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#117785 - 12/18/03 12:17 PM Re: Come in to my parlor...  
Joined: Jan 2001
Posts: 428
Flatlander Offline
Flatlander  Offline

Joined: Jan 2001
Posts: 428
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 12:39 PM I dunno...  
Joined: Mar 2000
Posts: 6,511
AnnaStrophic Offline
Carpal Tunnel
AnnaStrophic  Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Joined: Mar 2000
Posts: 6,511
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 12:33 PM Re: Come in to my parlor...  
Joined: Nov 2000
Posts: 866
stales Offline
old hand
stales  Offline
old hand

Joined: Nov 2000
Posts: 866
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 02:01 PM Picture of a quokka  
Joined: Mar 2000
Posts: 11,613
Jackie Offline
Jackie  Offline

Carpal Tunnel

Joined: Mar 2000
Posts: 11,613
Louisville, Kentucky

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