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Lingo of No Man’s Land (hardback)

Published Date:
March 2014
British Library Publishing
Bibliographic Details:
Hardback, 112 pages, 203 x 155mm
Sgt. Lorenzo N. Smith, introduction by Julie Coleman
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A World War I Dictionary

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‘Cage – A wire enclosed structure to hold Fritz.’
‘Emma Gee – Machine gun. It is much simpler to say "Emma Gee" and much more descriptive of Tommy’s feeling for his weapon than to always say "machine gun".’
‘Estaminet – French word adopted by the British soldiers, meaning drinking house or saloon, where the fair Mademoiselle waits on Tommy.’
‘Poultice wallopers' – Hospital orderlies.
‘Rat poison – Affectionate term for cheese. The trench rats which swarm about are fed on cheese.’

This dictionary of World War I slang was compiled by a Canadian soldier in 1918, in response to the many questions he received about the meanings of words used in talks he gave while on recruiting duty. It gives a fascinating contemporary insight into life on the front line.

With an introduction by Julie Coleman, Professor of English Language, University of Leicester.

About the author
Sgt. Lorenzo N. Smith served in the First Canadian Contingent and was wounded in battle at Messines. He compiled this dictionary while working for the British-Canadian Recruiting Mission in 1918.

` provides a surprisingly intimate and full portrait of life at the front of the Great War.` The Boston Globe

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