Those of you who are pure “bl00dy civvies” are maybe wondering about the origins of the term “pads brat” as a description of a serviceman’s offspring.
Let me explain.
“Brat” normally means an unruly or badly-behaved child. Here it’s used as a term of endearment.
“Pad” because a “pad” is a slang term for a “married quarter,” a “tied cottage,” if you like, a house or flat provided to the serviceman by the Ministry of Defence. By extension, a “pad” is one who lives in such accommodation, namely a married soldier. Unmarried soldiers live in the sergeants/corporals mess or in barrack blocks, and an unmarried soldier is known as a “singly.”
Actually… there is an alternative explanation of where the term “pad” comes from. A pad is something for punching and thumping, and given the domestic violence in some HM Forces families, maybe that’s a case of “many a true word said in jest.”