A wavering half-cheer


Senior Member
Dear all
Please kindly tell me what's meant by "wavering half-cheer" in the following context, taken from "The Three Soldiers" by Dos Passos:
Time: 1918
Location: somewhere in France
A column of American soldiers are marching in a country road towards battle front with packs, equipment and all. A staff car full of officers is stalled at the side of the road. The officers are drinking something out of a thermos bottle which they pass round "with the air of Sunday excursionists".
They waved, with a conscious relaxation of discipline, at the men as they passed. One, a little lieutenant with a black mustache with pointed ends, kept crying: "They're running like rabbits, fellers; they're running like rabbits." A wavering half-cheer would come from the column now and then where it was passing the staff car.
  • cropje_jnr

    Senior Member
    English - Australia
    "Wavering" means that it is not a steady cheer. It's half-hearted and therefore the sound of the cheer "wavers". "Half-cheer" basically means the same thing - it's not enthusiastic enough to qualify as a "full cheer" in the writer's view.
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