Cadet Slang (1894, 1912, 1929)

James A. Landau JJJRLandau at AOL.COM
Sat Jan 10 18:26:45 UTC 2004

In a message dated  Sun, 4 Jan 2004 09:51:17 EST,  Bapopik at AOL.COM quotes
(inter alia)

>     ...showing the tactical officer standing in his usual position on the
>  guardhouse balcony, with Cadet Dago, alis Col. Ducrot, doubled up under a
> zero  temperature soing Saturday extra duty,...

Interesting that "Dago" (generally a disparaging term for a person of Iberian
or sometimes Italian descent) should show up here as an apparent synonym for
"Ducrot" (which by the way is NOT in the OED2).

>     7 December 1929, SHEBOYGAN PRESS (Sheboygan, WIsconsin), pg. 16?,
>   An "engineer" neither runs locomotives nor is interested in constructive
>  bridges, but is "one well up in his studies, a cadet in the first section
>  academic work."

I suspect this is because only the top students in each West Point class
became officers in the Corps of Engineers.  Note that West Point was the first
engineering school in the US.

> A "buck" is an enlisted man, presumably whether he is a sergeant,
>  corporal or lance-jack.  In the army, of course, it means a low-ranking
> private.

When I was in the army, the lowest-ranking sergeant (pay grade E-5) was
commonly called a "buck sergeant".


Circa 1970 there was only one escalator in the Pentagon, running from the
basement to the first floor near the Joint Chiefs of Staff area.  For a long time
this escalator was out of service.  One day a neatly-written anonymous sign
appeared on the wall by the escalator:

      It was rickety
      It was rackety
      It wnt clickety-clackety
      It's gears were really a mess

    The engineers say it will run
      Going upstairs again will be fun
      With the help of JC
      ---or it is JCS?

     - Jim Landau

More information about the Ads-l mailing list