GI: "Government Issue"?

Wilson Gray wilson.gray at RCN.COM
Wed Dec 29 04:37:19 UTC 2004

On Dec 28, 2004, at 11:03 PM, sagehen wrote:

> ---------------------- Information from the mail header
> -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       sagehen <sagehen at WESTELCOM.COM>
> Subject:      Re: GI: "Government Issue"?
> -----------------------------------------------------------------------
> --------
>>> GI?
>>> What else might it mean?
>> Galvanized iron, perhaps? I have no idea. That's why I'm asking. In
>> the
>> years of my service, the very early Vietnam era, there was nothing
>> that
>> I ever came into contact with that was was referred to in either
>> speech
>> or writing as "government issue" and the term "G.I." was never
>> expanded
>> into "government issue." Furthermore, even in the immediate post-war
>> years, there were claims made that "G.I." was not derived from
>> "government  issue."
>> What sorts of things were referred to as "government issue" in your
>> husband's day?
>> -Wilson Gray
>  ~~~~~~~~
> It wasn't that anything in particular was referred to as "government
> issue," or any other sort of issue.  Equipment items that were issued
> might
> well acquire sarcastic, derisive or scatalogical  nicknames, of course.
> These were Tenth Mtn, ski troops, and they had a lot of specialized
> equipment (which they tended to discard as useless a good deal of the
> time!). "Government issue" was simply *understood* to be the meaning
> of GI.
> As soldiers they themselves were GIs and anything pertaining to them
> was
> "GI this that or the other."
> A&M Murie
> N. Bangor NY
> sagehen at

The Tenth Mountain?! I'm impressed! The Tenth Mountain is famous in
military lore.

-Wilson Gray

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