Thursday 4 September 2008

AAE Q147: G.I.

Hi Matt,

I'd like to ask you about a "G. I. soldier"

Thanks Mirek

Hi Mirek,

GI or G.I. is a term describing members of the U.S. armed forces or items of their equipment. It may be used as an adjective or as a noun. The term is often thought to be an initialism of "Government Issue" or "General Infantry" but the origin of the term is in fact galvanized iron after the letters "GI" that used to denote equipment such as metal trash cans made from it in U.S. Army inventories and supply records.

During World War I it was somehow assumed that GI stood for "Government Issue" and the term was applied to all military equipment and the soldiers themselves (another incorrect interpretation is "General Infantry"). The term reached even further as its usage spread with the American troops during World War II.

Hope this helps



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