fourth point of contact n. especially among Airborne personnel, a euphemistic term for the rump, buttocks, or anus; by extension, one’s body, person or self. Etymological Note: The information in the 2002 citation probably refers to the correct origin of the term. (source: Double-Tongued Dictionary)

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5 Responses

  1. It’s not the FOURTH point of contact, it’s the THIRD point of contact.

    1st point—Feet
    2d Point—Knees
    3d Point—Backside

  2. Issy Cooper says:

    All muscular points
    1st point—balls of feet
    2nd point—calf muscles
    3rd point—thighs
    4th point—bottom
    5th point—lat’s

  3. Russell says:

    Bottom is not a point of contact.

    1.) Balls of feet

    2.) Side of calves

    3.) side of thigh

    4.) Side of back (push-up) muscle

    Then, you roll onto your back and kick your feet up and over to the other side.

    If your butt hits the ground (before you roll over and the maneuver is complete), it will hurt. Trust me.

  4. Dave says:

    I’ve heard the term used with both “third” and “fourth” POC. When someone referred to it as the third point of contact it was usually from a tanker. The premise being that one should always have three points of their body in contact with the vehicle when moving around on it. Setting yourself down on your “Third point of contact” was usually the safest.

    Also, In terms of Airborne (which I’m sure is where the phrase originally came from – and it’s been around for longer than I’ve been in the service) the order and which parts of the body come in contact with the ground has changed over the years. I don’t have first hand knowledge of how they did it “back in the day” (circa 1940’s – when the U.S. Airborne Infantry first came into being) but I suspect it was feet, calf,  outer thigh, then buttocks.

    To Russel; I found that forward air speed and rate of decent had a lot to do with just how much you felt the landing.

  5. Jim Pence says:

    As late as the early 1980’s in the US Airborne it was
    1.  Balls of the feet
    2.  Calf of the leg
    3.  Thigh
    4.  Buttocks
    5.  Push-up muscles (lats)

    Not to say, there weren’t alot of landings that went 1, 4, and (unofficial) 6 or head.

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