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The Phrase Freak: IED

Not to be confused with IUD, IED is the acronym for “improvised explosive device”. We believe this one may have been foisted on us by the Pentagon in order to somewhat sanitize reporting in Iraq.

IED sounds less messy than makeshift bomb, or roadside bomb, or heck, even bomb. However, the Pentagon has a rich history of trying to sanitize wars, so it is the media that must take the blame for this one, not the US Military.

We’re just glad that VBIED (vehicle borne IED) has not caught on too.

Freak level on this phrase: 7 gobsmacks out of 10.


  1. Actually, IED has been with us since WWII. I did a 30 year career and IED was a common term for a home made bomb.

    There is a reason for it. A production piece of ordnance is documented and there are various things which can be referred to. Disarming, blast effect, etc. An IED has none of that and is therefore defined by its principle property – improvised.

    There are also in the lexicon the following, VBIED (vehicle), WBIED (waterborne), UWIED (underwater), ABIED (airborne), LEIED (large effect)

    Alphabet soup

  2. Yeah, I know it has been around a while, but we only started hearing about it on the news since Iraq.

    Makes as much sense as:

    unrehearsed blast apparatus (uba)
    gadget for extemporaneous detonation (ged )…

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