Page:Notes and Queries - Series 9 - Volume 5.djvu/273

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The Leicestershire Regiment are styled " Tigers," because they wear the tiger badge as a sign of service in India.

" Tin Bellies " is a derisory allusion to the armour worn by the Household Cavalry.

The East Lancashire Regiment includes the former 30th, which had the obvious nickname of " Treble X's."

The Border Regiment is made up of the former 34th and 55th Regiments. The latter was known as the "Two Fives."

The " Two Fours " is the name of the former 44th, now the Essex Regiment.

The Lancashire Fusiliers, formerly the 20th Regiment, were nicknamed " Two Tens."

The Cheshire Regiment was styled the "Two Twos," because it was the 22nd.

The " Vein-Openers " was the suggestive title of the 29th, now the Worcestershire Regiment.

The "Virgin Mary's Guards" is a name for the 7th Dragoon Guards, which originated in the circumstance that in the reign of George II. they acted with the army of the Archduchess Marie of Austria.

"Wardour's Regiment" was the name of the 41st, now part of the Welsh Regiment.

" Warwickshire Lads " is an appropriate designation for the Warwickshire Regiment.

The Royal Marine Artillery are known as the " Water Gunners."

The Loyal North Lancashire Regiment includes the former 47th, known as "Wolfe's Own," in allusion to its services at Quebec.

" Yellow - banded Robbers " is a nickname for Prince Albert's Somersetshire Light Infantry.

The East Surrey Regiment has from the former 31st the name of "Young Buffs." George II. is said to have exclaimed at Det- tingen, " Well done, old Buffs ! " and when told that it was not the 3rd Foot, he replied, "Well done, young Buffs, then !"

The 7th Hussars have been known as "Young Eyes," but why is a mystery that Tommy Atkins has not revealed.

The present war in South Africa may not improbably add to the number and piquancy of regimental nicknames. The present rough catalogue may at least form the basis of an exhaustive list of these curious designations.

It will be seen that the army nicknames are of the most varied character. Some are mere allusions, some territorial, some com- plimentary, and some are quite the reverse. Some are enigmatical, and have their origin in forgotten incidents ; and if some of them are roughly satirical, there are but few that can be regarded as ill-natured or offensive. Each regiment has its own traditions, and if

the "Minden Boys" and the "Ramnugger Boys " cherish the memory of the fields on which they gained their names, the " Lambs," "Lions," and "Sweeps" will be equally con- servative of their designations. The " terri- torialism " of the army will bring the local element in the regimental names into greater prominence ; but although this may lead to the discontinuance of some, it will probably not obliterate the more striking of the military nicknames. WILLIAM E. A. AXON. Moss Side, Manchester.

PROPOSED ALTERATION IN THE RUSSIAN CALENDAR. It is stated that the Russian Government are proposing to effect an altera- tion in their calendar, the dates in which, since the end of last February, have differed thirteen days from those of Western Europe and America. We are, however, told they do not propose to adopt the Gregorian reckoning, but to bring into use a scheme more simple and more accurate, and to invite other nations to accept this. It is then to be presumed that the plan in question is that of dropping a leap-year regularly each 128th year, which would keep the calendar right and in accordance with the true length of the tropical year for 80,000 years. Obviously this is far more simple than the Gregorian rule, which is this. Drop a leap-year in each year the number of which is divisible by 100, unless it is also divisible by 400. This would keep the calendar right for over 3,000 years ; but if it were further modified by dropping a leap-year in each year the number of which is divisible by 4,000, it would preserve the year in accordance with its true length for 100,000 years. So that the modified Gregorian rule, with an exception of an exception of an exception, would be scarcely more accurate than the above simple rule, according to which the next leap-year dropped, after the present one, would be 2028. To prove its accuracy, it is only necessary to point out that it implies having, in every period of 128 years, 97 common years of 365 days each, and 31 bissextile years of 366 days each. This makes in all 46,751 days in 128 years, or the average length of a year 365'24219 days, which differs only in the fifth decimal place from the true length of a tropical year.

But if the Russian Government conclude to adopt this mode of reckoning, it will still become a question when they will commence. When Pope Gregory XIII. reformed the Julian calendar in 1582 (and his plan was followed in England in 1752), he carried the alteration back to the date of the Council of Nicsea, so