Soldier and Sailor Words and Phrases
Prefatory note[edit | edit source]
This book was primarily designed as a Dictionary of War Slang at the instance of the authorise of the Imperial War Museum, using materials contributed by officers and men of all branches of the Service who had served with the British and Dominion forces. A large proportion of the slang of the war, however, comprised old pre-war Army and Navy expressions, which, in the War, were either adopted as they stood, so to speak, or else were altered and adapted to suit existing circumstances, and the enlargement of the original plan became unavoidable. The scope of the work has also been further extended to include a considerable number of Service terms, familiar among people in general, as being of interest in themselves or through their origins.
A number of American service words and expressions, particularly some that became familiar among British troops during the war, have been included.
Under the head of "Nicknames, Sobriquets, and Titles of Regiments," explanations in detail will be found of the original meaning of these, from, as far as they exist, authentic sources of information.
A classified list of the Bttle-Honours of the Great War awarded to each unit of the British Army — Cavalry and Yeomanry, the Honourable Artillery Company, the Guards, Infantry of the Line, Territorials and Colonial Contingents — is given as an Appendix. It comprises all issued in "Army Orders" to November, 1924, and has been included by special permission, courteously accorded by the War Office and the Controller of H.M. Stationary Office.
Special acknowledgement, with thanks, is due to Captain J. Murray Kendall, M.B.E., of the Imperial War Museum, for indispensable and invaluable help and advice given in the revision of the proofs.
Finally, as to the book as a whole. It is the only book on the subject published, and if in places the net may seem to have been cast rather widely, it is trusted that the book will be found the more interesting and entertaining on that account. That there are errors and omissions, in spite of infinite care and labour taken to ensure accuracy and completeness, goes without saying. Suggestions, and corrections, and information, in view of a possible future edition will be welcomed.