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  A Yankee in the Trenches R. Derby Holmes


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All around traverse - A machine gun placed on a swivel to turn in any direction.

Ammo - Ammunition. Usually for rifles, though occasionally used to indicate that for artillery.

Argue the toss - Argue the point.

Back of the line - Anywhere to the rear and out of the danger zone.

Barbed wire - Ordinary barbed wire used for entanglements. A thicker and heavier military wire is sometimes used.

Barrage - Shells dropped simultaneously and in a row so as to form a curtain of fire. Literal translation "a barrier."

Bashed - Smashed.

Big boys - Big guns or the shells they send over.

Big push - The battles of the Somme.

Billets - The quarters of the soldier when back of the line. Any place from a pigpen to a palace.

Bleeder or Blighter - Cockney slang for fellow. Roughly corresponding to American "guy."

Blighty - England. East Indian derivation. The paradise looked forward to by all good soldiers,--and all bad ones too.

Blighty one - A wound that will take the soldier to Blighty.

Bloody - The universal Cockney adjective. It is vaguely supposed to be highly obscene, though just why nobody seems to know.

Blooming - A meaningless and greatly used adjective. Applied to anything and everything.

Bomb - A hand grenade.

Bully beef - Corned beef, high grade and good of the kind, if you like the kind. It sets hard on the chest.

Carry on - To go ahead with the matter in hand.

Char - Tea. East Indian derivation.

Chat - Officers' term for cootie; supposed to be more delicate.

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Click - Variously used. To die. To be killed. To kill. To draw some disagreeable job, as: I clicked a burial fatigue.

Communication trench - A trench leading up to the front trench.

Consolidate - To turn around and prepare for occupation a captured trench.

Cootie - The common,--the too common,--body louse. Everybody has 'em.

Crater - A round pit made by an underground explosion or by a shell.

Cushy - Easy. Soft.

Dixie - An oblong iron pot or box fitting into a field kitchen. Used for cooking anything and everything. Nobody seems to know why it is so called.

Doggo - Still. Quiet. East Indian derivation.

Doing in - Killing.

Doss - Sleep.

Duck walk - A slatted wooden walk in soft ground.

Dud - An unexploded shell. A dangerous thing to fool with.

Dug-out - A hole more or less deep in the side of a trench where soldiers are supposed to rest.

Dump - A place where supplies are left for distribution.

Entrenching tool - A sort of small shovel for quick digging. Carried as part of equipment.

Estaminet - A French saloon or cafe.

Fag - A cigarette.

Fatigue - Any kind of work except manning the trenches.

Fed up - Tommy's way of saying "too much is enough."

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A Yankee in the Trenches
R. Derby Holmes

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