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why do we use the french language in our mottos?

Yellow_Devil

War Hero
Bat_Crab said:
Why would an Islamic message be a motto for a British unit and why would it be written in cuneiform rather than arabic?

Plenty of Moroccan and Algerian units in the French colonial armies had Islamic mottos, including "God is greatest" and "May Moulay Idriss protect us".

The weird thing is, a lot of these regiments went over to the French army on independence and have kept their regimental traditions. I went to a French cavalry museum for the "Morcoccan spahis" [light cavalry] which is now a bona fide French tank regiment. But they still wear Moroccan dress for ceremonial occasions and had kept their Islamic regimental motto.
 

floppyjocky

War Hero
Litotes said:
Bagster said:
Court-Martial being another example. One question I've always wanted answered though, why do the RGJ spell Sgt with a J (Sjt) ??

Oxford Concise:

Serjeant. Noun. (in official lists) a sergeant in the Foot Guards. Origin; ME (Middle English).

I suspect because it has always been spelled that way!

Litotes

I'm happy to be corrected but the version I have always been led to believe is that the word "Sergeant" means "servant" in another language (possibly Latin ?) The spelling was changed to alleviate this issue and a whole new word formed, I also thought that this was the reason that some Regts don't use the rank Sgt at all ie CoH, L/CoH etc.

Anyone know the truth ?
 
floppyjocky said:
Litotes said:
Bagster said:
Court-Martial being another example. One question I've always wanted answered though, why do the RGJ spell Sgt with a J (Sjt) ??

Oxford Concise:

Serjeant. Noun. (in official lists) a sergeant in the Foot Guards. Origin; ME (Middle English).

I suspect because it has always been spelled that way!

Litotes

I'm happy to be corrected but the version I have always been led to believe is that the word "Sergeant" means "servant" in another language (possibly Latin ?) The spelling was changed to alleviate this issue and a whole new word formed, I also thought that this was the reason that some Regts don't use the rank Sgt at all ie CoH, L/CoH etc.

Anyone know the truth ?

FJ,

I will check my dictionary tomorrow. I think you are broadly correct, though.

As for CoH etc, I understood that was because Queen Victoria was so impressed with a Cpl that she insisted that he be promoted, and the Army didn't want to oblige (or something like that). Probably an urban myth.... and I will wait for the furious abuse....

Litotes
 

rifleair

War Hero
It was told to me when at the depot that a general, after winning one of those long ago battles (again) when mentioning a sergeant in despatches misspelled it with the J, and as it was all written by hand in those days he wasn't going to rewrite the whole despatch for one letter, so it was taken as the right way to spell it and used from then on.
 

Blackcat

War Hero
Going off at a slight tangent, I always liked the story of the 2nd Bn Royal Sussex Regiment, arriving in France in 1914, allegedly some of the french noticed the White Roussillon Plume on their badge and inquired as to it's origins, to which the the Sussex took great pleasure(and apparently quite graphic) in informing the french that it was taken at the Battle of Quebec when they routed the Roussillon Regiment and took the plumes and wore them as an up yours, apparently this strecthed the old entente cordiale a tad.
 

Adjutant

Old-Salt
The word 'Sergeant' (or its Lt Div equiv) originates from the Greek for 'servant'.

The reason that there are no such ranks in he HCav is that it originally, only 'Gentlemen' could join its ranks, and as such, could not be referred to as 'Sergeants' or servants, therefore.

As an aside but continuing with the servant theme, Her Majesty's personal physician is known as the 'Surgeon Sergeant'...

Off to fetch my coat now...
 
floppyjocky said:
Litotes said:
Bagster said:
Court-Martial being another example. One question I've always wanted answered though, why do the RGJ spell Sgt with a J (Sjt) ??

Oxford Concise:

Serjeant. Noun. (in official lists) a sergeant in the Foot Guards. Origin; ME (Middle English).

I suspect because it has always been spelled that way!

Litotes

I'm happy to be corrected but the version I have always been led to believe is that the word "Sergeant" means "servant" in another language (possibly Latin ?) The spelling was changed to alleviate this issue and a whole new word formed, I also thought that this was the reason that some Regts don't use the rank Sgt at all ie CoH, L/CoH etc.

Anyone know the truth ?

You are broadly correct: The Oxford Concise says the word "Sergeant" is derived from the Middle English word for an attendant or servant. Old French gives us "sergent" which is from the Latin "servire" which means "to serve".

Litotes
 

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