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Folklore: British Military Slang = Jankers

GUEST,Johnny in OKC 15 May 03 - 02:41 AM
Micca 15 May 03 - 03:01 AM
Roger the Skiffler 15 May 03 - 03:59 AM
Liz the Squeak 15 May 03 - 04:29 AM
GUEST 15 May 03 - 09:13 AM
masato sakurai 15 May 03 - 09:32 AM
An Pluiméir Ceolmhar 15 May 03 - 10:44 AM
GUEST,Q 15 May 03 - 12:05 PM
Schantieman 15 May 03 - 12:15 PM
GUEST,Johnny in OKC 15 May 03 - 01:09 PM
GUEST,Q 15 May 03 - 04:47 PM
The Walrus 15 May 03 - 07:42 PM
An Pluiméir Ceolmhar 16 May 03 - 04:23 AM
Wilfried Schaum 16 May 03 - 07:33 AM
Wilfried Schaum 16 May 03 - 07:47 AM
GUEST,ta2 16 May 03 - 08:35 AM
GUEST,Q 16 May 03 - 09:42 AM
GUEST,P.J.Morant 18 May 10 - 02:32 PM
Commander Crabbe 18 May 10 - 08:15 PM
Tug the Cox 18 May 10 - 08:25 PM
MGM·Lion 06 Dec 10 - 04:48 AM
bubblyrat 06 Dec 10 - 07:13 AM
Dead Horse 06 Dec 10 - 09:01 AM
Dave Hanson 07 Dec 10 - 03:24 AM
Brian May 07 Dec 10 - 08:06 AM
bubblyrat 07 Dec 10 - 08:31 AM
MikeL2 07 Dec 10 - 09:34 AM
GUEST 04 Sep 14 - 02:46 AM
mayomick 04 Sep 14 - 04:17 AM
GUEST 04 Sep 14 - 04:47 AM
Leadfingers 04 Sep 14 - 04:59 AM
Dave Hanson 04 Sep 14 - 08:38 AM
Teribus 05 Sep 14 - 03:08 AM
GUEST,Derrick 05 Sep 14 - 04:08 AM
bubblyrat 05 Sep 14 - 08:01 AM
GUEST 19 Apr 15 - 11:12 AM
Hrothgar 20 Apr 15 - 08:26 AM
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Subject: Folklore: British Military Slang = Jankers
From: GUEST,Johnny in OKC
Date: 15 May 03 - 02:41 AM

What's the meaning of "on jankers"?

From the tune, I'm going to be on jankers
for the rest of my career.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: British Military Slang = Jankers
From: Micca
Date: 15 May 03 - 03:01 AM

Johnny OKC its equivalent in GI Parlance, I believe, is KP duty, ie dirty jobs in the kitchen, emptying trash a, picking up rubbish around the camp


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Subject: RE: Folklore: British Military Slang = Jankers
From: Roger the Skiffler
Date: 15 May 03 - 03:59 AM

What Micca said... as a punishment for minor offences not warrantiing time in the guardhouse/stockade.

RtS


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Subject: RE: Folklore: British Military Slang = Jankers
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 15 May 03 - 04:29 AM

It also acts as an unseen block to promotion. A private who's spent most of his army career (whether a set timespan or duration of hostilities) on 'jankers' would be most unlikely to ever make it above Private because he is obviously untrustworthy and incapable of taking orders. One of the best known 'jankers' punishments was weeding the parade ground by hand, or with a dessert spoon. Painting rocks white was also another unpopular task, as was digging latrines. I've seen reports in a military diary that had half a battalion painting rocks white and the other half painting them brown again (the crime was a practical joke involving drawers cellular,no one culprit could be found, so the entire battalion were punished). It was usuallly dirty, unpopular jobs - spud bashing, mopping down floors, mucking out stables or clearing latrines: or "busy work" - tedious, unnecessary and soul destroying stuff, meant to break the spirit of anyone kicking against the system. For a movie example (albeit an extreme one), watch Sean Connery in 'The Hill'. It's a prime example of a pointless and demeaning excercise, serving only to break the man. Plus it shows Sean with his clothes off.

I've a feeling the actual word has it's roots in one of the Asian languages, probably Hindi, as it would have been popularised by the British Army in India during the 1800's.

LTS


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Subject: RE: Folklore: British Military Slang = Jankers
From: GUEST
Date: 15 May 03 - 09:13 AM

The origin of the word is German jankers = prison time/service/duty


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Subject: RE: Folklore: British Military Slang = Jankers
From: masato sakurai
Date: 15 May 03 - 09:32 AM

Is this the meaning asked for? From John Brophy and Eric Partridge, eds., Songs and Slang of the British Soldier: 1914-1918, 2nd ed. (Eric Partridge Ltd. At the Scholartis Press, 1930, p. 132):
JANKERS.--C.B. (cf.), or confinement in a military prison. Perhaps from the jangling of fetters (in old-time prisons).

