Why are Brits "Tommy" and Germans "Jerry"?

I'm looking for an answer....


far-lands
This is a historical question, and not meant in any other way...

Why were/are the brits called Tommy's and the germans called Jerry's ?
Tom is Grey, and Jerry is brown.
The German Army wore grey uniforms, the british brown.
Jerry, was the smart one, and always won, where as Tom was a real dunce.

Where did it all come from, and has it got anything to do with "Tom & Jerry" at all ??
maaph
you lazy git, try google!
far-lands
I've looked, but can't seem to find anything.
maaph
try "why are the english called tommies" .. simple for a native

Wikipedia is also a handy place to look ..
bbulldog
"Jerry was a World War I British Army slang for "German," 1919, probably an alteration of German, but also said to be from the shape of the German helmet, which was like a jerry, British slang for "chamber pot" (1827), probably an abbreviation of jeroboam. Hence jerry-can "5-gallon metal container" (1943), a type first used by German troops in World War II, later adopted by the Allies. The German can was superior to the British or American and they adopted the German design.?
British soldiers were called "Tommies" by the Australians, a reference to "Thomas Atkins", the first name that the Duke of Wellington entered into the first British army sample soldier's pay-book.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tommies
Slackmack
I Googled "Tommy Aitkins" and got the Britboard.de Here
far-lands
Aha, great. Thanks all, so nothing to do with Tom & Jerry then ...
bbulldog
it is surprising how often the britboard does come up
maaph
in view of the fact they made their debut in 1940, unlikely :doh:

http://www.toonopedia.com/tomjerry.htm
far-lands
I knew that they appeared in WWII, so thats why I was confused about how they could have been mixed up ...
bbulldog
funny i was just talking about this an hour ago with a german technician that was here and the saying 'Jerry built' when something is not built properly
neilg
The book Tommy has all the info you need I think.
It's a thick one though and I havn't had time to finish it yet!

Jerry Built:
Meaning

Built in a makeshift and insubstantial manner to make a quick profit on a sale.

Origin

The phrase has been around since at least 1869. More recently jerry builders are more likely to be called cowboy builders or just cowboys. The derivation is unclear although there are many candidate explanations. 1. It is derived from the city of Jericho (which fell down). 2. From the Romany word for excrement - gerry. 3. From jerrymumble - meaning to knock about. 4. From 'Jerry Sneak' - a henpecked husband.
maaph
It's a thick one though
sounds just the sort of book for far-lands
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