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.
WW2 GI SLANG
There are currently 11 names in this directory beginning with the letter M.
An inflatable life jacket that fit around the neck and down the chest; and bulged the chest when inflated. Named for the singer/comedienne who was known for her small waist and large bust.
Red flag used on the rifle range to indicate a miss; as in; He fired a full clip but all he got was Maggies drawers.
Mickey Mouse Movies.
Instructional films on personal hygiene.
Mickey Mouse Rules.
Petty rules; regulations; and red tape.
Million Dollar Wound.
A wound that took a soldier out of combat; and even perhaps back to the US for treatment; but did not permanently cripple or maim him.
A soldier who does favors for his superiors, or salutes unnecessarily; a ‘yes man.
Full dress uniform.
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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