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Civil War Language

The American Civil War (1861-1865) gave us a new national identity, but in many ways, it also gave us a new national language.  Hundreds of words and phrases still in use today originated or became popular durign the Civil War.  One example is canned goods. Before the war, there were very few canned food products available, but the tremendous demands for military rations that could be easily stored and transported led to a great expansion of food canning.  By the end of the war, canned goods were quite common. Some other examples of Civil War phrases that are still in use today are below:
 
Burning Daylight - Squandering daytime hours when you could be doing something useful
Chief Cook and Bottle Washer - the person in charge or someone who can do anything
Conniption Fit - going into hysterics or throwing a tantrum
Deadbeat - a useless person, a malingerer
Duds - clothing
Fit as a Fiddle - in good shape
Fit to be Tied - angry
Goobers - peanuts
Hard Case - a tough guy
Hard Knocks - hard times, or to be ill usd
Hard Shell Baptist - Before the 20th century, Bibles came with a hard cover.  Since Baptists based their beliefs on the Bibles they carried with them, they became hard shell Baptists.
Horse Sense - common sense or good judgment
Hunkey Dorey - all is well
Income Tax - The first national income tax was collected during the Civil War.
In God We Trust - The national motto was first stamped on coins starting in 1864.
Ironclad Oath - An ironclad oath was the very stringent oath required by Congress for federal office holders and military officers starting in 1862.  It was a metaphor of the new ships then being produced that were sheathed in iron armor, or iron clad.  The oath was intended to exclude any person who had participated in the rebellion.
Jailbird - a criminal
Jawing - talking
Katy Bar the Door - said jokingly when someone you didn't want to talk to was approaching
New York Stock Exchange - The new name was adopted in 1863.
On His Own Hook - acting without orders
Snug as a Bug - very comfortable
Toe the Mark - follow orders, to do as your told
Top Rail - first class
Uppity - arrogant
 
 
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