Lingo of No Man's Land : A World War I Slang Dictionary
‘Cage– A wire enclosed structure to hold Fritz.’
‘Emma Gee– Machine gun. It is much simpler to say ‘Emma Gee’ and much more descriptive of Tommy’s feeling for his weapon than to always say ‘machine gun’.’
‘Estaminet– French word adopted by the British soldiers, meaning drinking house or saloon, where the fair Mademoiselle waits on Tommy.’
‘Poultice wallopers– Hospital orderlies.’
‘Rat poison– Affectionate term for cheese. The trench rats which swarm about are fed on cheese.’
This dictionary of World War I slang was compiled by a Canadian soldier in 1918, in response to the many questions he received about the meanings of words used in talks he gave while on recruiting duty. It gives a fascinating contemporary insight into life on the front line.