Evercircular: Period Phrases

Cambridge District Scout Archive

These references are not in any way unusual or unique to the Evercircular letters but that they are here quoted from the original source and at the time.

Period references

  • ITMA                                                   Radio show – It’s that man again
  • Dear Playmate         /8/1941           Hello Playmates – an Arthur Askey catchphrase
  • ‘as Harry Tate would have it’ 5/10/1941       (Such is the lot of a common soldier…) Comedian, but the direct reference here is unknown to me
  • Brains Trust                                      The Brains Trust was a BBC radio programme during the 1940s on which a panel of experts tried to answer questions sent in by the audience
  • Hi Gang with ‘Bebe Daniels and Ben Lyons’
  • Narkovians/ Narkover – from Beachcomber as mistaken for Narvikians

Military Terms and Slang

  • Civvy Street                                       Life not in the Forces
  • Civvies Non military uniform
  • Padre                                                   Military term for Chaplain
  • Blue Skies and Happy Landings    Aviation salutation
  • Ten bob a week people                     Pay for lowest rank soldier
  • Browned off                                        General use     In October 1941 Mervyn Thompson claims that there is no word for fed up in the army but adds the ‘p.s. strictly between ourselves I am rather tired of this war’.
  • Billeted out                                         Housed (as a member of the forces) off site in civilian digs
  • On Embarkation Leave                     Leave given before being sent abroad 
  • Dodged the column                            To avoid a task – used here to mean did not write a piece in the EC
  • Brylcreem Boys           The RAF
  • Glamour Girls             The RAF
  • Birdmen                      The RAF
  • Re-mustered               RAF term meaning posted      ‘Bill C, Snowy O and Basil Moss re-mustered and we will miss their writing’.

The enemy

  • Uncle Hermy   (Herman Goering / Luftwaffe)
  • Gerry/ Jerry    ‘Gerry’ by Bill Thurbon – he used both ‘Jerry’ and ‘Gerry’, but most correspondents spelt it Jerry

JWR Archivist Sept 2019