Subscribe to TRIVIA TODAY
Subscibe to DEAL OF THE DAY

November 07, 2018

Greetings Infomaniacs,

Last ChanceIf you have ever used words like; cushy, snapshot, bloke, wash out, conk out, blind spot, binge drink or pushing up daisies, you can thank World War One. New research has shown how the conflict meant that hundreds of words and phrases came into common parlance thanks to the trenches.

Research has 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 results of the research are included in the 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.


Questions? Comments? email the editor

P.S. Did you miss an issue? You can read every issue from the Gophercentral library of newsletters on our exhaustive archives page. Thousands of issues, all of your favorite publications in chronological order. You can read AND comment. Click


QUOTE: "War is what happens when language fails."

HINT: A Canadian poet, novelist, literary critic, essayist, and environmental activist, also a winner of the Arthur C. Clarke Award and Prince of Asturias Award for Literature.


Learn more about RevenueStripe...
"Lousy" and "crummy" both referred to being infested with lice, while "fed up" emerged as a widespread expression of weariness among the men.


"Snapshot" came from a quickly aimed and taken rifle shot, and "wash out" described a process by which aspiring officers who failed their commissions and were sent back to their regiments, or "washed out".


The French term souvenir replaced keepsake as the primary word for a memento, following exchanges with the locals, while officers being sacked were said to have "come ungummed" from the French "degommer", to dismiss. This quickly developed into "come unstuck".


Several Hindi terms, picked up from Indian Army soldiers and already circulating in the regular, professional army, were also disseminated widely. One of those most used at the front was "cushy" from khush ('pleasure'). Soldiers would describe cushy, or comfortable billets, as well as cushy trenches, in quiet sectors.


The most well known term derived from Hindi though was "Blighty", from bilati, meaning "foreign", which, when applied by Indians to Britons, came to be perceived by Indian Army servicemen as the term "British".


Words even entered the lexicon from the trenches opposite. "Strafe" became an English word, from the German "to punish", via a prominent slogan used by the enemy: "Gott Strafe England", while prisoners of war returned with term "erzatz", literally "replacement", but used in English to mean "cheap substitute" and spelled ersatz.

CLICK HERE to save $20 on the Cord Keeper - Case and Organizer

Weekly Mind-Scrambler

A natural state, I'm sought by all.
Go without me, and you shall fall.
You do me when you spend,
and use me when you eat to no end.

What am I?

Submit your answer by clicking: TheDailyTease

Answer will be posted in Friday's Trivia Today. Good Luck! If your name appears in Friday's newsletter, EMAIL MICHELE your complete name and address to be shipped your prize.

Be sure to put "Winner" in the subject line.


QUOTE: "War is what happens when language fails."

ANSWER: Margaret Atwood