stop loss

Paul Frank paulfrank at POST.HARVARD.EDU
Mon Dec 13 18:22:10 UTC 2010

The term "stop loss" is in the news again. The U.S. military sense of
"stop loss" is not in the OED or any other major dictionary, though the
media have been using the term for years and there was a movie called
Stop-Loss in 2008. The Wikipedia defines it as "involuntary extension of
a service member's active duty service under the enlistment contract in
order to retain them beyond their initial end of term of service (ETS)
date and up to their contractually agreed end of obligated service

>From Stars and Stripes,  December 3, 2010: "Congress has once again
extended the deadline for the retroactive-stop-loss pay program, which
had been set to expire on Friday but now runs through Dec. 18.

This is the second time that Congress has extended the deadline for the
program, which offers troops who were stop-lossed since Sept. 11, 2001,
or their surviving spouses $500 for each month that the servicemember
was held beyond his or her initial separation date."

In March 2008, Wilson wrote in this forum, "BTW, speaking of the
military, there was a version of "stop-loss" in
those days [the early '70s], too. [The Army sucks!] It was called
'extension.' Any soldier on active duty could be retained by being
'extended' and, as today, members of the Reserves on active duty could
be retained and reservists not on active duty could be called up,
individually, if necessary."

The OED has this: "stop-loss adj. (of an order to sell stock, etc.)
intended to save further loss than has been already incurred by falling



Paul Frank
Chinese, German, French, Italian > English
Espace de l'Europe 16
Neuchâtel, Switzerland
paulfrank at
paulfrank at

The American Dialect Society -

More information about the Ads-l mailing list