Brill’s Digital Library of World War I

Get access

Soldiers’ Jargon
(393 words)

Soldiers’ Jargon

In all armies in the First World War there developed during the war a vocabulary specific to the group. Soldiers’ jargon related primarily to soldiers’ immediate environment at the front and in rest areas; at its center were duties, equipment, and weapons. In general, soldiers’ jargon followed a minimizing tendency: for example, describing large caliber artillery shells as “coal boxes,” hand grenades as “pineapples,” and an artillery attack as “calico” or “music.” Onomatopoeic ele…

Cite this page
Reimann, Aribert, “Soldiers’ Jargon”, in: Brill’s Digital Library of World War I. Consulted online on 06 February 2023 <>
First published online: 2015

▲   Back to top   ▲