Results 1 to 4 of 4

Thread: Sprog

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    866
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default Sprog

    In one or two recent postings I see the word "Sprog". I understand the meaning but not the origin. Can anyone enlighten me please?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    6,403
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 33 Times in 32 Posts

    Default

    Norman,

    You did ask !

    A.

    Much the same kind of thing, with the addition of one of those ingenious twists beloved by the slangy, has happened in 'sprog', the R.A.F.'s word for the Army's 'rooky' or recruit. 'Sprog' comes from 'frog spawn,' spawn that, like the recruit, is very, very green, thus: the two sets of italicized letters are transposed; 'rogsp' would be intolerably difficult to pronounce; but by reversal we obtain 'sprog'.* 'Sprog' is also used as an adjective, to mean new or inexperienced or, as in 'a sprog corporal,' recently appointed.

    *It must, however, be mentioned that R.A.F. folklore attributes 'sprog' to a recruit's wholly unintentional blending (said to have occurred in 1930) of 'sprocket' and 'cog' and to the wildfire popularity of the error. 'Se no e vero e ben trovato.'

    B.

    'sprog' (see above).

    A recruit

    (2) Hence, an adjective: new; newly promoted: as in 'a sprog uniform,' 'a sprog corporal.'

    See:
    A Dictionary of R.A.F. Slang.
    Partridge,Eric
    London:Michael & Joseph,1945.
    A.pp.8-9
    B.p.54

    Sorry,

    Col.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Canada, eh
    Posts
    1,217
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default

    A similar story can be found in "Words on the Wing" by Tom Langeste (Canadian Institute of Strategic Studies, 1995), which I quote:

    SPROG (Canadian Forces, current; dates back to circa 1910) Sprog" is Air Force slang for a recruit or novice. The term was originally used in reference to a newly graduated pilot, but its use has spread such that one can also speak of "sprog navigators" or "sprog technicians" as well. The origins of the word are unclear, though it has been explained as a mere varient of "sprout". It has also been described as an acronym for "Student Pilot Right Off Graduation". Others suggest that it originated in the Royal Navy early in the twentieth century, and is a contraction formed from the words "sprocket" and "cog".

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    866
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default

    Thank you contributors for helping me understand the origins of "Sprog".

    I have also heard from a veteran that it came from the abbreviation of SignalersPilotsRadioObservers&Gunners - when refering to u/t aircrew and that BRAT came from Boy Recruited Under Apprentice Training when refering to u/t groundcrew. As these interpretations could well have been 'made to order', I prefer to believe your learned answers.

    Norman
    Last edited by namrondooh; 28th February 2009 at 19:03.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •