Where ‘Roger that’ really comes from

By Around the Web

A member of U.S. Special Operations Command South listens as students use military radios during 'Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day' at Homestead Air Reserve Base, Florida, Feb. 2, 2017. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Osvaldo Equite)
A member of U.S. Special Operations Command South listens as students use military radios during ‘Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day’ at Homestead Air Reserve Base, Florida, Feb. 2, 2017. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Osvaldo Equite)

(POPULAR MECHANICS) — The term “Roger that” is a widespread term for confirmation, either between truckers on their CB radios, kids playing back and forth with walkie-talkies, or even face to face. But it’s easy to adopt the phrase and understand what it means without ever really knowing where it came from. So here’s a (very) brief history for your edification.

“Roger” comes from the phonetic alphabet used by military and aviation personnel during WWII, when the use of two-way radios became a main form of communication and operators need crystal clear ways to spell things out with no room for misinterpretation.

You may be familiar with the current NATO version of the phonetic alphabet (Alpha, Bravo, Charlie, etc.), where the the word for “R” is Romeo, but before that standard was adopted in 1957, the words were a bit different, and the word for “R” was “Roger.”

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