Wednesday, 15 August 2012

A jaw like a pike

There were four of the Bootnecks⁸ under a sergeant with a jaw like a pike, all very trim with their Sniders slung . . .

8. A Bootneck or Leatherneck is a Royal Marine, supposedly so-called from the leather tab securing the uniform collar in the nineteenth century, or possibly from the leather neck-stock. Leatherneck was adopted as a nickname for the U.S. Marines early in the twentieth century. Royal Marines were also known as Jollies, which according to Eric Partridge was once the nickname of the London Trained Bands.

Flashman on the March, p.12, Harper Collins, paperback edition 2005.

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