People Named After WWI Battles
Here’s a BBC News story about a 19-year old who currently lives in Alton, Hampshire, and whose name is Ella Passchendaele Maton-Cole. It mentions that the practice of naming children after WWI-related subjects wasn’t all that unusual during the war itself, and that it sometimes involved feminized variants such as Zeppelina.
‘I was named after a World War One battle’
By Sean Coughlan
21 July 2017
That’s nothing, I was named after a WWII building complex…
Ah, yes, the famous battle of “Flashman Ridge” in July 1917.
There’s Brusilov Offensive Stevens down the pub, Tenth Battle of the Isonzo Carruthers at our Bridlington branch, and I know a pair of cats named Hindenburg and Ludendorf.
My last name is a WW1 pejorative
“Boche is an abbreviation of caboche, (compare bochon, an abbreviation of cabochon). This is a recognized French word used familiarly for “head,” especially a big, thick head, (“slow-pate”). It is derived from the Latin word caput and the suffix oceus. Boche seems to have been used first in the underworld of Paris about 1860, with the meaning of a disagreeable, troublesome fellow. In the Franco-Prussian war of 1870 it was not applied to the Germans, but soon afterward it was applied by the Parisian printers to their German assistants because of the reputed slowness of comprehension of these foreign printers. The epithet then used was tÃªte de boche, which had the meaning of tÃªte carrÃe d’Allemand (German blockhead or imbÃcile). The next step was to apply boche to Germans in general”
Monty Python got some good alliterative mileage out of that term in their movie “And Now For Something Completely Different.” One sequence in the movie is a fake WWII British newsreel, in black and white, with suitably bombastic narration that includes the opening line “Yes, the war against the Hun continues – and as Britian’s brave boys battle against the Boche…” By the standards of genuine WWII newsreels, that’s actually not as over-the-top as it sounds to modern ears. And during a real WWII deception operation, the fake letter from General Nye to General Alexander which was the centrepiece of the “Mincemeat” disinformation scheme used such phrases as “We have had recent information that the Boche have been reinforcing and strengthening their defences in Greece and Crete…”