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A 'orrible shower

Posted by James Briggs on May 30, 2003

In Reply to: A 'orrible shower posted by Iain Brown on May 30, 2003

: Can you perhaps enlighten me as to what a "'orrible shower" is. It is in the context of the military as in 'You lot are a 'orrible shower. Get around the parade ground in full kit double quick time.' I have never seen it in my nearly forty years of life and have encountered it twice in the last few weeks. Not even my two hefty volumes of the Shorter Oxford are of anyassistance. Perhaps the brothers Fowler objected massively to dropped aithces.

It was certainly used widely by the Drill Instructors, and others, when I was doing my National Service in the 1950s. I think it came from the concept that the new recruits were as fresh and innocent as a recent shower (of rain). If they didn't quickly learn to march properly, then they were the subject of such verbal abuse.
I also remember "Airman, did you shave this morning?". 'Yes, corporal". "well, stand closer to the razor next time!"
A particularly graphic phrase was: "Swing those arms, airman. If not, I'll pull them out at the socket and beat you over the head with the soggy ends!!"