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Old 15 October 2008, 01:55 PM
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Default "Sod this for a game of soldiers" from Welsh Revolt

Someone on another forum has claimed the following:

Quote:
Owain Glyndwr's army eventually got starved, gave up and went home. It's the origin of the phrase "sod this for a game of soldiers".
This, of course, sent my BS sense a-tingling, however, my Google-fu is failing me.
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  #2  
Old 15 October 2008, 02:04 PM
Jay Tea Jay Tea is offline
 
 
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Unlikely, given that Owain Glyndwr pre-dates the use of the word 'sod' as even an insult by 400 years. I would hazard it's mid to late 20th century.
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  #3  
Old 15 October 2008, 02:20 PM
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One possibility

Another source
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  #4  
Old 15 October 2008, 03:36 PM
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Nigel Rees in A Word In Your Shell-Like basically says the "game of soldiers" part is of unknown origin ("... quite what is meant by a 'game of soldiers' in either version of the expression is not totally clear", then some speculation about toy soldiers or "army games"). He then says "Perhaps none of these date from before the Second World War" - if there was any evidence of the phrase being used much before that, I'd have thought he'd know about it. The other phrases he refers to are variants like "bugger this for..." and "f*ck this for...".

Musicgeek's first link only goes to the cover of Cassell's Dictionary of Word And Phrase Origins, for me, but I notice that that's also written by Nigel Rees so I'm guessing the information will be similar.

The other book I usually use is The Cassell Dictionary of Slang by Jonathon Green, but I couldn't find it in there. (Although I did notice that clicking the Search button on musicgeek's link brought up a different book by Jonathon Green. I guess he and Nigel Rees have the market sewn up...)

Without context, I'd have read the OP claim as a joke, anyway.
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  #5  
Old 15 October 2008, 03:39 PM
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Woudn't they have said it in Welsh?
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  #6  
Old 15 October 2008, 03:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chloe View Post
Woudn't they have said it in Welsh?
That did cross my mind but Wales was already under English rule by then and some harsh acts had been passed by Westminster to subjugate Welsh culture. Also a number of Welsh soldiers in the conflict joined from the British Army meaning it's very likely they spoke English, even if not as their first language.

Dac "My Hen laid a haddock" tyl
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Old 15 October 2008, 05:14 PM
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I'm sure Shakespeare would have mentioned this had it happened.
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Old 15 October 2008, 05:16 PM
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I thought this would be about some new computer game called Welsh Revolt, that, erm... wasn't very good.
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  #9  
Old 15 October 2008, 07:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dactyl View Post
That did cross my mind but Wales was already under English rule by then and some harsh acts had been passed by Westminster to subjugate Welsh culture. Also a number of Welsh soldiers in the conflict joined from the British Army meaning it's very likely they spoke English, even if not as their first language.

Dac "My Hen laid a haddock" tyl
True, but not when English people are in the room.
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