Regimental Terms

The Regiment has many different Regimental Terms in use. Here are but a few of them:

Acknowledging Orders

When a Grenadier acknowledges an order he does so with the word 'Sir'.

Regimental Motto

The motto of the Grenadier Guards is Honi soit qui mal y pense (Evil be to he who evil thinks) (French)

Insignia and Recognition

  • Cap Badge - Modern Grenadier Guardsmen wear a cap badge of a "grenade fired proper" with seventeen flames (Note: the number of points to the flames has differed over the years)
  • Plume - White - Worn on the LEFT side of the Bearskin cap
  • Identification Symbol - The Tactical Recognition Flash (TRF) of the Regiments of the Household Division
  • Buttons - The grouping of buttons on the tunic is a common way to distinguish between the regiments of Foot Guards. Grenadier Guards' buttons are equally spaced and embossed with the Royal Cypher reversed and interlaced surrounded by the Royal Garter bearing the words of the Regimental motto.


Until the late 1970's the abbreviation of the Grenadier Guards was GGG. Three G's were used, instead of GG, in order to more easily differentiate against the abbreviation of CG that was used for the Coldstream Guards. From the late 1970's the abbreviation for the Grenadier Guards was changed to GREN GDS.

Appointments and Ranks

It is customary for Grenadiers holding certain ranks to be referred to in a manner different from that which is laid down in Queen's Regulations. The appointments and ranks concerned and the manner in which they are referred to are given below:


The Colonel of the Regiment

'The Colonel'


The Lieutenant Colonel Commanding the Regiment

'The Lieutenant Colonel'


The Officer Commanding a Battalion

'The Commanding Officer'


The Second in Command of a Battalion

'The Senior Major'


The Officer Commanding The Queen's Company

'The Captain'


The Second in Command of The Queen's Company

'The Second Captain'


Officers under the rank of Captain (collectively)

'Subaltern Officers'


Subaltern Officers (individually)

'Mr ............................... '


Subaltern Officers (in private correspondence)

' .............................. Esq'


2nd Lieutenants of the Regiment (collectively)



A Major or Captain in a Battalion who is on duty for the week

'The Captain of the Week'


Subaltern Officers on duty for a day

'The Piquet Officer'


The Superintending Clerk at Regimental Headquarters

'The Superintending Clerk'


A Regimental Sergeant Major

'The Sergeant Major'


A Regimental Quarter Master Sergeant

'The Quartermaster Sergeant'


A Company Quartermaster Sergeant

'Pay Sergeant'


A Full Sergeant

'Gold Sergeant'


A Full Corporal

'Lance Sergeant'


The Non-Commisioned Officer in charge of the Tailors Shop

'The Master Tailor'


The Warrant Officer or Non-Commissioned Officer in charge of the Soldiers Cookhouse

'The Master Cook'


The Bass Drummer of the Regimental Band and of Corps of Drums

'The Time Beater'


The Soldiers of the Regimental Band



A Soldier of the Corps of Drums



Certain places used by the Regiment in which discipline is administered (which is referred to as Memoranda) are known by particular names:

  • 'The Orderly Room' - The Office in which the Commanding Officer and Adjutant of a Battalion conduct their Memoranda
  • 'The Company Bunk' - The Office in which a Company Commander conducts his Memoranda


When a Grenadier wishes to speak to an officer, warrant officer, non-commissioned officer or guardsman, and there are two or more present and one of them is senior to himself, he is to ask the senior officer, warrant officer or non-commissioned officer present for 'Leave to speak to' the person he wishes to address. Officers, however, will only observe this custom in the Orderly Room, Company Bunk or when on parade. When 'Leave to fall out', has been obtained a Grenadier will turn in the direction he intends to go.


By long tradition the Regiment has had the following nicknames:

  • The Regiment - The Bill Browns
  • 1st Battalion - The Dandies
  • 2nd Battalion - The Models
  • 3rd Battalion - The Ribs