the movie Airplane. - Joel Spolsky
(2) @The Raven 'Note that "ROGER" and "WILCO" are mutually exclusive, since WILCO includes the acknowledgement of ROGER.' from: - matt
(2) @Joel I once named a Vector "victor". - matt
@matt, "mutually exclusive" generally means "one but not the other." Since "wilco" includes "roger," you might say that "'roger' is implicit in 'wilco.'" @Joel Spolsky Let's not forget "Do we have clearance, Clarance?" - rajah9
@rajah: In the U.S. military, they're mutually exclusive, because you're taught never to use them together. If you say "Roger, wilco" to a late-era soldier, they're going to think you're: a) an idiot, or b) a poseur. - Toby
[+12] [2011-06-28 19:21:16] user362

From Wikipedia [1]

"Roger" means "I have received all of the last transmission" in both military and civilian aviation radio communications. This usage comes from the initial R of received: R was called Roger in the radio alphabets current at the time, such as the Joint Army/Navy Phonetic Alphabet. It is also often shortened in writing to "rgr". R is Romeo in the modern NATO phonetic alphabet.


Technically "message received and understood". - DJClayworth
[+3] [2011-06-28 19:21:32] Blue Magister

Yes, roger or roger that means message received. From Merriam-Webster [1]:

used especially in radio and signaling to indicate that a message has been received and understood