Radio Communication Jargon And Meanings

Learn radio jargon used in two-way radio communication. Words like roger, copy that, over and out, from radio lingo are presented along with their meanings.

You must have seen in action movies how armed forces communicate using radio and wireless (walky-talky) sets. Mostly they speak English, but some of the words of radio lingo are mystery for common man. For example, roger is an oft-repeated word on radio conversation. In simple English it means “understood” or “I got it”. Let’s get to know more of two-way radio jargon and their meanings.

Following list shows meanings of the words and phrases often used during a two way radio communication. You may also want to read about etiquette of radio communication.

Radio Jargon
  • Mayday: I need help
  • Roger: Message has been fully received and understood
  • Wilco: “Will comply” (i.e. I/we will carry out the orders)
  • Read: Often used as a question; as in “do you read me?”… the speaker is asking if the other party is able to listen to the radio clearly.
  • Copy: Meaning is same as that of read.. used as “do you copy?”
  • Check/Copy that: Message is understood
  • Read back: Repeat this message back to me
  • Correction: I made a mistake. Correct version is…
  • 20: Location… (for example “what is your 20?”)
  • Acknowledge: Confirm that you understand my message
  • Confirm: My version is… Is that correct?
  • That is correct: Yes, I do confirm
  • Words twice: Send every phrase twice
  • Stand-by: Wait
  • Obtain: Get
  • Affirmative: Yes
  • Negative: No
  • Dispatch: Send
  • Unable: Can’t
  • Over: I have finished saying
  • Out: Call is being terminated
  • Say again: Repeat what you said
  • (silence): I have nothing to say
NATO Phonetic Alphabet

NATO Phonetic Alphabet

NATO Phonetic Alphabet

A – Alpha
B – Bravo
C – Charlie
D – Delta
E – Echo
F – Foxtrot
G – Golf
H – Hotel
I – India
J – Juliet
K – Kilo
L – Lima
M – Mike
N – November
O – Oscar
P – Papa
Q – Quebec
R – Romeo
S – Sierra
T – Tango
U – Uniform
V – Victor
W – Whiskey
X – X-ray
Y – Yankee
Z – Zulu

So, how was it? It is real fun to learn all this. Would you try to use this radio jargon in your daily life?! Do let me know if you will and also about your experience.

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