Posted by DMA on August 11, 2000
In Reply to: Roger Part II posted by ESC on August 10, 2000
: : : When did this phrase originate and why Roger?
: : 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! A code word used by pilots to mean 'your message received and understood' in response to radio communications; later it came into general use to mean 'all right, OK.' Roger was the radio communications code word for the letter R, which in this case represented the word 'received.' 'Roger Wilco' was the reply to 'Roger' from the original transmitter of the radio message, meaning 'I have received your message that you have received my message and am signing off." From I Hear America Talking: An Illustrated History of American Words and Phrases by Stuart Berg Flexner (Von Nostrand Reinhold Co., New York, 1976).
I was told by my Dad (Navy) that Roger Wilco was "received; will comply" meaning the instructions had been heard and would be carried out.