Posted by ESC on March 26, 2003

In Reply to: Cannon Fodder posted by Hoopy Frood on March 26, 2003

: With reports of Iraqi troops using civilians as human shields, this term came to mind. Would this use be appropriate and where did the term originate?
: Thanks

I think it would be appropriate, God help them.

CANNON FODDER - "Personnel who are expendable. The term, dating from the late nineteenth century, originated as a translation from the German 'Kanonenfutter,' meaning military personnel considered likely to be killed or wounded in combat. Later it was occasionally transferred to anyone regarded as expendable, such as an inexperience salesperson, or employees most likely to be laid off if a company had to downsize." From "Fighting Words: From War, Rebellion, and other Combative Capers" by Christine Ammer (NTC Publishing Group, Chicago, Ill., 1989, 1999).