Discussion in 'Military History and Militaria' started by Cutaway, Sep 27, 2004.

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  1. Cutaway

    Cutaway LE Reviewer

    Every day we use words and phrases that we all understand, but are unintelligible to those outside the system.
    Some, such as abbreviations, have a counterpart in Civ Div, others are of a technical nature.
    A number have been absorbed into the general language of all Brits, like 'char' and 'chat.'
    The origins are sometimes clear, many of the older words were nicked from other languages, the 'cuds' for example.

    But where does 'stag' come from ?
  2. Ventress

    Ventress LE Moderator

    I have no idea!

    But the majority of Armyspeak comes from India and in a few cases Arabia.


    Chittie: Paper
    Buchskee: Free
    Bundook: Gun
    Dekko: Look
    Dhobi: Laundryman
    Gooli: Bullet, Ball, hence testicle 8O
    Jeldi: Hurry up.
    Khushi: easy
    Kuds: Mountains
    Nappi: Barber, hence napper
    Pukka: Good
    Puggled: Mad
    Wallah: Bloke

    All link into Brit-speak today!
  3. Origins of "On Stag"

    Many years ago when cutaway was a young lad, in a time when the Lords of the land could have their own private Regiments, his Lordship would often have hunting trips acros the thousands of acres of land he owned.

    On these trips the most valued prize was always the mighty Stag.
    Rather than his Lordship on constant lookout for the mighty stag, so young Pte Cutaway would often find himself on Stag Watch.
    Shortened now to "On Stag". :D
  4. Thank you, Shield.

  5. Cutaway

    Cutaway LE Reviewer

    Cheers for that Skjold, sounds convincing.

    By the way, I think it should have read 'just a couple of years ago when Cuts was a young lad' !

  6. Mufti - which is why Household Div say Plain Clothes as they were far to Grande to go out East, but did do Med and Africa and the land of the Yanks in wigtime.
    Khaki - Dust first used by Brit Indian troops as cam.
  7. Can add a couple more to this:

    Basha - Hindi for "makeshift shelter"

    Shufti from the Arabic, Shuff (to see or look)

    You also probably already know a couple of others from wider use:

    Jhodphurs - trousers, ridiculous, cavalry officer type.

    Pyjamas - Hindi for trousers.
  8. A few more :-

    Dhobi - Hindi for washing
    Dekko - To take a look (Hindi, deckna, to look)
    Pukka - Genuine, authentic, first-class (Hindi pakka cooked, ripe, solid)
    Fellah - Arabic or Egyptian peasant (Arabic fallah)
    Chit - short letter, voucher (Hindi citth)
    Skoff - Matebele for food
    Sangar - Temporary fortification made of loose stone (India, Afganistan)
    Doolali - The town in India which was the location of the military phyciatric hospital
    Laager - Defensive formation of halted vehicles (normally a circle) in S. Africa
  9. Cutaway

    Cutaway LE Reviewer

    While it occurs to me here's a few,

    Commando - (From Afrikaans)
    Imshi - Go (Arabic)
    Khaki - Dust or mud (Urdu)
    Panee - water (Urdu)
    Yallah - Run or hurry (Arabic)

    Doubtless there'll be more coming out of the ME after the present sojourn.

    Disused slang
    Lao - Run or hurry
    Ombasha - Cpl
    Doolali Tap - Mad (Apparently the BMH at Doolali included a psycolological health ward, but in those days it probably called something less PC, the 'tap' coming from the speaker tapping his head with his forefinger)
  10. Cutaway

    Cutaway LE Reviewer

    Scoff I believe comes from the restaraunt run by the surrender-monkey, L'Escoffier in the early part of the 20th century. Many Brit slang words have entered black languages in southern Africa, as evidenced by the mixed working language of Fanagalo. (And even Chilapalapa !)

    The word for food in Matabele/Ndebele is 'ukudla'
  11. Ambulance and pundit - both Hindi (I think!)

    "Freeze the balls off a brass monkey" - the "monkey" was the triangular brass frame for a pyramid of cannon balls and its contraction in cold weather would cause the pyramid to collapse.
  12. Oh I don't know, doolali is still used around here...
  13. wasn't Doolali a sort of giant transit camp for the raj? having to wait however many months to be posted to some fly-ridden hellhole drove you …!!
  14. Ventress

    Ventress LE Moderator

    Bungalow: small hut or house!
  15. Deolali was a large transit camp for British soldiers at the end of their service in India. Apparently, the heat there was intense and often led to sunstroke or plain madness...hence the use of the placename.