WTF, Over?

In another thread someone said, ‘WTF, Over?’ I come from a military family. My dad was an avid pilot, my mom was a pilot for a while, and I hold certificates in Airplanes and Helicopters. I’m comfortable on the radio. So ‘WFT, Over?’ is something that I know. (Note that I’ve never actually heard it on the radio, and that I’ve never heard ‘WTF’ – it’s always ‘uncompressed’.) Sometimes I sing to myself, in a commercial radio jingle tune, ‘Double-yoo-tee-eff-OH!’ and thought it would be fun to use it in a script; but I didn’t think anyone would ‘get it’. (Not to mention that we use ‘K’ out here instead of ‘W’ for radio stations.)

The crux of the matter is the ‘Over’. Most people do not use radios. Do you think most people would ‘get’ ‘WTF, Over’? Or would most people not understand why you put ‘Over?’ at the end?

Just wondering.

Pretty much everyone who has ever watched a war movie knows what “over” means.

Granted. But there seems to be fewer war movies than when I was a kid. What about younger peope who may not have grown up with them?

I think everyone knows what “over” means. It’s been in a million and one films and TV programs.

Personally, I know it from Warner Bros. cartoons.

“Earth to Bugs Bunny! Earth to Bugs Bunny! Come in, Bugs Bunny!.. Over!”

Though sometimes he says “Roger” (and “Wilco!”) instead of “Over”, I guess that is supposed to indicate simple acknowledgement (so the listener doesn’t think he missed something if he had just said “over”)?

Buses come with two-way radios, so most every school bus driver uses “over” several times a day. It’s pretty commonplace I think.

I am not a pilot or any of the things you described and I know what it means.
I am also opposed to people that write scripts for the lowest common denominator.
Write the story you want. Let them figure it out.

Roger: ‘I understand.’
Over: ‘I have completed my transmission.’
Out: ‘Message ended. No need to reply.’
Wilco: ‘Will comply.’, ‘Will do.’, ‘Okey-dokey, Artichokey!’

Cool, I never realized that was the derivation of Wilco.

So where does “Roger” come from?

Whiskey-Tango-Foxtrot, Oscar.

Most people probably don’t know exactly when you’re supposed to use “over” as opposed to “out,” and at least in Army transmissions they got rid of “wilco” a long time ago.

But you’re just nuts if you think people won’t understand what “over” means. Trust me, everyone will get it. Everyone understands “Roger,” too.

If I might suggest: Do not use ‘over’ while communication with ATC. It makes you look like an idiot and it pisses them off.

If you want to use ‘CB’ lingo, do it with truckers, not on an aviation radio. If I’m on the same frequency, my ears hurt from the frozen silence that is radiated into the ether from the ATC’s total silence of hatred. Bad form ‘over’ be. Don’t use it unless you are John Wayne in a mock cockpit with the old fashioned film cameras rolling. Then it will only offend the pilots that see the movie and they can tune it out or walk out on the movie. Actual communications while flying are too important to be smashing your radios in rage.

Now maybe some military ground pounders still say that ‘word’ but I have not heard it from my son who only recently left the military.

It was never used way back in the ‘brown shoe’ Army I was in.

Even back when a Narco VTH-2 was a ‘good radio’ in general aviation and you had to listen on one frequency and transmit on another with switch flipping in-between was that ‘word’ ever used.


Murdock: “We have clearance Clarence.”
Oever: “Roger, Roger. What’s our Vector Victor?”
Tower: “Tower’s radio clearance, over!”
Oever: “That’s Clarence Oever! Oever.”
Tower: “Roger.”
Murdock: “Huh?”

My dad was an air traffic controller in the Navy. I grew up saying “Say again.” It took a while for me to realize that most people didn’t get it and thought it was rude.

Yeah, I’ve never used a CB or watched a war movie, but I know “over” (I’m a 33-year-old chick, FWIW). I agree with those who say that it’s pretty ubiquitous.

I worked as a statewide operations center dispatcher once, many moons ago, but I don’t remember using “over” or “roger” or the like. We used the same 10 codes (e.g., “10-4”) as the state police, though, and sometimes I still have to fight the urge to say “What’s your 20?” instead of “Where are you?” :slight_smile:

Oops, I think I should have hyphenated “10-codes”: I didn’t mean to imply that the state police only used ten codes. :smack:

Ha! See now, that you’d have to be careful about. I was thinking ‘wow! The police get all that done with only ten codes? Talk about efficient.’ Yep, I’m so clueless about police codes I couldn’t even figure a hyphen must be missing.

But I know what ‘over’ means.

Yes, they’ve had to cut some corners with only 10 codes available. Code 1, for instance, can either mean “I’m in desperate need of immediate backup” or “I’m at lunch right now.”

And “cover me” could also mean “Tell the cook to put extra mayo on that burger.”

Then they should change that one. Somebody could really get hurt with both of those being the same code. In fact, they could take the ‘cover me’ code Monty mentioned and put it together with the ‘immediate back up’ one. Then you’d have the two food related non-emergency ones together. See?


Wow, sorry for the accidental hijack, Johnny! At least it’s (sort of) amusing. :wink: