[Ads-l] Nickname "Slim"

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM
Mon Feb 20 02:22:44 UTC 2023

 Back when I was researching WW1 slang (loooong ago), it seemed to me
that a somewhat larger number of American soldiers were being
addressed as "Slim" than might be predicted by chance. But not that
many, so I ignored it.

Here's unexpected support for my perception:

1919 Tulsa Tribune (Aug. 3) D-15: To the members of the American
expeditionary force, everybody is "Slim." A soldier might measure four
cubits this way and four cubits that way, but he would still be known
as "Slim," except on special occasions, such as the borrowing of a
cigaret, when "Buddy" would be applied. A bird might weigh 300 odd
pounds but he would be known as "Slim." You can't explain this
condition. It just developed naturally and easily....

The article also offers an ex. of "Doc" (i.e., "Mac") in direct address:

"Say Doc," an American soldier would ask [an English soldier], do you
know what A.E.F. stands for?"
"If the truth is half as bad as I think it is, you can't handle the truth."

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

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