[Ads-l] chicken salad

Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Mon Oct 3 16:56:56 EDT 2016

On Mon, Oct 3, 2016 at 12:06 PM, Jonathan Lighter <wuxxmupp2000 at gmail.com>

> Is there anyone who can't complete the "metaphor"?

I can't. Well, I couldn't till after I had read the thread. Back in The
Lou, _chickenshit_ had some occasional use in the meaning, "cowardly." In
the military, the word was probably used at least once a second in the
abstract meaning, "any and all of those aspects of life in the military
that the speaker finds irksome." E.g., at the old Fort Devens, in
Massachusetts, enlisted feet were not allowed to touch the hardwood floor
of the Headquarters building. EM were obliged to stand on a special, long,
rubber mat, _unless_ they were waxing and buffing the floor.

Since _all_ floors everywhere on any post were waxed and buffed daily by us
- or should that be, "by we"? - EM, in those days, it was (all too) often
said that the Army's coat of arms should consist of crossed floor-buffing
machines on a field of chickenshit.

All say, "How hard it is that we have to die!"---a strange complaint to
come from the mouths of people who have had to live.
-Mark Twain

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

More information about the Ads-l mailing list