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#120869 - 01/23/04 05:05 PM Re: Civilian
inselpeter Offline

Registered: 03/14/01
Posts: 2379
Loc: New York City
RE: tsuwm's link


Great, thanks -- here's one from there: Gooseberry lay: to steal clothes from a clothesline.

#120870 - 01/23/04 07:19 PM Re: Civilian
Bingley Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 04/09/00
Posts: 3065
Loc: Jakarta
those ***** on civvy street. Replace the ***** with whatever suits the emotional tone.


#120871 - 01/23/04 11:17 PM Re: Civilian
belMarduk Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 09/28/00
Posts: 2891
How about Joe blow. We say that here sometimes, intead of saying to "some guy" Eg. Some Joe blow parked left his lights on and his battery died.

#120872 - 01/24/04 08:37 PM Re: Civilian
Wordwind Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 09/30/01
Posts: 6296
Loc: Piedmont Region of Virginia, U...
I've heard the 'Joe Blow,' too, a while back--years back.

Also, there used to be a term thrown around that wasn't used correctly in modern context--and it was 'plebe,' which correctly referred to someone in the lower ranks of military school. In the incorrect context I'd heard it used, plebe referred to any old citizen. What's interesting is, if you look at the earlier meaning of plebe, a plebe actually was an ordinary citizen, but that use went out of use and evolved into the military use. I have a vague memory, too, of the plebiscite, but I think that has more to do with the group at large or something related to the group at large.

Anyway, plebe wouldn't do for what you want here, but I thought it would be good to mention it just for the general discussion.

#120873 - 01/24/04 08:40 PM Re: did someone say this already?
Buffalo Shrdlu Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 06/24/02
Posts: 7210
Loc: Vermont
"average Joe"?

formerly known as etaoin...

#120874 - 01/24/04 10:18 PM Re: Civilian
Father Steve Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 09/06/00
Posts: 2788
Loc: Seattle, Washington, USA
A first-year cadet at a military academy is a plebe. One of the common people in Ancient Rome was a plebeian. What, oh what, did the American Standard plumbing fixtures company have in mind when they named one of their most popular models of flush toilet the "plebe"?

#120875 - 01/26/04 10:18 AM Re: Civilian
hibernicus Offline

Registered: 01/19/04
Posts: 79
Loc: Dublin, Ireland
We use the word "pleb" (short for plebeian) to mean an ordinary person, often as an ironic self-descriptor when complaining about some favoured class of people getting special treatment. If I understand you correctly, this is not in general use where you are?

The opposite to plebeian is patrician, so I guess the opposite of a pleb is a pat.

#120876 - 01/26/04 10:24 AM Re: Civilian
Faldage Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/01/00
Posts: 13803
The ancient Greek term was idiot, was it not?

#120877 - 01/26/04 07:21 PM Re: Civilian
Solamente, Doug. Offline

Registered: 12/16/00
Posts: 130
Loc: Virginia
My two cents...
William Burroughs used the term "citizen" to great effect to denote average, law-abiding folk outside of his characters' demi-monde of thieves, junkies and losers. I always read the word as being somewhat demeaning, as if the "citizens" were less hip than his main characters.
If I remember correctly, Jim Thompson may have used "citizen" in the same manner.
Also, as I write this, the term "gen pop" (for general population) comes to mind as well... don't know if that helps at all.

#120878 - 01/26/04 07:50 PM Re: Civilian
TEd Remington Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 07/17/00
Posts: 3467
Loc: Marion NC
Most military people refer to civilians as brown-suiters, as opposed to blue-suiters (AF), green-suiters (Army) and (I assume though I cannot recall having heard the term white-suiters for people in the Navy.

When you work for DoD, as opposed to one of the services, you hear references to purple-suiters, who are military members who are interchangeable so to speak. Where I worked we might have a Navy guy replaced by an AF guy replaced by an Army member. The positions were purple-suiter positions.


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