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Swearing Like A Trooper: Rude Slang of World War Two [Hardcover]

M.J. Trow
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
RRP: £9.99
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Book Description

17 Oct 2013

In September 1939, much military slang still dated to the trenches of 1914-18 - for instance words such as 'Berthas' (meaning big breasts), taken from the German Big Bertha gun . But World War II soon gave birth to a new wave of armed forces slang such as 'wizard prang', D.S.O (Dick Shot Off), and bazookas (back to breasts again).

Some British terms came from the army's links with India, for instance 'zig-zig' or 'jig-jig' meaning sexual intercourse. Officers' euphemisms had to be acceptable in the Mess, for instance to 'lose one's cherry', 'extra-curricular activities', 'naval engagements' and 'dishonourable discharge'.

The Americans were over-paid, over-sexed and over here and brought new slang with them: 'nugget' for a girl, 'on the rag' meant having a period and 'cheesecake' was GI slang for a gorgeous girl. And this was People's War, with civilians, women and children effectively in the front line. Women in particular were smoking, drinking, dancing and swearing like no female generation before...


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 112 pages
  • Publisher: Constable (17 Oct 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1472109821
  • ISBN-13: 978-1472109828
  • Product Dimensions: 20 x 13.6 x 1.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,076,313 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

M J Trow (the 'M' as most people know by now stands for Meirion, a Welsh name few can manage, so he writes as M J, is known by all and sundry as Mei, rhyming with 'my') has been writing for many years, with his first book - The Adventures of Inspector Lestrade - being published in 1984 by Macmillan. More Lestrades followed and then some true crime and somehow it all snowballed so now he has many historical biographies and two other crime series (Maxwell and Marlowe, the latter written with his wife, writing as Maryanne Coleman, though her name is Carol, actually!) to his credit. He claims to be retired, but that's just from teaching. In fact he has never been busier and is a sought after 'ghost' these days as well as historian and novelist, with many different subjects' stories having been told through him. He has recently started collaborating on fiction projects (with someone other than his wife, that is) and finds it a really exciting and pleasurable experience.

To relax he ... actually, that's a bit tricky, as he doesn't really ever relax. He has been known to garden, he is a keen cook and artist and likes to travel. This is rather easier these days as he is a popular speaker on cruise ships - in fact his profile picture was taken on a very gusty day in Cape Town this February, setting off on a long voyage home to Southampton through some of the scariest seas he and his wife have had the pleasure to meet! It really was the calm before the storm, despite being a Force 9 just leaving the Bay.

Family is important and he is very proud of his wife, Carol (aka Maryanne Coleman) for her own books and also the ones they write together, the Kit Marlowe series. His son, Taliesin, known as Tali, is a writer who has written a biography of the Tudor explorer Martin Frobisher as well as collaborating with Mei on several biographies. An exciting series is in the melting pot at the moment and will hopefully be appearing soon; remember where you heard it first. Tali is also a musician, playing various instruments with some acclaimed bands from the alt-bluegrass of the fabulous Coal Porters, through the classic acid folk of Lords of Thyme to the ethereal melodies of Fawn. His crystal vocals enhance everything he does and it's just as well someone in the family can sing, as it is the first thing anyone asks a Welshman!

Product Description

Book Description

How soldiers and civilians alike swore and cursed their way through the second world war, from sexual euphemism to rude songs and insults.

About the Author

M .J.Trow bills himself in many of his books as the only Welshman who cannot sing or play rugby. A military historian by training, graduating from King's College, London and Cambridge, Trow has earned a reputation as a scholar who peels away legend to reveal the truth. In topics as diverse as Kit Marlowe, Vlad the Impaler, Boudicca and Cnut, he succeeds in bringing to life not only the central characters, but their times. He lives with his wife, also a writer, in a Victorian vicarage in the Isle of Wight.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A ?$!7#*# good read 22 Jan 2014
By gronow
Format:Kindle Edition
This book scores on many levels. For the gently bred it is informative. For old sweats it is an aide-memoire. For those who want a flavour of what it was like during WWII in civvy street as well as in the forces this is a good place to start. It is so well written it is difficult to put down. The dust-wrapper (on the print version) may have been rendered polite the inside tells it like it was/is. (It will also make you laugh.)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good loo book 18 Jan 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
It's important to have a good book to hand when going to the hallowed water closet. You can only do good things with a good book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amusing read 23 Nov 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Superb,witty commentary,which provided a great insight to a bygone era. I think that Mei Trow is a treasure,and was equally entertaining in his lectures,which I enjoyed on a recent cruise.
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