A Dictionary of RAF Slang

Eric Partridge

£5.99

We send all orders via Royal Mail: within the UK, choose from 1st Class, 2nd Class or Special Delivery; for the rest of the world, International Standard or International Tracked. Delivery and packaging charges are calculated automatically at the checkout.

To collect orders in person from the Bookshop, choose Click and Collect at the checkout.


Penguin Books Ltd
17 November 2016
ISBN: 9781405930598
Hardback

From the publisher

For ANYONE WHO IMAGINES THEMSELVES FLYING A SPITFIRE.

Drop your visiting cards, put aside your beer-lever, stop being a half-pint hero and discover the gloriously funny slang which was part of everyday life in two world wars.

Passion-killers:
Airwomen's service knickers, whether twilights (the lighter, summer-weight variety) or black-outs (the navy-blue winter-weights). A wise directive has purposely made them as unromantic in colour and in design as a wise directive could imagine.

Thanks to the work of Eric Partridge in 1945, the hilarious slang of the Royal Air Force during the first two World Wars has been preserved for generations to come. While some phrases like 'chocks away!' have lasted to this day, others deserve to be rediscovered...

Beer-lever: From pub-bars, meaning the 'Joystick' of an aircraft.
Canteen cowboy: A ladies' man.
Half-pint hero: A boaster. One who exemplifies the virtue of Dutch courage without having the trouble of going into action.
Tin fish: A torpedo.
Umbrella man: A parachutist.
Visiting-card: A bomb.
Wheels down: Get ready - especially to leave a bus, tram, train. From lowering the wheels, preparatory to landing.
Whistled: In a state of intoxication wherein one tends to whistle cheerfully and perhaps discordantly.

The Dictionary of RAF Slang is a funny and fascinating insight into the lives of our RAF heroes, in a time gone by.