Word for the Wise on "doughboy"
Jesse T Sheidlower
jester at PANIX.COM
Wed Jun 23 20:49:05 UTC 1999
> I was perusing the Word for the Wise text on the Merriam-Webster site
> (http://www.m-w.com) when I came across the following:
> Another coinage from that year  is more closely
> connected with World War I than the Civil War. It was
> doughboy, the term for an American infantryman.
> Supposedly, that word originated with globular buttons
> on soldiers' uniforms that resembled a type of small
> round donut known as a doughboy.
> The text appears at:
Except, of course, that _doughboy_ is attested as far back
as 1847, as cited in the _Random House Historical Dictionary
of American Slang._
The origin of the term, despite many suggestions, including
the one above, remains obscure.
Random House Reference
<jester at panix.com>
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