|About Us | What's New | Search | Site Map | Contact Us|
You are not logged in. [Log In] Wordsmith.org » Forums » General Topics » Q&A about words » Come in to my parlor... Register User Forum List Calendar Active Topics Search FAQ
#117785 - 12/18/03 07:17 AM Re: Come in to my parlor...
Loc: Cape Cod, MA, US
I know I'm replying to myself, but for others who might be interested, Safire chimes in on the origin of "spider hole" here:
The relevant snippet:
[safire]Another useful bit of information is the origin of "spider hole," a phrase used by Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez to describe the dugout hiding place in which the fugitive Saddam was cowering.
This is Army lingo from the Vietnam era. The Vietcong guerrillas dug "Cu Chi tunnels" often connected to what the GI's called "spider holes" -- space dug deep enough for the placement of a clay pot large enough to hold a crouching man, covered by a wooden plank and concealed with leaves. When a U.S. patrol passed, the Vietcong would spring out, shooting. But the hole had its dangers; if the pot broke or cracked, the guerrilla could be attacked by poisonous spiders or snakes. Hence, "spider hole."[/safire]
Cardhouse (http://www.cardhouse.com)doesn't buy his logic:
[cardhouse]That seems like an awfully long road to travel to get to the term "spider hole." Why not "snake hole"? Why would American forces name things from the perspective of a clay pot-hiding VC? "Hey, I found one of those dead clay pot VCs ... looks like he died from a bunch of spider and/or snake bites! I thus call this hole and all subsequent holes formed in the same fashion ... a .... a spider hole!" It couldn't have possibly derived from the fact that spiders actually dig holes in the ground or that VC tunnels were sometimes "guarded" by a ton of spiders? [/cardhouse]
#117786 - 12/18/03 07:39 AM I dunno...
Loc: lower upstate New York
I'm thinking that Sanchez and many of the other commanders and guys-in-charge were probably Viet Nam-era soldiers. This is the first big war for them since then and maybe they're just trotting out their old jargon. Probably now that there's such a large group of soldiers together they'll update that slang.
PS Thanks for the Safire take, Flatlander. Last I read him he was splainin "exit strategy."
#117787 - 12/20/03 07:33 AM Re: Come in to my parlor...
Loc: Perth, Western Australia
And "Rat Nest Island" it is Jackie; thanks to the early Dutch explorers. Named after the ever so cute Quokkas (miniature wallabies) that reside there.
#117788 - 12/20/03 09:01 AM Picture of a quokka
Loc: Louisville, Kentucky
Forum Stats 8836 Members
Max Online: 3341 @ 12/09/11 02:15 PM
Newest Members Jeannine, JimHarbor, treponim, Esmith, EvanescentBlue
8836 Registered Users
Who's Online 0 registered (), 19 Guests and 4 Spiders online. Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Top Posters (30 Days)
endymion6 87 wofahulicodoc 79 LukeJavan8 71 A C Bowden 47 May 3 tsuwm 1
wwh 13858 Faldage 13803 Jackie 11613 tsuwm 10530 LukeJavan8 7361 Buffalo Shrdlu 7210 AnnaStrophic 6511 Wordwind 6296 wofahulicodoc 5723 of troy 5400
Board Rules · Mark all read Contact Us · Wordsmith.org · Top
Disclaimer: Wordsmith.org is not responsible for views expressed on this site. Use of this forum is at your own risk and liability - you agree to hold Wordsmith.org and its associates harmless as a condition of using it.
Home | Today's Word | Yesterday's Word | Subscribe | FAQ | Archives | Search | Feedback
Wordsmith Talk | Wordsmith Chat
© 2014 Wordsmith