'Politicized charlie foxtrot' meaning explored as DeSantis remark trends

Amber Peake January 7, 2022
‘Politicized charlie foxtrot’ meaning explored as DeSantis remark trends
Photo by Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

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What’s the meaning behind the phrase “politicized charlie foxtrot”? Florida Governor Ron DeSantis made headlines yesterday for his comments on the 6 January Capitol riots, as the nation commemorated one year since the events.

During a press conference on Thursday, DeSantis discussed the coverage of the event a year on, as he used the term “politicized charlie foxtrot.” The phrase has since started trending on social media as many are curious to know what it means.

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On Thursday (6 January), governor Ron DeSantis addressed Floridians and announced new plans for covid-19 testing across the state. Considering the date of the address, Business Insider reports, DeSantis was also asked to comment on the Capitol riots that took place exactly one year ago.

Talking about how he saw the media coverage of the event, DeSantis said: “I think it’s going to end up being just a politicized charlie foxtrot today.”

The phrase “politicized charlie foxtrot” has since made a buzz on Twitter. But what did the governor mean by it?

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‘Politicized charlie foxtrot’ meaning explored

The term charlie foxtrot is a military slang term used to describe a somewhat chaotic situation, according to Dictionary.com.

The context of the military slang is seen to have been adapted in its recent use by DeSantis as he referred to it as being politicized, ie something related to government affairs or political matters – in this case, the 6 January Capitol riots.

Therefore the full phrase could be interpreted as a “politically chaotic situation,” reflecting DeSantis thoughts on the coverage of the event.

Photo by Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images
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Origin and other meanings explained

As mentioned, the term’s origins relate to the military, with charlie and foxtrot representing letters within the phonetic alphabet often used in the US army.

For those who are not familiar with the phonetic alphabet, each letter is associated with a word that begins with that same letter, for example, A is alpha.

Following this, you may have already linked charlie and foxtrot to represent the letters C and F. As explained by Task & Purpose, the original meaning of the phonetic letters is said to refer to a disordered situation.

The site explains its now use as charlie foxtrot meant it could be used in conversations when perhaps “sensitive ears” were present.

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Amber is an entertainment journalist with a love for anything showbiz, celeb or reality TV. After graduating with a degree in Journalism at Brunel University she became a Showbiz Reporter at Express.co.uk. Having written for both HITC and The Focus, Amber is now a staff writer for The Focus covering the latest celeb and entertainment trends.