War jargon of a peace mission: the case of the polish army contingent in Afghanistan (2002 – 2014)

  • Alicja Kacprzak University of Lodz
Keywords: linguistic variation, lexicon, jargon, war


In the centenary of the First World War many historical studies concerning the period between 1914 and 1918 and its consequences have appeared in France. Many of these are also interested in the public discourse of this time and its language, especially the lexicon. There is no doubt that it is not only the history of the country and of its citizens that has been marked by the war, but also the French vocabulary. Numerous dictionaries containing war vocabulary have been published in recent years, while others are still being prepared, and all of them prove the existence of an indissoluble bond between the history of a community and its language.
The horror of the First and Second World Wars did not cause the world to abandon military conflicts. They continued over the whole 20th century and have not ceased at the beginning of the third millennium. Poland, which since 1945 has not been involved in international military conflicts on its own territory, has nonetheless taken part in the so-called local wars, among them the recent (2002-2014) war in Afghanistan. The majority of Polish society (70-80%) has never accepted the engagement of national forces in this conflict, even though it used to be called “a peaceful mission”.
The common experience of over 28.000 Polish soldiers who have served in Afghanistan has found its reflection in reports, books and blogs written by the participants. These texts, though rather rare, contain specific vocabulary that has developed in Task Force White Eagle (names for weapons, mines, military actions, enemies, etc.). In this article, the language of the mission is analyzed and the question is raised about the possible functions of this specific jargon.


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How to Cite
KacprzakA. (2019). War jargon of a peace mission: the case of the polish army contingent in Afghanistan (2002 – 2014). Linguistica, 58(1), 153-162. https://doi.org/10.4312/linguistica.58.1.153-162