What’s a Doughboy?

We have this statue down the street from our house. It’s referred to as the “Doughboy.” That’s where the Memorial Day parade today ends.

American men who fought in World War I in France were called “doughboys.” It’s such a strange name, I decided to find out how the name came to be. The term goes back as far as the Mexican-American War of 1846-47, referring to the infantry.

From this site on World War I:

Independently, in the former colonies, the term had come to be applied to baker’s young apprentices, i.e. dough-boys. Again, American soldiers probably were familiar with this usage. This version of doughboy was also something of a distant relative to “dough-head”, a colloquialism for stupidity in 19th Century America. When doughboy was finally to find a home with the U.S. Army it would have a disparaging connotation, used most often by cavalrymen looking down [quite literally] on the foot-bound infantry.

Doughboy statue of Highland Park, New Jersey

More on Memorial Day:

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