Wars tend to inspire new words, phrases and acronyms, and the Persian Gulf War -- also known as the Square War -- is no exception. Here is a sampler of some war words exchanged among troops in Saudi Arabia:
BCDs: Military-issue spectacles, which are so ugly that they supposedly act as birth control devices (hence, the BCD).
Big Red: The desert sun, as in, "Me and Big Red don't get along."
Bolo badge: A Purple Heart, the medal awarded to U.S. soldiers wounded in action.
Deconflict: The process of separating allied aircraft during an attack so they don't interfere with one another.
Dog him out: To criticize.
Echelons beyond reality: Command decisions.
Get your gut right: To eat.
High speed, low drag: Paratroopers' term for something impressive.
Humvee: Popular name for the U.S. military's High-Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle.
Little Hollywood: The Dharhan International Hotel's rear veranda, where all four American networks have erected elaborate transmission and on-camera facilities.
Lost and Found Badges: Marine term for Army name tags.
MOPP: Mission Oriented Protective Posture, to be dressed in chemical-weapons protective gear, including gas mask.
Ninja women: A term American soldiers use to refer to Saudi women veiled in black.
Patriot baiters: Network television correspondents, frequently found in Little Hollywood during Scud alerts. Also called Scud watchers.
Prayer Patrol: U.S. troopers term for Saudi sound trucks that cruise the streets to announce times for citizens to pray.
Saudi champagne: Fizzy concoction of mineral water and apple juice.
A Borderline Case
The U.S. Army has assigned Sgt. Mark Macpherson -- an illegal alien under U.S. law -- a most fitting job: looking out for Iraqis trying to sneak into Saudi Arabia.
Macpherson is assigned as a scout to the 1st Cavalry Division, protecting the unit from surprise attack by scouring the frontier for Iraqi infiltrators -- or defectors.
Born in Toronto, the 22-year-old Macpherson has twice fought attempts by U.S. authorities to deport him to Canada. The army has helped him, he said, and "fighting in the war is supposedly meant to get me citizenship."
Strapped -- and Glad of It
Forget about discipline and training. The one thing that keeps the British army on the move in the desert is the bungee.
The universal elasticized straps are considered a godsend by the troops who have all their worldly possessions strapped to their backs or vehicles.
"Never mind their guns, the only thing to upset the boys is losing a bungee. They are like a close friend and are in very short supply," said Maj. Norman Soutar of the Royal Scots.