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Over The Top Arthur Guy Empey

"Tommy's Dictionary Of The Trenches"

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"Deruffs." "Deuxosufs." Tommy's French for "two eggs."

"Dial." Another term of Tommy's for his map, or face.

"Digging in." Digging trenches and dugouts in a captured position.

Digging Party. A detail of men told off to dig trenches, graves, or dugouts. Tommy is not particular as to what he has to dig; it's the actual digging he objects to.

"Dinner up." Dinner is ready.

Divisional Band. Another devilish aggregation which wastes moat of its time in practicing and polishing its instruments.

Dixie. An iron pot with two handles on it in which Tommy's meals are cooked. Its real efficiency lies in the fact that when carrying it, your puttees absorb all the black grease on its sides.

"Doing them in." Killing them. Cutting up a body of German troops.

Donkey. An army mule. An animal for which Tommy has the greatest respect. He never pets or in any way becomes familiar with said mule.

Draft. A contingent of new men sent as reinforcements for the trenches. Tommy takes special delight in scaring these men with tales of his own experiences which he never had.

Draftman. A member of a draft who listens to and believes Tommy's weird tales of trench warfare.

Dressing Station. A medical post where Tommy gets his wounds attended to, if he is lucky enough to get wounded. He is "lucky," because a wound means Blighty.

"Drill order." Rifle, belt, bayonet, and respirator.

Dry Canteen. An army store where Tommy may buy cigarettes, chocolate, and tinned fruit, that is, if he has any money.

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D.S.O. Distinguished Service Order. Another piece of metal issued to officers for being brave. Tommy says it is mostly won in dugouts and calls it a "Dugout Service Order."

Dubbin. A grease for boots.

Dud. A German shell or bomb which has not exploded on account of a defective fuse. Tommy is a great souvenir collector so he gathers these "duds." Sometimes when he tries to unscrew the nose-cap it sticks. Then in his hurry to confiscate it before an officer appears he doesn't hammer it just right-and the printer of the casualty list has to use a little more type.

Dugout. A deep hole in the trenches dug by the Royal Engineer Corps; supposed to be shell proof. It is, until a shell hits it. Rat and Tommy find it an excellent habitation in which to contract rheumatism.

Dump. An uncovered spot where trench tools and supplies are placed. It is uncovered so that these will become rusty and worthless from the elements. This so that the contractors at home won't starve.

"Du pan." Tommy's French for bread.


Efficiency Pay. Extra pay allowed by the Government for long service. Tommy is very efficient if he manages to get it from the Government.

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Over The Top
Arthur Guy Empey

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