Lingo of No Man's Land
A World War I Slang Dictionary
Distributed for British Library
Originally published in 1918, Lingo of No Man’s Land provides fascinating contemporary insights into the soldier’s experience of the Great War. Among the terms and phrases defined within are “Cage–A wire enclosed structure to hold Fritz”; “Coote–A species of lice with extraordinary biting ability”; “Poultice wallopers–Hospital orderlies”; and “Rat poison–Affectionate term for cheese. The trench rats which swarm about are fed on cheese.” What is perhaps surprising for the modern reader is the number of words and phrases that Smith felt the need to define but are now considered commonplace—aerial photography, armored car, bomb, camouflage, concussion, and crater—a testament to how much English comes from World War I.
Published again to coincide with the centennial of World War I, Lingo of No Man’s Land offers a unique perspective of life on the front lines and will be compulsory reading for all American and European history buffs.