Dictionary of Tommies’ Songs and Slang, 1914–1918: A Net Galley Review


I am completely fascinated by how language changes over time. I also love studying history. This wonderfulbook provides a combination of the two. It is in ever sense a dictionary, alphabetized with slang and definitions of each word as well as a collection of songs from the British during World War I. 

This period of war-time history was particularly brutal. In studying the war you will find the first use of chemical weapons, flame throwers, and many more horrible affects of war. As with any major period of history the culture is greatly impacted. One of the ways during this war was the rise of a slang particular to those in the war, known as Tommies. Some of this slang inevitably carried over to our own country. 

This is a republication of a text from 1930 and revisits an era long forgotten. The political agenda of the war is long forgotten by many and when discussed the individuals are lost. This beautiful compilation is an effort to bring back the individual soldier, specifically of the lower class, who was at the mercy of the reigning powers. While others may debate the war’s causes and consequences, these authors do a wonderful job of preserving the culture of the every-day soldier who lived, fought, and died at the whims of world leaders.

You will thoroughly enjoy reading through this title and getting a glimpse of the language of the day. You may recognize some slang, while much will undoubtedly be new to you. For instance, kahaki, is a term we use readily to describe the light brown colored pants and originates with the British Army. It was first used in the 1880s and is from a Hindi word which described a drab colored linin cloth. Beginning in the early 1900s the word began to be used for the material we know as kahki today. 


Discover this and more as you enjoy this fabulous time machine of language!
Disclaimer: I was given this title through Net Galley in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions are my own.

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