C.B.--Confined to barracks.[...]
~Masato


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Subject: RE: Folklore: British Military Slang = Jankers
From: An Pluiméir Ceolmhar
Date: 15 May 03 - 10:44 AM

Hmm. A late relative of mine who worked in the family pub much frequented by British soldiers in the early 20th Century was under the impression that Jankers was specifically latrine duty, rather than any old punishment.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: British Military Slang = Jankers
From: GUEST,Q
Date: 15 May 03 - 12:05 PM

Jankers first appeared in print in 1916, in a book called "Kitchener's Mob, by J. N. Hall. "The 'jankers' or defaulters squad was always rather large." OED. Its origin is listed as unknown.

In 1919, this appeared in the Athenaeum: "The advent of the Royal Navy Division introduced to the Army the sailor's slang word 'jankers, 'the equivalent of the soldier's 'clink' punishment cells." Jankers is also known as 'Paddy Doyle'. OED

T. E. Lawrence (Lawrence of Arabia) in the "Mint," 1935: said "A week before my last jankers..." OED

Apparently a navy term originally.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: British Military Slang = Jankers
From: Schantieman
Date: 15 May 03 - 12:15 PM

I've never heard it in a Naval context; it doesn't appear in Jackspeak (Surgeon Commander Rick Jolly's excellent and definitive book on Naval slang), nor in Covey Crump.

Steve


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Subject: RE: Folklore: British Military Slang = Jankers
From: GUEST,Johnny in OKC
Date: 15 May 03 - 01:09 PM

Thanks guys, I thought it would be obscure!
For Brits, KP originally stood for Kitchen Police,
with "police" taking the (obscure) meaning of
cleaning up. We also use the expression "police
the area" meaning picking up cigarette butts, etc.
Painting the rocks white has an up-side, since it
spruces up an otherwise drab-looking squadron area.
Johnny in OKC


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Subject: RE: Folklore: British Military Slang = Jankers
From: GUEST,Q
Date: 15 May 03 - 04:47 PM

To police, meaning to clean up (around the garrison) is found as early as 1851 in print (Colborn's United Service Magazine. OED.

JANKERS may have a long history, with changes in meaning. The following from a brief history of body-snatching or grave-robbing may have pertinence:

"The grave robbers job was easier if the graves of the poor were robbed. Pit burials, or mass graves were common, and often a large square pit up to 20 feet deep wound be excavated, filled with coffins gradually over a period of weeks then closed. Stealing bodies from such graves cannot have been difficult. The wealthy, of course could buy a metal coffin (1781), Bridgeman's patent cast iron coffin (1818) or use a mortsafe- a kind of cage of iron bars surrounding a tomb. They could also, and did, employ guards, even armed guards to insure eternal rest. The poor, acting in concert to reduce the cost often had a parish mortsafe or 'JANKERS' where bodies were kept until too high for the anatomist to use." Dr. D. R. Johnson, Centre for Human Biology, Leeds, Anatomy 1 Lecture Series: Mortsafe, Jankers

This information had not yet been brought to the attention of the OED in 1987. It may be in the latest edition.

Jankers in military parlance at first had confinement as the central meaning, but especially during WW2 it often meant minor punishment such as 'kitchen police' or restriction of privileges.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: British Military Slang = Jankers
From: The Walrus
Date: 15 May 03 - 07:42 PM

An aditional part of 'Jankers' was the 'defaulters' parade'
At fixed times during the day, usually when the rest of the unit were temporarily 'off duty', the bugler would sound "Defaulters" at which, the man under punishment was obliged to present himself, in the correct order of dress, to the Guard Room for inspection or 'detailing'.
Needless to say that lateness, faults etc. could result in further punishment (more 'jankers').
Oh yes, and 'Defaulters under punishment' were barred from the 'wet' canteen.

Regards

Walrus.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: British Military Slang = Jankers
From: An Pluiméir Ceolmhar
Date: 16 May 03 - 04:23 AM

Thanks, Guest Q. Are you a former quartermaster?


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Subject: RE: Folklore: British Military Slang = Jankers
From: Wilfried Schaum
Date: 16 May 03 - 07:33 AM

Description of several days jankers here.

I really doubt the German origin of the word. I'm German, served my time, and never heard it.
In our big national dictionaries (Grimm's German Dictionary, Duden big dictionary of the German Language) I couldn't find the slightest hint. In older dictionary there are no entries.
The verb janken describes the production of whining, howling, squeaking or squealing sounds.
The substantive Janker is a short Jacket.

Wilfried


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Subject: RE: Folklore: British Military Slang = Jankers
From: Wilfried Schaum
Date: 16 May 03 - 07:47 AM

See also this very interesting glossary.

