Now all roads lead to France and heavy is the tread
Of the living; but the dead returning lightly dance.
Edward Thomas, Roads

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Recommended: The 151st Regiment d'Infanterie de Ligne

The U.S.-based reenactment group, the 151st Regiment d'Infanterie de Ligne, has a wonderful site filled with informative pages about their parent unit and the experiences of the French poilu. For example their page "French Military Terms and Soldiers' Slang" contains an outstanding glossary of French military slang online.  Besides French-English translations, it provides a helpful pronunciation guide and a basic tutorial on French.

Some of my favorites among the 300 entries include:

Top Brass (Oils -- as in "squeaky clean")   =   les Huiles

Pal or Buddy (Old Fella)   =   [Mon] Vieux

Italian soldier   =   l'Italien or   =   le Macaroni

Cunning, brave, determined man (rabbit)   =   le Lapin

Front-line soldiers ("Poor Assholes of the Front")   =   les Pauvres Cons du Front, or le P.C.D.F.

Flame-thrower   =   le Lance-flammes

Metro [210 mm artillery shell]   =   le Métro

Daily Rations   =   les Vivres de Jour

Louse   =   le Toto

To be hit, done for   =   Être fadé

Guts   =   Cran
      He's got guts.   =   Il a des crans.

The Honorable Members of the 151st R.I.L.

The full glossary can be explored at:

Learn about joining the 151st RIL here:

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