How To Do A Bibliography Chicago Style For A Website Old Army Terminology

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Old Army Terminology

The author, Peter B. Kyne, in his book, Soldiers, Sailors and Dogs, New York: HC Kinsey & Co., 1936, mentions what appears to be a series of expressions which probably originated during the Spanish-American War and which may have it survived the early part of American involvement in World War I. Kyne evidently had some military experience or knowledge of it. In his book, some of the fictional stories take place in America and in France during the World War. Kyne uses expressions like:

“Bluebird” – evidently a reference to someone who left the service for a period of time and then re-enlisted in the military. The connotation could be made here with the homing instinct of a bluebird, which returns year after year to the same nest. The lighter makes no mention of this term.

“Bob” – a dishonorable discharge from the service. To receive a “bob” or to be “bobbed” was to receive a dishonorable discharge. “Bobtail” is Indian Wars slang for a dishonorable discharge. “His bobtail is back in the mail, O’Reilly’s gone to hell.”

In Paul Dickson’s book, War Slang… we read: “bobtailed. Dishonorably discharged; from the practice of removing (“bobbing”) the honorific part of discharge papers. Dickson, Paul. War Slang… Pocket Books, 1994, page 44. Also the act of cutting off the download below the character section denoted “no character.” Rickey, Forty Miles a Day on Beans and Hay.

Elting’s “A Dictionary of Soldier Talk” gives the definition “bobtailed discharge-bobtail (old, old army). A discharge from service under less than honorable conditions. Not a dishonorable discharge, but the following. The term came from the practice of cutting out the final section of the discharge form, which covered the discharge’s character.In World War II it was called a “discharge without honor.”

In his article “Slang of the American Expeditionary Forces in Europe, 1917-1919 (American Speech, 1972) Joathan Lighter identifies:

–bobtail as a dishonorable discharge, an expression dating back to the US military in the late 1800s.

Paul Dickson’s “War Slang” has “a bobtail hotel, an army disciplinary barracks.”

“Soldier to the handle” was going to be an exemplary soldier. For “the handle” of what?

“Fogie” – a service strip. The lighter makes no mention of this term.

Elting also has “fogy, fogey, fogie (All Services). A word whose origin and history would probably be very interesting, if accurately known. The older form, which is civil and of the middle of the 18th century, is “fogram ,”. ” which means a superannuated person, an old fuddyduddy. 1. (Late 18th and early 19th century, British and American). An old or invalid soldier; hence, a garrison soldier. 2. (19th century, with some survivals; USA) Longevity pay, salary increase due to seniority. “I get another fogy next month, but my wife has already spent it.” Also called fogy pay, fogy pa. Both fogy and fogy pay (with variants) are becoming obsolete.

Dickson’s “War Slang” gives a similar, much shorter definition, without reference to date or background. Lighter says Fogy or fogy was a longevity bonus paid to officers and non-commissioned officers dating back to the Civil War; of “old fogey”.

In the late 1960s a “fogie” was an incremental step in their salary due to longevity. It may be the result of the service band as service bands were awarded for longevity.

A correspondent sent in the fact that his father was in the US Army from 1910 to 1940 and that during that time period Army slang for a “loose woman” was “cookie shooter.” Nothing is known about the origin of this expression.

Are all these expressions of the Spanish American war army and did any of them survive until World War I? Although the author Kyne uses these expressions in the context of Spanish-American War veterans who served in the United States Army during World War I, I have never seen these terms used in any other American writing of World War I.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Dickson, Paul. War slang. NY: Pocket Books, 1994

Elting, A Dictionary of Soldier Talk.

Kyne, Peter B. SOLDIERS, SAILORS and DOGS. NY: HC Kinsey & Co., 1936.

More lighter, Jonathan. “Slang of the American Expeditionary Forces in Europe, 1917-1919. American Speech, 1972.

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