We'll continue with a second weekly theme of words of war and battle.
banzai attack; banzai charge – an all-out usually desperate attack
[after such attacks by WWII Japanese troops]
Here are examples both literal and figurative.
– The Guardian, Oct. 21, 2006
… the man who fishes for black marlin probably wears a size 44 coat and a size 4 hat. … it takes brawn to catch one—and a kind of lunacy to try. … As a last resort, if the marlin is angry enough, he will even launch a banzai attack; virtually every boat in the Club de Pesca's fleet carries chunks of marlin bill embedded in its hull.
– Time Magazine, July 10, 1964
An influential Republican congressman California wants to add a wall at the U.S.-Mexican border … build twin metal fences along the entire 2,000-mile border to stop the flow of illegal immigration. Cost estimates start at $4 billion. The wall would stop the "banzai attack," Hunter said …, when large numbers of people cross at the same time.
– East Valley (Arizona) Tribune, Nov. 4, 2005
brevet – a temporary promotion without pay increase
The dictionaries define this as such a military promotion, but the term is much more interesting in its occasional non-military uses. For example:
– Time Magazine, Nov. 19, 1965
A season that began with considerable promise is rapidly spiraling down the drain at Arizona. … Tight ends assistant Dana Dimel, once the head coach at Wyoming and Houston, has been made a brevet co-offensive coordinator in an attempt to rev things up. At this point that might be akin to putting lipstick on a pig, however.
– Corvallis (Oregon) Gazette-Times, Oct. 10, 2006
Surely that should be "brevet offensive co-coordinator?
Build a man a fire and he's warm for a day. Set a man on fire and he's warm for the rest of his life.
Maginot line – a expensive defense that seems impregnable, creates a false sense of security, but proves utterly ineffective (typically becauses it is static and thus cannot respond to other means of attack)
[Wordcrafter's definition. From a line of pre-WWII French fortifications named for minister André Maginot (1877-1932). The line was strong – but the Germans simply went around it.]
– The Guardian, Sept. 7, 2005
If a terrorist tried to sneak a "dirty" bomb into the United States, … [r]adiation detectors rushed into service since 9/11 might sound the alarm. … Some critics, though, say … all the sensors in the world might not be enough. … This could become a Maginot line for us, creating a false sense of security," says Randall Larsen … . "Anyone smart enough to get this stuff could sneak it past detectors."
– Christian Science Monitor, Nov. 9, 2005
Two war-words from German today.
Kulturkampf – conflict between cultures, or between secular and religious authorities
– The Guardian, Sept. 20, 2001
… the Kulturkampf, or cultural struggle, between Iran and Turkey for the allegiance of the Muslim-dominated former Soviet republics.
– International Herald Tribune, Jan. 29, 1992
– Bernard B. Fall, Hell in a Very Small Place: The Siege of Dien Bien Phu
cantonment – temporary living quarters specially built for soldiers
[Most press usages are from the press of India and nearby areas.]
– The 9/11 Commission Report: Final Report of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States
saber rattling – a show or threat of military power, esp. as used by a nation to impose its policies on other countries
[often used with the implication that the threat is mere bluff and bluster]
- Forbes, Oct. 27, 2006