We’re not heroes. It burns me up how people use the word ‘hero’ today. The heroes are the kids who gave 100 percent; they gave their lives. The heroes are the mothers who gave up a son, who carried him for nine months, and raised him to do right, and he does right, and at eighteen, he goes to fight for his country, and he dies doing right. That’s a hero…Bill and I get furious when we hear it used in the wrong context. We know we’re not heroes. The kids who went to war and never walked back through his mother’s front door, he’s the hero.
—Edward ‘Babe’ Heffron (16 May 1923-1 December 2013)
Some Choice Bits of Slang From American Soldiers Serving in WWII
Starting as early as 1941, correspondents began reporting and discussing military slang in the pages of American Speech, the journal of the American Dialect Society. Here’s a list of some of the soldiers’ language that they saw emerging during and immediately after the war.
In October 1941, the journal republished part of a “Glossary of Army Slang” that had been distributed by the Public Relations Division of the US Army. The list, printed before the war, provided a basis for the subsequent authors to work upon, as they revised and updated terms. Many of the authors who contributed to American Speech during this period mentioned their own military service, during which they took notes on the words that they heard. Others interviewed students returning to college campuses after stints in the military.
Some WWII-era American Military Slang:
Army strawberries: Prunes. (“Glossary of Army Slang,” US Army PR, 1941.)
Ash can: Depth charge. (Henry Alexander, “Words and the War,” 1944.)
Beat your gums: To talk a lot about a topic. (A.R. Dunlap, “GI Lingo,” 1945.)
Bedpan commando: Medical corpsman. (Dunlap)
Behavior report: Letter to a girl. (Glossary)
Big wheel: “Anyone with a little authority.” (Robert Shafer, “Air Force Slang,” 1945.)
“Blow it out your barracks bag”: “Shut up! Go to hell!” (Dunlap)
Bog-pocket: Tightwad. (Glossary)
Boudoir commando: Home-front hero. (Dunlap)
Browned off: Annoyed or fed up. (Also: Brassed off.) (Alexander)
BTO: “’Big time operator’—someone who thinks he is important.” (Shafer)
Bubble dancing: Dishwashing. (Glossary)
Cab happy: “’Nuts’ about driving.” (Dunlap)
Carrier pigeon: Serviceman acting as officer’s messenger. (Glossary)
Cornplaster commando: Infantryman. (Dunlap)
Devil’s piano: Machine gun. (Glossary)
Dit happy: “’Batty’ because of copying too much radio code.” (Dunlap)
Dodo: “A[n Air Force] cadet before he starts flying.” (Shafer)
Gremlins: “Mythical creatures who are supposed to cause trouble such as engine failure in aeroplanes, a curious piece of whimsy-whamsy in an activity so severely practical as flying. Now the gremlin seems to be extending its sphere of operations, so that the term can be applied to almost anything that inexplicably goes wrong in human affairs.” (Alexander)
Gubbins: “Used to describe almost any part of the equipment of a plane, with about the same meaning as gadget.” (Alexander)
Egg in your beer: “Too much of a good thing.” (Glossary)
Harold Whittles hears for the first time ever after a doctor places an earpiece in his left ear.
Then my sister’s little daughter, four-years-old, came into my bedroom (I was too unbearable to the rest of the family, either hung over or drunk) and she told me that Jesus loved me and she loved me and if I would repent God would forgive me for all the men I kept trying to kill all over again.
That little girl got to me.
Anonymous asked: You don't ship anything? How come?
Idk, even if I was interested in that sorta thing, the fact that I can’t watch the show/characters without thinking of the real life vets they portray and how their bond is so much more than any sort of bond we can imagine would stop me from doing so.