BATMAN: The soldier servant of an officer. This person would attend to all of an officer’s articles of uniform and military kit.
BAUCHLE: An awkward person. See: George MacDonald Fraser, The Sheikh and the Dustbin, p. 9.
BUNTS: Slang for a naval signalman. Colorful signal flags, bunting, you get it.
CAPTAIN-LIEUTENANT: The third senior commissioned rank in HM Navy, three half inch stripes of gold bullion with a royal crown one inch above the topmost stripe.
CHO: Commander of the Household Order awarded in three grades, this being the highest. It is for service to the monarch and his family. Star of the HO, medal of the HO. This is usually awarded for service within the immediate household: a butler, or hall boy. The medal in bronze for five years service or less; in silver for ten years service or less; and in gold for twenty years service.
CITY: As in “the City”. San Francisco, of course.
CHOTA HAZRI: Long before the arrival of Justin and Colin in Ellendale, Justin’s grandfather had been allied with the Emperor Porus of the Empire of Hyderabad and a number of his regiments had served in India. The term means “little breakfast”, an entirely civilized custom that was adopted by the army almost instantly.
CORNET: The most junior officer in a cavalry regiment. In the infantry, it would be Ensign and in the artillery or engineers it would be Second Lieutenant.
COXSWAIN: The helmsman on a small boat, sometimes an appointment with additional salary, otherwise just a courtesy title. The senior non-commissioned quartermaster is afforded this as a courtesy title.
DULE: One of the correct plurals for dove according to An Exaltation of Larks.
EARTH PRIME: Term for the world adjacent to the Earth in a separate dimension; it is home to elves and Bwca and all sorts of fun things.
ELLENDALE: This is the kingdom on Earth Prime that is ruled by Justin III. Basically it is the UK and Ireland, France, the Benelux, Germany and Italy on Earth.
ERA: Engine Room Artificer, he is responsible for the operation and maintenance of a ship’s engines. US Navy terminology would be Machinist Mate.
’ERB: Army slang for an individual not known by name to the speaker. Not offensive.
FLASHES: A small regimental color patch worn on the outside of knee socks in the summer uniform, just beneath the upper roll of the hose. They are always worn with the kilt.
GS: Gallantry Star, a decoration for heroism in battle for the armed forces of Ellendale; roughly comparable to the Military Cross or the Silver Star.
HMS: His Majesty’s Ship/Station. Naval.
HRH: His/Her Royal Highness. A member of the Royal Family.
HSH: His/Her Serene Highness. A ranking aristocrat. A non-royal prince or princess.
JANKERS: Slang for the holding cells for soldiers under the custody of the Provost, or other temporary prisoners. Brig.
KCGD: Knight Commander of the Golden Dragon. An order of knighthood in Ellendale. The ranks of this order are: Knight Grand Cross, Knight Commander, Knight, and Officer.
KG: Knight of the Garter, a British Order of Knighthood. One of the oldest. Limited membership.
KGCGD: Knight Grand Cross of the Golden Dragon.
KGD: Knight of the Golden Dragon.
KH: Knight of Hermes Wand. The ranks of this order are: Knight Grand Scholar, Knight, Officer.
KINGSTOWN: The capital of Ellendale.
KNIGHT BACHELOR: A knight bachelor has been knighted in the normal manner, but is not a member of a specific ‘Order’ of knighthood. They are always ennobled as barons or baronets.
KNIGHTHOOD: In many respects, the Kingdom of Ellendale on Earth Prime is a reflection of the United Kingdom on Earth. The monarchs of the two kingdoms have had occasional contact over a period of a thousand years. However Earth Prime has a number of principal ethnic groups (the Elves, the Bwca and the Trollians, to mention only three) and gender-specific roles have never been the rule. Accordingly, a knight is a knight regardless of sex and there is no gender specific designation.
KOM: Knight of the Order of Merit. Also Officer of the Order of Merit, OM.
KT: Knight of the Sword Tizona.
LEFTENANT: The pronunciation of “lieutenant” in Ellendale.
LIEUTENANT: The next senior commissioned rank in HM Navy. Two half-inch stripes of gold bullion with the royal crown one inch above the topmost stripe. Also a rank in other military branches of the Kingdom.
MATLO: Uncomplimentary term for a sailor; from ‘matelot’.
OGD: Officer of the Golden Dragon.
OH: Officer of Hermes Wand.
OM: The Royal Order of Merit in two classes, Knight and Officer.
PC: Personal Counselor, an advisor to HM with full access.
RN: The Royal Navy.
ROTC: Reserve Officers Training Corps. This is a military training program in the US in high school and college. College level prepares students for a commission in the reserves, Army and Navy.
SAM BROWNE BELT: Colonel Browne VC, was an officer of the British Indian Army who lost his left arm in combat. He designed this belt to help keep his sword in place. The regular waist belt is supported by a smaller leather strap that goes over the shoulder. Still widely in use.
SILING (DOWN): Pedro gave me this lovely Yorkshire term for a serious rain and advised that it’s used with the modifier and doesn’t stand alone.
SLIDE RULE: A sophisticated handheld mechanical computer that was once a sort of badge for the engineer or the student of advanced math. Almost as obsolete, today, as the abacus.
ST: Serjeant of Tizona, the lowest rank of the Tizona order.
(STAFF): This designation means the officer is a specialist officer, not a line, or command officer. It is evidenced by a stripe of white felt between, or below, the rank stripes of a naval officer.
STRIKER: An informal position for an Able or Ordinary seaman who is working toward becoming a petty officer in a specific rating: engineman striker, quartermaster striker, gunner’s mate striker and so on.
SUB LIEUTENANT: The lowest commissioned rank in HM Navy. A half-inch gold bullion stripe on each sleeve with the a royal crown one inch above the stripe.
VC: The post nominal initials for the Victoria Cross, the UK’s highest award for valour in the face of the enemy.