Book on Vietnam War Slang

Dave Hause dwhause at CABLEMO.NET
Thu Aug 14 02:24:06 UTC 2014

Over the years, the Army gave me way more education on chemical warfare than 
I ever looked for and NO chemical warfare gives this effect without also 
being lethal.  The description of the effects would be typical of nerve 
agents, most of which are rapidly lethal in barely-visible-droplet 
quantities.  To the best of my historical reading and experience, we didn't 
use any nerve agents in Viet Nam. "Drenching" quantities would contaminate a 
pretty large area.
Dave Hause, dwhause at
Waynesville, MO
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Jonathan Lighter" <wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM>
Sent: Sunday, August 10, 2014 8:02 AM
Subject: Re: Book on Vietnam War Slang

Never heard of it. Who is "we"?

I'd like to know what "chemical agent" used in Vietnam actually had that

On Mon, Aug 4, 2014 at 9:06 PM, Cohen, Gerald Leonard <gcohen at>

> ---------------------- Information from the mail header
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       "Cohen, Gerald Leonard" <gcohen at MST.EDU>
> Subject:      Book on Vietnam War Slang
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> For those interested in war slang, here's the title of a recently
> published=
>  book: _Vietnam War Slang_, by slang researcher Tom Dalzell and published
> b=
> y Routledge.  I believe it's the most comprehensive compilation of
>  materia=
> l on the topic thus far.=20
> I'll cite just one item of interest (selected at random):
> "HOWDY DOODY (nn.)  -- an unspecified chemical agent. US.
> I've found out that those other men were drenched by a chemical spray
> we called Howdy Doody -- because it made you stiffen up and jerk=20
> like you were hanging on strings.--- [source of quote]: Robert R. 
> McCammon,
> Blue World, p. 81, 1991."
> Gerald Cohen=
> ------------------------------------------------------------
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