A Yankee in the Trenches eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 146 pages of information about A Yankee in the Trenches.

Over there you will find a lot of attractive girls and women.  Most any girl is attractive when you are just out of the misery of the trenches.  Be careful of them.  Remember the country has been full of soldiers for three years.  Don’t make love too easily.  One of the singers in the Divisional Follies recently revived the once popular music-hall song, “If You Can’t Be Good Be Careful.”  It should appeal to the soldier as much as “Smile, smile, smile”, and is equally good advice.  For the sake of those at home and for the sake of your own peace of mind come back from overseas clean.

After all it is possible to no more than give hints to the boys who are going.  All of you will have to learn by experience.  My parting word to you all is just, “The best of luck.”


All around traverse — A machine gun placed on a swivel to turn in any direction.

Ammo — Ammunition.  Usually for rifles, though occasionally used to indicate that for artillery.

Argue the toss — Argue the point.

Back of the line — Anywhere to the rear and out of the danger zone.

Barbed wire — Ordinary barbed wire used for entanglements.  A thicker and heavier military wire is sometimes used.

Barrage — Shells dropped simultaneously and in a row so as to form a curtain of fire.  Literal translation “a barrier.”

Bashed — Smashed.

Big boys — Big guns or the shells they send over.

Big push — The battles of the Somme.

Billets — The quarters of the soldier when back of the line. 
Any place from a pigpen to a palace.

Bleeder or Blighter — Cockney slang for fellow.  Roughly corresponding to American “guy.”

Blighty — England.  East Indian derivation.  The paradise looked forward to by all good soldiers,—­and all bad ones too.

Blighty one — A wound that will take the soldier to Blighty.

Bloody — The universal Cockney adjective.  It is vaguely supposed to be highly obscene, though just why nobody seems to know.

Blooming — A meaningless and greatly used adjective.  Applied to anything and everything.

Bomb — A hand grenade.

Bully beef — Corned beef, high grade and good of the kind, if you like the kind.  It sets hard on the chest.

Carry on — To go ahead with the matter in hand.

Char — Tea.  East Indian derivation.

Chat — Officers’ term for cootie; supposed to be more delicate.

Click — Variously used.  To die.  To be killed.  To kill.  To draw some disagreeable job, as:  I clicked a burial fatigue.

Communication trench — A trench leading up to the front trench.

Consolidate — To turn around and prepare for occupation a captured trench.

Cootie — The common,—­the too common,—­body louse.  Everybody has ’em.

Crater — A round pit made by an underground explosion or by a shell.

Project Gutenberg
A Yankee in the Trenches from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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