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|A Yankee in the Trenches||R. Derby Holmes|
GLOSSARY OF ARMY SLANG
|Page 1 of 3||
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.
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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