Wilfried


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Subject: RE: Folklore: British Military Slang = Jankers
From: GUEST,ta2
Date: 16 May 03 - 08:35 AM

jankers................rhyming slang i think


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Subject: RE: Folklore: British Military Slang = Jankers
From: GUEST,Q
Date: 16 May 03 - 09:42 AM

Jankers, a mortsafe in which bodies are kept, could easily change meaning, to the clink in which military miscreants were kept. It would also be in line with the dark humor of soldiers.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: British Military Slang = Jankers
From: GUEST,P.J.Morant
Date: 18 May 10 - 02:32 PM

During my time in the army, 1948 to 1950, the British equivalent to the american KP was "fatigues", which was just a normal maintainance duty with no punishment involved. Jankers was a punishment awarded by the Officer Commanding for minor disciplinary reasons and was usually just "confined to barracks", i,e, no going into the local town for a boozup.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: British Military Slang = Jankers
From: Commander Crabbe
Date: 18 May 10 - 08:15 PM

Having spent 23 years before the mast Royal Navy style, "jankers" to my knowledge was usually associated with service in the army.

Punishment (naval style) not warranting a spell in DQ's (Detention Quarters) was usually referred to as number nine punishment or "nines".

I am familiar with nines but not DQs!

CC


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Subject: RE: Folklore: British Military Slang = Jankers
From: Tug the Cox
Date: 18 May 10 - 08:25 PM

It does mean a Mortsafe...but that is a distinct meaning from the military punishment.
At the Military school I attended the Band CSM, Bill Fry, was known as Janner, as he came fromm Devon. By a process of Extension, the CB ( confined to barracks) transferred to him through the connection with CB Fry...the outstanding sportsman, so he gradually became 'jankers'.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: British Military Slang = Jankers
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 06 Dec 10 - 04:48 AM

In all Nat Service units I served in 1951-52, "jankers" meant CB; which stood for Confinement to Barracks, but meant a lot more than just what the name implies: involving, not only being forbidden to leave the barracks, but also early morning reporting to the guardroom {without benefit of an 'early call'} for inspection by the sergeant guard-commander, banning from the canteen at morning NAAFI-break, parading behind the guard at evening guard-mounting in full Battle-Order or Field Service Marching Order [i.e. all packs, belts, cross-straps &c, all of which had to be in high state of blanco-and-brass·polish bull], followed by two hours of busywork fatigues of the scrubbing or spud-bashing kind. It was no joke, believe me...

~M~


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Subject: RE: Folklore: British Military Slang = Jankers
From: bubblyrat
Date: 06 Dec 10 - 07:13 AM

Mrs Malaprop has never been more at home than in the Royal Navy ; the Naval equivalent of Jankers, Number Nine Punishment, involving loss of liberty,extra work,and stoppage of rum / beer rations (something with which I was all too familiar !), was " awarded" to those known as "Men Under Punishment And Stoppage Of Leave", which was always altered to "Men Under Nourishment And Stoppage Of Cheese".
    There was also Number Ten Punishment, which generally involved a fine , or "Mulct" as it was known,and loss of liberty,but without the indignity of the menial chores ,or "Jankers ", although I never once heard it referred to thus in the Fleet Air Arm. I was "awarded" 3 days "Noz Tens" for delaying an aircraft carrier which was about to depart Devonport for a NATO exercise in Arctic Waters ! --methinks I got off lightly,although probably because I played the banjo in the ship's Irish/Liverpool "Folk Group" , and the "Joss Man" ( Master-at-Arms) had a soft spot for me / us !! God bless you,Paddy Calnan,wherever you are !!


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Subject: RE: Folklore: British Military Slang = Jankers
From: Dead Horse
Date: 06 Dec 10 - 09:01 AM

Ive got a soft spot for banjo players.
In the oggin :-)


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Subject: RE: Folklore: British Military Slang = Jankers
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 07 Dec 10 - 03:24 AM

During my time in HM Forces in the early 60s for minor offences it was called RP or Restriction Of Privelige, not allowed to leave the barracks, 2 hours fatigues [ menial tasks ] every day and to stand to attention behind the Guard Parade in your best uniform to be inspected by the Orderly Officer.

Dave H


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Subject: RE: Folklore: British Military Slang = Jankers
From: Brian May
Date: 07 Dec 10 - 08:06 AM

I was Orderly Officer on several occasions and even those incarcerated in the Regional Detention Centre (RAF) were known as inspecting those on 'jankers'.

Not rhyming slang as far as I know it. My dad was a Station Warrant Officer (SWO) which was related effectively to an RSM in the Army and was Discip. He always referred to 'jankers' and he joined up in 1933, so it was in common use then.

