10 Terms Born in the Battlefields of History

Explore the surprising Battlefields origins of common terms like "boycott" and "freelancer" in this enlightening journey through language shaped by history.

By: TexTribe


Originated from Capt. Charles Boycott, ostracized by his community in 1880, sparking a new term for protest.


From Civil War prisons, a line prisoners couldn’t cross or risk being shot. Now, it’s a due date.


Stemming from medieval mercenaries wielding free lances, now refers to self-employed workers.

Trench Coat

Developed for British officers in WWI, this waterproof coat became a civilian fashion staple.


From Old French ‘jargoun’, describing the indecipherable chatter of birds, akin to soldiers' slang.


Named after Henry Shrapnel, who invented a type of exploding artillery shell in the 1780s.


Named after Bikini Atoll, site of nuclear tests in 1946, reflecting the 'explosive' effect of the swimsuit.


From workers throwing wooden shoes (sabots) into machinery to disrupt production during disputes.


First used in a naval context during WWI for any small mechanical thing whose name is forgotten.


From the Vandals, a tribe whose destruction of Rome in 455 AD became synonymous with senseless destruction.

Exploring Celtic Influences on Modern Language