Jerry was the universal name used by the British and other Allied Nations throughout the latter half of the First World War, and used again extensively during the Second World War. In 1914 and 1915 the ordinary term Fritz, Boche and Alleyman were used. There was a farfetched suggestion that accounted for the adoption of "Jerry" whereby Fritz became Fitz, which in turn suggested the name Fitzgerald. That in turn was shortened to Gerald, which ultimately gave us Gerry or Jerry. More plausibly however, it could simply be an alteration of the word German, or maybe it was influenced from by the Stahlhelm (German - Steel Helemet), which was introduced in 1916 and said by British soldiers to resemble a chamber pot.
References / notes
Glossary of terms and customs
This page forms part of our glossary of words and phrases of the Armed Forces of the United Kingdom of Great Britain during the Great War, which also includes: technicalities, trench slang, expressions in everyday use, nicknames, sobriquets, the titles and origins of British and Commonwealth Regiments, and warfare in general. Please feel free to help expand and improve this content.
Browse other terms: Contents – A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z