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 Slang names for Marines 
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Joined: Wed Oct 28, 2009 5:42 am
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Post Jollies
Does anyone think that this term for Royal Marines is connected to the term "Jolly Boat"?

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Steven Harwood
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Wed Oct 28, 2009 3:15 pm
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I believe the term comes from the Dutch "Jolle": small boat. We got quite a bit from them, including orlop, (and even "Whoops a daisy!)

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Hi Steven,

Welcome to the SN Forum!

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Post Re: Jollies
StevenHarwood wrote:
Does anyone think that this term for Royal Marines is connected to the term "Jolly Boat"?


The RM term is said to be derived from an old name for the Trained Bands.


Thu Oct 29, 2009 9:41 pm
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The Royal Marines are indeed known as 'Jollies' and celebrated as such in Rudyard Kipling's poem, 'Soldier and Sailor Too.' I hope his attempt at rendering the speech of the common soldiery doesn't make it too incomprehensible!



http://www.readbookonline.net/readOnLine/2700/


Wed Apr 28, 2010 7:30 pm
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Modern Marines are Royals or bootnecks - which term derives from the stock they used to wear.

Does anyone know how old the term Jolly/Jollies is?


Sat May 08, 2010 6:58 pm
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The OED has 1829 as its first record in print.

The expression "jolly marine" seems to have been common in the early eighteen hundreds and a "Jolly Marine and Sailor" public house seems to have existed in Portsmouth in the middle of the 18th C.


Sat May 08, 2010 11:11 pm
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Soldier an' Sailor Too
By Rudyard Kipling
Born 1865
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


As I was spittin' into the Ditch aboard o' the Crocodile,
I seed a man on a man-o'-war got up in the Reg'lars' style.
'E was scrapin' the paint from off of 'er plates,
an' I sez to 'im, "'Oo are you?"
Sez 'e, "I'm a Jolly -- 'Er Majesty's Jolly -- soldier an' sailor too!"
Now 'is work begins by Gawd knows when, and 'is work is never through;
'E isn't one o' the reg'lar Line, nor 'e isn't one of the crew.
'E's a kind of a giddy harumfrodite -- soldier an' sailor too!

and the poem goes on another six verses


Sun May 09, 2010 1:35 pm
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I just found my copy of Rudyard Kipling: Selected Poems and was looking for that poem, though it's not included. Ah well.


Sun May 09, 2010 3:36 pm
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Perhaps Sharpiefan and others could try pasting the first line of Kipling's poem into Google. It comes up quickly that way.

Also "Jolle" is an accepted term for a large dingy in Danish [as well as the Dutch quoted above]

[Nothing to do with Marines : but Kipling also wrote "The Dutch in the Medway" If wars were won by feasting, or victory by song .. Another excellent poem]


Sun May 09, 2010 5:05 pm
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Post Re: Slang names for Marines
Guffies may be another slang name for marines. I found this term in a novel I am reading but a search on the Internet seems to confirm it. I have yet to find out why they were called this. Anyone?

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Sun Dec 12, 2010 8:54 am
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Post Re: Slang names for Marines
Partridge has "GUFFY: A soldier; nautical; from ca. 1880".

OED has: "1883 W. C. Russell 'Sailors' Lang'., Guffy, a soldier.


Mon Dec 13, 2010 5:19 am
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Post Re: Slang names for Marines
IONIA wrote:
Partridge has "GUFFY: A soldier; nautical; from ca. 1880".
OED has: "1883 W. C. Russell 'Sailors' Lang'., Guffy, a soldier.
Peter, I did not realize at the time that my Internet search led to a book that I actually own. In John Masefield's "Sea Life in Nelson's Time", the word "guffies" appears twice as a slang name for the marines. Page 114 has "guffies" and "jollies" and page 117 adds "pipeclays" and "Johnny-Toe-the-Liners" to the first two.

Where Masefield got the information I have no clue.

I did note that guffy is Scottish for "pig". I wonder if there is any connection to a marine or soldier from a sailor's POV? :D

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Mon Dec 13, 2010 7:23 pm
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Post Re:
susan wrote:
Badger wrote:
By the way, can anyone give me a lower deck slang for fight, or battle?

Not offhand. Have you tried Francis Grose's Classical Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue?




....They were just discussing that particular book on BBC Radio Norfolk.

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Wed Dec 15, 2010 8:36 am
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Post Re: Slang names for Marines
And it is one that I now use very regularly!

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