boot camp ?

sky753

Senior Member
Chinese
Hello Everyone,

Can you tell us why the training base for members who have joined the US army or navy are called boot camp ? Can you tell me its origin?

The phrase seems strange to me and I can't find any connection with the millitary service from the phrase?

Regards

Sky
 
  • Copyright

    Senior Member
    American English
    From the Online Etymology Dictionary: boot camp: 1944, U.S. Marines slang, said to be from boot as slang for "recruit," which supposedly dates from the Spanish-American War and is a synecdoche from boots, leggings worn by U.S. sailors.

    I know the Marines call new recruits "boots."
     

    sky753

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    From the Online Etymology Dictionary: boot camp: 1944, U.S. Marines slang, said to be from boot as slang for "recruit," which supposedly dates from the Spanish-American War and is a synecdoche from boots, leggings worn by U.S. sailors.

    I know the Marines call new recruits "boots."
    Thanks ,I got it!

    HAPPY EASTER!
     

    Languagethinkerlover

    Senior Member
    English-British and U.S.
    I think it can be interpreted another way sky753.

    One usually goes to boot camp to learn order, discipline, etc. (sometimes to check people with behaviorial problems). It could be that the Army is very organized, there is so much order. You must obey every command your commander issues. To me it's a way of saying welcome to the army. You're learning how we do things, our way of life. Live by it and don't question it. They mould you according to what they see as fit for the Army.
     

    Copyright

    Senior Member
    American English
    I think it can be interpreted another way sky753.

    One usually goes to boot camp to learn order, discipline, etc. (sometimes to check people with behaviorial problems). It could be that the Army is very organized, there is so much order. You must obey every command your commander issues. To me it's a way of saying welcome to the army. You're learning how we do things, our way of life. Live by it and don't question it. They mould you according to what they see as fit for the Army.
    How does this relate to the origin of the expression "boot camp"? Are you suggesting that if you don't accept your "welcome to the army" that you get a big boot? (And from what I can tell, "boot camp" didn't begin with the Army.)
     

    Languagethinkerlover

    Senior Member
    English-British and U.S.
    No, I am not suggesting that if you don't accept it, you get booted. At several boot camps they tend to say, "Welcome to 'so and so.'" It's like saying you're here now so you better get used to (and how things are). You're here to change (to what we want you to be/act how we want you to act).

    I didn't say that 'boot camp' started with the Army, but since the topic was associated with how the term is used in the Army, I decided to relate it to how I know boot camp is used.
     

    Copyright

    Senior Member
    American English
    I'm still failing to see the relevance to the thread topic:

    Can you tell us why the training base for members who have joined the US army or navy are called boot camp ? Can you tell me its origin?
     

    mplsray

    Senior Member
    I thought the name comes from the fact that new soldiers are given combat boots and uniform.
    The Oxford English Dictionary has a cite for boot camp (under the entry "boot, n.3" which tends to support the etymology given by Copyright in a previous post:

    1944 G. P. Bailey Boot; a Marine in the Making Foreword, Marine inductees are called ‘Boots’ and it is Marine Corps custom to send them all through a grim process called ‘*boot camp’.
     
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