'Trench slang is a language all its own. No dictionary will give you the meaning of half its words.' This claim appeared in the soldiers' paper The Listening Post, one of the Canadian trench newspapers that was an outlet for soldiers' writing, cartoons, and culture. Among trench soldiers there was also a vibrant oral culture, which included new slang, words, and phrases. A study of swearing and slang reveals another way to better understand the social and cultural history of soldiers, how they made sense of the war, how they distinguished themselves from civilians, how they provided an outlet for issues of masculinity, and how they unified aspects of their identity.

Additional Metadata
Keywords Canadian Expeditionary Force, identity, masculinity, obscenity, Slang, soldiers' culture
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1177/0968344513483229
Journal War in History
Citation
Tim, T. (2013). Fighting words: Canadian soldiers' slang and swearing in the great war. War in History (Vol. 20, pp. 323–344). doi:10.1177/0968344513483229