NATO phonetic alphabet


I had a frustrating tech support phone call this morning where the other party couldn’t get the spelling of my email address correct after at least 10 tries. While she knew the phonetic alphabet (alpha, bravo, charlie, delta) etc, I don’t really know it that well. I’ve only picked up on some letters over the years calling customer service lines. So I kept spelling it our normal, and she kept repeating it back to me using the phonetic alphabet, but it was always wrong, soo frustrating. It’d be useful for me to know it so I can spell out things over the phone easier in the future, so I figured I should go look it up sometime and learn it.

Here it is:
alpha, bravo, charlie, delta, echo, foxtrot, golf, hotel, india, juliet, kilo, lima, mike, november, oscar, papa, quebec, romeo, sierra, tango, uniform, victor, whiskey, xray, yankee, zulu. numbers already have pronunciations.
Wiki link here:

Next time you get on the phone with support/customer service, and he/she has a thick accent, time to pull this up on your screen.


5 Responses to “NATO phonetic alphabet”

  1. 1 chrissy

    I didn’t know that there was an actual official alphabet. I just make up words for letters. But how can A not be for Apple or D not for Dog?! 🙂


  2. 3 Joyce

    just because she used the official doesn’t mean u can’t use “F as in Frank” instead of “Foxtrot”, but even then there are some conventions i don’t know. =P I was on the phone with a rep once and for the life of me could not think of a common word that started with E. I think i said something like “Elephant”… =P


  3. 4 JT

    what do you know? just looked the same Wikipedia article today after seeing “whiskey tango foxtrot” in blogs’ responses to the new hideous Gap logo.


  4. 5 Eric

    or you can just memorize it. always comes in handy when you’re on the road (e.g. talking to airline reservations in a loud place). it’s also a good party trick


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