A miscellany of Trench Language from the First World War Tommy.
ROGER: A code word for gas cylinder and a nickname for rum. Also, to have sexual intercourse with someone.
SAUSAGE: An observation balloon.
WHIPPET: A small, light tank with a very top speed of 8 m.p.h.
In four long years, 1914 – 1918, the Western Front maimed a generation of young men and women bonded by combat and burdened by duty.
Now, through the letters of Christopher Moore’s 'Captain Cartwright', comes an extraordinary lexicon of the phrases and lingo of life at the front. Whether born from the desperation of gallows humour in France and Flanders – ‘If it Keeps on like this someone’s going to get hurt’ – or borrowed from further afield – ‘Cushy: comfortable, safe, pleasant. From the Hindustani, khush, Pleasure’ – wherever he was, whatever he was doing, Tommy invented or borrowed his own word for it. From Ammo to Zig-Zag, this is a fascinating glimpse into the world of our First World War heroes. So boil up the dixie and scrounge yourself some dooly. By the time you’ve drummed up you’ll be slinging the bat like a barber’s cat.