Derivation of the WEord "bolo"

Discussion in 'Military History and Militaria' started by Pteranadon, Jun 18, 2011.

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  1. This word was mentioned on the "Search for an Aly Star" thread here.
    Whts seems as if it has remained in the Guards as ally

    There was a general nicknamed "Bolo" Lashmer Gordon Whistler - about as high as you can get as a non psc offcier. Lashmer Whistler - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Did he get his name from his wary behavioiur or ally dress sense? As GOC 3Div he certainly stuck a warry pose

    "I saw an infantry battalion on its way into battle. They were resting on both sides of the road when Bolo came back from the sharp end. He was driving himself, flag flying and his hat, as usual, on the back of his head. Every man stood up and waved to him as he went past, laughing and waving in reply" (from the wikipedioa article)

    Can anyone elabourate on the origins of the word and how it was used in the past?
  2. There was an officer in 6th Green Howards (Company Commander on D Day) called Bolo. It was because he was a bolshie type. I had the honour to meet him at Crepon in 2004.
  3. God you youngsters don't know anything. I am hardly an etymologist, but even I know where this comes from; an old joke.

    A british guy is in a french eatery and after perusing the menu decides to have nice piece of cake for dessert. He turns to the waiter and says, "Ecusay mwa garckon, Je would like a large slice of chocolate gattocks s'il vous please." "Certainement monsieur," says the waiter, " but for monsieur's information it is pronounced gateaux."

    As the diners finish their delightful desserts, the waiter approaches and asks, "Monsieur, did you enjoy our beautiful french cuisine?" "Ah oui lad," says the brit, "It was the dog's bolleaux!"
  4. Very close: Whistler acquired the nickname because of his service with the North Russian Relief Force in 1919 (source: Bolo Whistler by Sir John Smyth VC)

    It's also a machete in some part of the world or another.
  6. Bolo appears to have been a contemporary term for a Bolshevik. It's not clear if it was in general usage (like bolshie) or Whistler's own term.
  7. Also used in the context of the M1921 'Bolo' C96 Mauser
  8. From the wikipedia article in the original post: "It was his recounting of many anecdotes about the Bolsheviks that gave rise to his nickname "Bolo"."
  9. Bolo is also a filipino word for large knife/machete.
  10. Clearly you lot know **** all.
    All trails for Bolo end up here [​IMG]
  11. Cutaway

    Cutaway LE Reviewer

    Heard 'bolo' as a kid from the old & bold to mean a soldier with a lot of time in, someone experienced.
    These ouens could 'bolo the bat' meaning they'd served some time and had picked up a language, either foreign or all the army slang.

    A bit of looking puts up a number of references:

    A dictionary of slang and unconventional English: colloquialisms and catchphrases.

    bolo, v. To speak; esp. bolo the bat, to speak the language, and therefore = sling (or spin) the bat. In Hindustani bolo bat would rather mean 'speak the matter (or words)', Hindustani being the source of this word. Regular Army: late C.19-earlier 20. F & G.

    And in:
    Glossary of Slang & Peculiar Terms in Use in the A.I.F.

    Bolo ‘Bolo the Bat’, speak the language, used in Mesopotamia.
    General army. From the late 19th century (Partridge).
    This term was derived from Hindustani ‘bolo bat’, meaning ‘to speak’. See also Bat.

    Bat Language. Hindustani, used by Australians in Mesopotamia.
    General. From 1887 (OED).
    This word was picked up by the British Army in the late 19th century. Its use here suggests it was still current in World War I.

    Also in Finnegans Wake by Joyce.