Army phrases that became civvie ones

Call me a pedant but I've always been puzzled by the word "jack", as in lazy or selfish. I assumed it came from "Fcuk you Jack, I'm alright", in which case if you were "Jack", you'd be the hard-done-by one!

Any other explanations welcome.
Its from the 1959 film "I'm all right jack" staring peter sellers. meaning F***you, I'm all ............
But it shouldn't though.

"Don't wear a 2 Para T-shirt in Belfast, because you'll stand out like a Dogs Bollocks" - Makes perfect sense.

"I really like your new car- it's the Dogs Bollocks" - Makes no sense whatsoever.
Unless, like many dogs you’ve been denutted and therefore a set of bollocks would be a desirable item?
'max chat' was common aviation parlance for full throttle. Dunno if it was used elsewhere?
As in “firewall it”. Aircraft with nose mounted engines had, and still have a firewall between the engine and cockpit to prevent flames making their way back in the event of an engine fire.

“Firewall it” meant aggressively advancing the throttle(s) to the extent your knuckles touch the firewall i.e. well beyond the design parameter.

I assume the modern computer firewall came from this; a barrier preventing ingress of something undesirable? I could be talking shite however.


Book Reviewer
WASP, used by the good ole boys in redneck county, meaning White Anglo Saxon Protestant.
Also tends to apply to a lot of people in UK, the forgotten/ignored majority.


Book Reviewer
A donkey dick is/was also a type of short, semi rigid antenna on the Cougar - SMT radio set.
And the Lynx Gem Engine mount, from the practice of calling Aircraft Engines "Donkeys" or "Donks". Other Lynx parts included the Bonk, Knife-edge, Dangleberry, Broom Cupboard, and a thousand other stupid made up names.


Book Reviewer
Its from the 1959 film "I'm all right jack" staring peter sellers. meaning F***you, I'm all ............
Also used in getting kit jacked up.
. . . . aaand yet there's no such thing as a round meal.

But there's loads of examples of square dining boards from the time.

'Mazin', innit?
Board and Lodging indicates food as well as a bed. The Board was a plank that sat across usually several sets of knees from which food was eaten as tables were an expensive luxury.

Bill Bryson’s book At Home is a fascinating history of such matters and contains the history of many such terms although in the context of this thread, not many are military.
'Biting the bullet'

Nothing to do with the Indian Mutiny but in the pre-anaesthetic days,the practice of giving a wounded soldier a bullet to bite on prior to surgery.

Oddly enough, I'm in the middle of reading a book which quotes from The (American) Army Medical Journal ;
'The real reason that soldiers in the pre-anesthesia era were given a bullet to bite on was not to help them endure the pain but to quiet their screams'
Correct. IIRC the Indian Mutiny was about biting the top off small paper bags that held the powder charge. The bags were coated in animal fat to keep them dry and the origin animal (was it pigs or cows?) caused offence.

Again, could be bollocks but Primary School was a while ago for me.

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