British Military Terms and Soldier Slang

China and the Far East

(BR= Boxer Rebellion --- TR= Taiping Rebellion)

bazaar

Oriental market (Persian bazar)

Bersaglieri Italian elite light infantry. Famous for the green-black feather worn on their head gear.
cangue wooden punishment collar
cat, catted to vomit

catty, catties

Asian unit of weight, about 600 grams (Malay kati)

chandoo high quality prepared opium

chin-chin

conference

chit

short letter, voucher (Hindi citth)

chop

document or mark

chop-chop

urgent document, fast

coolie

unskilled laborer (Hindi kull)

East Asia Brigade Special German force shipped to China during the Boxer Rebellion

ESA

Ever Secure Army – formed at Ningpo by British, eventually merged with EVA. (TR)

ETA

Ever Triumphant Army – formed by French at Ningpo. (TR)

EVA

Ever Victorious Army – European armed and led Chinese troops organized to protect Shanhai (TR).

fan-qui foreigner

Franco-Chinese Corps

Formed at Kiangsu by French, eventually merged with EVA. (TR)

fusiliers-marins French sailors pulled from ships and used as marines during the Boxer Rebellion.
gingal rifle Chinese - About 25mm (1 inch) in caliber, barrel about 2 meters (7 feet) long. Fired one large and several small bullets. The barrel was laid on a brace to fire and it required a crew to use. (BR)

Green-headed devil

EVA troops who wore green turbans. (TR)

hong

flood

huangdi

emperor

International Gun Anglo-French gun barrel on Italian carriage firing Russian shells and manned by US troops at the siege of Peking (BR).

joss

Chinese for god (from Portuguese deos)

joss pidgin

god talk

junk

various types of Chinese ships (Javanese jon, Portuguese junco)

Kansu Braves

Imperial troops from western China, mostly Moslems.

Kingsley’s Force

Imperial force formed at Fahwa. (TR)

lorcha a vessel with a Western-type hull, but junk-type sails

Macartney’s Force

Imperial force formed at Sungkiang. (TR)

mandarin

one who commands (from Portuguese mandar)

Manilamen

Filipinos in China

men

gate

niangniang

empress

pa chi

Imperial banner men

pagoda

Oriental temple (Portuguese pagode)

pidgin

business, commercial language

Qing

Manchu dynasty

Sha, sha!

"Kill, kill!" Boxer chant during siege of Peking (BR).

Seebataillon German marines.

Ta

Tartars

tael

Chinese currency based on silver (Portuguese from Malay tahil)

taipan great man

ten nai

tiger men

Thornhill’s Roughs

AKA Carving Knife Brigade. Legation civilian militia during siege of Peking (BR).

wang

king

Yam Luo

king of hell

yellow

color only worn by royalty

yung

brave ones, supplementary Imperial troops

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