New Word #42: The Revolutionary War

Image by John Hain from Pixabay

I learned many new words through the American Revolutionary War. One of the most interesting words is “dragoons”–they dismount their horses first before fighting on foot, unlike the cavalry who will fight while mounted. I just wonder where they would keep their horses while fighting? I mean on a battle field there are no stables or probably not even trees around to fasten the horses to. Also during the time, the secret service for George Washington is called “life guard”–the phrase has evolved to refer to the swimming pool assistant position nowadays. Another word “retrograde” is great, although I’ve never heard of it being used. Whenever an army retreats, it always wants to take care of the possible attack when retreating. So retrograde is a more fitting word for the situation. And the Liberty Tree is fascinating. As you know, Buddha often teaches under a tree too. It’s usually a fig tree for Buddha, and an elm tree for the American revolutionists.

cabal /kəˈbäl,kəˈbal/: a group of people united in some close design, usually to promote their private views or interest.

declivity: A downward slope.

dragoons /drəˈɡo͞on/: A class of mounted infantry who used horses for mobility but dismounted to fight on foot.

escarpment: a long, steep slope, especially one at the edge of a plateau

fusil /ˈfyo͞ozəl/: a light flintlock musket.

a group of soldiers: complement, garrison, company, battalion, regiment

grenadier: tall soldiers who were selected to throw grenade.

haversack: small canvas bag.

huzzah /həˈzä/: shouting used to express approval or delight; hurrah.

impressment: the taking of men into a military or naval force by compulsion, with or without notice.

king’s Tree: Resources, such as white pines and other trees, were earmarked for use for naval vessels as masts, turpentine, etc.

Liberty Tree: An Elm tree on Boston Commons which served as a place to demonstrate dissatisfaction with British rule.

Life Guard: The 180-man personal guard for the Commander-in-Chief George Washington. 

muster: to formally enroll in the army

rampart /ˈramˌpärt/: a defensive wall of a castle or walled city, having a broad top with a walkway and typically a stone parapet.

retrograde: military backwards movement made cautiously while still anticipating an attack.

scarp: the inner sloped wall of a ditch.

Whigs: American colonists who rejected British rule during the American Revolution, also called Patriots.

Tory (also Loyalist): Someone who is loyal, or seemingly loyal, to Great Britain. “Tory” was often used as a derogatory term to describe federalists who opposed war with Great Britain.

13 thoughts on “New Word #42: The Revolutionary War

  1. As someone who’s a history major this may be my favourite list of words! I knew most of them from my readings since I’ve focused on American history for the majority of my degree but I actually learnt the word huzzah from one of my Russian history classes as a teenager.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow. That’s fascinating. So you have studied this list of words before and known their change of meanings then and now. That’s just wonderful. There must be many interesting events in Russian history. LOL. So probably huzzah is a Russian word to begin with.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. From what I’ve learnt Russians probably never used it lol but it definitely originated in Europe in the 16th century. I feel like it might be German.

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    1. Wow, nice to know. I wish there are some wonderful books for adults on this topic, but it seems there are more books and movies on Lincoln than on people before Lincoln. LOL.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. There are some decent books on the topic. Unfortunately I can’t think of them on the top of my head as it is an important war of ideas. This was practically the beginning of the end of the absolute monarchy as we knew it. If I can think of a good book on the American Revolution, I will let you know.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. There is an interesting history behind the Revolutionary War in the US. My favourite part of US history is in the War of 1812, Canadians burned down the White House!

    Liked by 2 people

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