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QGE

"Forgotten" Great War Platitudes

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phil andrade
3 hours ago, Steven Broomfield said:

 

I occasionally use 'bint', but only to irritate Mrs Broomfield. I believe it came from the Eighth Army from Round two: is it from Arabic? Bit like 'Teddy Boys' (Italian tedesci for Germans, I think)

 

Teddy Boy owes its provenance to Edwardian fashion, surely ?

 

Phil

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Perth Digger

I thought the same, Phil, but I'm struggling to think of which part of Edwardian fashions were meant. Certainly not hair styles or sideburns. Nor three-quarter coats. Perhaps drainpipes? They were certainly fashionable among the working classes in London before and in the war. One young 11/RWK chap got 3 days CB for altering his trousers thus.

 

Mike

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IanA
16 hours ago, Ken Wayman said:

 

Do you know the origin of this one?

Ken

Yup. Why? Do you think I'm Doolally? :P

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phil andrade
2 hours ago, Perth Digger said:

I thought the same, Phil, but I'm struggling to think of which part of Edwardian fashions were meant. Certainly not hair styles or sideburns. Nor three-quarter coats. Perhaps drainpipes? They were certainly fashionable among the working classes in London before and in the war. One young 11/RWK chap got 3 days CB for altering his trousers thus.

 

Mike

 

Must be the Italian Edwardians, Mike 😂

 

Phil

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kenf48
17 hours ago, Ken Wayman said:

 

Do you know the origin of this one?

Ken

Not that it has anything to do with this topic but as it's already wandered down some obscure byways:-

 

 'Tap' was the Hindustani word for fever

See http://www.gaebler.info/2013/04/the-madness-at-deolali/

 

Like the author's father and Martin's relatives my father soldiered in India and we too had Indian phrases in common use in the house, no doubt corrupted in same way the Tommy of the the Great War mangled French.   The one I always remember was 'dwarso bunkaro' which apparently meant shut that door!

 

Ken

 

 

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David Filsell

Rule 27. Avoid any book claiming to be about , and have in its title, 'forgotten'. It while be of small spherical object quality.

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Steven Broomfield
6 hours ago, phil andrade said:

 

Teddy Boy owes its provenance to Edwardian fashion, surely ?

 

Phil

 

My Extensive Library explains Teddy Boys so I was wrong and you were right-ish.

 

However, I do recall reading somewhere that the Eighth Army referred to the Huns as 'Teds'.

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phil andrade
1 hour ago, Steven Broomfield said:

 

My Extensive Library explains Teddy Boys so I was wrong and you were right-ish.

 

However, I do recall reading somewhere that the Eighth Army referred to the Huns as 'Teds'.

 

That might well endorse what you alluded to earlier :  since the Eighth Army’s foes consisted so largely of Italians  - who yielded legions of prisoners- it’s plausible to imagine that their captors adopted the word “ tedeschi” from the banter they heard from the POW cages, and shortened it to “teds”.

 

Phil

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Kimberley John Lindsay

Dear All,

The Australian Imperial Force troops called the Italians 'Eyeties'.

Kindest regards,

Kim.

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paulgranger

My Dad, East Surreys. 78 Div, in Italy at the war's end, always called the Germans 'Teds' , and he saiid it was derived from 'tedeschi'.

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Perth Digger

David

Rule 27B: avoid any book which claims to be 'The Real Story'.

 

Mike

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phil andrade
45 minutes ago, paulgranger said:

My Dad, East Surreys. 78 Div, in Italy at the war's end, always called the Germans 'Teds' , and he saiid it was derived from 'tedeschi'.

 

Yes, this looks very convincing....my dad was also an Eighth  Army soldier, North Africa from 1941 and Italy from 1943 ; and while I don’t recall him referring to the “Teds”,  he alluded many times to contact with Italians, both on the battlefield and as civilians, and I’m confident that this kind of patois would have been rampant.

 

Much the same could be said of the Great War word “ Alleyman “....remember that song where the Alleyman can’t get at me....

 

No doubt derived from the  French  Allemagne .

 

Phil

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squirrel
1 hour ago, paulgranger said:

My Dad, East Surreys. 78 Div, in Italy at the war's end, always called the Germans 'Teds' , and he saiid it was derived from 'tedeschi'.

My uncle, London Irish Rifles, said the same. Also referred to the Italians as "Ities".

51 minutes ago, phil andrade said:

Much the same could be said of the Great War word “ Alleyman “....remember that song where the Alleyman can’t get at me....

 

No doubt derived from the  French  Allemagne .

