A right Charlie or a proper Charlie is British slang for a fool or idiot and dates from around the 1930s. There are three theories about its origin, all of them deriving from rhyming slang. The first is quite vulgar, supposedly Charlie Hunt/cunt. If such a person existed, he could hardly have been very personable but to call such a person a Charlie is far more tasteful than using the c word. The second theory is Charlie Smirke/berk. Charlie Smirke was a champion jockey in Britain from the 1930s through to the 1950s. In 1952, he won both the St Leger and the Derby on a horse called Tulyar. Both these theories retain links to berk from rhyming slang, Berkshire Hunt/cunt and, again, describing someone as a berk is probably more acceptable in polite language than using the highly offensive c word. Finally, there is Charlie Ronce/ponce. Once more, it is not certain that there ever was a Charlie Ronce and some sources date the word ponce from much earlier, from the late 19th century. Charlie Smirke and Charlie Hunt remain the favourites, although as a champion jockey it is difficult to understand why his name should be synonymous with a fool or idiot, unless of course it was started by disgruntled bookmakers. Charlies is also British slang for female breasts dating from c. 1840 and is thought to be of Romany origin, where a word similar to charlie meant to fondle or caress, which, of course, may well happen to a nice pair of Charlies. Finally, Charlie is also US military slang from the 1960s for Vietcong, from communication code VC, Victor Charlie, the initials from the two syllables of Vietcong.