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Swearing Like A Trooper

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Soldiers are not noted for their delicate language and have a long tradition of swearing, although back in the 1640s Civil War, New Model Army troopers had spikes driven through their tongues for blasphemy. By the time we got to the Second World, things had changed.

MJ Trow’s book sets the bad language of the war in its historical context (it is subtitled Rude Slang of the Second World War) and it is not a volume for the faint hearted: much of the swearing was not just rude, it was downright obscene. However, much of it will be remembered by those who lived through the war, even if they were too young to serve. Songs invented in the front line, particularly those deriding Hitler’s anatomy, were well enough known at home – even by children.

So don’t buy this book if you wish to avoid the rude and crude of swearing, but do buy it if you are interested in words and the way they were used in the front line.



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