Mudcat Café message #3325818 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #104496   Message #3325818
Posted By: Charmion
20-Mar-12 - 01:58 PM
Thread Name: Lyr Add: Nobby Hall (Cyril Tawney)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Nobby Hall (Cyril Tawney)
OD has achieved the fate of many traditional abbreviations: plenty of people can't believe it is as simple as it is. Yes, it just means "ordinary seaman" and nothing else; later glosses such as "Jack the lad" are just that: glosses.

English is a very plastic language, taking whatever form a generation of users find comfortable. Our ancestors, especially those who inhabited the British Isles, were comfortable with some very odd and variable forms, especially in non-standard language such as abbreviations.