Contrary to commonly held belief, as a SWO, he did actually know who his father was . . .


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Subject: RE: Folklore: British Military Slang = Jankers
From: bubblyrat
Date: 07 Dec 10 - 08:31 AM

I remember leaving RAF Changi along with two coachloads of PROPER ( ie Naval) airmen in 1968 ; as we drove past the Guardroom, someone played "The Camptown Races " on the trumpet whilst we all sang "All You Crabfats Piss Me Off , Doo-Dah,Doo-Dah" ( good-naturedly, of course !! ),whilst a stony-faced SWO & staff looked resignedly on.I imagine he / they got their revenge the next time a Carrier Air Group disembarked to that lovely place, though.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: British Military Slang = Jankers
From: MikeL2
Date: 07 Dec 10 - 09:34 AM

Hi

MtheGM got it spot on. I was in the RAF though but jankers was the same "punishment".

And as Mike says not much fun when you are on it. One of the problems was that they kept you so busy with appointed tasks the whole day that it was very easy to get something slightly wrong and so even more days were added to the original "crime".

In the RAF it was usually only only common on training bases where discipline and "bullshit" was prevalent.

I remember that to combat the having to report regularly through-out the day in full dress and webbing that we had a couple of special sets of gear continually kept in top order to loan out to offenders.

I spent some time on jankers and my tasks were to guard the coal compound - this included whitewashing the top layer. This to make it easy to spot if anyone had nicked some.

Another was where two people one with a can of black paint and the other with white were instructed to paint the kerbs on all the roads. The white ones to be painted black and vice-versa.

I think we could do with some of this now seeing as the Condems appear to be going soft on prison for repeat offenders and knife carrying.

Cheers

Mikel2

Cheers

MikeL2


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Subject: RE: Folklore: British Military Slang = Jankers
From: GUEST
Date: 04 Sep 14 - 02:46 AM

cruisingyeti says at https://uk.answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20061227095710AA9WAzQ "A 'Janker Wallah' is a Hindu word that refers to a fellow who does menial labor," which if true would be strong support for the idea that the British picked it up during the Raj, as the timing also suggests.

--Nonie


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Subject: RE: Folklore: British Military Slang = Jankers
From: mayomick
Date: 04 Sep 14 - 04:17 AM

Fascinating thread.Is there a collective noun for "British ex-military types"?

Liz the Squeak referred to "a practical joke involving drawers cellular...."
"Drawers cellular" would that be a military plural like "sergeants major", "courts martial"-or something else entirely?


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Subject: RE: Folklore: British Military Slang = Jankers
From: GUEST
Date: 04 Sep 14 - 04:47 AM

Drawers = an undergarment, usually ladies and of rather old fashioned design
Cellular - a type of fabric


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Subject: RE: Folklore: British Military Slang = Jankers
From: Leadfingers
Date: 04 Sep 14 - 04:59 AM

'Drawers Cellular' was the official Stores description of Male Underpants , very loose and 'baggy' - Usually referred to in MY time in uniform (R A F ) as 'Shreddies' as they had a tendency to become shreds of cloth over time .


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Subject: RE: Folklore: British Military Slang = Jankers
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 04 Sep 14 - 08:38 AM

In my time in HM Forces jankers was no obstacle to promotion, I knew 2
Troopers who served 14 days detention, and both were subsequently promoted fairly quickly.

Dave H


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Subject: RE: Folklore: British Military Slang = Jankers
From: Teribus
Date: 05 Sep 14 - 03:08 AM

"A 'Janker Wallah' is a Hindu word that refers to a fellow who does menial labor," which if true would be strong support for the idea that the British picked it up during the Raj, as the timing also suggests."

Would be the one I would put my money on.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: British Military Slang = Jankers
From: GUEST,Derrick
Date: 05 Sep 14 - 04:08 AM

Agreed Teribus,a quick google of janker wallah shows numerous references which agree.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: British Military Slang = Jankers
From: bubblyrat
Date: 05 Sep 14 - 08:01 AM

The navy could be harsh , but very forgiving also ; I knew a Petty Officer on the Naval Air Radio Installation Unit who was found lying drunk in a puddle in the road outside the PO's mess ; he was disrated to Leading Air Mechanic , but after a year of "keeping his nose clean" was re-instated and his record purged of the offence.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: British Military Slang = Jankers
From: GUEST
Date: 19 Apr 15 - 11:12 AM

Drawers cellular were the Great Green airtex nickers issued to the Women's Royal Army Corp (WRAC) Horrendous with elastic and ballooned out, did nothing for your street cred.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: British Military Slang = Jankers
From: Hrothgar
Date: 20 Apr 15 - 08:26 AM

Possibly the janker-wallah expression worked both ways, with the Indians adding the "janker" bit that they had heard the soldiers use to the Indian term "wallah".


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