A dug-out or dugout, as described in Soldier and Sailor Words and Phrases, is a “protected place of shelter in the trenches. Also, familiarly, a term not always kindly meant, for elderly officers returning to temporary service. It first came in during the Boer War of 1899-1902, for pensioned or retired officers who came back to service in consequence of the depleting of the active establishment through casualties in the field. In the war hundreds came forward as volunteers and served in every capacity both naval and military, in most cases filling subordinate posts, regardless of former rank.” 
Not to be confused with Dig out.
References / notes
- Edward Fraser and John Gibbons (1925). Soldier and Sailor Words and Phrases. Routledge, London p.84.
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.
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