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"Nicknames " Topic


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Napoleonic

764 hits since 4 Jan 2019
©1994-2019 Bill Armintrout
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John Tyson04 Jan 2019 2:12 p.m. PST

Please, this is not to offend anyone. Just to help understand soldier's idioms.

Soldiers of recent history often call soldiers of other nation by nicknames.
For example:
American – Yanks
British – Limeys/Tommys
German – Krauts/Huns
Russian – Commies/Reds
French – Frogs
Italians – Wops
Japanese – Nips
Chinese – Chinks
N. Vietnamese – Zips/Charlies

Now here is my question. What nicknames did the soldiers of Napoleonic Wars give to soldiers from other nations?

French –
Austrians –
British –
Spanish –
Portuguese –
Russians –
Prussians –
Poles –
Confederation of the Rhine –
Dutch –
Finns –
Swedes –
Swiss –

Please, no offense intended. Having been a soldier myself for 21 years, I know all soldiers are always the most genteel and polite! ;-)

God bless,
John T.

Mike the Analyst04 Jan 2019 2:48 p.m. PST

I think the British referred to the French as Johhny Crapaud (a toad).

I think the French referred to the British as Les Rostbiffs but this may be more modern.

Artilleryman04 Jan 2019 2:54 p.m. PST

The French called the Austrians 'Kaiserliks' I believe. The British called the Americans 'Cousin Jonathan' or just 'Jonathan'.

How far do we go with this before someone accuses us of something?

Personal logo deadhead Supporting Member of TMP05 Jan 2019 2:29 a.m. PST

I thought Charlie was South Vietnamese Viet Cong. Nathaniel Victor is the one I recall for NVA.


There were far worse names than the ones you quote, so I doubt any offence likely to be caused. Big thing in the UK this weekend about a term Spurs fans apply to themselves, because of a large Jewish following. Too politically incorrect it is now decided, even though they choose to use it. Banned!

Major Bloodnok05 Jan 2019 2:41 a.m. PST

I think i've also seen "goddams" used by the French to refer to the British.

mildbill05 Jan 2019 3:53 a.m. PST

Charlie was called Sir Charles at night.

von Winterfeldt05 Jan 2019 4:07 a.m. PST

les autre chiens – Austrians

Personal logo deadhead Supporting Member of TMP05 Jan 2019 4:09 a.m. PST

Now that is clever. Never heard that one before….love it

42flanker05 Jan 2019 6:10 a.m. PST

'Jean Francois', or 'John Francois', the refrain from the shanty "Boney Was a Warrior"- although there is doubt as to the contemporaneity of extant versions.

See: 'Johnny French', and the more zoological 'Johhny Frog'- presumably from Jean Crapaud 'Toad' above

I imagine Thomas Atkins had some choice names for any Spanish with whom he did not find favour, possibly dating from historic enmities.

Jcfrog Supporting Member of TMP05 Jan 2019 9:27 a.m. PST

Rosbiffs or godams
In all French memoirs I read, besides Kaiserlicks, no other ever seen. Maybe not good to write, and most memoirs were done by officers.

Later used:
Russians: popofs.
Prusskoff ( Prussians)
Polaks
Not sure how far back they came from.

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP05 Jan 2019 9:50 a.m. PST

Do war of 1812 Americans not qualify as Napoleonic? US soldiers were referred to by British and Canadians as "doodles" as in "we were ambushed by about fifty doodles," though the RN already used "yankees" even for those not native of New England.

From an American point of view, the British still seem to have been the redcoats.

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP05 Jan 2019 10:00 a.m. PST

Ah. Adding to the modern collection, the WWII era French seem to have referred to Germans as either "the boche" or as "green beans" after the greenish shade of feldgrau.

And the US adjective for all things Korean was "kimchi" as in "catching a kimchi cab" as opposed to one run by AAFES. Speaking to one another in Korean hoping to leave the American out of the conversation was known as "going to Hangul secure" with reference to the Korean alphabet.

Oliver Schmidt05 Jan 2019 10:04 a.m. PST

For French soldiers, I found the name "Kiwi-Schreier" ("Kiwi-shouter", from the sentry's call "Halt-là – Qui vive?") in the memoirs of a Prussian soldier.

Besides this, I didn't come accross nicknames used by Prussians for soldiers of other nations.

42flanker05 Jan 2019 10:18 a.m. PST

I don't think the term 'red coats' was used until sometime after the AWI. 'British' seems to have worked quite well. Also 'lobsters' and 'bloody backs' before the war. 'Bloodhounds' during, following some nastiness in Pennsylvania.

wrgmr105 Jan 2019 10:36 a.m. PST

Von W. that is a good one, i've never heard of it either.

Nine pound round05 Jan 2019 11:37 a.m. PST

You may be right about "red coats," the warning before Lexington and Concord was, "The regulars are out."

Some other random thoughts:

I doubt that the Americans of 1812 had many epithets for Englishmen per se, the habit of considering themselves as such was still pretty strong. But it wouldn't surprise me if they used all of the perjorative terms for the British Army that the mother country's own anti-military habit and attitude bequeathed them.

Like most people born south of the Mason-Dixon Line, I utter a silent, reflexive "no" to myself whenever an Englishman or an Australian asks, "You're a Yank, aren't you?" I know what they mean- but still, no. Canadians, incidentally, invariably ask whether "you're from the States."

The names I heard most older vets use for their opponents in Vietnam and Korea when I was a boy are quite simply not printable on this page, and those my grandfather's generation used for the Japanese are only a shade better. The Germans would recognize the epithet preferred by the Army of the United States as "cabbage" in their own language.

I heard "haji" a lot in my Pentagon days, the term for a religious pilgrim that the Army and Marines picked up and applied with less discrimination than the people they learned it from (since it's an honorific in its own culture).

ChrisBBB2 Supporting Member of TMP05 Jan 2019 1:51 p.m. PST

Didn't Napoleonic Wars Brits refer to the Spanish as "the dons"?

ChrisBBB2 Supporting Member of TMP05 Jan 2019 1:57 p.m. PST

And out of period but amusing: I recently asked some German friends what affectionate or otherwise nicknames they have for us Brits. I mean obviously there's "Tommy", and "Englaender Schweinhund", but I thought there must be others. Disappointingly, they only mustered one but it is quite a good one: "Inselaffe" (island monkey).

All together now, chaps:
Oh, oobee doo,
I wanna be like yoo-oo-oo …

Mike the Analyst05 Jan 2019 5:02 p.m. PST

I believe the Brits refer to themselves as The Borrowers when serving with US allies in Afghanistan etc.

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