What is a ‘hurt locker’?

“What is a hurt locker?” was the first question that popped into my mind as I watch the Oscars. It seems that I was not the only one baffled as I found a few articles about  the meaning of the phrase.

A quick internet search has revealed the following facts on the meaning of this phrase:

  • If someone inflicts pain on someone else, they are said to be putting them in the ‘hurt locker’.
  • It is military slang that is thought to have been used in Vietnam for the first time.
  • In Iraq the military slang has survived and it is typically said that explosions could send you to the ‘hurt locker’.
  • The term does not only refer to physical injury, but also to mental or emotional suffering.
  • The common denominator is that the pain, of whatever kind, is caused deliberately by someone else.
  • “Hurt locker’ was used as the title of a poem by Brian Turner in 2004 on his return from Iraq.
  • The award-winning film’s writer was an embedded journalist with an Explosive Ordnance Disposal Unit in Baghdad in 2004, which is where he picked up the phrase.
  • In the world of the bomb disposal squads the full phrase that is usually used is “any mistake could put you in the hurt locker’.
  • In the time in between the two wars mentioned above, the term was often used as sporting terminology for inflicting loss on your opponents.
  • The word ‘hurt’ speaks for itself, but ‘locker’ is not only where soldiers or sportsmen keep their kit, it is also a place that could be difficult to get out of, such as a prison.

Read more on health24.com

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~ by tallhorsewines on March 9, 2010.

4 Responses to “What is a ‘hurt locker’?”

  1. Thanks for the info. Would love to know when the movie is coming out here!

  2. 2008 American war film. It follows a United States army Explosive Ordnance Disposal(EOD) team during the Iraq War

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