"Snow Job" and others

Barry A. Popik Bapopik at AOL.COM
Sun May 9 00:16:36 UTC 1999

     ARMY TIMES had to be brought up from the NYPL Annex (three days).  I
noticed a nice three-part list of army slang in October 1943.  The newspaper
was fragile, so it had to go to Copying Services (another three days).  I'll
probably post it Monday.


     OED has "snow job" from November 1943.
     This was in ARMY TIMES, 11 September 1943, pg. 3, col. 4:

     FORT DEVENS, MASS.--"Snow-jobbing" is the newest strictly GI term, to go
with "dogface," "goldbrick" and others.  "Snow jobbing" is getting off a
smooth line, like talking yourself out of a hole, or managing to pull five
bucks from a buddy, or talking the sergeant out of a term of KP duty.  If
you've made the five buck loan, after being told what a great guy you are,
then you've been "snow jobbed."

     This correction was in the ARMY TIMES, 9 October 1943, pg. 4, col. 4:

_Our Mistake_
     Where has your slang expert been all this while?  In a recent Air Forces
edition of your paper, I noticed an item describing the term "snow jobbing"
as new in the army.  You are quite mistaken.  I first heard the phrase in
Hawaii over two years ago, and apparently it had been long in use by the
"dog-faces" even at that time.
Pfc. Ralph L. Miller, Keesler Field, Miss.


    I went through this publication looking for (but not finding) "army
brat."  It appears that J. Lighter also checked OUR ARMY also, but he missed

     Oct. 1930, pg. 10--Herbert C. Smith wrote a series of boxing stories
about Wes Hill, "lite-wate champeen" from South Little Rock, Arkansas.
("Champeen" is not in the RHHDAS.)

     Jan. 1931, pg. 19, col. 1--Private G. I. Soapski is mentioned.  G. I.
Joe probably appeared in OUR ARMY earlier than Oct. 1935.

     Feb. 1931, pg. 43--"Lifebuoy defeats 'B.O.' (Body Odor) in any climate."
 (RHHDAS has Dec. 1931.)

     Feb. 1931, pg. 16, col. 1--"Famous sayings--Wipe that smile off your
face."  (Not in RHHDAS under "face.")

     Feb. 1931, pg. 20--"The Magic of Tatai Kuli."  This was on page 46:
Lungran-yaya--'crazy plant'--is the visayan name for the loco weed of the
southern Philippines.
"It that lungran-yaya which make them Espaneesh go crazy, bughoos, loco!"

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