Posted On Tuesday, November 27, 2012 at 08:56:40 AM
London: In a new study, researchers have revealed the impact the First World War had on the English language. The study shows how the conflict meant that hundreds of words and phrases came into common parlance thanks to the trenches.
Among the list of everyday terms found to have originated or spread from the war are cushy, snapshot, bloke, wash out, conk out, blind spot, binge drink and pushing up daisies.
|Hundreds of words and phrases came into common parlance from the trenches of World War i
The research was conducted by Peter Doyle, a military historian, and Julian Walker, an etymologist, who analysed thousands of documents from the period, including letters from the front, trench newspapers, diaries, books and official military records.
They found that the war brought military slang into the mainstream, imported French and even German words to English and saw words from local dialects become part of national conversation.
“The war was a melting plot of classes and nationalities, with people thrown together under conditions of stress,” the Telegraph quoted Walker as saying.
The results of the research are included in a new book Trench Talk: Words of the First World War, which documents how new words and phrases originated, while others were spread from an earlier, narrow context, to gain new, wider meanings.
‘Word’ War I
• Bumf from b-fodder: a term for toilet paper, derisively used for communiqués from HQ
• Snapshot: quickly aimed and taken rifle shot
• Dud: something which failed, from the large number of faulty shells which did not explode
• Pushing up daisies, gone West, snuffed it, been skittled, become a landowner: comrades who were killed
• Scrounging: foraging for food, such as wild rabbits
• Binge: overindulgence in alcohol
• Cushy: From the Hindi word khush (pleasure)
• Blighty: From bilaiti, meaning foreign in Hindi, which when applied by Indians to Britons, came to be perceived by Indian Army servicemen as the term ‘British’