Green’s Dictionary of Slang

Jerry n.

also Gerry
[abbr.; Brophy & Partridge (1930) suggest this was the preferred WWI term subseq. to 1915]

a derog. name for a German.

[UK]F. Dunham diary 14 Dec. Long Carry (1970) 19: Two dead Jerries were brought down to H.Q.
[NZ]N.Z. Observer 4 Aug. 15/3: ‘Sure, we’ll wallop the Gerrys,’ said Brian O’Lynn.
[NZ]Ohinemuri Gaz. (N.Z.) 22 Nov. 1/4: He anticipates a real good thing for the Yanks and a correspondingly bad one for ‘Jerry’.
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 19 Feb. 14/2: The word was passed back, ‘Here comes Jerry!’.
[US]H.C. Witwer Fighting Blood 45: We didn’t have to dance with them Jerrys!
[UK](con. WWI) Fraser & Gibbons Soldier and Sailor Words 104: Gerry: A German.
[UK](con. 1916) F. Manning Her Privates We (1986) 230: Oh, I know the place you mean. I wondered why Jerry had not included it in his trench system.
[UK]J. Hanley German Prisoner 12: Took it off a Jerry who crashed.
[US](con. 1917–19) Dos Passos Nineteen Nineteen in USA (1966) 390: The jerries stopped firing and four of them came on board.
[UK]News of the World 11 June 6: Hardened soldiers fix bayonets and advance through a smoke screen to meet the Jerries face to face.
[US]R. Chandler Long Good-Bye 66: A mortar shell plops right in the middle of us and for some reason it don’t go off. Those Jerries have a lot of tricks.
[UK]C. Wood ‘Prisoner and Escort’ in Cockade (1965) I iii: No – was it the Jerries? You giving us the old down with the krauts?
[UK] (ref. to 1940s) G. Melly Rum, Bum and Concertina (1978) 25: ‘Jerry’s late tonight.’ people would say almost affectionately.
[UK]W. Trevor Fools of Fortune 203: I’d say the old Jerries have given him the works by now.
[UK]Guardian G2 11 Nov. 22: The Jerries start going dippy.
[UK]K. Sampson Outlaws (ms.) 84: My mother says yes, she was terrified, thought it was the Jerries again.

In derivatives

Jerryland (n.)


[UK](con. WW2) T. Jones Heart of Oak [ebook] That pilot will be in the rattle when he gets back to Jerryland.