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This here's page 2 of Civil War Glossary and Slang. You'll recognize some terms
still in use today. Words like: "mealy-mouthed," "rigmarole," "smart aleck,"
and "yahoo." Let's not forget: "bogus," "by Jingo!" "hoity-toity," and "jackanapes." Page 3 of slang is complete.



Information graciously "hornswaggled" from Maj.BEARARMS4K@aol.com.
Glossary of Civil War Slang and Terms
Mostly Union Terms
"Bumblebee" Sound of Flying miniballs.
"Grey Backs" Derogatory slang for Rebels meaning lice.
"Dog Collar" Army issued cravat, usually thrown away.
"Jonah" Bad Luck.
"Sardine Box" "Cap Box."
"Bread Bag" Haversack.
"40 Dead Men" Cartridge box.
"Patent Bureau" Knapsack.
"Sham Fight" Mock Battle.
"Fresh Fish" Raw recruits.
"Rio" Coffee.
"Hunkey Dorey" Things are going great!
"Tight" or "Wallpapered" Drunk.
"Bark Juice" "Tar Water" Liquor; also "Kokum Stiff" "Old Red Eye" "O Be Joyful"
"Lucifer" Match.
"French Leave" Going AWOL.
"Zu Zu" Zouaves.
"Arkansas Toothpick" Knife.
"PepperBox" Pistol.
"Sawbones" Surgeon.
"Quick Step" "Flux" Diarrhea, also "Tennesse or Virginia Quick Step."
"Shakes" Malaria.
"Greenbacks" "Rocks" "Spondulix" Money.
"Blowhard" A big shot or braggart.
"Hard Case" Tough Guy.
"Salt Horse" Pickled beef.
"Dog Robber" Detailed cook from regular ranks.
"Roast Beef" Noon Meal.
"Peas on a trencher" Breakfast call.
"Essence of Coffee" Civil War form of instant coffee.
"Jonah" Bad Luck.
"Long Sweetening" Molasses
"Chief cook and bottle washer" Person capable of doing many things.
"Take an image" Have your picture taken.
"Housewife" Sewing kit.
"Been through the mill" Bad day; too busy a day.
"Toeing the mark" Doing the job.
"Hard knocks" A tough break.
"Bully" Yeah, or hurrah!
"Bread basket" Stomach.
"Let 'er rip" Go ahead and start.
"Snug as a bug" Very comfortable.
"Artillery" Camp kettles, stoves, posts, tubs, iron foundries.
"Barrel shirt" Barrel worn by thieves for punishment.
"Duds" Clothing.
"Pumpkin rinds" Grumpy term for lieutenants,from their shoulder straps.


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Last Updated June 23, 2009




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