Does anyone know the origin of the word
"roger", use in 2-way radio to mean "yes" or "I'm receiving you"?
Radio developed a number of code words largely as a matter of clarity. For example, since "five" and "nine" can sound very similar on a noisy channel and perhaps with some compression or distortion, "niner" was developed to make the sound clear and distinct. Another example is the alphabet, "Alpha" for "A," "Bravo" for "B," etc. "Roger" is "R." Miriam-Webster indicates that it's use for a message being received and understood began with WW2. So, "Received" is abstracted to "R" and then to "Roger," but i figure that "Right" might also have influenced it.
Lewis Joplin II
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).
Any explanation about using "R" for "yes" in morse-code? Is it "Received," "Right," or something else?
Lewis Joplin II
Yep. In another reference book:

"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" by Stuart Berg Flexner (Von Nostrand Reinhold Co., New York, 1976).

Now. Who can tell us who or what "Wilco" is?

WilCo: "I will comply."
Lord Glenelg
There have been a variety of different "phonetic alphabets" (as they are misleadingly called) where a code word is used for letters. I know that someone out there has collected them all. At one time, there were several different ones in use: the US Army had one, the US Navy a different one, the British still another, etc.

At some point (I don't know exactly when), everyone got together and selected a single set of code words to be used by everyone. This is the one that starts Alfa, Bravo, Charlie, Delta,... The code word for R is Romeo. So the R for Roger must be from one of the earlier versions.

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