World War 2 American Slang: A Collection

World War II created a brotherhood, and a language all its own. Men from a wide variety of backgrounds were thrown together in close-knit, often boring, frequently dangerous situations, and slang that came from those experiences tied them together and cemented their brotherhood.

WW2 slang helped create an “us” vs. “them” mentality, where them is not only the enemy, but the “Brass” and folks back home who can’t fully understand the world of the fighting man.


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There are currently 8 names in this directory beginning with the letter E.
Eager Beaver.
A soldier is so anxious to impress his superiors that he volunteers for every job that's offered; or otherwise displays unusual diligence.
Eagle Day.
Payday; also known as the day the eagle shits. A reference to the American eagle that appears on some coins.
Ear Beater.
A person who doesn't let you get a word in edgewise.
Egg in Your Beer.
Too much of a good thing.
Eight Ball.
A solider who gets into trouble so much that he's a liability to his unit; from the old notion that it is bad luck to be behind the eight ball in pocket billiards.
Eisenhower Jacket.
A short; fitted; belted jacket of the type made popular by General Dwight D. Eisenhower during the war.
Emily Posters.
Naval cadets; so-called because they were given a condensed edition of an etiquette book by Emily Post.

WW2 Slang Sources:

“Glossary of Army Slang,” American Speech, Vol. 16, No. 3 (Oct., 1941).
“G.I. Lingo,” American Speech, Vol. 20. No. 2 (Apr. 1945)
War Slang: American Fighting Words and Phrases Since the Civil War By Paul Dickson
FUBAR: Soldier Slang of WWII By Gordon L. Rottman

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