What/who is the origin of the term TOM

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  1. What/who is the origin of the term TOM
  2. is this a wah?

    tommy atkins, i would have thought.
  3. SSh PERSEC- no names
  4. Tommy Atkins Ditto... shortened to Tom

    Also means prostitute dahn sarf I understand..
  5. For its Tommy this and Tommy that and Tommy wait outside,
    But its special train for Atkins when the trooper's on the tide...
  6. Not that you'd know T_C! :D
  7. it signifies danger and

    alerts others to give a wide berth and stay silent and still


    Time of (the) Month
  8. And just for good measure...

    by Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936)

    I went into a public-'ouse to get a pint o' beer,
    The publican 'e up an' sez, "We serve no red-coats here."
    The girls be'ind the bar they laughed an' giggled fit to die,
    I outs into the street again an' to myself sez I:
    O it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy, go away";
    But it's "Thank you, Mister Atkins", when the band begins to play,
    The band begins to play, my boys, the band begins to play,
    O it's "Thank you, Mister Atkins", when the band begins to play.

    I went into a theatre as sober as could be,
    They gave a drunk civilian room, but 'adn't none for me;
    They sent me to the gallery or round the music-'alls,
    But when it comes to fightin', Lord! they'll shove me in the stalls!
    For it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy, wait outside";
    But it's "Special train for Atkins" when the trooper's on the tide,
    The troopship's on the tide, my boys, the troopship's on the tide,
    O it's "Special train for Atkins" when the trooper's on the tide.

    Yes, makin' mock o' uniforms that guard you while you sleep
    Is cheaper than them uniforms, an' they're starvation cheap;
    An' hustlin' drunken soldiers when they're goin' large a bit
    Is five times better business than paradin' in full kit.
    Then it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy, 'ow's yer soul?"
    But it's "Thin red line of 'eroes" when the drums begin to roll,
    The drums begin to roll, my boys, the drums begin to roll,
    O it's "Thin red line of 'eroes" when the drums begin to roll.

    We aren't no thin red 'eroes, nor we aren't no blackguards too,
    But single men in barricks, most remarkable like you;
    An' if sometimes our conduck isn't all your fancy paints,
    Why, single men in barricks don't grow into plaster saints;
    While it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy, fall be'ind",
    But it's "Please to walk in front, sir", when there's trouble in the wind,
    There's trouble in the wind, my boys, there's trouble in the wind,
    O it's "Please to walk in front, sir", when there's trouble in the wind.

    You talk o' better food for us, an' schools, an' fires, an' all:
    We'll wait for extry rations if you treat us rational.
    Don't mess about the cook-room slops, but prove it to our face
    The Widow's Uniform is not the soldier-man's disgrace.
    For it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Chuck him out, the brute!"
    But it's "Saviour of 'is country" when the guns begin to shoot;
    An' it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' anything you please;
    An' Tommy ain't a bloomin' fool -- you bet that Tommy sees!
  9. Sounds good to me but just to confirm it, I'll ask my uncle.
  10. It's an acronym, dating back to the First World War. It stands for Trench Operative (Military) and was used to distinguish the civilians called up to support the Corps of Sappers & Miners (Trench Operative (Civilian)) who would be withdrawn from mining duties when a camouflet was detected or the mine's charge was being laid.

    Hence the term, "Sort the Tocs from the Toms", meaning much the same as sheep and lambs.
  11. That is some of the most lucid and well thought out boollocks that I have ever seen. :)
  12. AlienFTM

    AlienFTM LE Book Reviewer

    "Tom = prossie" is rhyming slang from Sir Thomas More.
  13. Here is what the Imperial War Museum has to say about it:

    Why were English soldiers called "Tommy Atkins" or "Tommy"?

    The origins of the term Tommy Atkins as a nickname for the British (or rather English) soldier are still nebulous and indeed disputed. A widely held theory is that the Duke of Wellington himself chose the name in 1843. Lt. General Sir William MacArthur, however, in an article in the Army Medical Services Magazine, says that the War Office chose the name Tommy Atkins as a representative name in 1815. Specimen forms of the Soldier's Book issued for both the cavalry and infantry in that year bore against the space for the soldier's signature "Tommy Atkins, his X mark". With the improvement of education "his X mark" was dropped.

    The nickname, however, was used before 1815. In 1743 a letter sent from Jamaica referring to a mutiny among hired soldiery there said "except for those from N. America (mostly Irish Papists) ye Marines and Tommy Atkins behaved splendidly". At about the same time the English soldier was also nicknamed "Thomas Lobster", because of his red uniform coat.

    The poems of Rudyard Kipling helped to popularise the name throughout the last quarter of the Nineteenth Century and especially during the Boer War (1899-1902). Thus, by the early Twentieth Century "Tommy Atkins" or "Tommy" was the almost universal nickname for an English soldier. During the First World War (1914-1918) the troops rather despised the name and only used the term derisively or when imitating the style of a jingoistic newspaper like John Bull.

    If you are interested in reading more about the British Army, click here for details of how to visit the Department of Printed Books.

    How the regiments got their nicknames by Tim Carew (pub. Leo Cooper, London, 1974) ISBN 0-85052-054-1
    Journal for the Society for Army Historical Research Vol 1, No. 135; Vol 1, No. 18; Vol 2, No. 9-10; Vol 9, No. 175
  14. Just assuming for one moment that this isn't a Wah!

    In days gone bye, many on the recruits couldn't read or write all that well, so there were numerous examples forms and chits etc around the place, and these were signed with the fictious name "Tommy Atkins" as it sounded a good British name.

    The name stuck and thenceforth troops were known as Tommys.

    Although I now stand to be corrected