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

victor steinbok aardvark66 at GMAIL.COM
Thu May 5 18:48:12 UTC 2011

This is why I keep saying "career military"--I added "commissioned officers"
following one of the HDAS entry (there are commissioned officers who are not
"career", right?)

Here's the inventory:

HDAS (army): a child of a member of a regular army, esp. the daughter of a
commissioned officer.
OED (military): a child with a parent, or parents, in the armed
forces; esp. one who exhibits behavioural problems associated with the
unsettled and itinerant nature of military life.
OED (air force):  a child of a parent (or parents) belonging to an air force
OED (Navy junior): a child of a naval officer
OED (army): [missing]
AHD4 (army): The child of a member, typically a career office or enlisted
person, of the U.S. Army.
AHD4 (navy junior): The child of a member of the U.S. Navy, typically a
career officer.
(army): the child of an army officer or enlisted person, especially
onewho has grown up on army bases or in military communities.
Wikipedia (military--all others redirect): a
person whose parent or parents have served full-time in the armed
forces during the person's childhood.
Wiktionary (military): a child who has one or more parents who serves or
served full-time in the military
Encarta (army): somebody raised in army family: somebody who is born into,
or grows up in, the family of a member of the army

There is not a whole lot of agreement, but "career military" seems to be the
most common (or accurate). HDAS reference to daughters does appear to oddly
match the appearances of these terms in the 1960s, as newspaper bios of
female singers, actors, etc., seem to include "self-described army brat" or
such. But I don't believe there is a general preference for daughters being
the target of such references, especially now.


On Thu, May 5, 2011 at 2:09 PM, Jim Parish <jparish at siue.edu> wrote:

> Quoting victor steinbok <aardvark66 at GMAIL.COM> (much snipped):
> > 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).
> My father was a career NCO in the Army, and we - his five children - all
> referred to ourselves as Army brats.
> Jim Parish

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

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