action man



  • noun a devotee of military exercises or strenuous physical activities, or someone who makes a show of (relentless) energy. The term is applied derisively, originally by members of the armed forces to unpopular or excessively gung-ho colleagues, and now by extension to anyone who is showily or mindlessly macho. The satirical magazine Private Eye referred to Prince Andrew by this name in 1986 and 1987. The origin of this piece of sarcasm is the ‘Action Man’ doll – a poseable commando scale model in full kit sold to children in Britain since the 1960s.