So my sister set me this challenge. Actually I knew it already, so ’twas no biggie.
Roger is used on the radio to mean ‘message received’. But why? Was there some larger than life radio control man called Roger? Sadly not. Well there might have been, but it certainly was not he who sired the phrase.
The use of Roger comes from military pilot radio transmissions in the Second World War. In 1941, before the now internationally accepted alpha, beta etc. both British and American phonetic alphabets used Roger as the standard abbreviation for R, as in Received.
Incidentally, if you ever find yourself on a US military radio channel, do not say ‘repeat’ unless you want to see ash and brimstone fall from the sky. Repeat is only used to request additional artillery fire (you would say ‘say again’ if you wanted somebody to repeat their last message). Don’t say I didn’t warn you.