 

Phil

And another song: Keep your head down Alleyman.

Edited by squirrel

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Perth Digger

My uncle, in the LRDG and 8th Army, probably didn't call them Teds, as his name was Ted.:)

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NigelS
1 hour ago, paulgranger said:

My Dad, East Surreys. 78 Div, in Italy at the war's end, always called the Germans 'Teds' , and he saiid it was derived from 'tedeschi'.

 

  'Ted'  does appear in the OED as 'services' slang' for a German soldier (given as 'disused') and confirms it to be an abbreviation of tedesco  (singular of tedeschi) with its earliest example in print  given, from  DM Davin's 1947 Gorse blooms Pale as 'D'you know what those bloody Teds have been up to? They've been bloody well shelling us. '

 

NigelS

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phil andrade

If any language were designed to seduce British soldiery into slang, none would be better suited than Italian : its lovely cadence lending it an operatic appeal, literally.

 

I note, in regard to scarper , that the Italian for shoe is scarpa , but I still feel convinced that rhyming slang Scapa Flow is the more likely provenance, and that the correct word is Scapa. 

 

It would certainly fit the cultural criteria that were defining British perceptions 1914-18.

 

Phil

Edited by phil andrade

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NigelS
3 minutes ago, phil andrade said:

If any language were designed to seduce British soldiery into slang, none would be better suited than Italian : its lovely cadence lending it an operatic appeal, literally.

 

I note, in regard to scarper , that the Italian for shoe is scarpa , but I still feel convinced that rhyming slang Scapa Flow is the more likely provenance, and that the correct word is Scapa. 

 

It would certainly fit the cultural criteria that were defining British perceptions 1914-18.

 

Phil

 

The OED entry for 'scarper' (alternatives scapa, scarpa)  give that its probably an adaptation of the Italian 'scappare' - to escape (with its earliest usage example dating back to 1847), but it  also gives 'reinforced during or after the war of 1914–18 by scapa from Cockney rhyming slang Scapa Flow, to go'

 

Apologies if I'm becoming an OED bore...

 

NigelS

 

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Medaler
13 minutes ago, phil andrade said:

If any language were designed to seduce British soldiery into slang, none would be better suited than Italian : its lovely cadence lending it an operatic appeal, literally.

 

I note, in regard to scarper , that the Italian for shoe is scarpa , but I still feel convinced that rhyming slang Scapa Flow is the more likely provenance, and that the correct word is Scapa. 

 

It would certainly fit the cultural criteria that were defining British perceptions 1914-18.

 

Phil

 

I might have cracked it !

Cockney rhyming slang.

Scapa Flow = go.

Mike

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Chris_Baker
15 hours ago, David Filsell said:

Rule 27. Avoid any book claiming to be about , and have in its title, 'forgotten'. It while be of small spherical object quality.

 

Mr Filsell, could I introduce you to Prof. Gary Sheffield? :lol:

Edited by Chris_Baker

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Kimberley John Lindsay

Dear All,

My Dad, a well-spoken Australian Imperial Force major with the MC (Greece and Crete) and Despatches (Libya), called the Germans, 'Germans'.

Kindest regards,

Kim.

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Perth Digger

A good call, Chris. The one book title that may be accurate, in one sense at least. But equally, it could be called The Unknown Victory or The Ignored Victory.

To forget, one has to know in the first place what one has forgotten. It will be fascinating to see how the victory will be manipulated next year. 

 

Mike

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Pat Atkins
1 hour ago, Kimberley John Lindsay said:

Dear All,

My Dad, a well-spoken Australian Imperial Force major with the MC (Greece and Crete) and Despatches (Libya), called the Germans, 'Germans'.

Kindest regards,

Kim.

 

Ha! Nearly spat my coffee out, Kim. If I could bring myself to use emojis, I'd put one of those laughing face ones in here - maybe a string of them, I really did enjoy that. 

 

On (or approaching) the original topic, is 'dud' now out of use? Not in terms of a faulty explosive ("'Go and take a butcher's at that rocket what's still in its milk bottle, young 'un, I reckon it's a dud", as I was once instructed, with predictable results); I'm thinking in terms of a person not being up to the job. I remember its use by an old boy in a works canteen when I was a teenager, but now? Pity if so, I like the imagery. 

 

Pat

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Steven Broomfield
4 hours ago, Kimberley John Lindsay said:

Dear All,

My Dad, a well-spoken Australian Imperial Force major with the MC (Greece and Crete) and Despatches (Libya), called the Germans, 'Germans'.

