Now all roads lead to France and heavy is the tread Of the living; but the dead returning lightly dance.
Edward Thomas, Roads
Saturday, November 9, 2013
Origins of No Man's Land
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No Man's Land, Ypres Salient, 1919
The term "no man’s land" came into general use in English during the First World War, referring to uninhabitable areas that saw the fiercest of the fighting between the two sides of the conflict; the use of the term, many centuries earlier referring to an isolated patch of land outside the City of London, is indicative of a pattern of language-change produced by the war – by 1920 "Niemandsland" was a widely used term in German.
Text from the British Museum Website, photo from the Library of Congress