World War II postal acronyms

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S.W.A.K. on the back of a letter c. 1942

World War II postal acronyms were first used to convey messages between servicemen and their sweethearts back home. They were usually written on the back of the envelope.[1]

The acronyms, possibly including some more recent additions, are:

  • S.W.A.L.K. - Sealed With A Loving Kiss. A variant is S.W.A.K. ("sealed with a kiss").[2]
  • H.O.L.L.A.N.D. - Hope Our Love Lives/Lasts And Never Dies
  • I.T.A.L.Y. - I Trust And Love You or I'm Thinking About Loving You
  • F.R.A.N.C.E. - Friendship Remains And Never Can End
  • B.U.R.M.A. - Be Undressed/Upstairs Ready My Angel[3]
  • M.A.L.A.Y.A. - My Ardent Lips Await Your Arrival
  • E.G.Y.P.T. - Eager to Grab/Eagerly Groping/Grasping Your Pretty Tits[3]
  • N.O.R.W.I.C.H. - (k)Nickers Off Ready When I Come Home
  • V.E.N.I.C.E. - Very Excited Now I Caress Everywhere[4]
  • B.O.L.T.O.P. - Better On Lips Than On Paper
  • E.N.G.L.A.N.D. - Every Naked Girl Loves A Naked Dick
  • C.A.P.S.T.A.N. - Can A Prick Stand Twice A Night
  • C.H.I.N.A. - Come Home I'm Naked Already
  • C.H.I.P. - Come Home I'm PREGNANT
  • L.O.W.E.S.T.O.F.T. - Legs Opened Wide Enter Slowly To Obtain Full Treatment.
  • E.D.I.N.B.U.R.G.H. - Erection Definitely Imminent Now Book Usual Room George Hotel.
  • R.A.D.I.O. Romance And Delight I Offer (often used with B.U.R.M.A., Be Undressed/Upstairs Ready My Angel)

Terry Pratchett parodied this briefly in his Discworld novel Going Postal. His acronyms included L.A.N.C.R.E. and K.L.A.T.C.H. (Lancre and Klatch being two locations in the Discworld), although these were never officially expanded.

A Dirty Pretty Things song is named "B.U.R.M.A." after the postal acronym and contains the line 'Be Upstairs Ready My Angel'.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Douglas Sutherland (1988). Portrait of a Decade: London Life 1945-1955. p. 25. ISBN 0-245-54561-1. 
  2. ^ Detzer, David (1977). Thunder of the captains: the short summer in 1950. Crowell. p. 34. ISBN 0-690-01202-0. 
  3. ^ a b Jonathon Green (2006). The Big Book of Talking Dirty. p. 292. ISBN 0-304-36677-3. 
  4. ^ Simon Garfield (2013). To the Letter. p. 400.