Ignacio Torres Masdeu

2017 wk.13: Falcon Codes

So I was speaking with a friend and she finished the conversation saying over and out. And as any sensible person would do I immediately visited the Voice Procedure Wikipedia page to check other words, among which I noticed one I didn’t know previously:

Falcon: prefix followed by a (usually three-digit) code number for an Army creole phrase.

In the computer industry we are used to army slang like FUBAR, SNAFU or BOHICA. I didn’t know it was called Army Creole:

Army creole was a term used in Tom Wolfe’s book The Right Stuff to describe an English dialect spoken by military personnel. The dialect relies upon extensive use of profane intensifiers like fuck to gain attention in confusing circumstances requiring prompt, decisive action.

And in the article about Army Creole we get the story behind Falcon Codes:

Military pilots using the dialect during voice radio communications devised a coded glossary of common phrases to comply with regulations discouraging use of profanity on broadcast frequencies. The coded dialect would be spoken as “FALCON” followed by a number. FALCON-ONE-ZERO-FOUR, for example, is the code for “What the fuck?! Over.” (an emphatic version of “Say again. Over.”) intended to communicate potentially dangerously confused misunderstanding of the last radio transmission.


So expect me to start speaking with Falcon codes in some situations. And just in case that page ever disappears, I just made a backup here.