Query: "military brat" prior to 1981? (UNCLASSIFIED)

victor steinbok aardvark66 at GMAIL.COM
Thu May 5 17:48:39 UTC 2011

OED has "air force brat", "Navy junior" and "military brat" (which is what
started all this). But under "Navy Junior", it has

navy junior n. U.S. Mil. slang a child of a naval officer; cf. Army
> brat at army n. Additions f.
> 1934    Proc. U.S. Naval Inst. Sept. 1236   A ‘*navy junior’, he had
> entered the U.S. Navy as a midshipman in 1841.
> 1991    Jrnl. Amer. Hist. 78 1116/2   To this navy junior‥Noble's monograph
> has the strong ring of authenticity.

Same under Air Force brat:

air force brat n. N. Amer. colloq. a child of a parent (or parents)
> belonging to an air force; cf. Army brat at army n. Additions f, military
> brat n. at military adj. and n. Special uses 2.
> 1956    Kerrville (Texas) Times 12 Sept. 1/1   Maybe all the *Air Force
> ‘brats’ in Kerrville should get together and form a club.
> 1977    Rolling Stone 24 Mar. 18/3   Raised in the South as an ‘Air Force
> brat’, Carter's wandering days were far from ended in Tucson.
> 2006    Record (Kichener-Waterloo, Ont.) (Nexis) 25 Aug. b5   Her love of
> travel growing up as an Air Force brat with adventures in both Canada and
> Europe.

I checked the Army entry several times and can't find "army brat" there.

FWIW, I am not sure of the definitions as stated in dictionaries, including
HDAS. The itinerant nuance--which is associated with career
military/commissioned officers seems to be missing, except in OED definition
of "military brat". I've never heard children of enlisted men refer to
themselves as "X brat", only children of officers--of course, it could mean
that I don't know enough brats or it could mean that the there is an actual
distinction (the length of a career in the military seems to be the deciding
factor, especially when combined with the itinerant nature of the service).


On Thu, May 5, 2011 at 1:32 PM, victor steinbok <aardvark66 at gmail.com>wrote:

> Sorry Jon--I did not look. I was too busy nitpicking the archived pieces.
> BTW--I obviously did not verify any of the "pay-per-view" clippings, which
> is why they have been included in a different format.
> VS-)
> On Thu, May 5, 2011 at 1:29 PM, Jonathan Lighter <wuxxmupp2000 at gmail.com
> >wrote:
> >
> > HDAS takes "army brat" back to 1931. See also under "brat." Assuming that
> > anybody looks at HDAS in the first place. (Goak!) (Or is it?)
> >
> > "Military brat" seems to have edged out the synonymous "service brat."
> >
> > JL
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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