phrases, sayings, idioms and expressions at

"rodger wilcox...over and out"

Posted by Jolly Roger on March 05, 2004

In Reply to: "Rodger wilcox...over and out" posted by Bill on March 04, 2004

: : : : anybody know where this expession came from??
: : : : cartoons from the3 60's??

: : : I don't know why 'roger' means 'understood' but 'wilco' is derived from 'will co-operate.'

: : : Trained radio operators grind their teeth on hearing 'over and out.' In proper usage, 'over' means 'I've finished speaking for the moment and await your reply.' 'Out' is used to terminate a conversation.

: : To save you the bother, here's what's in the archive

: : : : From the Archives under Roger Wilco;
: : : : : ROGER -- "in the meaning of 'Yes, O.K., I understand you -- is voice code for the letter R. It is part of the 'Able, Baker, Charlie' code known and used by all radiophone operators in the services. From the earliest days of wireless communication, the Morse code letter R (dit-dah-dit) has been used to indicate 'O.K. -- understood.' So 'Roger' was the logical voice-phone equivalent." Morris Dictionary of Word and Phrase Origins by William and Mary Morris (HarperCollins, New York, 1977, 1988).

: : : : "Roger" means "I understand," and "wilco" is short for "will comply." One must be careful to note the distinction.

In W/T the morse letter R (didahdit)is simply the initial letter of 'Received' - the w/op hardly likely to be concerned with understanding the message, especially if in alphanumeric code groups.
Carrying over to R/T (voice) Roger (phonetic R) still meant no more than 'Received' - as a coherent message. If not, the response was "Say again". Any 'understanding' referred to the message itself and not to its content, which in certain circumstances was beyond all understanding.
Don't grind your teeth at 'Over and out' as that's a sign of being uncomfortable in your environment; accept it lightheartedly as 'Blether on as much as you like, you'll get no further response from me in this exchange"
'Over' always was a stilted expression, being a shortening of 'Over to you'. The present usage of 'Go' is much more natural, especially with reliable communication making monosyllables acceptable.
'Wilco' is an understandable shortening of 'Your message has been received, understood, and will be complied with.' (Will comply - Wilco)

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