Tommy Atkins

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

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Said to be a fictitious name inserted in document templates given to soldiers to guide them in filling out account blanks, etc. in 1815 publication Soldier's Account Book and later in the 1837 King's Regulations

Proper noun[edit]

Tommy Atkins

  1. Generic term for any British soldier.
    • 1892, Rudyard Kipling, "Tommy":
      O it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy, go away";
      But it's "Thank you, Mister Atkins", when the band begins to play
    • 1978, Herman Wouk, War and Remembrance, 2002 Back Bay Books edition, page 507:
      A voice I don't want to listen to tells me that this is England's last land triumph; that our military history ends here [] . Tommy Atkins will serve with pluck and valor wherever he fights hereafter, as always; but the conduct of the war is passing out of our hands.

See also[edit]