boot camp ?

Discussion in 'English Only' started by sky753, Apr 23, 2011.

  1. 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
     
  2. Copyright

    Copyright Senior Member

    Penang
    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."
     
  3. sky753 Senior Member

    Chinese
    Thanks ,I got it!

    HAPPY EASTER!
     
  4. 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.
     
  5. Copyright

    Copyright Senior Member

    Penang
    American English
    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.)
     
  6. 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.
     
  7. Copyright

    Copyright Senior Member

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

     
  8. Havfruen Senior Member

    USA
    English - American
    I thought the name comes from the fact that new soldiers are given combat boots and uniform.
     
  9. mplsray Senior Member

    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:

     

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