War Slang: American Fighting Words and Phrases Since the Civil War
Paul Dickson, one of the country's leading authorities on American slang, offers the first comprehensive collection of fighting words and wartime phrases Americans have used from the Civil War to the Iraq War. This definitive dictionary, updated and expanded to include the events of September 11 and the war on terrorism, is arranged war by war and reveals military slang at its most colorful, innovative, brutal, and ironic. Dickson also shows how language mirrors the unique experience of each conflict. For example, World War II brought unprecedented linguistic experimentation, innovation, and abbreviation, including "dogface", "quisling", "blitz", and the immortal "GI" as well as the rich stew of pidgin English used to communicate with the native peoples of the South Pacific. Raw frustration and cynicism surface in the slang of the Vietnam War, with a record number of synonyms for the verb "to kill", including "blow away", "dust", "get some grease", "waste", and "zap".
Beginning with a brief overview of the Revolutionary War, War Slang reveals the thoughts, attitudes, and environments of America's fighting men and women from the last 230 years. An incomparable reference work, WAR SLANG serves the language lover and military historian alike by adding a brilliant and provocative new dimension to the understanding of war.
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War slang: fighting words and phrases of Americans from the Civil War to the Gulf WarUser Review - Book Verdict
Thousands of new words and phrases are created by soldiers in wartime, many of them becoming part of our everyday vocabulary. Dickson, the author of popular titles on subjects as diverse as American slang and ice cream, has collected the slang of American soldiers fighting in the Civil War, World Wars, Korean War, Vietnam War, Gulf War, and Cold War. A chapter is devoted to each (the World War II chapter alone contains over 3000 alphabetically arranged terms). Etymologies are given when available, and detailed sidebars explain the history of some of the most colorful expressions, e.g., "Kilroy was here." The research work of linguistic scholar Charles Hogue, an extensive study of the Peter Tamony collection at the University of Missouri, and a comprehensive bibliography at the end of each chapter contribute to the accuracy of the text. An earlier work to consult is John Elting and others' Dictionary of Soldier Talk (Scribner, 1984), although Dickson's work is the first to cover all our major wars. This text will become a standard reference work on war slang and is essential for public and academic libraries.-Richard Nowicki, Emerson Vocational H.S., Buffalo, N.Y.
Review: War Slang: American Fighting Words and Phrases from the Civil War to the Gulf WarUser Review - James - Goodreads
One of those books you can either read front-to-back or just open and browse; both entertaining and often enlightening in what it reflects about both the military and the national cultural milieu at ... Read full review