little green man
- (General American) IPA(key): /ˌlɪtəl ˈɡɹin ˌmæn/, [ˌlɪ.ɾɫ̩ ˈɡɹɪ̃i̯m ˌmɛ̃ə̯n̆]
- (Received Pronunciation) IPA(key): /ˌlɪtəl ˈɡɹin ˌman/, [ˌlɪ.t͡ʔɫ̩ ˈɡɹɪ̃i̯m ˌmãn̆], [ˌlɪ.ʔo-]
- (General New Zealand) IPA(key): /ˌlɘtɘl ˈɡɹin ˌmɛn/, [ˌlɘ.ɾɯ ˈɡɹɘ̯ĩm ˌmɛ̞̃n̆]
- (euphemistic) A Martian.
- (humorous) One of the supposed extraterrestrial occupants of UFOs.
- (euphemistic, usually in the plural) A soldier lacking identification as to create uncertainty around their allegiance (most notably employed during the 2010s Ukrainian crisis).
- 2014, “Little Green Men”: A Primer on Modern Russian Unconventional Warfare, Ukraine 2013–2014, Fort Bragg, North Carolina: The United States Army Special Operations Command, page 43:
- These infamous little green men appeared during the decisive seizures or buildings and facilities, only to disappear when associated militias and local troops arrived to consolidate the gains. In this way they provided a measure of deniability—however superficial or implausible—for Moscow.40
- 2015, Shane R. Reeves; David Wallace, “The Combatant Status of the “Little Green Men” and Other Participants in the Ukraine Conflict”, in International Law Studies, US Naval War College, volume 91, number 361, Stockton Center for the Study of International Law, page 393:
- The “little green men”—faces covered, wearing unmarked olive uniforms, speaking Russian and using Russian weapons—have played a significant role in both the occupation of Crimea and the civil war in eastern Ukraine.196
- 2019 March 18, Steven Pifer, Five years after Crimea’s illegal annexation, the issue is no closer to resolution, The Center for International Security and Cooperation:
- The little green men were clearly professional soldiers by their bearing, carried Russian weapons, and wore Russian combat fatigues, but they had no identifying insignia. Vladimir Putin originally denied they were Russian soldiers; that April, he confirmed they were.
- (extraterrestrial): see Thesaurus:extraterrestrial
humorous: space alien, Martian — See also translations at alien
soldier lacking identification