Kindest regards,

Kim.

 

My dad, a less well-spoken RASC Sergeant with the Africa Star (Africa), 39-45 Star (BEF 1939/40), War Medal, Defence Medal and mild dandruff called the Germans 'Jerry'. When the mood took him he added an adjective.

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QGE
On 12/5/2017 at 22:36, Interested said:

I hope QGE will accept my apologies for going "off-piste" with his topic once more, but the thread has reminded me, when I were a lad the term "bint" was often used, but this seems to have died out now.  I don't think it is sexist, but I stand to be corrected. What do you think QGE?

 Just seen this. The word is common vocuabulary with my father who served in 'Arabia' and with the Trucial Scouts. The recent BBC (inform educate, entertain) factual (really) drama based in Aden induced his first heart attack. We now have a child lock on BBC in order to prolong his life. 

 

Like all slang the risk is that someone gets offended. In modern days there seems to be a rather long queue of people lawyers representing people who would like to be offended by anything in order to express their indignity  monetize the alleged 'offence'. When I had the immense misfortune to work for American investment banks (20 years. One gets less for murder nowadays), they all issued their own code of conduct which came down to one thing: if you use a term and someone  - anyone - is offended it it 'your' problem not theirs. If anything is meant as a 'joke' the recipient is the arbiter of whether it was amusing or offensive. It went further. One of my colleagues and friends was known as Buddha since he was five because he was fat and bald. His email was buddha @ largeamericaninvestmentbank.com. No-one knew his real name. Including the clients. Really. A larger than life character who was utterly erudite and charming. One day someone (anonymously) complained to HR (Human Remains) and we were suddenly no longer allowed to call him Buddha. 30 years of cultural history vapourized in a second. Consequently American investment banks became arid deserts devoid of any humour, sorry 'humor'. Think North Korea. One wasn't even allowed (as a male) to complement  a female on her shoes or her dress... which rather seemed to destroy the whole raison d'etre of fashion and retail therapy. Oddly if a female employee complimented a male employee on his suit or tie, that was OK. Asymmetry. Such is life. I actually agree with the banks' view that a 'joke' term can only be regarded as a joke if the recipient isn't offended. Unfortunately this rather liberal (i can't believe I just said that) view has been hijacked by those who are determined to be offended. And their lawyers.  

 

The idea that one can wear an bantereque 'insult' as a badge of pride - Old Contemptibles, or people like Buddha - seems to have died. No-one is fat or stupid anymore according to the BBC. They are all 'victims'. My children were all educated at utterly vast expense that was financially crippling. At their over-priced prep-schools the middle class low end footbawlers wives  refused to accept that their children were stupid not clever. The schools employed great armies of people (and spread the cost across all of us struggling parents) to reclassify these children with some imaginary syndrome to 'explain' away the lack of pre-school care and education these unfortunate offspring had. One could cry for the genuine victims of dyslexia and dyspraxia whose very genuine dialy (sic) fight against the odds has been hijacked by the uneducated.  Decline and Fall etc... I digress...

 

I am reminded of the Falklands (it is a ghastly place) where the locals were called 'Bennies' (after the dopey Crossroads charater of ITV infamy) by the British Army. An HQLFFI missive was allegedly issued that the soldiers were not to call the locals 'Bennies'. Three months later another missive was allegedly issued that they were not to call them 'Stills' as the unconquerable soldiers - those grandsons of the Old Comtemptibles - chose to call them 'Still Bennies'. Three month later another missive came out to ban the word 'Cozzie'; "Coz he 's still a Bennie..." and so on. The arms race continues to this day in its 97th iteration. 

 

Elsewhere certain minority groups in the UK are allowed to use extremely offensive "N word" terms to greet  each other, but those outside are not allowed (by law) to use these terms. When RAF pilots with VCs use the term to greet their dog, this is now airbrushed from history. It never happened.  But it is OK if Samuel L Jackson uses it endlessly in a Quentin Tarantino Film (Pulp Fiction); utterly bizarre and morally corrupt asymmetry is a modern construct and is to be lamented. 

 

So..back to your "Bint" question. Mandela, or someone else with more statues that I care to remember one said "you can imprison me but you cant imprison my mind" .... so I suspect "Bint" will eventually fall foul of some law at some stage, so I would call them 'Stills' 

 

MG

 

 

Edited by QGE
Dyxpelxilaxia

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David Filsell

Mr Baker,

Thank you for reminding me of this rule proving exception! I sit suitably humbled as I reply.

 

Edited by David Filsell

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