War Slang: American Fighting Words and Phrases Since the Civil War

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Brassey's, 2004 - History - 428 pages
2 Reviews
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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Review: War Slang: American Fighting Words and Phrases from the Civil War to the Gulf War

User Review  - Dusty Hope - Goodreads

read it, Twice. military evidently have a profound and engaged relationship, with language as: justification, deception, that of being and mocking the powers that be simultaneously, a living snorting ... Read full review

Review: War Slang: American Fighting Words and Phrases from the Civil War to the Gulf War

User Review  - Lars - Goodreads

Ever wonder where phrases such as "Big Bertha" or "deep kimchi" or "tell it to the Marines" originate? This is the book for you. I enjoy word and phrase etymologies and have this and other books on this subject. Read full review

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About the author (2004)

Paul Dickson is a freelance writer whose work has appeared in such publications as Esquire, Smithsonian, and Playboy. He is the author of over 40 books, including The Dickson Baseball Dictionary, Slang!, and Sputnik: The Shock of the Century. He lives in Garrett Park, Maryland.

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